Cubs fire team psychologist, who had bizarre relationship with players
If any of the Chicago Cubs are having problems that they want to discuss with a professional next season, they will have to sit down and chat with a new doctor. Marc Strickland, the team’s psychologist, was fired over the weekend. Strickland has reportedly been on the psychologist hot seat for a while, but ownership had been insistent upon keeping him around.
According to the Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein made the decision to fire Strickland. Why? Because he had an extremely bizarre relationship with the players.
Not only was Strickland available for consultation with players, the specialist in sports psychology had his own locker at home and on the road, dressed in team workout gear and played catch and shagged balls before games during batting practice.
Early in his first year in the majors, Strickland even stood in the dugout tunnel at Wrigley Field after victories, bumping fists with players as though he was part of the team.
The team psychologist is a person players should feel comfortable talking to, but he certainly shouldn’t be shagging fly balls and chumming it up with the team. It’s hard to maintain a professional relationship when you’re just another one of the guys, which is what Strickland seemed to be.
Sullivan added that outfielder Nate Schierholtz was asked what Strickland’s “purpose” was with the team, and he responded, “I’m not really sure.” That should tell you all you need to know.
H/T Eye on Baseball