Bob Dernier finds his way back to the Cubs

Bob DernierWhen Dallas Green came to the Cubs from the Phillies organization, he systematically plucked ‘his guys’ from the Phillie system to stock the Cubs for a playoff run. Within a year or two, the Cubs acquired Larry Bowa, Gary Matthews, Keith Moreland, Dickie NolesWarren Brusstar, a young third baseman named Ryne Sandberg, and outfielder Bobby Dernier– all from the Phillies. Dernier went on to steal 45 bases and win a Gold Glove playing center field in Wrigley in 1984.

In his ten major league seasons, Bobby D. started and finished his playing career in Philadelphia. In fact he still wears his NL Championship ring from his days as a Phillie. But for the past several years he has been a roving instructor in the Cubs organization, coaching outfield play and baserunning.

Earlier this year, I was in the press box at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva when the Cubs A-ball affiliate the Peoria Chiefs were in town playing the Kane County Cougars. Bob Dernier was with the Chiefs that series, working with the Cub farmhands and spinning yarns from his playing days. It was a treat to watch a game with him, watching how he charted pitchers, timed deliveries and running with a stop watch, and quietly chatted with Cubs Assistant General Manager, Randy Bush. Bush is Jim Hendry’s right hand man and he appeared in the press box in the first inning to sit with Dernier and talk baseball. It was a real treat to be a fly on the wall, observing these two baseball lifers. Bobby D. had recently quit smoking (I never understood how professional athletes can smoke?) and “Bushie” as Dernier called him was congratulatory. 

Randy Bush and Bob Dernier

Randy Bush and Bob Dernier

Now Bob Dernier has been promoted to first base coach with the big club. He’s back in Cubs pinstripes – at least for the last several weeks of the season. It’s obvious Dernier was teammates with Sandberg, who is/may be the heir-apparent. But proving the tight circle of acquaintance that is baseball, Derier and Cubs third base coach Ivan DeJesus were teammates on the ’82 & ’83 Phillies. So, at least on the Cubs coaching staff, the band is back together.

I don’t believe promoting Bob Dernier to the Cubs major league coaching staff has any bearing or is any indication whatsoever of Ryne Sandberg’s status as a mangerial candidate for 2011 and beyond. But it is interesting to see how these old teammates shuffle around.

Bob Dernier & Logan Watkins

Dernier working with Logan Watkins


Bob Dernier & Logan Watkins

Dernier & Watkins

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    August 24, 2010  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: awards, biz of baseball, coaching, Jim Hendry, manager, observations, photo of the day

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