On the same day that Rudy Jaramillo was fired, the Cubs walked seven times en route to a 4-3 win over the Tigers. Were the Cubs batters free to be patients without the shackles of their former hitting coach? Darwin Barney, take it away.
“The toughest part of the game is being aggressive and selective at the same time,” Barney said.”You look in your zone early in the count even though (the pitcher) is going to try and get you out early. If you get them deep in the count, you probably have a better chance, so that was kind of our approach tonight.”
Darwin showed him most of all, knocking in three runs and scoring the winning run. He then went on to talk more about Rudy Jaramillo and Jeff Baker’s bad approach at the plate.
“Rudy was very individualistic,” Barney said. “He worked with guys on different things. With me, it was more the mechanical side of things early and I felt I had a pretty good approach to hitting and did my homework. With other guys, he talked more approach. You’re not going to really talk to someone like Jeff Baker about his mechanics. He’s been doing this for a long time, and he knows how to hit a baseball. You probably talk to him more about the approach. He worked with guys on different things and what they thought they needed.”
Despite all the players blaming themselves for the firing of Mr. Jaramillo, Theo Epstein wants everyone to know that’s not the case. Jaramillo’s forte was swing mechanics, and the Cubs have a new philosophy.
‘‘I think mechanics are important,’’ Epstein said, ‘‘but until we sort of embrace as an organization the right approach, mechanics almost have to take a back seat at times. And that was part of the motivation for the move.’’
James Rowson, 35, moves from the minor-league hitting-coordinator job to take over on an interim basis, Epstein said, and will be re-evaluated after the season.
‘‘We decided that it was best that if you’re going to embrace a new message to have a new voice to go with it,’’ Epstein said of the timing. ‘‘It’s not based on results. It’s more trying to get a new voice with a new message. We have a certain philosophy we believe in, and we have a lot of growth that awaits us as an organization, and [we’re] trying to get there.’’
It’s like angels singing every time he speaks.