joe girardi manager[You knew this wasn’t going to take more than a day to become an Obsessive Watch, right?]

There’s still a ton to digest from yesterday’s Dale Sveum firing, and the managerial search that begins today. While everyone roots around trying to dig up a list of potential candidates, the one name that even a casual fan could have come up with is not only the most prominent, it may be the most viable.

I refer, of course, to New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who is in the last month of his contract with his team. From here, he could re-sign with the Yankees, move on to another team, or take some time off to do a little TV work. If it’s going to be that middle option, the Chicago Cubs reportedly very much hope it will be with them.

According to reports from Dave Kaplan, Bob Nightengale, Dan Bernstein, and Wallace Matthews, among others (some of whom merely imply interest), Girardi is the Cubs’ top choice. According to Nightengale, for example, the Cubs are “targeting” Girardi, and believe he would be a “perfect fit.”

Nightengale adds, however, that Girardi appears to be seriously considering the year-off/TV option, rather than re-upping with the Yankees or jumping ship to the Cubs.

In the end, though, there’s plenty of smoke to suggest that the Cubs are affirmatively interested in Girardi – and he definitely checked all of Theo Epstein’s enumerated boxes yesterday (and let’s not ignore that he offers certain marketing advantages) – rather than this being a mere media creation, connecting obvious dots and what-have-you. This could be a situation where Girardi’s family wants to stay in New York, Girardi wants to spend more time with his family, the Cubs want Girardi, and Girardi likes the idea of going to the Cubs. Add that all together in a stew, and you get a difficult situation to sort out (real life tends to be full of ’em). We’ll see how it plays out.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman is meeting with the media today, and he indicated that negotiations with Girardi’s camp on a possible new deal have already started. Cashman expects to sit down with Girardi’s agents tomorrow. It sounds like the Yankees will make a significant bid to keep Girardi.

It’s worth pointing out, and I’ll discuss this separately, that both Matthews and Nightengale mention that Brad Ausmus – previously mentioned as a candidate, and then dismissed by some reports – is also one of the Cubs’ top choices. Things are never this simple, but you should probably prepare to hear a whole lot of “Girardi Plan A, Ausmus Plan B” type stuff over the coming days and/or weeks.

  • Aaron

    It’s been said before, but every baseball fan should make a pilgrimage to Wrigley Field at least once. How about manage a game?

    A fan is chosen at each home game at Wrigley Field to manage that day’s game. You get to make the lineup, choose your starting pitcher and sing take me out to the ball game for the 7th inning stretch. You would have a full set of team coaches to help you.

    Here’s the question given this year’s roster…would our home record have been much different with this special “manager for a day” promotion?

  • Dustin S

    Hinch managed only about 1 1/4 seasons and had an underwhelming .420 winning % in that time. I hope they can do better and don’t just grab any name they can attached to San Diego or Boston. Granted that was a weak roster in AZ, but it’s not exactly like the new manager will be inheriting an AS lineup here either.

  • Hutch

    Why has davy Martinez not been mentioned? Tampa is fantasic in development and he has been there for awhile. I think hed be a great fit

    • Blackout

      My thoughts as well.

  • Pingback: Obsessive New Manager Watch: A.J. Hinch on the List? | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • Jason Powers

    So the short list is:
    1) Girardi
    2) Ausmus
    3) Sandy Alomar Jr.

    Some here love Girardi, the ex-Cub, since the Cubs have never went or won a world series without a Cubs player leading them to it. (Chance, Grimm, Hartnett, or Joe McCarthy, who never playing the bigs; his first coaching was as a Cub.) History matters not; unless you talk to historians much.

    Girardi has a WS. A Northwestern engineering education. Plenty of family ties. (His youngest child is 7; so moving now actually does make some sense, if he manages for longer than 3-5 years.) More seasoned as a manager than the other two. For some, he’s good with young players. Others deride that he’s been lucky. Well, aren’t the Cubs in need of luck rubbing off????

    Ausmus. Ivy Leaguer. Catcher also. Has very limited managerial experience, but probably comes cheaper than Girardi. Known for his smarts…similar age to the FO, and religious background. Know for his pitching staff control…calling the game. Could be the very hands on with the staff type. Might keep Bosio…and adapt well. Don’t know his personal issues – kids, wife, liking Chicago.

    Alomar. Catcher. Was courted back in 2011 for the Cubs job. (So he wasn’t hired then…) Bypassed in Cleveland for Terry Francona. Bench coach right now.

    Personally, if Girardi is there to be had, you don’t get fired (Theo) for hiring a manager that been involved in a WS. NOTICE: didn’t say won a world series. He was able to get all the way with a talented group that has seen a few championships….ha ha.

    Ausmus is a solid intellectual candidate. That’s what his resume screams. He’s young, could grow into the position with the talent coming, but that up to Theo & Co. to assess his fit. He probably will micromanage pitching…or not. Tough to know what he’d do since he’s never held a MGR title. 2005 WS appearance as a player.

    Alomar has the cache of the out-of-the-box candidate. But that too is risky- GMs get canned for failure on a unknown, more than the known. WS appearance as a player.

    And that might be of some use. Winners. How many winners are on the team right now? Something to be said for having the psychology of knowing what winning is.

    Will see.

    • Jason Powers

      4) AJ Hinch: Stanford grad. (Another egghead catcher) D-Backs skipper. Professional Scout. SD Padres (Jed & Theo personally know him and Jed hired him for his position).

      Probably not given a fair chance in SD. Same age as the FO. Same views on scouting, player development. So a personally rewarding relationship. But, can he manage a young team on the field?

      • Napercal

        Since when do we look at college resumes to pick a manager?

    • cubmig

      Jason Powers….you forgot Phil Cavarretta…..player/manager.

      • Jason Powers

        Did he take the Cubs to a WS? No.

  • Gutshot5820

    Theo is getting played by Girardi’s agent, just like Anibal Sanchez.

    • DarthHater

      Yea, Anibal really got screwed by Girardi’s agent.

      • college_of_coaches

        This is my favorite response ever.

        • danimal8


    • Ivy Walls

      Really? Money doesn’t play, either you ante up or you get a pass.

    • TWC

      And so it begins…

  • http://Bleachernation John Schubert

    Get Bob Brenly. He was a catcher. He knows this team. He’s won a World Series. He’s smart. And get Grace as the hitting coach.

  • Die hard

    Girardi has been tarnished by DH and he’s next for Texas job anyway

    • TWC