Very quietly, Henry Blanco’s time on the North Side has come to an end. Henry is leaving his post as Quality Control Coach on Joe Maddon’s bench to be the bullpen coach for Davey Martinez in D.C.
Now this may not seem to be a big deal. And to be honest, it’s probably not. But for some reason, this move really struck a cord with me. In my mind, he was the last of what I like to call the “Innocent Cubs” left in the dugout.
Blanco’s Cub playing career ended in the glorious 2008 season. It was a different era. An era when Tom Rickett’s name was unknown, Jim Hendry’s reign was unquestioned, and a digital scoreboard at Wrigley was unthinkable. The bullpens, and the Budweiser house, were visible to anyone who cared to look. The Eamus Catuli house wasn’t a sign full of zeroes. The chase to end the curse was at a fever pitch.
Now I’m not saying the 2016 World Series wasn’t the most epic Cubs experience that has or will ever happen. But I will miss Blanco’s familiar face. A guy who was around before the Cubs were so polished and corporate. When the Old Style man was still king at Clark and Addison.
With Blanco’s departure, the innocent Cubs are all gone. Thanks for your service, Hank White. CubForLife.