Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs tab Listach for bench coach job

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Sources confirmed today that former Washington Nationals third base coach Pat Listach has been hired to become new manager Mike Quade's bench coach, completing Quade's 2011 staff.

He was hired in time to travel tonight to Arizona to participate the team's annual organizational meetings, which start tomorrow, according to a source.

An official announcement is expected after the conclusion of the World Series.

Listach, 43, spent nine seasons as an instructor and manager in the Cubs' farm system, including 3 ½ seasons as a minor league manager. He was named PCL manager of the year with Iowa in 2008 and has a 253-221 (.534) overall record.

He was also an infield instructor on former Cub manager Jim Riggleman's Washington staff.

The 1992 American League rookie of the year was a .251 career hitter with 116 stolen bases in six seasons in the majors, mostly as a shortstop.

The Cubs return most of last year's coaching staff under Quade, who replaced Lou Piniella in August.

Only bench coach Alan Trammell, who took a job on former teammate Kirk Gibson's Arizona staff, and former first base coach and special assistant Matt Sinatro are not back in 2011.

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On the "Hot Stove" front:

Interesting to see how former stick-up artist Aramis Ramirez, has graciously decided to exercise his option this time around. Surprised that he didn't leave it on the table, and try to negotiate a new deal. That would have been hilarious.

I think the Cubs have to be at the top of the list (followed closely by the Bears) when it comes to being stuck with really bad contracts for unproductive players. You could field a pretty competitive MLB team using just the money they've wasted on players like Ramirez, Soriano, Fukudome, Big "Z", and the dearly departed Bradley. Toss in Sweet Lou's salary, and money-wise, you'd have a roster that would top the entire payroll of more than a few teams.

Naming Mr. Listach as the bench coach is fine (if Ryne Sandberg did not want the job); however, with the combination of Quade/Listach/Dernier, it appears the coaching staff is being set up to mentor young players rather than win. Maybe I'm in a minority among Cubs fans, but I fail to see how a team with Aramis Ramirez, Soriano, Soto, Castro, Byrd, and Colvin in the line-up should be relegated to a "rebuilding mode." Beyond the 3-headed monster (of Barmey/DeWitt/Baker) at second base and the glaring hole at 1b, this team is at very least comptetitive in a weak N.L. Central.

Instead of selling off any veteran we can dump in this off-season for any prospects we can garner to dump payroll (I've heard everything from Zambrano to Silva, Fukodome to Byrd, and Soriano to Dempster mentioned by the broad spectrum of professional baseball punditry), why isn't this team looking to invest in a couple players they know will be able to shoulder the load? We have an entire bullpen uner 30 years-old (except Grabow), kids in RF, C, SS, 2nd, and in the rotation (Gorzelanny/Wells, with Coleman, Diamond, Samardzija, Archer, and Jackson potentially on the way). If Ricketts leans anything, he should learn that teams are profitable when they win. It took the Rays a decade of being "deep" to win anything... we're a big market team & can have both (depth and winning). Let's add a real 1b threat and an ace... and watch the team go through the N.L. Central like a hot knife through butter.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on November 1, 2010 3:02 PM.

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Former Cubs manager Piniella: `I didn't quit.' is the next entry in this blog.

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