Someone had to take the blame, and of course it couldn’t be the players. No, it’s not fair, but it’s the way things work in the world of professional sports.
"You never feel good about the coach taking the blame," said Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry. "I'm trying to do what's best for the organization."
Coach Perry was considered one of the best hitting coaches in the Majors last season. The Cubs had a batting average of 278 – the best in 71 years. But this year, the team is batting below .250 – one of the worst in the National League.
Why is that? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Derrek Lee, Milton Bradley and Geovany Soto got off to slow starts. Kosuke Fukudome and Alfonso Soriano started fast, but are now so cold, they make the North Side feel more like the North Pole. And the big bat of Aramis Ramirez was silenced last month when he dislocated his shoulder.
This is not the fault of the hitting coach - it’s baseball. Just like water will find it’s own level, the players will find their swings, Ramirez will get healthy, and the Cubs’ offense will regain it’s Mojo. But it won’t happen because they fired the hitting coach. It’s going to happen, because the players make it happen.
"Perry did everything in his power aside from going up there and hitting for us," said Ryan Theriot.
So after 2 ½ seasons with the Cubs, Perry is out the door and Von Joshua walks in. The former Triple A hitting coach is familiar with the team. Joshua coached many of the Cubs players in the Minors.
"I think sometimes you need a new voice. Von's had a lot of success with our guys on the way up." said Hendry.
But will Joshua be the lightening rod that sparks the Cubs sputtering offense? Probably not - even the players admit they’re the only ones who can do that.
What Joshua does offer is change. The only change Hendry could really make. He couldn’t get rid of the players and he’s not getting rid of Lou. So, the coach had to go. We would say good luck to coach Perry, but we think coach Joshua is going to need it more.