The Cubs’ Managerial Search Enters the Home Stretch and Other Bullets

I’m trying to remember the last time the Bears and Lions squared off in a game so meaningful for both of them…

  • Friday’s (final?) managerial interviewee Sandy Alomar, Jr. shared a bit more on the nature of the Cubs’ interviews on the radio yesterday. ”Here with the Cubs it was pretty much everything … the three gentleman[, Epstein, Hoyer, and McLeod, were] in there and they bombard you with different questions, different angles from one style of play to the next or from lineup making to video evaluating and moves. Many different things all at once to see how your mind reacts in a short period of time and what decisions you make and if you are in place with the right ones.”
  • Paul Sullivan aggregates the various media answers of the Cubs’ four managerial interviewees – Alomar, Mike Maddux, Dale Sveum, and Pete Mackanin – by category, for a hand cross-comparison.
  • Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe guesses the Red Sox will end up with Sveum and the Cubs will get Maddux. That’s probably a common guess – it’s been the smart money for almost a week. Still, I could genuinely see the Cubs ending up with any of the four.
  • Carlos Zambrano made his second Venezuelan Winter League start yesterday, going six innings and giving up three earned runs. He gave up five hits, two walks, and struck out five. So, it was definitely an improvement on his first start, but still not quite what you’d like to see. Hopefully he keeps improving.
  • Almost all of the AFL Cubs got in on the action yesterday: DJ LeMahieu had a couple hits, Josh Vitters drove in a run, Junior Lake stole his 18th base, and Andrew Cashner threw a perfect inning of relief. Jeff Beliveau had a rough outing, though, giving up three runs in his inning of work.
  • At a charity auction in Vermont this weekend, Cubs’ President Theo Epstein reiterated that he’ll always be a Red Sox fan. “It’s always going to be a part of me,” Epstein said. “I’m not going to try to take it and deny that. It’s in pretty deep in the blood running through my veins. I’ll still follow the Red Sox. I think we’re allowed one American League team to pull for a little bit.” Assuming interleague play increases in the near future (as it is expected to, after the Astros move to the AL), that last statement will become slightly less true.
  • Minor league free agent, and former Cubs washout, Brad Snyder has been scooped up by the Astros, where he’ll undoubtedly hit a game-winning grand slam against the Cubs next year.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

73 responses to “The Cubs’ Managerial Search Enters the Home Stretch and Other Bullets”

  1. Fishin Phil
    • Minor league free agent, and former Cubs washout, Brad Snyder has been scooped up by the Astros, where he’ll undoubtedly hit a game-winning grand slam against the Cubs next year.

    Off of Marmol after he walks the bases full, ruining a masterful performance by Garza.  Stop me if you’ve seen this movie before.

    1. JAndersonjr81

      Even bad movies have sequels.

      1. Nomar's Left Glove

        They usually include Eric Roberts and Sam Jackson…

  2. JAndersonjr81

    Give me Maddux, if I have to choose from the four. Tito would be good too.

  3. Brian Peters

    Um, not to be picky (God KNOWS I would never do that), but shouldn’t Sandy’s picture appear next to the blurb about him? No biggie….just curious.

  4. johnbres2

    one factor to consider is: who has the best psychological profile to endure managing a horrible team for quite some time, without losing hope, fire, etc.

    1. Brian Peters

      Excellent insight, John. I don’t think anybody’s made that point, and it is a crucial one to think about.

      1. Internet Random

        Agree.

    2. Nomar's Left Glove

      If we are looking for the ability to witness a train wreck, without losing hope of “winning”, all while everyone around you questions your sanity, maybe Charlie Sheen is our guy. You remember, he did spend some time with Cleveland. Imagine the press conferences…..

      1. Brian Peters

        LOL, Nomar! The WGN/Comcast folks would have to be on their toes to make sure the tape delay was in place before Ol’ Charlie stepped up to the podium!

  5. Todd

    It’s easy to get wrapped up in a particular candidate, but how much do any of us really know. In the end, I’ll be fine with any of the candidates because the post-interview quotes lead me to believe Cubs’ management are being pragmatic in their approach.

    How much stock can we take from Junior Lake’s AFL numbers? Is he as candidate for third base in 2012? He’s come on strong lately, and it would be a real boost to the Cubs’ farm system if his numbers project well for the majors.

    1. JAndersonjr81

      I’m willing to bet he Atleast gets a chance. I don’t know if its 3rd, 2nd or right field, but I have a feeling he will be in Chi Town next year.

      1. JulioZuleta

        No way, not yet. He’ll probably be invited to camp but then sent down. He’s 21 and hit below .250 at AA. I’m a huge lake fan, but we won’t see him before June, probably not at all next year

        1. Todd

          Thanks, guys. JZ, you sound well-informed. Any website where I can see video footage of Lake?

          1. Katie

            I got a decent look at him in the game MLB network broadcast Friday night. You might try their website for video.

            1. Todd
            2. Todd

              Thanks, Katie. I searched “Junior Lake” on mlb.com and it shows a clip of him hitting a two run single for Mesa, and another of him tagging at third on a Bryce Harper fly.

              1. Katie

                Good deal! Glad I could help.

        2. MichiganGoat

          Agreed, Lake needs to show Castro-like success next year in AAA before he should even be considered for a late season call up.

  6. Edwin

    I think Mike Maddux should dress more like Daniel Plainview.

  7. Cubsklm

    Can you not interview Cub Hall of Famer Sandberg for your managerial position, and then not hire the greatest Cub pitcher of all time brother for the position?

    1. JAndersonjr81

      I love the Cubs, but I would be disappointed if we hired Sandberg. No experience. I prefer Tito, but if the guys we looked at, Maddux is by far the best. No comparison. And our pitching staff needs it.

      1. Brian

        I completely agree with Maddux being hired as the manager. I believe he will hold the players accountable for their play and that is something that desperately needs to be addressed. No more excuses to not hustle out a ground ball or being lazy / not paying attention in the field. Pitching and defense wins games, Look at the Giants 2 years ago and Tampa this year. With Maddux having experience as a pitching coach It will only assist the incoming pitching coach by having someone to bounce their idea’s off of and get more than one perspective. Wouldn’t hurt if Mike could talk his brother Greg into coming in to be the pitching coach…. Greg Maddux as the pitching coach, wow, we can only pray that happens.

  8. die hard

    So it comes down to nobody with mgr experience?….Hows that an improvement over Q?

  9. die hard

    Move Soto over to 3B and he hits 20 HR and drives in 80 plus his defense and leadership will be improvement over Aram…

  10. Andrew Moore

    Brett. Any speculation on the type of contract the manager would receive? I’m guessing more than the 1 mill a yea Qball got

  11. CubSouth

    I had calculated how many series each team would play if/when they make IL a season round event. If my calculations are correct, each team will play an avg of 5 series a season as opposed to the avg of 6 each team already plays. I was feeling opposed to the new IL rules but I’m all for it if the teams in each division play the same exact teams each yr.

    1. Stinky Pete

      I’ve made a schedule that works.  And it all fits so perfect.  No way MLB actually has a smooth schedule.  They’ll f it up somehow.

  12. Cliffy

    Sirius reporting Reyes signed Marlins. Time for Cubs to acquire Hanley Ramirez?

    1. chris margetis

      Hanley looks like he’s about 250 these days. Word is he’s agreed to move to third if Miami does sign Reyes.

  13. Ashley

    Would love to see Maddux get the job and think he would do a great job. He is smart baseball guy and has had success everywhere he has gone. I just wonder will the Cubs staff from last year remain intacted or will Maddux bring in his own guys? Will this make C.J. Wilson want to come to Chicago more?

    Also I love Junior Lake and he is always doing something good everytime I look. I know some experts are not that high on him but I just wonder how good will he be? When will he be in the majors? Also where will he play if and when he arrives?

  14. BetterNews

    Ashley—Would not mind Maddux as manager, but I think Francona has
    the job, the details just have not been released.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Do you have any sources to confirm this or is this just your gut feeling?

      1. BetterNews

        MG—This is my “opinion” based on what I have read and seen.

        1. MichiganGoat

          Just busting your balls since you insisted on sources last night

          1. BetterNews

            There is a big difference between someone’s “opinion” and someone that is making statements as “fact”! In my case, or cases, I always state it is my opinion, or “I think”, or something that does reflect the fact that it is only my “opinion”. I know “certain” person or persons are going to jump and say I am always stating things as fact.

            Well I would say by leaving a comment, it is an opinion. Bretts web does not say leave facts, it says leave comments. I rest my case. But there are Bn fans that continue to make absurd and abstract statements as to facts on other websites, things they just “know about”, things that nobody will understand and all that jazz.

            I’ll take the heat! After all I am night shift.

            1. BetterNews

              So I am a scapeGoat!(LOL)

    2. Kansas Cubs Fan

      I doubt Francona has the job. Jed doesn’t seem to be a big Francona fan, and I think he will want his own guy.

      I’ve read multiple places that Theo is a Alomar Jr fan from back when he was in Boston.

  15. Cliffy

    Both of the sources that were making the Jose Reyes report are now saying no deal is done.

  16. BetterNews

    Brett—To my knowledge, Greg Maddux is still working for the Cubs, correct?

    There seems to be misinfo out there that he has moved on.

    1. Vinestal

      yeah he is still technically under contract with the Cubs as special assistant to the GM or something similar.

      1. BetterNews

        Not sure what you mean”technically”.

        1. Vinestal

          Well I don’t believe he’s been working in the office much since Hendry was fired. He’s been at home. So while he’s on the payroll he’s not doing much of anything with the Cubs.

  17. Cliffy

    Matheny named Cardinal manager.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Well now I hate Matheny

      1. BetterNews

        MG—But its all coming together. We will not have to split the the BN
        by having had Ryno as their manager.

        Ryno takes job as bench coach for Cubs. Ryno eventually becomes manager
        of Cubs, and a damn good one!

      2. Kansas Cubs Fan

        I’m just glad it’s not Ryno.

        Have you guy’s noticed all these baseball people calling him Ryan instead of Ryne?It’s really annoying.

        1. BetterNews

          Kansas—Can’t speak for everyone, but yes I have noticed.

          Just like I noticed long ago, the “Bears” are super bowl contenders!

  18. Cliffy

    Many sources reporting it now notably Jon Morosi. Regarding Matheny being named Cardinals manager.

  19. paul

    Hey Brett,
    Is it possible to highlight die hards posts in a different color. That would make it easier for me to skip them.

    1. BetterNews

      Ha! And I thought it was me.

  20. bhannon

    The Cubs will conduct a second round of managerial interviews, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, Indians bench coach Sandy  Alomar Jr. and Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin are the candidates for the position.

    from mlbtraderumors-i wonder if that means we’ve shortened our list to a couple and that a decision will come soon after this second round or what..thoughts?

    1. hansman1982

      thats not very insightful, considering those 4 are the only ones whom have interviewed so far

      1. BetterNews

        I agree, I think everybody at BN know’s who the candidates are and there were going to be second interviews.

  21. bhannon

    p.s. how do i get my beer avatar to work on these posts and the message board haha

    1. MichiganGoat

      Go to gravatar.com and set it with the email you use to post and be sure to set your image to the “G” setting

  22. Rancelot

    Carrie Muscat via Twitter:

    #Cubs interview DeMarlo Hale for manager’s job. GM Jed Hoyer did interview by phone

    1. BetterNews

      That might be, but he is NOT a candidate anymore. The are only four and we know who they are.

  23. Rancelot

    What the hell are you talking about? Clearly with this news popping tonight there are 5. This is fact! Whether you want to accept Hale as a true candidate since the interview was done over the phone is up to you. Let me ask, are you delusional or just on mescaline?

    1. BetterNews

      Hoyer has stated there only four that will be re-interviewed. I think you either need to start paying more attention or use better sources.

      1. Rancelot

        Who knew that BetterNews was Jed Hoyer? Sweet, glad you could join the conversation. I seriously give up. It’s as if I am talking to a child. From this point forward I vow to never engage in a conversation on BN past 4pm CT again.

        1. BetterNews

          Really!

  24. BetterNews

    I was a real believer that Francona was coming to the Cubs. However I am now convinced that he is not the man based on simple logic, logic that I have been accused of not having by “certain” members of BN. Here is why I have changed my mind.

    Its clear Hale’s name has been thrown into the mix. But if we are going by what Theo said in that he does not want to make this the Boston Cubs, we would have to rule out Francona and Hale.

    And would have to assume that by re-interviewing four candidates, that the final selection will be from that group(You just don’t go through that again, unless your pick comes from that group)