Gary Sheffield thinks he nailed that interview

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Last week I talked about Gary Sheffield prowling the Winter Meetings. Today we learn that he met with Joe Maddon to talk more about his comeback that probably isn’t happening:

“I had a meeting with the Rays, and they’re going to get back to me,” Sheffield said Monday on Sirius XM Radio. “It’s out there now that they’re talking to me and hopefully something comes about.”

“They said they had my resume on file,” Sheffield did not add.  “I really think I impressed Mr. Maddon. I totally nailed that question about where I saw myself in five years. And I made sure to ask questions.”

Sources close to the Rays report that Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton are not actually part of the hiring committee considering Sheffield’s candidacy, but went along on the lunch interview because “hey, free lunch.”

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.