Obsessive New Manager Watch: Moving on from Girardi, Considering Martinez, (Not) Considering Guillen

ozzie guillen kickIn some ways, it feels like the Chicago Cubs’ managerial search is only just starting today. Whether Joe Girardi was, in fact, the Cubs’ top candidate, he had certainly become the conscious focus of “the story.” He has now elected to stay in New York, and the Cubs can move on. That, too, is merely a “story,” of course, given that the Cubs have already started interviewing candidates without the Girardi surname.

  • As expected, Girardi couched his decision in his family’s happiness in, and desire to stay in, New York. Girardi told the media that he was aware of the Cubs’ reported interest (as in, he can read), but that nothing reached any kind of offer stage (because obviously). He added: “As far as the Cubs fans, as I said, this involved my family. I have a lot of fond memories back in Chicago, but I have kids now and a wife. Everyone has to be on board with what we’re doing. I wish them nothing but the best of luck.” I question whether Girardi was ever particularly interested in coming to Chicago, or if he savvily utilized their reported interest to leverage an additional year out of the Yankees. By the time this week rolled around, surely he knew where his family wanted to be – and surely they were a driving factor in his decision. I don’t blame Girardi, the Yankees, or the Cubs a lick for how this played out. The Cubs may have been used, but it doesn’t look like it impacted their search process in any meaningful way. Fans who saw this search as “Girardi/Not Girardi” will simply have to remember that, by their own hand, the Cubs never had a real shot at Girardi in the first place.
  • Speaking of that search process, Matt Abbatacola reports that Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez will be in for an interview next week. We’d heard Martinez’s name mentioned (a little bit last time around, too), but the Cubs weren’t free to contact the Rays about speaking to him until after his team had exited the playoffs. Martinez is a former Cub, though it was brief, and many years ago – I’d question how much his experience with the Cubs in the mid-to-late-80s would bear on his ability to understand the “idiosyncrasies” of the Chicago Cubs of the last 10 years. More importantly, Martinez has been working under one of the best managers in the game for the last six seasons. A chance to learn more about him in an interview should certainly be welcomed.
  • Abbatacola also mentions that San Diego bench coach Rick Renteria should be in for an interview next week, as well, and ESPN agrees. Abbatacola calls Renteria the “early favorite,” as does Buster Olney. Renteria has been the bench coach in San Diego for three years, and was a coach with the Padres for three years before that. Prior to his time with the Padres, he was a long-time minor league manager. Renteria also managed the Mexican team in the WBC.
  • Right now, the names clearly in play are Manny Acta (already interviewed once), A.J. Hinch (already interviewed once), Rick Renteria (interviewing next week), and Dave Martinez (interviewing next week). Sandy Alomar, Mike Maddux, Torey Lovullo, and others have been rumored/speculated, but that’s all at this point.
  • Ozzie Guillen was asked about the Cubs’ job – not by the Cubs – and he was almost over the top in expressing his desire to be the manager of the Cubs. That won’t happen, and I seriously doubt even a coaching position would open up for Guillen, even as entertaining as that could be.
  • Several commenters last night indicated that Bruce Levine said on Sports Talk Live with Dave Kaplan that he hears Greg Maddux wants the Cubs’ managerial gig, with Mike Maddux as pitching coach, Bobby Cox as bench coach, and Henry Blanco as bullpen coach. I was not watching last night, and I cannot find any repackaged video of that particular moment, so I can’t personally vouch for what Levine said. He has previously indicated that Maddux could be interested in the job, however, so it’s plausible. Anyone have a transcript or a video to review? Either way, that precise setup coming into play seems unlikely. (UPDATE: Kaplan reached out to Maddux, who said that he was not interested in the Cubs’ job, instead preferring to spend the summers with his family.)

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

177 responses to “Obsessive New Manager Watch: Moving on from Girardi, Considering Martinez, (Not) Considering Guillen”

  1. MichiganGoat

    A little error I think in bullet foue

    “Rick Renteria (interviewing next week), and Rick Renteria (interviewing next week)”

    So he’s so good he’s getting interviewed twice?

    1. MichiganGoat

      and a error by with with foue instead of four

      1. Grammar Police!

        and AN error……you made an error while correcting your previous error.

        1. MichiganGoat

          SOOOOO MUCH FAIL!!!

          1. On The Farm

            God goat, hope you don’t teach children grammar..

            1. On The Farm

              I might have worded that poorly, I am not calling Goat a god, nor do I worship goats.

              1. Hansman

                Damn liberal hippy not worshipping goats. You really should.

                But take the religion talk elsewhere.

                1. On The Farm


    2. Jay

      If Sandberg’s wife isn’t on the premises, I don’t see Martinez being interested. (ex-wife, I mean—not the current Mrs. Sandberg). And if she is, he’ll want to bring Rafael Palmeiro along as “hitting” coach. As in “hit that”.

      1. Randy

        Really. Your a class act Jay

  2. TWC

    “[T]he names clearly in play are Manny Acta (already interviewed once), A.J. Hinch (already interviewed once), Rick Renteria (interviewing next week), and Rick Renteria (interviewing next week)…”

    Clearly Renteria is the favorite. He’s interviewing TWICE next week!

    1. MichiganGoat

      Beatt you to buddy I’ll take a case Lagunitas

      1. MichiganGoat

        Damn this keyboard is not responsive, Beatt, Beat, Brett… black bear.

        1. Patrick W.

          FACT: Bear’s eat beatts

        2. Patrick W.

          FACT: Bears eat beatts

  3. Napercal

    I would think that Sandy Alomar would be the top candidate. He was respected throughout his playing career. He has served as understudy to proven managers. He, like Francona, is a second generation baseball guy. He seem like a guy ho has baseball in his blood, and success seems to follow him. His father coache the Cubs for a number of years so he is familiar with Cub history. He is known as someone who mentors young players. He would connect with the young Latin players in the system.

  4. On The Farm

    “Right now, the names clearly in play are Manny Acta (already interviewed once), A.J. Hinch (already interviewed once), Rick Renteria (interviewing next week), and Rick Renteria (interviewing next week).”

    Maybe Rick Renteria is Brett’s favorite choice.

    1. YourResidentJag

      Well, he does have a solid resume…

  5. Dan Foote

    Maddux, Maddux, Cox and Blanco………….that set-up (in those positions) could be fun for the fans. I agree it’s not likely (at least not in total). Will the Cubs SERIOUSLY consider Greg Maddux for manager? If so, then I would think Mike Maddux as pitching coach would be considered. Bobby Cox as bench coach? Would HE seriously consider being the bench coach? I don’t think so. Henry Blanco as bullpen coach? I think that would be interesting. I don’t know if that would be a good one or a bad one. Either way, interesting. As a whole, that group would be fun for the fans, which doesn’t always (or even often) translate to wins on the field. (NOT a knock on any of them).

    1. Noah_I

      Yeah, I somehow doubt Bobby Cox would come out of retirement at age 72 (he’ll turn age 73 a month into next season) to be a bench coach. Maybe he’d do a spring training gig, but a bench coach requires nearly as much work and just as much travel time as the manager.

  6. Die hard

    Every former and current mgr and coach is in the mix except my favorite – Ozzie?!!! Something’s amiss

    1. Noah_I

      Ozzie is notoriously hard to work with, makes too many situations all about Ozzie, and is not at all sabermetrically inclined. He’d be a terrible fit for this team and this front office.

    2. DarthHater

      “Every former and current mgr and coach is in the mix except my favorite – Ozzie?!!!
      I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about”


  7. Jim

    Is it just me or do we seem to be taking a lot of guys out of San Diego? My question is why? What have the Padres done since ??? to elicit the best available people?

    1. On The Farm

      I would have to venture the guess that Jed Hoyer used to be the Padre’s GM so a lot of the guys who work over there, he has already worked with and formed a business relationship.

  8. Blackhawks1963

    Interviews that have happened or will happen…
    1. Manny Acta
    2. AJ Hinch
    3. Rich Renteria
    4. Davey Martinez
    Names speculated by the media and fans but interest by the Cubs NOT happening…
    1. Sandy Alomar
    2. Mike Maddux
    3. Torey Lovullo
    Names speculated by the media and fans but we don’t know yet until the playoffs move further along…
    1. Jose Oquendo

    So my big takeaway is this….TheoJed are seemingly very interested in Latino and/or bilingual candidates to go along with their other stated criteria of previous manager experience.

    Davey Martinez diddled Cindy Sandberg in the mid 80′s, precipitating his abrupt trade to Montreal for the equivalent of a used infield rake (i.e., Mitch Friggin Webster). Can you IMAGINE if the Cubs hired Martinez and with Ryno now in Philadelphia having been passed over for the Cub job two years ago?!? Crikey what a soap opera that would be.

    1. cubfanbob

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/qa-dave-martinez-tampa-bay-bench-coach/ read that article;e and tell me you dont want Davy. I dont care about hearsay and rumors about who had sex 30 years ago.

      1. King Jeff

        I wasn’t initially a fan, but I’m coming around on Martinez. Although they are a little bunt happy, I think the Rays way of playing ball would go over well in Chicago. From what I’ve been reading, Martinez has basically been a second manager down there for the last few seasons, has experience developing young players, and is definitely statistically/analytically influenced.

        1. miggy80

          If Theo and the boys hire Martinez I will ware the BN banana hammock in front of the Marque doing the peanut butter-jelly dance.

          1. miggy80


      2. Carew


      3. DarthHater

        I read the article. Lots of base stealing and sacrifice bunting? I don’t think I want Davy. But he does sound like a good guy.

    2. Frankfort Dave

      I always thought that the trade of Palmero was due to Cindy Sandberg. Was I wrong or was she impersonating a pin cushion the whole time?

      1. Blackhawks1963

        Cindy Sandberg was reported to have romps in the with Dave Martinez, Raffy Palmiero and Phoenix Sun power forward Dan Majerle. She got around in that corncob dress !

        1. cubfanbob

          Dont forget Dunston and Gracie.

        2. Fishin Phil

          You forgot the rumors about a filthy little puppet she had an affair with.

          1. CubChymyst

            Is that the reason you smell like fish?

            1. Fishin Phil

              That and my Eau de Carp aftershave.

        3. Randy

          You guys have no class whatsoever. Sorry asses. Get a life

    3. miggy80

      If we did hire Martinez that would piss me off. I can only imagine Sandberg slapping the taste out of his mouth the first time they exchanged starting line ups. I can see the Cubs fans booing Martinez off the field as Sandberg is held back by Ryan Howard.

    4. CubChymyst

      I’m still pulling for Sandy to get another interview.

      Also the Martinez thing happened over 20 years ago, how much of an impact should that have on finding the best person for the job? The answer to me is none. If Martinez is who is views as best he should be selected.

      1. miggy80

        Is 20 yrs ago long enough for one of the most iconic players ever to ware a Cubs uniform? What if someone done Mr. Cub wrong. Should we bring them on to help us win a couple of games?

        In a game where there are so many unwritten rules. Not hiring a guy who was once banging the wife of your teams most iconic player of his generation, which lead to his early retirement, has to be one of them.

        1. miggy80

          ware = wear

        2. CubChymyst

          I’ve never understood most of the unwritten rules. Working with people you dislike is not that uncommon when a common end goal is shared. I can despise someone but if they help get me to wear I want to be I’m not going to turn down the help.

          1. miggy80

            I don’t know, I just couldn’t do it (if I were in the position).

            So let me throw another hypothetical situation out there. If it were down to Martinez and X. Martinez and X are pretty much neck and neck. Do you think this (Martinez banging Sandbergs wife) then enters the discussion of the FO? And candidate X then gets the nod.

            1. CubChymyst

              If Martinez and X are neck and neck, I go with person X. But 20 years is a long time and people do change. Anyways, the amount of wins a manager actually contributes is foggy at best. The more important thing is the FO getting quality players onto the field for the manager to oversee. Good players will likely make who ever is picked look good.

              My pick is Sandy Alomar Jr. Someone posted this saying Acta never lost the team, but the last paragraph about Alomar is all I needed to read for me to want him of Acta.


        3. cubfanbob

          Thing is there is no evidence or proof stating Davey has sex with his wife just rumor and hearsay. Davey was traded multiple times in his career so are you going to tell me he did it with teammate’s wives on every team he was traded from ?

          1. cms0101

            No, but it was suspicious of them to trade a young promising centerfielder for an older, less skilled Mitch Webster. And the timing of the trade, well before the deadline, was just strange. I was just a kid at the time, so I only looked on the trade as Jim Frey being an idiot again. But after hearing this rumor years later, and hearing it again regarding Palmeiro, that painted a different picture for me related to Frey. He was trying to clear out the taint for his franchise player. It hurt the team, but I get it.

            1. cubfanbob

              So how do you explain Dave Martinez 2nd stint with the Cubs in 2000 ?

              1. Jon

                “Sloppy Seconds”

                1. Randy

                  You truly are an idiot Jon

                  1. Jon

                    You really seem to get agitated about the Ryno’s ex wife jokes, relax Randy, we are just having some fun.

                    1. Randy

                      Fun at whose expense. It isn’t everyone doing it. You are always an idiot.

  9. Boba Fett

    Michigan Goat is a grammatical a$$ clown

    1. Jeff

      Thought he was a goat not an ass…lol.

      1. MichiganGoat

        See Jeff isn’t that easier than to get all boohoo about people disagreeing with you? And to clarify I’m a goat with a great ass!

        1. King Jeff

          Nope, he’s a goat and an ass.

        2. Jeff

          ha ha, TMI…that’s for Mrs. Goats to think about.

  10. CubsFan4Life

    I have been looking for the video or the audio of Bruce Levine saying that Greg Maddux wants to manage the Cubs, with his good friend Bobby Cox as his bench coach (mentor), his brother Mike Maddux as his pitching coach and Heny Blanco as his bullpen coach. If anyone recorded this part of Sports Talk Live last night, please post it or attach the link.

    If this is a real possibility, I hope Theo and Jed seriously consider it. This would be an amazing management team to help develop our young players and to make our pitching staff the best rotation in baseball. Also, Hank White (Henry Blanco) could really help Wellington Castillo become an all star catcher.

    1. guy

      I just cannot believe that this isn’t a joke. I mean, it says Greg Maddux not only wants the job, but he wants his brother as pitching coach, his longtime manager as bench coach, and a man most famous for being his personal catcher as bullpen coach. I mean, why not throw in Chipper Jones as the hitting coach? Smoltz and Glavine can coach first and third. John Rocker can be the team’s human sacrifice. Etc.

      1. On The Farm

        Yeah, I mean the Greg and Mike together actually makes sense. I mean wanting to work with your brother is a dream a lot of people dream of. But Cox coming out of retirement, seems a bit much.

      2. Blackhawks1963

        This whole “Maddux interest” is goofy. Why haven’t TheoJed confessed mutual interest in Mike Maddux (or Greg Maddux, or whatever combo plate of the Maddux boys) if they were considering it?!? They have been transparent in telling the world that interviews are happening with Acta, Hinch, Renteria and Martinez. But NOTHING on Maddux. Therefore, I can’t see where this story has any sea legs.

        1. aCubsFan

          It’s quite goofy. In fact, Kaplan just tweeted that he spoke to Greg Maddux today and he has no intentions of coaching or managing. He wants to spend time with his family. The same thing he said several years ago.

  11. Aaron

    The Cubs need a manager who is “dynamic,” Epstein said, something that the low-key Sveum was not. They want someone who is “creative” and has “tremendous energy.”

    Theo should see if Tony Robbins is interested in managing the Cubs if these are his 3 top traits for the team’s new manager.

  12. BleedingCubbieBlue

    What about Cal Ripken Jr.???

  13. CubFan Paul

    “..where his family wanted to be – and surely they were a driving factor in his decision”

    When they say it’s not about the money…

  14. Joe

    I’m thinking if Levine really did talk to Greg Maddux, he clearly missed the sarcasm. No way that’s happening.

  15. Eric

    I believe what Joe was after is that 4 year deal – regardless of the money. It gives him and his family some really nice security. After that 4 year stretch is over, he’ll hit the broadcast booth and kick back on easy street. Good for him.

    As far as Davey Martinez, count me in.

  16. ray

    Long time reader, first time poster. I was watching sportstalk Live last night. It is definitely worth seeing for the old rumor mill. Levine definitively said that he was told directly that Maddux wants to coach and that Cox WOULD be his bench coach. He said Mike Maddux as his pitching coach would be a dream scenario. Again, Levine said that Maddux told him directly that Cox would be the bench coach

    1. CubsFan4Life

      Thanks for the confirmation. I really hope Theo and Jed know about this.

      1. DarthHater


      2. frank

        I forget who (Kaplan?) said he spoke with Maddux directly–and Maddux has no interest in managing.

  17. SalukiHawk

    What if anything does it say about Acta that Renteria hasn’t even interviewed yet he may be the front-runner?

    1. King Jeff

      That there are a lot of rumors out there right now, and it’s probably only going to get worse.

      1. Blackhawks1963

        Disagree. It’s factually validated that Acta, Hinch, Renteria and now Davey Martinez have had or will have interviews with Theo and Jed. Personally, I’m not listening to the rumors…ONLY what is coming out of the Cubs right now. And right now, there are precisely 4 candidates. Maybe the list grows? I don’t know that until Theo and Jed give us information that says so, just like they did yesterday with Davey Martinez.

        1. King Jeff

          My response was in regards to Renteria being the frontrunner before he interviews. It’s pure speculation by someone at this point, and we’re only going to see more of it at the interview process goes on.

          1. Blackhawks1963

            My point was that there is no speculation on who has been interviewed or will be interviewed as of today. Fact are facts. Acta, Hinch, Renteria, Martinez have been tabbed by TheoJed. This isn’t rocket science. Maybe TheoJed add other names for consideration, but until they do so I’m not going to be lured into this Maddux thing or Ausmus thing etc.

  18. aCubsFan

    The Bruce Levine comments on Sports Talk Live wouldn’t surprise me since Levine has mentioned it before.

  19. Joker

    I’ve been banging the Dave Martinez drum for some time (as you all know). While all of you jumping on the bandwagon scares me, I’m sticking with it. At least until Darth or Jon starts agreeing.

  20. Jerry

    I understand what Girardi did from the business side but as a fan it makes me sick. Girardi should have known his family’s feelings about this going into the process. He simply played the Cubs off the Yankees to get a better deal from the Yankees. I have lost some respect for him because he let his agent to do that.

    I saw Levine tell Kaplan that Maddux scenario. Kap was incredulous.

    1. bbmoney

      I don’t understand why Girardi negotiating for a good deal makes you lose respect for him.

      It’s like people getting mad at Kris Bryant for getting as good a contract as possible from the Cubs after he got drafted.

      Why do people get mad about these things? I know I’d be looking to get the best deal out there. I sure do in my current life, I hope the rest of you are as well.

      1. Funn Dave

        I’m not upset with Joe for doing what’s best for himself and his family, but I can tell you fairly confidently that if I were a professional athlete or manager of Girardi’s stature, I would be satisfied with a salary of enough to live comfortably without being excessive. Wealth distribution is the single biggest problem facing this country, and I wish year after year that just one athlete would put his foot down and say, “I’m not going to take more than I need, and I hope some of my peers and MLB executives will do the same.” It probably wouldn’t play out that way, but it would get people talking about the excesses of the sports & entertainment industry.

        1. bbmoney

          Why would an athlete do that? So the vastly wealthier owner can make more money?

          You think the owner would really lower ticket prices or something of that nature?

        2. bbmoney

          I’d frankly be much more impressed of the athlete made every penny her or she could and then donated it all to charity.

          Either way I don’t understand losing respect for Girardi over this.

        3. Blackhawks1963

          Lets not devolve into a socialist political discussion please. Wealth distribution? Save it for political blogs you may participate in. The window for professional athletes and coaches to make money is very narrow. And last time I checked the United States of America was founded on the principles of the free enterprise system and the immutable laws of supply and demand. Girardi makes a lot of money because that is what the market will bear. If you find it so objectionable then maybe you should attempt to transfer your career to the field of big league managing.

          1. TWC

            “Save it for political blogs you may participate in.”

            Just make sure you get *your* political commentary in before you decide to close the discussion, okay? Oh, good. You did.

  21. arta

    Brett, Levine did say Cox told him personally that if Maddux got the job he’d be his bench coach.

  22. Funn Dave

    If we even give Ozzie so much as an interview, I’m renouncing my fanhood.

    1. Eric

      Bah. I wouldn’t like it but I’d cheer him and the Cubbies on as usual.

      1. Funn Dave

        Yeah, same here. Just being hyperbolic.

    2. TWC

      First time I read this I thought you wrote “manhood”. I was impressed — that’s hardcore.

      1. Funn Dave

        Hah. My manhood has already been lost to years of beration by Brewers, Card, and Sox fans.

  23. Steve

    If I were Ryne Sandberg and Tampa Bay coach Dave Martinez somehow winds up as the Cubs manager, I’d be awfully pissed off.

    1. Carew

      I wouldn’t be too upset. I’d be a manager by now.

  24. Brian Peters

    Suck Fandberg. Y’all are holding him up on that rusty-ass pedestal, and what’s it getting for you? If Sandberg were any kind of man, his wife wouldn’t have gone to Martinez in the first damn place.

  25. Kramden

    If Renteria becomes manager, does Rent-A-Center become a sponsor?

  26. BlameHendry

    It’s not that Girardi was the “end-all be-all” choice. It’s just that there are literally no other good, truly solid options (meaning anything better than Sveum) available right now. There’s nobody with anything close to a proven track record or the level of experience we need. Hinch? A joke. Acta? Another joke. Martinez and Renteria? Maybe neither of them is really a joke, but they still lack the experience and aren’t what we are looking for. Mike or Greg Maddux? It might sound exciting, but there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical about a pitcher or pitching coach turning into a great manager.

    I’d rather just promote David Bell to be a stop-gap manager for a couple years until the Cubs decide to take baseball seriously again.

  27. Rich

    Would anyone try an pry away Madden from Tampa if it meant a top prospect ?

    1. bbmoney

      I would not.

      1. Jon

        Here is what I would do. Maddon is signed through 2015. So if I was team “Theo” I would reach out to those backchannels and tell him not to sign any extension and the Cubs job will be his if he wants it, in 2016.

        1. On The Farm


    2. Brian Peters

      Maddon would not last a quarter of a season in Chicago. He’s got too much of a Joker personality. That would wear off pretty quick.

      1. Jon

        yeah, no

    3. On The Farm

      I don’t think a manager is worth a top prospect. They do have an influence on the game (lineups, bullpen management), but I don’t think a manager should warrant a organizational top ten…well maybe 29 teams organizational top ten, but the White Sox on the other hand would have to send one of their top ten. Their farm system is so bad!


    4. EQ76

      “Would anyone try an pry away Madden from Tampa if it meant a top prospect ?”
      -Yes, and his name was Chris Archer.

  28. YourResidentJag

    Good article on Girardi’s decision: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/62764236/

  29. ThereWillBeCubs


    Scroll to the audio feed and skip to around 11:40 for references to Maddux.

    1. DarthHater

      Thanks for the link. After listening, my considered opinion is that John Feinstein is an idiot.

  30. YourResidentJag
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