Results tagged ‘ Jamie Quirk ’
Jamie Quirk, who has spent the last two seasons as Astros bullpen coach, is leaving the team to become bench coach for the Chicago Cubs under new manager Dale Sveum.
“It’s just a great opportunity,” Quirk said. “When Dale Sveum was interviewing, he asked me if I’d be interested if he gets any of the jobs and he got the Cubs. I talked with [Cubs general manager] Theo [Epstein] and passed that test and called [former Astros general manager] Ed [Wade] for permission and all that. I was excited.
“It’s the Cubbies. Who wouldn’t watch that job? They have a very famous tradition in baseball, and it will be nice to be part of turning it around.”
The appeal of the Cubs was one factor, but Quirk is eager for a chance to get back on the bench and stay more involved in the game. Most of the work he did during the season as bullpen coach was done in pre-game meetings, and he worked in the bullpen during games.
“Pretty much, once the game started I was out of it,” Quirk said. “I was looking forward to the opportunity to get back in the dugout and having more one-on-one with the manager and feeling like you’re actually helping rather than sitting back and watching. I’ve done it many years before, and I kind of missed it.” <p>
Astros manager Brad Mills has already put a list together of possible replacements for Quirk.
“I’m very happy for him to get this opportunity,” Mills said.
Quirk, 57, joined the Astros two years ago after working as a professional scout in 2009. Prior to that, he had served as bench coach for the Colorado Rockies for six years (2003-08) under then-manager Clint Hurdle. He began his Major League coaching career in 1994 as bullpen coach for the Royals and later served as bench coach.
Quirk played in the Major Leagues for 18 years, appearing in 984 games, including 525 at catcher. He compiled a .240 career average with 43 home runs and 247 RBIs while playing for eight teams, including 11 years with the Royals. He was on the Royals’ 1985 World Series championship team.
It’s rather unusual to see a Major League coaching staff get multi-year deals, but the Astros felt so good about what they had in manager Brad Mills’ staff that they announced Saturday they had extended the contracts of the field staff by two years, though 2012.
The Astros will have to wait a couple of more weeks before hitting coach Jeff Bagwell tells them whether he wants to return, but Mills and general manager Ed Wade have put together a terrific coaching staff in Brad Arnsberg (pitching coach), Dave Clark (third-base coach), Bobby Meacham (first-base coach), Al Pedrique (bench coach) and Jamie Quirk (bullpen coach).
Not only do they have the respect of the players, but the group puts in long hours poring over advance scouting reports and in the video room before the players even arrive at the ballpark.
“I knew from basically July on we wanted to keep this group together,” Wade said. “I talked to [owner] Drayton [McLane] and [president of baseball operation] Tal [Smith about doing two-years and they see the same things I’ve seen and they’re very supportive of extending beyond this organization’s norm.
“If you look at coaches’ contracts, there’s not a lot of multi-year deals out there. There are some, but not the vast majority. To be able to do that with the entire unit sends a message to them that we appreciate the kind of work they’ve done and a message to the players, too, that there’s continuity and stability. With a younger group, that’s an important message to try to deliver.”
Don’t be surprised to see the Astros pick up Mills’ option for 2012. He’s under contract next year, but with his staff getting contracts through 2012, it only makes sense the manager gets the same deal.