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.