Cubs

Out of his hands, but Marmol hopes to retire a Cub

Out of his hands, but Marmol hopes to retire a Cub

Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010
1:13 PM

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

MILWAUKEE Carlos Marmol will turn 28 next month, after the end of his 11th year in the Cubs organization, and someday he will likely return full-time to his ranch in the Dominican Republic.

Marmol signed when Jim Riggleman managed the team (1999), broke into the majors with Dusty Baker (2006) and became an All-Star under Lou Piniella (2008). His paychecks have been signed by two different ownership groups.

In his first full season as closer, Marmol has been surrounded by 18 rookies 11 have made a big-league debut and 18 other relievers in a bullpen that once caused Piniella so much anxiety.

I dont feel old, Marmol said. Every year I go through I feel more comfortable here. (Id) like to stay my whole career here thats what Im looking for. Well see what happens. You never know.

Its way too early to tell how it will all end for Marmol, whos making 2.125 million this season and will again be eligible for arbitration this winter. But he does feel grateful for the opportunities hes been given in Chicago, a city he loves, even when the fans boo him at Wrigley Field.

With his wicked slider, Marmol began Friday with a career-high 118 strikeouts, more than any other reliever in the majors. Hes on pace to break the single-season franchise record for a reliever set by Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter.

Sutter attacked hitters with his splitter. Mariano Rivera the one closer Marmol really likes to watch baffles everyone with his cutter after running through the Yankee Stadium gate to Metallicas Enter Sandman.

Trevor Hoffman earned the 600th save of his career this week in Milwaukee. Like Marmol, the Brewers reliever has relied on one dominant pitch (changeup) and is a converted position player.

Hoffman started out as an infielder in the Cincinnati Reds system in 1989. Marmol, a former catcher, doesnt think anyone will touch Hoffmans major-league record.

Carlos Zambrano walked off the mound Friday night to a mixture of cheers and boos from the crowd of 30,975 still remaining at Miller Park. With two runners on and two outs in the ninth inning, Marmol threw one pitch, an 83 mph slider.

Casey McGehee flied out to right. Marmol notched his 29th save of the season, and the 52nd of his career. That secured a 4-0 victory over the Brewers.

When leads are not handled late, (that) can wear on a club big-time, Cubs manager Mike Quade said. (A good closer is a) piece of the puzzle that youd kill to have.

Whatever happens that night, Marmol has to forget it by the next day. On Friday afternoon, he was literally dancing in the clubhouse, telling a story to a group of Latin players sitting near the lockers of Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez.

That night Marmol watched the McGehee at-bat on a laptop and then playfully smacked a rookie reliever on the back of the head as he left the clubhouse.

One pitch! he yelled.

Marmol knows that he has to be easy-going. If you let the blown saves stick in your head, well, he didnt even have to say anything to finish the thought. He just made the throat-slash gesture.

Marmol loves baseball, but hasnt given any thought to how long hell play before he goes back home to his farm. He says he wont stick around until hes 42, like Hoffman.

Ill be at my pool, Marmol said. No chance.

Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio

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USA TODAY

Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio

"Of course," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said in the middle of the National League Championship — he would like his coaches back in 2018. Pitching coach Chris Bosio told the team's flagship radio station this week that the staff expected to return next year. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein didn't go that far during Friday afternoon's end-of-season news conference at Wrigley Field, but he did say: "Rest assured, Joe will have every coach back that he wants back."

That's Cub: USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale first reported Saturday morning that Bosio had been fired, a source confirming the team declined a club contract option for next year and made a major influence on the Wrigleyville rebuild a free agent. Epstein and Bosio did not immediately respond to text messages and the club has not officially outlined the shape of the 2018 coaching staff.

Those exit meetings on Friday at Wrigley Field are just the beginning of an offseason that could lead to sweeping changes, with the Cubs looking to replace 40 percent of their rotation, identify an established closer (whether or not that's Wade Davis), find another leadoff option and maybe break up their World Series core of hitters to acquire pitching. 

The obvious candidate to replace Bosio is Jim Hickey, Maddon's longtime pitching coach with the Tampa Bay Rays who has Chicago roots and recently parted ways with the small-market franchise that stayed competitive by consistently developing young arms like David Price and Chris Archer.

Of course, Maddon denied that speculation during an NLCS where the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs in every phase of the game and the manager's bullpen decisions kept getting second-guessed.

Bosio has a big personality and strong opinions that rocked the boat at times, but he brought instant credibility as an accomplished big-league pitcher who helped implement the team's sophisticated game-planning system.

Originally a Dale Sveum hire for the 2012 season/Epstein regime Year 1 where the Cubs lost 101 games, Bosio helped coach up and market short-term assets like Ryan Dempster, Scott Feldman, Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija. 

Those win-later trades combined with Bosio's expertise led to a 2016 major-league ERA leader (Kyle Hendricks) and a 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner (Jake Arrieta) plus setup guys Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards Jr. and All-Star shortstop Addison Russell.

Bosio helped set the foundation for the group that won last year's World Series and has made three consecutive trips to the NLCS. But as the Cubs are going to find out this winter, there is a shelf life to everything, even for those who made their mark during a golden age of baseball on the North Side.

Report: Cubs fire pitching coach Chris Bosio after six seasons with team

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USA TODAY

Report: Cubs fire pitching coach Chris Bosio after six seasons with team

In Theo Epstein's end of season press conference on Friday he said that any coach Joe Maddon wants back will return in 2018.

Evidently, there's one coach Maddon didn't want back.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Cubs have fired longtime pitching coach Chris Bosio.

Bosio served as the Cubs pitching coach from 2012-17. He was the team's pitching coach under former managers' Dale Sveum (2012-13) and Rick Renteria (2014), and was retained when Maddon was hired as manager of the Cubs in 2015.

Bosio, who is one of the most respected pitching coaches in baseball, was instrumental in the career resurgence of Jake Arrieta who captured the Cy Young award in 2015, and the development of 27-year-old starter Kyle Hendricks (MLB's ERA leader in 2016).

One reason that could've led to Bosio's firing was the pitching staff's control issues during both the regular season and postseason, which Epstein mentioned during Friday's press conference. The Cubs issued the fifth-most walks (554) in the National League during the regular season and the highest total (53) during the postseason.

As the Cubs hit the market for a new pitching coach, Nightengale mentioned that one name that could be on the radar is former Tampa Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, who parted ways with the organization following the 2017 season.

Hickey served as Maddon's pitching coach in Tampa Bay from 2006-2014.