Cubs coach Willie Harris is 'ready' to manage MLB team originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Chicago Cubs third base coach Willie Harris has quite the baseball résumé.
Harris won the World Series in 2005 with the White Sox, and since retiring has become a hitting coach, a minor league manager, a baserunning coach, an outfield coordinator and now a third base coach. But there's still one job Harris wants to do most: manage an MLB team.
"That's definitely the dream and the goal," Harris said on the "Parkins and Spiegel" Show on Thursday. "I just have to bide my time, put my work in and wait for that opportunity. I really truly believe that I'm ready and able to lead a group of young men, but I have to wait for that opportunity, and hopefully it presents itself soon. I'm ready for it."
Harris managed the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, from 2018-19 and had a final record of 117-160. He interviewed to manage the White Sox in 2020 when the team parted ways with Rick Renteria after four seasons, but Tony La Russa got the job instead. The Cubs hired Harris to become the third base coach in December 2020.
Harris said he feels very blessed every day he goes to work on the North Side. He's most notably known for connecting with the crowd at Wrigley Field and throwing baseballs to young fans during games.
"The way I look at it, I'm a blessed individual to have this opportunity to work for the Chicago Cubs and coach third base," Harris said. "And when these fans come out, I want to make it memorable for those guys. I want them to want to come back to the ballpark. And if you can make a kid's day man, that's doing it right there. If you can make a kid, or an older guy, or whoever. If you could just, like you said, just talk to them a little bit. That makes their day and that's what I'm all about. Making people's day."
For now, Harris enjoys learning from Cubs manager David Ross and bench coach Andy Green when attending coach's meetings. He said he's learned a lot since joining the Cubs organization.
"I love working with these guys and picking their brains on different situations," Harris said. "And, you know, sometimes we disagree, but that's good. We see things from different points of views and we get on the same page. So, what I would take with me, number one from David Ross is his positivity. I've always looked at myself as a positive guy, but now I'm super positive being around Rossy and giving these guys the energy that they need every day if they're feeding off me."