Manny Being Manny Comes to Wrigley

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Last season, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer thought that hiring Manny Ramirez to be a hitting coach for the Iowa Cubs would be a great idea, much to the chagrin to some fans of the Chicago Cubs. They did not want anything to do with the man who was covered in the filth of the steroid scandal. However, he had a lot of success with some of the younger players like Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Javier Baez just as Epstein and Hoyer thought he would. This led me to start wondering last July if the Cubs would consider bringing him back as a Cubs coach. Today, that question as answered.

I love when I am right about a hunch that I have. Bringing him in made too much sense, especially since he had a lot of success with the young talent that the Cubs are depending on going forward. Now to be fair, Ramirez is not technically a Cubs coach, but rather a hitting consultant who will be working with both the Major League and Minor League talent.

That is a good thing because even though the Cubs are calling up some of their young talent who has had success under his watch, there are still more than enough players in the Minor Leagues who could benefit from his teaching. Players such as Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber for example. Both have great ability, and according to which scouts you listen to have better bat skills than Bryant with Schwarber being the best of the bunch.

While he will be moving back and forth between the Majors and Minors, he will spend considerable time in the Majors, that being one homestand a month. Not a lot of time, but enough to get into the heads of the young players who might need a tip from someone who helped them out as they developed. While he is with the Cubs at Wrigley, Manny will be in fully uniform sitting in the dugout.

This leaves open the possibility that you can purchase a #99 Cubs jersey with Ramirez on the back. Why not? They have a jersey for Joe Maddon which is popular and selling with the fan base. While this move will upset a portion of Cub fans because of his steroid usage in the past, I love this move. He has shown that he can help the young hitters, and was very popular with them. I have no doubt that he will be a grand success this season just as he was last year. Now, because of Ramirez’s connection to steroids, the obvious connection to Sammy Sosa was there. Questions quickly came up about if this meant that Sosa will be Sosawelcomed back into the fold some day, something Epstein was willing to embrace the possibility of.

However, the decision on Sosa would be made elsewhere.

I know Sosa burned many bridges here, and many Cub fans have turned on him, but there are still a lot of fans who would welcome him back with open arms. But there is still work to do on Sosa’s end if this is to happen.

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