The Chicago Cubs have interviewed former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge for their managerial vacancy. Wedge was not among the names rumored to be on the Cubs’ short list as recently as a week ago, so this is at least a moderate surprise.
Wedge managed the Indians from 2003-09, winning the American League Manager of the Year Award in 2007, when he guided the Indians to the ALCS, only to lose to the Boston Red Sox after going up 3-1.
Wedge, 42, won over 500 games with the Indians, including a first-place finish in 2007 and finishing second in 2005 behind the world champion Chicago White Sox.
Wedge, who resides in Richfield, Ohio, was fired by Cleveland after the 2009 season. The Indians are paying Wedge through this season.
The former major league catcher, originally from Ft. Wayne, Ind., was an All-American at Wichita State and was on the 1989 Shockers team that won the College World Series.
At that time, Hendry was the head coach of league rival Creighton University. That’s when Wedge first caught Hendry’s attention….
Wedge would have to be considered a top candidate for the Cubs job. Others to get interviewed will include Ryne Sandberg; former Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez and Washington Nationals coach and former Cubs minor league manager Pat Listach.
Mike Quade, the Cubs interim manager, also will get strong consideration. Friends of New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi have stated he would have strong interest in the Cubs job if he left the Yankees after the season. ESPN Chicago.
It remains a simple fact that, if Girardi does not re-sign with the Yankees, and his demands are reasonable, he will be the next manager of the Chicago Cubs. Here’s hoping that, by interviewing other available candidates long before Girardi is available, the Cubs do not box themselves into a corner – i.e., they’ve got a candidate like Wedge that they like, but he’s got another team like the Mariners breathing down his neck to make a decision. And yet, the Cubs are waiting to hear from Girardi. In that instance, interviewing Wedge so early could put them in an awkward position – and possibly even a position to be left out in the cold with respect to their preferred candidates.
Wedge was fired in 2009 after the Indians were incredibly disappointing for the second consecutive season. The team had a strong core built going into the 2007 season (in which they were very good), but that same core disintegrated over the next two years, leading to Wedge’s undoing.