Feb 17, 2011; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo (7) during spring training at Fitch Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Difference in philosophy. That is the reason why Rudy Jaramillo is no longer the Cubs’ hitting coach. When Cubs’ president Theo Epstein addressed the media on Tuesday to speak on the firing of Rudy Jaramillo as the team’s hitting coach, Epstein said the move was made in order to send a new message in the Cubs’ clubhouse.
But before Jaramillo became another victim of the rebuilding phase for the Cubs’ organization, the respected hitting coach may have sealed his own fate with comments made in a story with Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times.
In the story that was published a little under a week ago, Wittenmyer paints Jaramillo in a picture that has the caption of “poor me”.
To begin the title of the story is “Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo has tough time with weak personnel.” The title says it all. Instead of examining the potential inability for Jaramillo to develop the hitters on the Cubs’ roster, with the title, the story immediately points the finger at the Cubs’ roster. That argument does have some merit. But, the Cubs roster also includes the likes of Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, Bryan LaHair, Darwin Barney, and David DeJesus. Those five players have all appeared meet–or in some cases, surpass–their expectations for the 2012 season.
But that did not stop Jaramillo from occasionally regretting his decision to become the Cubs’ hitting coach after the 2009 season.
"‘‘I guess sometimes you don’t know what you’re getting into,’’ he said. ‘‘But that’s why I came here to be a Cub as a coach. No doubt I made a difference in Texas, and you try to come here and do the same thing.‘‘I’ve been in the game a long time, and good things have continued to happen to me. They always have. I just keep that attitude and the fact that things will get better. And they will.’’ Chicago Sun Times"
Yes, Jaramillo did gain his highly regarded reputation with his efforts as the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers. However, a good amount of success could be attributed to the fact that he was coaching the likes of Josh Hamilton, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano in his prime, Ian Kinsler, Ivan Rodriguez, and Rafael Palmeiro. Great players are great players. Regardless of the coaches they have in the Major Leagues, they will always be great players. The Texas Rangers have not missed a beat since Jaramillo left the team to join the Cubs’ coaching staff. In fact, Hamilton’s performance post-Jaramillo has far exceeded his performance while Jaramillo was his hitting coach.
But don’t worry, good things have always happened to Jaramillo. So there was a reason Jaramillo was sitting on his hands in the Cubs dugout, that is because he was waiting for good things to happen. Good things don’t just happen. It is on the hitting coach to put the hitters in a position for good things to happen. That is something that Jaramillo did not do. Jaramillo simply preached the idea of hitting going out and hitting any pitch that they know they can hit regardless of it’s location in the strike-zone. That is a direct contrast to the approach that the new regime takes which is focused on high on base percentages, quality at bats, and putting the hitter in a position to hit their pitch.
Epstein’s decision to give the pink slip to Jaramillo was all about sending a message to the entire Cubs’ organization. Though, that message was likely created in some form because of the message that Jaramillo sent to the Sun Times.