An afternoon catch-all for a variety of managerial bits …
- The Cubs are very interested in Joe Girardi, according to Buster Olney. A portion of that interest, understandably, is coming from ownership, says Olney, who view Girardi as the kind of guy who could infuse excitement into a flagging fan base. Olney frames the interest there as ownership making a strong argument to the baseball side that Girardi’s the guy. While I don’t doubt that ownership/the business side would love to have the “Girardi story” to sell to fans, I do doubt that they’d be able to persuade the baseball crew to accept Girardi as manager if they weren’t already interested in him for their own reasons. As I’ve said before, it’s possible that a pursuit of Girardi simply represents a confluence of baseball and business directives where everybody wins. If Girardi doesn’t immediately re-sign with the Yankees, that is.
- Olney adds, by the way, that even as the Cubs are interested in Girardi, the baseball operations department is not locked in on him as *the* candidate. I don’t take that to mean they might not like him – I think it just means that these guys are process-oriented, and they’re going to go through the process.
- On Girardi, Bruce Levine writes that adding Girardi may require that the Cubs figure out a way to become competitive (and spend a little more) sooner than otherwise planned. Either way, Girardi is a fit.
- We heard yesterday that A.J. Hinch, currently in the Padres’ front office, was emerging as a legitimate option for the Cubs’ managerial opening, and that isn’t stopping today. Jerry Crasnick reports that the Cubs have already spoken to the Padres about Hinch, though they’ve not yet formally asked for permission to interview him for their opening. Crasnick expects that request to come soon, though. For additional confirmation, Jon Heyman also throws his hat in the Cubs-are-interested-in-Hinch ring.
- Additionally, Crasnick reports that the Cubs are not as interested in Brad Ausmus, a special assistant with the Padres, as some have speculated. The Cubs apparently like him, but feel like there isn’t enough experience there. (Indeed, Ausmus has exceedingly little experience as a coach or manager, having only done a stint managing with Team Israel for the WBC.)
- How about White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper as the next Cubs manager? Well, he was asked about it, and, although he thinks he could do the job, managing isn’t his goal. Cooper is thought of as one of the best pitching coaches in the game.