The timing was merely coincidence, but former Cubs hitting coach John Mallee has been relieved of those same duties with the Phillies just as the Cubs come to town. As first reported by MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, Philly is turning to former manager Charlie Manuel to fill Mallee’s role through the end of the season.
The 75-year-old Manuel had been serving as an advisor to the front office after serving as the winningest skipper in club history, so he’s got more than his share of cachet. Had this been any other team at any other time, it’s unlikely you’d see anything of this sort here at Cubs Insider. But given Mallee’s connection and the recent reports about Joe Maddon’s future, we figured what the hell.
According to Dan Bernstein of 670 The Score, members of the Cubs front office are “pissed” that Maddon discussed his contract situation publicly. Beyond the content of his comments, the organization is said to be unhappy with the timing. Bernstein called it a “power move” by Maddon given Phillies manager Gabe Kapler’s shaky status.
Mallee being fired underscores that to an extent, though we’ve seen with the Cubs that parting ways with a coach or four doesn’t necessarily signal the manager’s departure. If nothing else, this is a topic that’s likely to come up during the broadcasts of the next three games, so now you’ve got a little more context.
Ed. note: The Mallee situation holds fascination for me due to a very odd series of encounters I had in the CI comments section with a former teammate of his named Augie Gonzalez. If you’ve got several minutes to spare and want to read some really twisted stuff, go ahead and click that link.