Manny Ramirez is coaching the Iowa Cubs and Tom Musick is long gone, so sports editor Jon Styf has to discuss the state of Cubs baseball this week with assistant sports editor Tom Clegg.
Styf: I’m sorry Tom, this just isn’t the same. I miss Tom Musick already. Years from now, maybe he can come back as a writer/editor like Manny’s back as a Triple-A player/coach. How’s that supposed to work again? And I thought he was still supposed to miss 100 games for a failed drug test, when he retired instead of taking the punishment. How does that work?
Clegg: Tom Musick failed a drug test? Oh, you mean Manny. He served that suspension before he played for Oakland in the minors in 2012. All I know is there’s too much of a stink being made about the Cubs signing him. Remember the uproar when the Cardinals signed Mark McGwire to be hitting coach? That lasted about two days and then everyone moved on.
Styf: I just think Manny’s different, but maybe I’m wrong. I would just be afraid to have him giving advice to a guy like Javier Baez. But maybe they believe there can be a real connection there. The future of the franchise is sitting in minor-league lineups, and they’re trying to be incredibly careful with those players’ development. I just don’t see how this fits into that. It seems more like a sideshow than anything. What am I missing?
Clegg: Obviously Theo Epstein is banking on Manny The Incredible Hitter rubbing off on Baez and others and not Manny The Distracted Outfielder and Clubhouse Cancer influencing them. If Manny really has changed his attitude and is serious about wanting to give back to the game, then the Cubs might have something, especially if he can translate his hitting knowledge to young players. It’s worth the small risk of his past misbehavior somehow ruining these prospects.
Styf: Speaking of the Cubs, when are they going to figure out you need pitching too? They are building a heck of a minor league prospect hitter Dream Team, right up there with the Astros and Twins. But they still don’t seem to have pitching. You need that, right?
Clegg: Maybe Theo can hire Roger Clemens to be their Triple-A pitching coach.
Styf: Too late. He’s already working for the Astros. Speaking of that, when are we going to get some new reporters around here? With Musick and Jeff Arnold gone, it’s getting lonely.
Clegg: Reinforcements are coming to the newsroom soon. I hope the Cubs can say the same.