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Jed HoyerWhile we await the final word on whether Dale Sveum will be returning to helm the Chicago Cubs in 2014 – a decision that could come as early as Monday – there are a couple additional pieces of information of which to make you aware.

The first comes in the form of a long article by Patrick Mooney, which is well worth a read. In it, you’ll find many of the very things I’ve tried, poorly, to articulate over the past two weeks – including the fact that the numerous layers that go into this managerial decision make it very hard to articulate precisely what the inputs are and what the outputs could be. There are the players to consider, the other options, the coaching staff, the direction of the organization, the projected competitiveness in the next few years, etc.

Mooney notes that the whispers of Joe Girardi coming home, so to speak, are not merely folks connecting Chicago-and-expiring-contract dots. Relatedly, Mooney hears from team sources that the evaluation process is indeed complex, and could end with a new manager for the Cubs within the next month. It could be Girardi, or it could be someone else. Or it could still be Dale Sveum. That’s how tricky this whole thing is.

Speaking of which …

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was on the Dave Kaplan show yesterday, and was immediately asked about the Dale Sveum evaluation process. You can – and should – listen to the interview here, but the paraphrased response is this: “The direction of the organization is good. But some things at the Major League level were frustrating. That’s probably the case every year, but this year more than most. There are some players and some things that haven’t lived up to expectations. We’ve spent a long time trying to get to the bottom of why that happened.” While that speaks generically to issues on the big league team – they’ve lost 93 games, so obviously some things on the Major League level were frustrating – it came in direct response to a question about the evaluation of Dale Sveum.

To be clear, Hoyer didn’t give anything away, and nothing in what he said would be inconsistent with Sveum returning. But the feel – the gut reaction you have after listening to someone speak – was that a change might be coming. I was surprised to have that reaction, and maybe I had it only because I’d just read Mooney’s piece, and was taking things together that don’t actually go together.

The beginning of October is shaping up to be an interesting time, even as the Cubs are sitting out the playoffs once again.

UPDATES – A couple short items that popped up just now/came to my attention just now: Peter Gammons was on The Score and suggested that former catcher Brad Ausmus could be a candidate for the Cubs if Sveum is let go (Gammons guessed Sveum is gone, based on the silence, doesn’t think Girardi will be the guy, and said he wouldn’t be shocked if it’s Ausmus). Nick Cafardo tweets that nothing has been decided yet about Sveum, though.

  • Jon

    It also doesn’t hurt that Ausmus that has the jewish connection with Theo.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Really?

      • Jon

        Are they not both Jewish?

        • Cubbie Blues

          What does that matter? I know when I look at Theo I don’t see someone who is Jewish. I actually never even thought about it.

          • Jon

            Hiring decisions involve many variables, and often it’s candidate “likability” or other common bonds shared between the candidate and the decision maker that swing the decision one way or the other. Will it be a major factor, no, but again it cannot hurt that both men share this ancestral bond.

            • Cubbie Blues

              [img]http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/uu158/thesmith1_photos/stopdigging.jpg[/img]

              • jt

                “…sometimes it’s best to stop digging.”
                a picture and 6 words about sums it.
                great visual

            • On The Farm

              This could be the last manager that Theo and Jed hire as a Cubs front office. I doubt the fact that one of the candidates being of Jewish decent will be the tipping point.

              • Patrick W.

                Being that their both Jewish, they both could end up being unable to work during certain games during the season so that is Jewish point AGAINST Ausmus because top on the list of things any good President of Baseball Operations takes into account before having his General Manager hire a Manager is “what religious affiliation is the candidate” and then you have to weight the pros and cons and what utter nonsense.

                • Patrick W.

                  I was so fired up I made a ton of grammatical errors for which I apologize.

                  they’re both Jewish, that is A Jewish point AGAINST, then you have to weigh …

            • Stevie B

              Jon, you said what some were thinking. A religious nepotism. You didn’t say anything derogatory about Jewish people, so I’m not quite sure why so many people are upset about the comment.
              Too many PC people out there these days it looks like
              Maybe next time just think it instead of saying it

    • bbmoney

      sigh…..

    • TWC

      Jeez, Jon, you’re in full jagload mode today, aren’t you?

    • On The Farm

      I really don’t see how this is relevant at all

      • Funn Dave

        I mostly agree, but keep in mind that there is a whole chapter on Epstein in Frank Foer’s book Jewish Jocks. So being Jewish does at least mean something to him.

        • Patrick W.

          I imagine if you are a follower of a religion, it means something to you. That has nothing to do with 1) being the subject of a chapter in somebody else’s book or 2) what attributes you take in to account when judging potential hires.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Yeah, last I heard, Moneyball is not a book of the Old Testament.

            • TWC

              Hey, Doc — Happy Birthday!

            • DarthHater

              Saberonomy 22:12 – “And if a man be found to lay down a sacrifice bunt in the early innings, thou shalt put him away from thy team.”

          • On The Farm

            Is that why Theo decided to let Damon go to the Yankees? Didn’t like having a false Jesus on his team.

            • DarthHater

              Cubs definitely could use a messiah.

              • TWC

                Search “Theo” and “messiah” on this site and you’ll see a loooooong, drawn out back-and-forth from ~2yrs ago between some folks not feeling “messiah” was the appropriate term, and others who thought their piety was dumb. At least that’s how I remember it.

                • DarthHater

                  I’ll take your word for it.

                  • Randy Malm

                    Like

          • Funn Dave

            Like I said, I agree that it’s mostly irrelevant. But there are plenty of people of Jewish heritage (a murkily defined concept) who do not actively practice the religion. Likewise, there are others who do follow the religion but do not consider it to be a terribly large part of their lives (sort of like Christians who only go to church on holidays). For Foer to decide to feature Theo in his book instead of, say, Gabe Carimi (who was a hot topic at the time of the book’s release), indicates that being Jewish is in fact important to Theo–or at least that Frank thinks it is. Will it have any effect on his personnel decisions? Almost certainly not. But it could.

            • Jon

              Thank you Dave. That is what I was trying to articulate, before the BN lemmings jumped my ass.

              • DarthHater

                Lemming hater. :-P

            • mjhurdle

              there are a lot of things that *could* have an effect on the hiring.

              For instance, if Theo is a big fan of hamburgers, then Hansmann is a lock for the job.

              If the only defense you can offer for a questionable comment is “hey, it could happen’, then i would think the comment probably shouldn’t have been posted to begin with.

              • Funn Dave

                People let religion influence hiring decisions all the time. There is a reason that it’s illegal to ask a person’s religion in a job interview. Do you know how many Americans will only vote for political (and especially presidential) candidates if they partake in a particular religion? Look it up if you get a chance; it may seem absurd to you and me, but there are still unfortunately significant portions of our population who consider religion to be an appropriate determiner of moral character. The amount of people who will only vote for candidates that *aren’t* of a particular religion is even more sobering. I know a few people personally who refuse to vote for atheists or unitarians. Your hamburger example is not really relevant because liking hamburgers is so widespread. Judaism is a much smaller sect here in America, so they might be more likely to form a sense of camaraderie based on their common bond–the same way two vegans are more likely to find camaraderie in their shared eating habits than two meat-eaters, since eating meat is so much more common. Also, it goes without saying that religion is a far more spiritual and deeper-reaching bond than most attributes people might share–I’m an atheist, and even I know that. Again, my purpose in posting is/was not to imply that Theo is likely to let religion influence his hiring practices, but rather to extend our discussion beyond just bashing Jon, which is already too easy to begin with :P

    • Brains

      Vote for worst comment in the history of Bleacher Nation.

      • ssckelley

        Awe come on, it was at least funny!

        • bbmoney

          Sarcasm?

          How as that funny?

          • ssckelley

            Oh was that sarcasm? My damn meter has been broke for a week now. But I did laugh at the suggestion Ausmus would have a leg up because he was a Jew. Maybe it was the images of Girardi running to the closest jewish synagogue to convert.

      • fortyonenorth

        Close, but I’d give the nod to Jon’s comment about Rizzo helping cancer-stricken children in order to deflect criticism of his on-the-field performance.

        • mjhurdle

          i agree with fortyonenorth. The Rizzo cancer comment really set a new standard for ignorant comments.

        • On The Farm

          Ditto

        • Chef Brian

          Someone actually said that? Wow.

          • On The Farm

            Jon owns the market in best-of-the-worst BN comments now.

            • TWC

              I think you meant to type “acts like a callous dickhead” after “Joe” in your comment.

              • DarthHater

                Who’s Joe?

                • TWC

                  Jon. Derp.

  • chad

    let us not forget Dale wasn’t their first choice, he was the fallback guy they had to hire because their first choice turned them down. if Dale is let go don’t be surprised to see Mike Maddux revisited.

  • Brains

    Maybe the problem all along has actually been Jed Hoyer? We always pick on the owners or Theo, but Theo can’t do everything and we keep wasting money on the waiver wire while not being creative with signings. If we fire Sveum we should fire Hoyer.

    • Jon

      Jed’s job is to get Theo coffee in the morning.

    • On The Farm

      I am pretty sure that Theo is pretty involved in the decisions being made. Important decisions are made collectively with Theo probably being the trump card. Hoyer is considered a very good GM around the league, letting him go right now would be a poor decision.

    • YourResidentJag

      I think the bigger deal would be Jason McLeod getting a GM job.

      • Jon

        Yes, they are screwed if he bolts.

      • On The Farm

        I am really surprised no one has yet. The longer the league doesn’t figure out he is a star, the better.

        • YourResidentJag

          Yeah, I’m more nervous about this than anything that could happen to Cubs at this point in the regime. Including debates about FAS on this site or being behind the regime or not to various degrees.

          What if the Blue Jays decided to let AA go an make a big push for MacLeod? It’s certainly a VERY reasonable scenario.

    • Kyle

      I have wondered a few times. Hoyer still doesn’t have any real success on his resume.

      Probably not, though. They work as a group.

    • Professor Snarks

      Or, maybe the problem is Theo, and Hoyer is the one responsible for the good things that are happening to the Cubs, like them accumulating minor league talent.

      I’ve I had to lose one of them, I’d rather it be Theo. Just a feeling I have.

      • Brains

        I usually blame Theo because he wants all of the glory, so he also gets all of the criticism. But maybe he’s just a good leader absorbing and deflecting deserved criticism for his substandard hires who make bad David DeJesus trades and fail to sign any impact players at a reasonable rate?

  • Funn Dave

    Hey, I hate to be that guy, but can anyone offer up some fantasy advice? I’m trying to decide whether to start Jason Snelling or Rashard Mendhenhall this week as my RB2. Snelling is projected to have more points, but it seems like such a gamble to start such an unknown quantity, and Mendenhall probably figures to have more carries. Any thoughts?

    • Jon

      Snelling.

      • Jon

        Start Snelling I mean. They are going to tear up that Packers secondary and should get plenty goalline situations and Snelling is the man in those situations.

        • On The Farm

          Packers are on bye..

        • ssckelley

          Now that would be interesting, since the Packers are supposedly on a bye week.

          You feeling ok? First the Jew thing and now this. Hopefully Watkins is not in the lineup today so you can yell at the first person who gets pissed he isn’t starting.

          • On The Farm

            Well I mean I guess he is right, if Atlanta plays GB this weekend they should tear up the secondary considering no one will be on the field.

            • ssckelley

              Hmmm, maybe the guy who made the schedule is a Bears fan. Screw you Packers!!!!!

              :D

          • Jon

            Read the matchups wrong. Still think Snelling gets plenty of goalline carries as Jizz Rodgers is a small back.

            • On The Farm

              I would think Julio Jones and Gonzalez will get more goal line looks than Snelling. I bet any rushing TDs will come from more than 3 yards out this weekend.

              • Funn Dave

                Lol that’s another reason I’m hesitant to start him: I’ve got Jones and Gonzalez too, and I’m hesitant to put all my eggs in one barrell.

          • willis

            I’d love for Watkins to be in the lineup, I can’t imagine what may come from it :) This comment thread has been awesome.

    • On The Farm

      If you want my opinion I would sit Snelling. I think Rodgers actually has the most upside of the duo in Atlanta.

    • ssckelley

      Jeez, that sucks to be deciding between those 2 for your RB2 unless you are in a deep league. Flipping a coin might be best.

      • On The Farm

        Next week when Alfred Morris goes on bye I will have to choose between now injured and RB by committee Bradshaw, and the worst Rock-Paper-Scissors RB in the league (Oiy) Moreno…

        • Funn Dave

          That’s rough. If it makes you feel any better, I had Isaac Redman’s useless ass on my team until just a few days ago.

      • Funn Dave

        Yeah my RB depth is pretty weak. Aside from that, though, my starting lineup’s pretty golden. AP is my other RB; Julio Jones and Anquon Boldin at WR; Peyton Manning at QB; Tony Gonzalez at TE; Bears D; Gostkowski kicker. My problem is depth: I’m usually stuck starting Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings as my flex. 3-0 so far!

        • On The Farm

          With Peyton and Bears D you can afford to start a crappy flex player.

    • Patrick W.

      I think this is simple. Which one is Jewish?

      • ssckelley

        omg, winning comment right there!

      • Funn Dave

        I laughed.

    • Funn Dave

      Thanks for the advice everyone. Still undecided but getting other peoples’ perspective always helps.

  • Randall

    They will fire Dale and hire Brad ASAP. Same approach they took to the trade market. Set the market ( for a manager ) instead of reacting to the market and not getting who you want. Makes sense.

  • SenorGato

    Never thought of Ausmus as a candidate but an excellent name for the pool of candidates. Proooooooooobably my favorite catcher to watch play the position everz, and IIRC historically catchers have made the best managers.

  • Tank

    Does everyone keep forgetting the job that Girardi did with the “kids” in his stint with the Marlins? Everyone keeps commenting that he is great with veterans but he was pretty impressive with them too. It isn’t that i am endorsing him but I think he would be just fine in any situation.

    • Jon

      I still have fond memories of when he destroyed Josh Johnson’s arm.

    • On The Farm

      Actually Girardi’s success with Florida is brought up frequently. However, it is a small sample size to draw from considering he wasnt there very long.

    • mjhurdle

      I dont think you can judge Girardi on how he handled the kids in Miami, either good or bad. He was only there for one year, so it is hard to project how they would have improved/regressed under his continued managing. Also, they were some pretty special kids on that team, so it is hard to say whether they succeeded because they were that good, or whether Girardi helped them get the most of their talents.
      Im not saying Girardi is bad with young players at all, just that, in my opinion, there isn’t a lot to look at to judge him one way or the other on.

    • Voice of Reason

      @tank….

      Response to how Girardi did with “the kids” in Florida while managing from 2003-2005:

      In 2003 Beckett was in his second year and Carbrera was a rookie. Other than that all other principles had been around 3 years or longer.

      His yearly record:
      2003 91-71
      2004 83-79
      2005 83-79

      Small sample size. Obviously a solid 2003, but there were only two truly young players in terms of time on a major league roster.

      In 2004-2005 the team won as many as it lost!

      • mjhurdle

        Girardi only managed the Marlins for 1 year, and i think he was actually still a player in 2003, unless he retired in 2002 and im mixing up my years.

        • On The Farm

          Played 16 games for the Cards in 2003, then retired.

      • On The Farm

        He was actually only manager for 2006. Jack McKeon was the manager before him, and I believe it was him who took the Marlins to the 2003 WS.

        Joe was 78-84 as the Marlin’s skipper.

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          Didn’t Girardi win Manager of the Year in 2006?

          • On The Farm

            Yes he did, I wasn’t bashing him with his record in 2006. Just wanted to point out he was not managing the Marlins in 2003, 2004, or 2005.

            • ClevelandCubsFan

              No, I wasn’t implying you were bashing him. I was honestly checking my memory. And… to win MoY with a losing record means a lot of people think he did something pretty incredible.

      • On The Farm

        “Small sample size”

        And actually if three years isn’t big enough for a sample size to judge a manager, what is?

      • DarthHater

        Girardi managed Florida for one year in 2006. But I guess that’s almost the same as managing them in 2003, 2004, and 2005. At least it is if one likes to form opinions without any regard for all relevant facts.

        • TWC

          But but but… he’s the Voice of REASON! Not the Voice of Reality.

          Or, he’s the Voice of Bullshit.

          • Voice of Facts

            Bingo.

  • Robert Johnson

    Dale was also high on the list for the Red Sox job & he had been hired, I bet he would be the manager of a division winning team instead of a last place one. To fire him now is rediculous!

    • cub2014

      Robert ask the Red Sox fans how important
      a manager is. Francona could only win 90
      games his last year. So they brought in Bobby
      Valentine ouch! 67 wins. Now they have a guy
      who has had success in minors and limited
      with the Bluejays. Oh by the way, that Francona
      guy is in the playoffs with the Indians

      • mjhurdle

        are those W-L totals respective of the talent of the manager, or the roster?

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        I think there’s probably something to be said that a manager of people (which is what a baseball manager is) can really jack things up if he doesn’t handle the personalities he has very well. That’s certainly possible. If everyone hates you and despises working for you, it’s going to be hard to win games even for uber professionals. I’m sure Valentine could have screwed those boys up. I think there’s a very narrow distance between ceiling and floor of accomplishments for managers most of the time. But a really bad clash of personalities could dig a cellar.

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        So, as a resident Clevelander, let me assure you, Terry Francona would not have taken the Cubs to a winning record. This Cubs team did exactly what we expected of it talent-wise. Francona? MAYBE 1 win. MAAAYYYYBE 2. Then you’re dropping a spot in draft order. Is that really what we want? :)

  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    Mike Maddux must be uttering many sighs of relief.

  • Daniel

    I think most of you are valuing the manager position extremely high. It’s all about the players. You can bring in Joe Maddon (not going to happen) next year for the Cubs and guess what, Cubs are still going to lose 90+ games. The Cubs are not going to go crazy in free agency. They are going to buy low and hopefully sell high just like this year. It’s all about stocking up the minor leagues for the future. The kids are not ready to play. Little by little, they will come. Starting with Javier Baez.

  • wilbur

    the games afoot…onward!

  • jamie

    Wow. If somehow someway Ausmus is hired, I will be extremely pissed. Sandberg gets passed over for Sveum and then we hire Ausmus. Hopefully this doesn’t happen

  • YourResidentJag

    A sort of endorsement of Ausmus ripped from the comments of the internet. :)

    He’s from Dartmouth
    and brilliant

    Numbers may not lie, but they don’t tell the whole truth (and nothing but the truth), either. — Doug Glanville
    by leothelip on Sep 27, 2013 | 3:18 PM reply
    Hammer
    I thought he went there?
    Is from the area too?

    “Hey, CUBS WIN!” – Harry
    “Cubs win! What a lucky break!” – Harry
    by Hammer on Sep 27, 2013 | 3:48 PM up reply
    No
    . . . but I’m on the faculty

    Numbers may not lie, but they don’t tell the whole truth (and nothing but the truth), either. — Doug Glanville
    by leothelip on Sep 27, 2013 | 4:08 PM up reply

  • YourResidentJag

    Wayne Drehs ‏@espnWD 9m
    The Starbucks watch begins RT @BleacherNation: Report: Mutual Interest *in Talking* Between the Cubs and Joe Girardi http://bit.ly/15Ahn0g

  • YourResidentJag

    For those who want to hear Gammons talk about Ausmus: 9/27/13 Hour 2: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mully-and-hanley-show/id372573231

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