After five seasons, the Cubs have parted ways with team psychologist Marc Strickland, apparently over the initial protests of ownership. Now you might assume that Strickland was fired only because you can't fire an entire 40-man roster, but it sounds like Strickland was no ordinary shrink.
According to the Tribune, Strickland had his own locker for both home and away games, wore Cubs workout gear, and participated in pregame drills. And until former GM Jim Hendry put an end to it, Strickland hung out in the tunnel after Cubs wins, bumping fists and congratulating players.
The White Sox have their own psychologist, but GM Rick Hahn laughed at the idea of letting him pal around the field. "No," Hahn said, "he's a doctor."
Not happy with his behavior, Hendry tried to fire Strickland but was overruled by Tom Ricketts. Finally, years later, Theo Epstein was able to convince ownership to let Strickland go. Epstein offered up some comments on "revamping our mental skills program," but it mostly sounds like players had no idea what Strickland was actually supposed to be doing. Outfielder Nate Schierholtz:
"(Strickland) didn't really work with guys. He was just kind of around, watching over people. You never spoke to him or had any real in-depth conversations about psychology and baseball."
So what was his purpose?
"I'm not really sure."