BREWER, Maine — Orono native Brian Butterfield is looking forward to being the third base coach and infield instructor with the Chicago Cubs after spending five memorable seasons in those roles with the Boston Red including a World Series championship in 2013.
Red Sox manager John Farrell was fired after the season and the coaches were allowed to look for other jobs.
Alex Cora is the new Red Sox manager.
“My five years in Boston were phenomenal,” said the 59-year-old Butterfield at the Zone Corporation’s annual Hot Stove Banquet at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer on Monday night.
“I’m a New England guy and I really wanted to close out my career with the Red Sox. But things don’t always work that way,” said Butterfield, who lives in Standish with his wife Jan. “(The Red Sox) handled it the right way. They gave the incoming manager the opportunity to hire his own staff and that’s the way everybody should do it.
“It was a good run. I was around some good people who worked upstairs as well as people in uniform. And there were some great players. It was a great five years,” he added.
Butterfield likes and respects Cubs manager Joe Maddon from all of his years coaching against him. Butterfield has also has made coaching stops with the New York Yankees, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Joe and I have a real good relationship as longtime opponents even going back to his days with the (California) Angels,” said Butterfield. “He always had something good to say. We always had good baseball talks. I’ve always been an admirer of his. He always made things difficult on us (when we played them).”
Maddon said in a cubs.mlb.com report that Butterfield is an “excellent third base coach and he’s really an outstanding baserunning coach and we wanted to add that skill set to our group.”
Former Red Sox hitting instructor Chili Davis also joins Butterfield with the Cubs.
“We think these new coaches can help take us to another level and get us back to the World Series,” added Maddon.
The Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years two years ago and won the National League Central Division crown last season, but were ousted 4-1 in the National League Championship Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cubs won 11 fewer regular-season games last season.
Butterfield noted that he also had great conversations with Cubs President Theo Epstein and Executive Vice President-General Manager Jed Hoyer.
“All of our conversations have been productive,” said Butterfield.
“All of us were surprised that Farrell got fired after winning the World Series and back-to-back American League East Division titles the past two seasons,” he admitted.
“We knew there might be changes taking place. It was a tough go. We reminded (Farrell) to keep his head high. We won two divisional championships in the toughest division in baseball,” said the former University of Maine second baseman, who is the son of late Black Bears baseball coach and Yankees vice president of scouting and player development Jack Butterfield.
Butterfield has no plans to retire and pointed out that for the first time in several years, he isn’t recuperating from a surgery. Both knees and his Achilles’ tendon have gone under the knife in recent years.
“I feel too good right now to even think about it,” said Butterfield. “If I don’t feel like I can do it mentally or physically or I quit enjoying it, that’s when I’ll retire. But I’m having way too much fun.”
He doesn’t care to manage, saying “that ship has sailed.
“Managing is a young man’s game. I love working with small groups. I love coaching third base or even being a bench coach, which I’ve done in the past in Toronto,” said Butterfield.
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