Sveum brings McKay onto Cubs staff


Sveum brings McKay onto Cubs staff

Cubs manager Dale Sveum is bringing in someone from Tony La Russas inner circle.

Dave McKay who spent the past 16 seasons as the St. Louis Cardinals first-base coach will take the same job with the Cubs. Before that, McKay spent a decade working for La Russa and the Oakland As. Their run saw three World Series titles, including last seasons championship drive that led up to La Russas retirement.

The Cubs finally unveiled their coaching staff on Friday and as expected Rudy Jaramillo (hitting) and Lester Strode (bullpen) will return in 2012. Pat Listach who was Mike Quades bench coach last season will move to third base. All three have developed good connections with players in the clubhouse.

Two key Sveum hires Jamie Quirk (bench) and Chris Bosio (pitching) had already been established. McKay, 61, wasnt going to be part of Mike Mathenys new staff in St. Louis.

Dave came into the picture a little bit late because I had no idea that he got let go by the Cardinals. I was shocked by that, Sveum said. I was just glad that I didnt miss (out and) Dave got a hold of me (to) let me know that he was out there because hes a huge asset to any team.

Sveum played briefly in Oakland and lives near McKay in Arizona, where the Cubs staff has been going over the roster and making plans for spring training.

The major-league staff assistants will be Mike Borzello, a catching instructor with ties to the New York Yankees, and Franklin Font, a long-time minor-league staffer who has a good relationship with Starlin Castro.

Quirk played 18 years in the big leagues and has 18 more seasons of experience as a coach in the majors. Bosio has done the job before in Tampa Bay and Milwaukee and can draw upon the 11 seasons he pitched in the majors.

Sveum will be surrounded by people he trusts, and that will be huge during his first full season as a major-league manager.

We have a lot of guys that are really good teachers, Sveum said. (Theyve) been around the game (and they) know how to handle big-league players and how to get the best out of them.

Saturday on CSN: Kyle Hendricks, Cubs face Reds

Saturday on CSN: Kyle Hendricks, Cubs face Reds

The Cubs face off against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, and you can catch all the cation on CSN. Coverage begins at 3:00 p.m.

Starting pitching matchup: Kyle Hendricks vs. Robert Stephenson

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World Series thank-yous follow Kris Bryant to Las Vegas

World Series thank-yous follow Kris Bryant to Las Vegas

MESA, Ariz. – Kris Bryant didn’t need to pose for a Crate & Barrel billboard in Wrigleyville or walk a goat around a Bed Bath & Beyond commercial shoot. Cub fans just kept sending him free stuff.

The wedding gifts actually shipped to his parents’ house in Las Vegas, where he honed the swing that landed him on a new Sports Illustrated cover that asked: “How Perfect is Kris Bryant?”   

This happens when you mention your registries on a late-night show with another Vegas guy (Jimmy Kimmel) after leading an iconic franchise to its first World Series title in 108 years.        

So Bryant will be the center of attention in Sin City this weekend when the Cubs play two split-squad games against the Cincinnati Reds. But that spotlight will pretty much follow the National League’s reigning MVP wherever he goes. 

At least this gives Bryant a chance to chill at the pool and organize the house he moved into in January. 

“My mom just kept throwing stuff in my car: ‘Here, take it!’” Bryant said. “Opening all those boxes, I can’t believe how many presents we got from fans. It was unbelievable. Jess is going to have to write all the thank-you notes. I’m just signing my name on them. You have literally like 700 thank-you notes to write.

“I said: ‘You need to just go get the generic thank-you.’ She’s like: ‘No, they took the time out of their day to buy us a present.’ This is going to take her the whole year. So if there’s anybody out there that’s waiting for one…”    

The wait is finally over for generations of Cub fans. Spring training will always have a “Groundhog Day” element to it. But this camp – with no major injuries so far or real roster intrigue or truly wacky stunts – has felt different. As the players get ready for a new season – one without 1908 looming over everything – they can’t escape what they did. 

“Every day something reminds me of it,” said Kyle Hendricks, who will start Saturday in Las Vegas. “Even going to throw in these spring games, when they announce your name and the whole crowd erupts because of the World Series. That wasn’t happening last year. 

“Little things like that make me notice. Something every day is brought to my attention, so it’s still getting used to that part.”  

The Cubs insist there won’t be a hangover effect in 2017, believing that this young group is too talented and too focused to get derailed by distractions and overconfidence. But the Cubs could go 0-162 this season and Bryant would still probably be breaking down boxes for recycling.   

“It’s funny,” Bryant said. “We just put cameras on my house for security and I’ll just look at it sometimes. I’ll randomly see my mom just unloading boxes. I’m like: ‘Mom, what’s going on? Are we getting more stuff?’ She’s like: ‘Yeah, we keep getting more boxes.’”