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updated: 8/15/2012 9:53 PM

Cubs' players saddened by Fleita's firing

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The firing of longtime player-development chief Oneri Fleita was greeted with sadness by players in the Cubs clubhouse Wednesday.

"I'm sad because Oneri was like my father around Chicago and everywhere," said reliever Carlos Marmol, who started his career as a catcher in the Cubs' system after being signed in 1999. "I feel bad for him. I'm going to talk to him later."

Fleita, the Cubs' vice president for player personnel, was fired after 17 years in the organization. He was best known for his work in player development and making inroads for the Cubs in Latin America.

"Oneri was someone I've been with the entire time through the minor leagues," said center fielder Brett Jackson, who was called up for the first time Aug. 5. "He's certainly a big figure in my upbringing, if you will, in the minor leagues. Sad day to see him go. He's a great guy, a great baseball person, and I have to reach out to him soon because he did a lot of good things for me."

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