cubs theo epstein uh ohFollowing today’s announcement of Dale Sveum’s dismissal as manager of the Chicago Cubs, and the attending statement, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein met with the media answer questions. Among his (paraphrased) thoughts, with links to the Twitters and reaction/commentary:

  • Although Sveum indicated that he was surprised that it had come to this and only two weeks ago (when Epstein made his noncommittal comments to the media) was the first he’d become uneasy, Epstein said that issues had popped up in the first half of the season and there were discussions around the All-Star Break. Epstein also gave Sveum a heads up that he was thinking about a change before he made those comments in Milwaukee two weeks ago. It sounds like, from these comments, as well as the prepared statement, that player development concerns drove the change.
  • Sveum was informed of the final decision last night over a few hours and “a few beers.” I suspect Epstein really does think quite highly of Sveum personally – and maybe even professionally, at another time in another role – and I’m sure none of this was particularly easy.
  • Epstein did not address (at least not in the blurbs I’ve seen so far) whether he feels like the front office made a mistake when hiring Sveum – it was a thorough process – but he did say that the first half of 2013 caught them by surprise (presumably, in terms of player development at the big league level), and he feels very confident that he knows exactly what the organization needs right now. I’m sure that latter part is quite true – after two years and this process, the front office is going to have a very clear picture of the kinds of things they need in a manager. Indeed, Epstein later added that he feels like they’re in a better position now to know what they need in a manager now.
  • The coaching staff has been informed that the new manager will make the coaching decisions, but some of them will receive a strong recommendation from the front office. Epstein mentioned that the staff and the manager have to present a united message, which suggests there may have been some communication problems or “too many cooks in the kitchen” situations going on. Sveum was a former hitting coach, James Rowson was the Cubs’ new hitting coach, and Rob Deer was the Cubs’ new assistant hitting coach. I know nothing beyond what’s said there, but it does make you wonder.
  • Epstein said that the Cubs will, first and foremost, be looking at candidates with managerial experience. Other criteria include track record, overall experience, leadership skills, and expertise developing young talent. That last one figures to be a biggy with a young roster laying ahead of the next manager, and a wave of prospects reaching the big leagues (everyone hopes).
  • The Cubs don’t feel any pressure to hire a “big name” manager, nor should they. Neither is a Cubs background a requirement, but it helps. (Everyone simultaneously screams “Girardi, Girardi, Girardi!” after reading this and the last bullet.)
  • Epstein feels like the talent in the organization, and the strong near-term future of the organization are going to be key selling points in bringing in the next manager. I’d certainly agree that I’d feel much better about becoming the manager of the Cubs today than I would have two years ago. That said, 2014 could be another rough season.
  • Although he’s not opposed to a swift process, Epstein said that the Cubs would like to have the process completed by the GM meetings (usually in early November). Should the Cubs be interested in anyone who is under contract and currently in the playoffs, the Cubs will wait to ask for permission to speak until after that team is eliminated. Obviously the goal is the get the right guy, but the sooner the Cubs can get a manager in place, the sooner they can begin working with him on player development plans, the coaching staff, offseason acquisitions, etc. And, although I know they can juggle many balls, it would also be nice for their total focus to be on the players/prospects at hand as soon as possible, rather than the next manager.
  • Die hard

    Let the dog and pony show begin🐩🐎

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Tim Bogar AA manager in Angels system previously worked for Theo in Boston as coach. He is young 46, and is record in the minors is that he wins and is a terrific communicator at all levels.

  • md8232

    I’m calling for the firing of the next manager!
    Remember, you read it here first.

  • cub2014

    next manager more than likely will
    be fired at some time

  • Chef Brian

    I hope that if Sveum took anything out of this experience, he took when your boss says you are not being judged on wins and losses that means you play the young guys for evaluation purposes. That being said I wish him luck in the future and I hope we find that Thibodeau type coach that can develop players and win simultaneously.

  • JayPaul

    While sifting through coaching staffs for possible targets a few names popped out (Aldrete, Oquendo, McDowell, Pendleton) who may be deserving of a shot….then it hit me why not approach Oakland about Bob Melvin.

  • MightyBear

    What about Eric Wedge? Doesn’t he have some history with Epstein & Co? He resigned from Seattle.

    • YourResidentJag

      What about Chad Tracy since we’re bringing up Wedge?

      • YourResidentJag

        I’m meant Jim Tracy. Whoops.

    • aCubsFan

      I’m not certain that Eric Wedge would be appropriate for two reasons: terrible lifetime managing record and his in season stroke. Bob Melvin would be a nice alternative.

      However, David Kaplan brought up a very good point during his radio show tonight. Whoever they hire they need to have been in Chicago and understand the ‘Cubs aura.’ As he put it Lou Piniella told people that managing the Cubs was the hardest job he ever had. Harder than the Yankees or Tampa, and he had no idea how difficult the job was when it took the job.

      During CSN’s SportTalkLive tonight a very interesting name was brought up. Ozzie Guillen. Ozzie understands the Chicago media and fan base. He knows Latin players and most of the prospects coming up are Latin. And, I think he could be great with Castro since he was a shortstop.

  • TSB

    Side note: Om MLB radio, they had the teaser “after the break, a discussion of the Cubs’ firing of Dale Sveum.” And who did they discuss it with? A sports writer for the New York Post! I thought the NY Post concentrated on New York sports; I didn’t know they had a writer dedicated to Chicago sports and specifically the Cubs…note sarcasm.

  • Buster

    Kyle, I think you’re the only person who shares my growing skepticism of this whole program. Your earlier point about farm system improvement was spot on. When you pick near the top of draft 3yrs in a row & trade anything of value for prospects , your farm system better improve. I also like their BS about all big-league payroll reductions(upto about mil per an bum since they’ve taken over) being reallocated, dollar for dollar, into baseball operations. There is a frigging cap on minor-league & international spending. I’m not advocating massive FA signings as a reaction to their horrendous season (s) but there are clearly people who make aense(Tanaka, Grandersen, Cruz, Hart all make certain amts of sense) who won’t get signed due to penny-pinching. What really kills me, is the blind faith that the self-styled intelligent fans have in “the process”. There needed to be rebuilding but they have somewhat intelligent jazzed up for the next round of “flips” for B/C prospects. Those moves have served their purpose. We have the A prospects, farm depth for trades, and have cleaned out payroll’s dead weight. It’s time to start moving. I want to bang my head against a wall when people talk about our surplus of OFer from Lake, Bogie, Sweeney, and Nate & how inexpensive they are. Those guys are 4th OFers & we’re a large mkt team!!!!

  • Jono

    Here’s a fun activity: imagen ozzie guillen as the next cubs manager. You’re welcome

    • Jason

      Thanks that made me laugh

  • Jason P

    As bad as they were, I’m going to miss watching the Cubs.

    • TWC

      Shit yeah.

  • Seth N.

    what about our minor league managers? Any obvious candidates there?

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      A criteria last time was major league coaching experience. That ruled out Sandberg. It will probably rule out our farm hands this time too.

  • Levo

    The biggest portion of what I saw in Girardi was his player development in Florida when he was the Marlins coach. They gave him absolutely nothing and they almost made the playoffs. That’s part of the reason he went from the Marlins to the Yankees (besides the Cubs passing up on him for Lou Pinella. I liked Lou, I just thought Girardi was a better choice back then, just on success at the previous organization w the hand they were dealt.) I thought Maddux was a better choice when they first started. But he backed out when he thought they were going after Svuem.

    • mjhurdle

      i understand the point, but he did have Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson, and a good D Willis. Slightly more than “nothing” :)

    • DocPeterWimsey

      OK, folks, let’s stop with the “They gave him [Girardi] absolutely nothing and they almost made the playoffs” fairy tale. It’s false for two reasons. One, the Marlins finished 10 games behind the WC team, with 4 other teams between them and the Dodgers. That’s not close. (There was a huge log-jam of teams playing near 0.500 ball at the end of August that created an illusion that the Marlins were competing.)

      Two, the Marlins gave Girardi a team with some excellent young talent. Girardi didn’t take some random minor leaguer and turn him into HRam. He didn’t take some random young pitcher and turn him into Josh Johnson. Those guys came up and played as the tools predicted that they would. Ditto that for Willingham. Ditto that for Uggla. Miggy Cabrera was already a stud. Willis had his last good year before his arm basically fell off.

      Now, you might be saying: “but when the Cubs bring up young guys, they don’t succeed.” True: but they also rarely had the tools that those guys had. The Cubs simply used bad criteria for picking young players for a long time. The Marlins actually used good criteria. (That’s kind of shocking, given that they seem to do everything else as inanely as possible!)

      So, file this one with “Maddux never threw over 90 MPH.”

      • MichiganGoat

        Precisely Doc that was a good team before Girardi arrived.

        • Jason Powers

          Need context though.

          In 2006, starting off the season, would you project that Hanley Ramirez would double his 2005 HRs, double SBs, amass triples(11) and get 700 PAs in his rookie season? That Dan Uggla would in his inaugural season at 26, just continue to improve over his minor numbers? Or that Mike Jacobs, at 25, puts up Rizzo numbers, after an up and down minor league career? Josh Willingham that had been played over two seasons prior, and never earned as much playing time as he did in 2006, would now rake?

          Usually when you have 4-5 22-25 year old starting for 130+ games, at least one is really sucking, or regresses, as a season wears on.

          It’s not that these players did not have talent, but that, when left to play in over 140 games, they put up very good numbers, with just one caveat:

          2006: 13 teams scored over 800 runs; Marlins 758. Lg Avg: 787
          2013: 1 team scored over 800 runs. Lg Avg: 675.

          So, we got those statistics against an offense-friendly background. Doesn’t undo their talent, or their stats, but the leagues were pounding the ball around. Looking back from 2013, we’d be fooled into believing those stats were super awesome, when in fact, they, in totality, generated a below average offense. And all their youthful, studs-to-be players got 400-700ABs.

          Different run environment. So all those nice numbers look much better, until you notice everyone else was having banner years too.

          Again, at the beginning of the season, I think most projected the Marlins to suck wind. So, we can do all this post-hoc, that he had a great group of prospects that nearly ALL turned out because they were suppose to – because all 22-year old prospects succeed on the same squad, don’t they?

          As they were in 2006, just a bunch of rookies barely out of AA ball.

          Given their now careers, they might be one of the best collection of squads in recent memory. But you didn’t know that would happen just because you selected them off scouting and sabermetrics.

          You had an idea…but hitting on 8 guys in the same year does not happen. (LA Dodgers in the early 1970s…infield. Cards did pretty well in the 1982 and 1985. But not 4 positions and 4 SPs in the same year.)

          Add to that, they didn’t produce an above average MLB offense.

          The pitching is even more amazing. Starters Olsen, Johnson, Sanchez, and Nolasco all working out at 22-23, with Dontrelle still ok.

          The bullpen led by vet Joe Bo, led the majors in walks (4.78) with the 3rd worst xFIP (5.01).,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=17,d and a crap WAR.

          You had a AA-aged squad that did not have any expectations to even win 65 games. If the Marlins had a more tolerable BP, they probably win 85 games. Not that Loria was gonna pay for that.

          That’s my take on it. Joe, for a first season, did pretty good to get a bunch of kids to play near .500 ball. I think people see names and say, “WOW!” Wish the Cubs had that…well, DOC was right on that point. Better selection will give them that.

          • Scotti

            Exactly, Girardi did more with that team than anyone had a reason to believe was possible. IIRC, the highest rated among those rookies was Ramirez at 30 overall and he had no AAA experience. Many of those rookies weren’t even top 100 prospects.

            Fans here can’t even imagine sniffing .500 before 2016 and everyone knows we’ll be lucky to see one in two prospects pan out yet somehow the job Girardi did was simply to be expected. That’s nuts.

          • hansman1982

            Hanley Ramirez was still a top rated prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2006 campaign. I’ll give Girardi credit for that one.
            Cabrera had been in the pros and was developing nicely before that season.
            Uggla’s 2005 in AA featured an .880 OPS
            Jacobs repeated his 2006 numbers the next two years and had crushed minor league pitching 2 of the previous 3 years.
            Willingham had crushed the upper minors the previous 2 years.

            Girardi didn’t create these players, they had the talent already. He had a lineup that featured 4 guys with OPS+ over 112 and a 5th guy with a 106 OPS+.

            Basically, his 2006 team performed, at best, how you would have expected of them and he is supposed to be a superior manager? I’m not saying he is garbage but he has never taken a Cubs-esque team and made them walk on water. He has taken teams and had them perform as you would expect. I am ok with him becoming the next manager but to expect him to be the second coming of Cap Anson is setting the bar FAR too high. (I will say I am NOT looking forward to the plethora of sac bunts coming our way)

            • cms0101

              I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone claim that he walked on water. And forget his Cubs ties. I really don’t care that he played for the Cubs briefly, in two separate stints. This guy has managed on the big stage, in the biggest media market. He’s always been respected throughout the game, and he has playoff and World Series experience. Sure, he’s had very expensive teams that were often stacked. But sprinkled in, players like Cano and Gardner also improved while he was their manager. Cano had one year in the majors when Girardi took over, but he clearly became a better player. He’s shown integrity, even standing up to his team’s owner when the guy was acting like a tool in Miami. He’s been a proven leader that players are willing to follow, including the many ego-maniacs in NY.

            • Jason Powers

              I didn’t say anything about Cabrera. The numbers were there.

              I didn’t say Girardi created the players, or their talents. In fact, I showed he allowed them to play as much as reasonably is allowed…and they did ok for the league statistics.

              And utilized them well enough to win more games than most youthful lineups produce (the youngest) – I guess we can do that analysis in history, see what teams do when they are the youngest by age. Do they win more? Or are we gonna pick out the exceptions….to the stats.

              Mike Jacobs: 38th round, 2002 and 2004 did not crush it. So we pick and choose what matters there.

              Dan Uggla: 11th round – ARI; came via RULE 5 mainly because he was 25/26 and they already had O-DOG Hudson. Not too highly rated there either. But he got a change of scenery and proved his worth.

              Willingham: 17th round; He did crush minors pitching. And did not get a full time look until…27

              Jeremy Hermida: 1st round PICK (#4 BA) does the worst of the bunch…WOW, ain’t that weird??? AND he CRUSHED AAA in 2005 at 21 years old.

              Cody Ross: 4th

              The pitchers: Scott Olsen (6th round); Nolasco (4th round); Sanchez (amateur FA Bo Sox, like Hanley); Dontrelle (8th)

              Taylor Tankersley (1st): another flameout at 27…dominate at AA in 2006 (.95 ERA, 12+K/IP

              So, the pedigree of 1st round status did not matter. They found value in low draft status guys, rule 5, and amateurs from Boston —surplus talent the Marlins smartly traded for.

              What I did say was: he managed to get 8 22-23 guys to do a great deal better than the NORMAL track record of teams with that amount of youth on it.

              The Cubs would do back hand springs to have 3 rookies pound it.

              I don’t expect him to walk on water…maybe float.

              Here it is: Enough educated and baseball professionals have said Joe Girardi is a pretty smart guy. I think his education proves that. He did manage to win a WS – even if we think it is automatic from the Yankees.

              Cubs can do whatever. Put a robot in the dugout; buy strippers to give signs; hire Chief Knock-a-homa to do rain dances. Just win baby…just win before I die.

              I don’t understand the bipolar nature of people on selection. The argument for

              • mjhurdle

                It is my own opinion that you cannot judge Girardi on that Marlins team for much of anything, for two main factors.
                First, he wasn’t there long enough. i dont think there is enough evidence to either prove or discredit his effect on the young players development. You could argue either that he simply used what he had, or that he helped them get better. I dont think you can prove it either way.
                Second, he had an exceptionally talented squad of young players. To say the they performed better than your average young team is almost expected when you have the greatest hitter of our generation along with 2-3 other special players.

                Im with Hansman in the fact that i don’t understand the fervor for Girardi.
                I think he is a good manager. i think he handles the media well, can obviously deal with large market media pressure. he is really good with veterans. he has playoff experience.
                But for some reason most people think that he is a slam dunk at developing young players, when really there is no way to say for sure one way or the other. He had a really young team, but only for a year. Would those players have kept improving under his tutelage (Castillo) or regressed in the second year (Rizzo)? no one can say. And the Yankees haven’t supplied him with a dearth of young talent to test him with either.
                As far as selecting only what we want to see…no one mentions it, but can you imagine the outrage on this site if a Cubs manager had thrown a prized arm back out on the field after an 80+ minute rain delay, which then caused an injury and the pitcher getting shut down for the year?
                hansman said it best “I am ok with him becoming the next manager but to expect him to be the second coming of Cap Anson is setting the bar FAR too high.”
                Not everyone, but alot are setting Girardi up as a cant miss superstar manager. And that might be a bit unfair.

                • Bill

                  It’s kind of funny people are criticizing Girardi won with young players, but it doesn’t count because they are really good young players. No kidding. How many managers win with bad players? LaRussa is considered one of the best managers of this era, but should we say he’s not that good because he won with guys like Carpenter, Holliday, McGwire,etc?

                  Girardi is a good manager, is he a great manager? I don’t know. Will he be better than Sveum? I’m pretty sure he will. Unless the manager is bad I’m not sure how much they mean in W’s/L’s. I think the pitching coach is more important and can have more impact on the team’s W/L record.

                • Jason Powers

                  And I said it best, “Cubs can do whatever. Put a robot in the dugout; buy strippers to give signs; hire Chief Knock-a-homa to do rain dances. Just win baby…just win before I die.”

                  Course, fans and critics are flawless at post-hoc analysis. Try managing anything, real time – tell me all your results. Did they all go according to plan? Then your the best project manager on Earth…apply to the Cubs.

                  The manager has a function; Joe seems as capable as what others seemingly are not. Not perfect…NOT A GOD.

                  Besides, what do we got to lose? Money (that’s not yours)? Reputation (Theo & Co.)? Two hundred more games in 2 years (what else is new)?

                  If he sucks, will get another. Life will continue. And the sky won’t fall on the Cubs anymore than the last 68 years since they saw the final series of the season.

                  I doubt there is ever an adequate enough manager (Maddon, seems to get flavor-of-the-month nod) to appease this fan base. I am surprise anyone would return a phone call knowing how Cubs fans act about whose in that fucking dugout. As if they could remotely do better…

                  And until we do actually put some players on the field that want to win, and have talent, to do so, it might as well be a Roomba running the show.

                  Cheaper. And we’ll know talent ALONE will be deciding factor.

                  Notice sarcasm.

            • Scotti

              “Girardi didn’t create these players, they had the talent already.”

              NO manager adds “talent” to their players. NONE. The talent is latent. What good developmental managers do–what good LEADERS do–is create an ENVIRONMENT where that talent can be sharpened and honed. Those environments rarely, if ever, occur by accident.

              As I said the other day, I followed what Miami was doing very early (spring training on). ALL of those rookies (the team’s AVERAGE age was 25-y/o) had a disciplined team from day one with Girardi. Rookies learned workout habits, practice habits, how to deal with slumps, how to deal with the media, etc., etc., etc. Girardi didn’t have the option of letting his vets lead the rookies–he hardly had any. He held a very disciplined camp. He kept that discipline up throughout the year.

              And it is that discipline that SETS THE FOUNDATION for long, successful careers. A crap load of guys come up and flame out because they never learn HOW to be PROFESSIONAL ballplayers. Yes, they know–to a certain extent–how to play ball, but they don’t have a habit of being professionals. Showing up on time, choosing to not party in order to be fresh for a game, making time to work out, stretching to avoid injury (you’d be amazed how few players actually stretch properly), going straight to the person you have an issue with, etc.

              “He had a lineup that featured 4 guys with OPS+ over 112 and a 5th guy with a 106 OPS+. Basically, his 2006 team performed, at best, how you would have expected of them and he is supposed to be a superior manager?”

              He had a lineup of SIX rookie starting position players and FOUR rookie starting pitchers. If the next Cub manager is able to create an environment where the CUB prospects that we are all talking about can become professionals with excellent discipline and succeed for the long haul–even if he’s only here for one year–then, No, he won’t simply be superior. He will be the greatest Cub manager ever.

              Everyone knows we won’t hit on a large percentage of these prospects (even if they have good AA numbers). What separates the skilled from the skilled AND successful? Personal discipline and that is both who Joe Girardi is and what he brings out in others.

              Look, I get that the majority here who look at Girardi merely have numbers to go by. I’ve followed him, not because I have his rookie card or I’m some “fan boy,” or whatever. I’ve followed him because the better part of my career has been about learning, practicing and teaching leadership. It has been both my vocation and my avocation. Joe Girardi is simply the best example of current sports leadership I know of and there are plenty of quality sports leaders.

              Is Girardi without flaw? Of course not. But he has tremendous character, and it will take someone with tremendous character, or someone with flukey luck, to take the Cubs to the Promised Land and I HATE relying on luck. There is a century of futility weighing on the shoulders of every Cub manager. It is, in all likelihood, the toughest job in sports management. We should have hired Girardi in 2007 but the experience he’s gained has made him an even better candidate now than he was then.

              Sweet Lou showed up with gravitas and determination and then got tired again. Girardi brings that gravitas and determination and also intelligence, character, youth and a familiarity with all things Cubs (yes, that is important). If he’s available, we should outbid the others, in all ways possible, and then let him do his thing.

      • MightyBear

        I guess that manager of the year thing was a sham then.

  • Die hard

    Daddy Ricketts will pick next mgr and probably someone he could control

  • Robert Johnson

    Let’s see if I have this right. Castro & Rizzo are the core players of the major league team. They’re given multi million dollar long term contracts & told to implement the system, work the counts & improve their on base percentage. Neither one is able to hit this way so they fire the manager. Doesn’t make any sense to me!

    • terencemann

      Rizzo walked plenty and didn’t strike out that much for a 2nd year player and hit 23 HR.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Rizzo actually improved on his walks and XBH rates. His K rate went up, too, but not significantly. What killed Rizzo’s numbers was a ridiculously low singles rate on balls that he put into play. His extra-base hit numbers indicate that he was hitting the ball well slightly more frequently than last year. His K-rate increase does not come close to explaining it.

        That means that fewer balls were falling into play despite a similar number of well-hit balls. Any explanation other than “crap luck” is rank special-pleading.

        • jt

          Where did the xbasehits come from?
          rates below are from 2012 to 2013 in units of %
          GB rate went down.
          LD rate went down.
          FB rate went from 30.2 to 37.9
          HR/FB rate went from 18.1 to 12.6
          His HR totals over the past 2 yr’s: 27 RF, 12 CF, 3 LF
          ’12 HR totals 7 RF, 7 CF, 2 LF
          ’13 HR totals 16 RF, 5 CF, 1 LF
          13 of Rizzo’s 40 doubles went to LF which was away from the shift most teams employ against him. I don’t know how many of those were hit hard.
          Rule of thumb; GB’s result in more hits than FB’s. FB’s result in more xbasehits than GB’s.
          The reason his hit total has dropped is because he has be elevating the ball more. When he tries to elevate the ball he has been trying to pull it. That is where his power is.
          Again, his HR/FB % has dropped so he may in fact not be hitting more balls hard. That is to say that the increase in xbasehits may be just the result of a lot more balls hit in the air.
          Not Luck!

          • Scotti

            Man, somehow you didn’t get the memo… Rizzo has hit into pure, simple, bad luck. Stop with the solid analysis.

            • jt


          • Professor Snarks

            Someone else that doesn’t believe in the myth of BABIP being all about luck. I raise my glass to you, jt.
            His infield fly ball rate also increased (per baseball reference), and his ‘weak grounders into the teeth of a shift’ (not an official stat yet), also went up.

            • jt

              Thanks, I was wondering if there was another non-linear thinker about. :)
              All things being equal BABIP is an intriguing and useful concept. I actually read these guys and am trying to figure out best practice for my use of it.
              But first of all it must be determined just how close to “all things being equal” is that which is being represented in the stats.

    • TWC

      Well, your facts are probably right (though there’s no specific proof as to what, exactly, they were told), but your analysis is lacking and your conclusion is questionable, Bob.

  • cubsklm

    The next Cub manager will be Torey Lovullo or Mike Maddux.

    • Jono

      You misspelled Ozzie guillen

      • mjhurdle

        im only on board with that if he brings Zambrano as the pitching coach

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          Is Barret the hitting coach?

          • mjhurdle

            now THAT would put some butts in the seats every game, win or lose!

    • Cyranojoe

      I’d bet on Maddux.

  • Ivy Walls

    Most of you are not thinking through this complicated and simple situation. The whole reason why Sveum was hired in the first place was player development and development as in offensive development at the plate. Cubs hired a pitching coach where they sought to remake the approach of pitchers and we have seen some movement forward but Samardz fell back after May and Wood fell back after August.

    Other skill sets besides the primary skill a person brings to the table is public relations which Sveum sucked badly at. Other items we can’t see were in the locker room and pre-game, pre-series and player personal development, in part are whether players were listening to Sveum, this is as much an art form in leadership as it is learned.

    As the season wound down the players knew he was toast as they were tired of him as he was of them. IT was over and everyone knew it. Interestingly Epstein knew it back in June as well but let it play out. The only benefit is the 4th pick in the draft, plus the 40th plus and the ability to sign a FA without a loss.

    Sveum is being blamed for Castro and Rizzo’s regression that is obvious as his forte was supposed to be hitting approach as a hitting coach.

    To me going through the paces of the job will be first getting players back on development for value and performance. I think a real proven hitting coach who takes players as they come and works to bring out the best. Second will be overall management of the club and not this rotating door that we have seen with 50 players or more getting MLB time, I mean come on. That though is as much on Epstein and Hoyer as it is on the manager.

    Defense has improved somewhat with McKay but that can only get better with players in position with more stable roles. Pitching, is as much on whom comes as who remains.

    Now if I were developing a requirement and used the attributes of Girardi, be it whether he is available or not this is what I would be looking for.

    Well organized and respected by players, coaches and staff up and down the organization. He would be the face and the field front man to the entire organization and his philosophy of on field play, preparation and performance would be the by-word. In military terms he is the Field General and Epstein and Hoyer are the behind the scenes brass in HQ and only supply resources and point to strategy as the objective. A field manager like Girardi would set all the tactical and on field strategy ultimately and not limited to player development as to what is needed to improve overall team and individual positional performance to achieve WS contender status.

    Communications, the manager would be the public face of the organization both with social media and professional news/broadcast sports outlets. As critical would be communications with players and staff where the team is the best prepared for each game and where player development is integrated with game strategy.

    Player development, all players would eventually report to the manager as to their personal positional and offensive player development programs and the judgment of each player’s progress would rest with the manager.

    In game strategy, the manager would delegate in game execution or strategies and tactics but all responsibilities for in game decisions rest with the manager solely.

    Finally if I were writing a perfect white board I would seek to have Girardi bring back Don Zimmer as a manager’s assistant to sit in the stands or box as a special assistant to identify particular items of note. Zimmer would be the grand uncle in the locker room and even on trips but also be the grand counsel to Girardi besides his coaching staff.

    Why Girardi. He brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the Chicago Cubs. Managing in FL Marlins he understands player development and limited payroll while with the NYY he gets big market expectations and public relations along with talent. He would immediately provide the Cubs `on field credibility in attracting or getting the attention of marque free agents while commanding respect of young developmental players. His judgement in game situations would be second to none. He is also uniquely aware of the Chicago Cubs historical position going back to a child and understand the depth and anxiety a contender will bring. He would be a cool hand in a raw situation, not unlike `Mike Ditka. Price `should be no object. If he is offered market value, make a new market and be creative, your contract is tied to his success.


    • jon

      Your Don Zimmer suggestion seems like something out of “Weekend at Bernies”

    • TWC

      “Most of you are not thinking through this complicated and simple situation.”

      This is where most people stopped reading.

      Pro tip: wait until at least the second sentence to insult those to whom you are addressing your comments.

      • mjhurdle

        I was going to go with the pro-tip of waiting until the second sentence before contradicting yourself, but yours works too.

        i do not believe it is possible for a situation to be both complicated and simple.
        Maybe it can seem complicated but be simple, or be a complicated situation with a simple solution. But im pretty sure that the situation itself cannot simultaneously be complicated and simple.

      • Ivy Walls

        thin skinned, and that goes below….yes most fans are thin skinned and don’t think through this decision, nor should they.

        get it

        • DocPeterWimsey

          That’s why I recommend a 23% titanium alloy skin!

      • William

        I recommend not writing an essay if you want people to read it. :-)

      • waittilthisyear

        thats exactly where i stopped reading

  • mjhurdle

    interesting side note on the day, the Marlins are still selling tickets to the Alvarez no-hitter over the weekend.
    For just $15 dollars they will send you a ticket and you can forever act like you were at the game.

  • Robert Johnson

    Ivy Walls, you sound like Epstein’s brother in disguise.

  • Steve

    Would be great if Joe Girardi became the next manager, but why would he leave NY to manage a team with only ONE proven starter (Travis Wood)??? Jeff Samardija and Ed Jackson may pitch 200-innings a year but they just don’t win enough games.

    • cubes

      200IP from a starter sucks they need to drive in runs too!

      • bbmoney

        I’m sure it’s not that pitchers need to drive the runs in themselves. It’s that their will to win and belly fire needs to be enough to inspire their teammates to score more runs for them.

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Because there’s a chance their best player is Brett Gardener.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Or that the 2014 Yankees roster might collect more from Social Security than they contribute to it.

    • LEO L

      Why would Theo Epstein leave the red sox? I mean Girardi and the Yankees

      • LEO L

        that said.. he is not coming

  • Bill

    Bring back uncle Lou.

  • Jason

    Mike Quade is still available, yes?

  • dan

    Can you say Francona

    • Cyranojoe

      Ha — of course. That’s a serious possibility.

  • cavemencubbie

    Wanted Girardi years ago when he was available. Don’t think it’s a smart move now. No complicated theories just a gut feeling. Believe I will become a bear and hibernate until spring, when I can awake to a brand new, rosy, kool-aid world. Miss Cub games already.

  • Die hard

    First- no serious search until World Series over given playoff teams have coaches with mgr experience and Second Cubs have to decide if willing to spend to get a high caliber mgr — thus dont expect naming until just before Cubs convention

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      You might be right. But if they really do like Girardi, I think they might just go for it.

      • Die hard

        He would not take orders from this FO unless they bring in a former Major Leaguer with FO experience and give that person responsibility of go between

        • bbmoney

          If that really were true, which I doubt, they wouldn’t hire him. That’d be a disaster waiting to happen.

          • TWC

            Dude. You’re talking to Die hard. It’s never true. It’s all fantasy.

            • bbmoney

              Whatever…Julio Borbon….believe.

              • TWC


  • bbmoney

    Nobody messes with DeJesus

  • bbmoney

    Wow…..instant replay anyone? That wasn’t even close to being a catch.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Wow really bad call.

  • Dustin S

    I’d be thrilled for Girardi for all the obvious reasons, 4 WS rings, Illinois native, ex-Cub, the Daryl Kile speech, NL manager of the year with a $15M roster, helping save a guy’s life on the way home from a World Series guy, etc….it would be hard not to be ecstatic if they got him. But, he also bans facial hair, no soda, no sweets in the Clubhouse, and is generally a whole lot more strict than Sveum. So it would be interesting to see how it would play out with this young team.

    A good next BN article would be if not Girardi, then who? The odds are still probably below 50/50 that the stars can align enough to get him despite all the Chicago press penciling him in. So knowing Theo’s criteria now (and particularly the mention of proven experience), what are the 4-5 names besides Girardi that are the most likely to get an interview?

  • Senor Cub

    FO how has a big black eye in my opinion! Loss of credibility. Sveum was in fact a scapegoat!

    • jt

      I have the feeling that they hired Sveum to implement “The Cubs Way” and that that implementation was not working. I took what Theo had to say as laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of Theo/Jed in that that part of the plan was not working. It seems to me that they just don’t believe the former manager is the guy to implement plan B (whatever that may be).

  • bbmoney

    I am shocked David Price is back out there for the 9th.

    • BlameHendry

      For real. Talk about a manager having some balls. Maybe Maddon was just trying to humiliate the Rangers, but is that worth the risk in a playoff tiebreaker?

      Anyway, Price looked awesome tonight. Would be sweet to have him on the team next year but I’m still not willing to give up any of our top 4 to get him… We finally have a good farm system, lets not throw it away again. Every time I watch Chris Archer flash his stuff for the Rays I cringe a little bit…

      • Soda Popinski

        Hopefully one day not too far away we’ll be watching C.J. Edwards, Niel Ramirez, Mike Olt and/or Justin Grimm light it up for the cubs. Gotta look at the bright side.

      • BWA

        Ya and you would have missed having Garza for a great season, and we wouldn’t have any of the prospects we got for him. The fact that only one of those prospects has turned out, and is yet unproven, for 3 years of Garza and the prospects he netted us make it a win if any of those prospects turn out for us.