Theo Epstein does things the right way.
Everyone knew Mike Quade was out the door, but Epstein waited until the proper time, flew down to Florida, and let Quade know it was over in person.
Everyone knew that Ryne Sandberg would be a hot topic of speculation when the Cubs’ managerial job opened up, but Epstein handled that the right way, too: today, he contacted Ryne Sandberg, with permission from the Phillies, to let the Cubs’ legend know that he would not be a candidate for the team’s managerial opening. Epstein wanted to squash speculation, and wanted to explain to Sandberg, directly, why he wasn’t being considered.
Say what you will about the decision (for my part: I love Ryno, but I was never sold on him as THE guy), but clearly, Epstein is a guy who “gets it.” When Sandberg didn’t get the job last year, one of his biggest gripes was his belief that then-GM Jim Hendry didn’t reach out to him to let him know the news, and welcome him back into the fold with open arms. Epstein is clearly trying to avoid a similar fate.
Sources say the conversation between Epstein and Sandberg – whom Epstein considered for the Red Sox’s AAA managerial job last year – was professional, courteous, and well-received by Sandberg.
UPDATE: Sandberg explained how it went down, and how he feels about the process.
“Theo called me 10 minutes after they issued the press release [on Mike Quade] and told me that they have a list of guys and I’m not on it,” Sandberg said Wednesday afternoon. “He wished me good luck and said he hoped I got a chance somewhere soon.
“He didn’t owe me that at all. He didn’t have to do that. It was a classy move and I’m very appreciative of the phone call. In the end, I wished him and everybody there good luck.
“Cubs fans should have trust in Theo. They’re in great hands with him and Jed [Hoyer] and Jason [McLeod]. They’re heading in the right direction and they’re going to do everything in their power possible to get the Cubs where they ultimately want to be.”