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updated: 5/26/2014 8:18 PM

Ramirez hiring spotlights Cubs' organizational mess

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  • Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, right, shown here with general manager Jed Hoyer, caused an incredulous Mike North to laugh when he heard the team hired Manny Ramirez as a player-coach at Triple A Iowa.

      Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, right, shown here with general manager Jed Hoyer, caused an incredulous Mike North to laugh when he heard the team hired Manny Ramirez as a player-coach at Triple A Iowa.
    Associated Press

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

I saw the story when I woke up Monday morning.

Manny Ramirez had been hired by the Cubs to be a player-coach at their Triple-A affiliate in Iowa.

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Seriously, was this story for real?

I fail to see the upside to hiring the 41-year-old former slugger who was suspended twice late in his career after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Ramirez will be "a positive influence on the Cubs' prospects."

I don't see how scraping the bottom of the barrel will help this team get any better.

For some reason Epstein and his loyal sidekick -- vice president and general manager Jed Hoyer -- looked at the pool of thousands of available ballplayers and coaches out there and decided this particular baseball man, over all the rest, was the best candidate to mentor the young minor-league players from this out-of-control organization.

Wow! I find it amusing after careful deliberation by Cubs brass that Ramirez was the best choice to help the kids in Triple A.

Help them do what? Maybe teach them that honesty is the best policy. What could fans possibly have thought when they heard Ramirez was hired? Were you stunned at first, or did you laugh like I did?

I wanted to see the reaction of my wife, who is a longsuffering Cubs fan.

Her face looked blank, and she said, "Really? Why?"

Yeah, really.

The past might be for cowards and losers, but history isn't. I think it is a misguided decision and sends a bad message. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has been busting his tail to implement better drug testing and precautions to clean up the game -- and this news can't make him happy. I think people might have forgotten that the Boston Red Sox were stacked when Epstein was running the show.

Now all the empty promises and false hope we are hearing from the Cubs organization has hit epic proportions. The team is 19-30 and the buzz today is not about the future, but about the notorious past of their new hire, one of the most tainted players ever to play the game.

What kind of message are you sending?

Did anyone think this through?

So let's go over this one more time. The Cubs are probably the worst-run organizations in the game, and they are led by a guy whose roster doesn't have one .300 hitter. I guess the coaches down in Iowa aren't getting it done. Well, here comes Manny to the rescue.

I just see one problem. How can Ramirez help the young players legitimately get better, since he cheated not once, but twice at the very least?

Let's all chant, "Manny, Manny, he's our man. If he can't do it, maybe Sosa can!"

What a complete mess.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio. Catch my show from 7-11 a.m. Sundays, and check me out on iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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