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.)
  • YourResidentJag

    Hey Levine…drugs are bad. Hm’kay. David Kaplan ‏@thekapman 5m
    So I checked in w/Greg Maddux to see if he is interested in the Cubs job? “No thank you. I want to have time to be with family in summer.”

  • jeff

    I think this is a good thing that the cubs didn’t get Girardi. I read some articles stating and I believe it to be true that it was a stunt by ownership to put fans in the seats while still keeping a low payroll. Girardi is a damn good manager that I wanted some years back to be coaching the Cubs.

    Right now I think we can all see that until ownership pays off it’s own debt its going to try to pull stunts like this to put fans in the seats. Same as they did when they overpaid for Epstein who has absolutely no experience as President of operations let alone being a GM who has built a team from the ground up with a low payroll.

    Fans seem to forget this guy had the 2nd highest payroll in baseball with Boston when they won both times. And don’t tell me money doesn’t buy championships just look at the Dodgers on a way to a well bought first one.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Maybe Epstein didn’t have prior experience with winning with a low payroll, but he did have the Rays in his division and I’m sure he studied teams like the Rays, the world series Marlins teams and Billy Beanes A’s.

      • Reality Check

        so we hired Theo cuz he “studied” the a/s and ray’s?

        your kidding right?

        theo had lucchino helping him in boston, duquette left a 93 win team, and 2 of his best hitters were cheaters in many and oritz.

        renteria is better than sandberg how? no MLB experience.
        aj hinch was a clown act in Arizona.
        acta has a losing w-l record and both the nats and Indians went in different directions when the team got good.
        if this job is so plus with the farm system as theo says plus all the monies to spend in the next 2 years (they get 25M more in 2014 from national tv package; yet payroll is going to drop again………) why are the only candidates having losing records and no expierence as managers………….??

        time to act like a large market team…………and stop accepting “has beens” as OK just because theo hired them………..theo has done nothing as a cub prez; 2 horrid records. 1 bad mgr hire. 80 M wasted on likes of baker, stewart, Jackson, Fuji, hairston.

        what have you done for me lately thoyer?

        entering 106 yrs and counting………..

        • X The Cubs Fan

          What has Theo done lately besides give us a top three farm system, a top ten 1B, a hope for the future and alot of trade pieces to play with. Also these guys are smart enough to know no matter who they pick for a manager they’ll be able to be at least an adequate manager.

          • Aisle 19

            In whose universe is Rizzo a top 10 first baseman?

      • Thom

        People ask me if I was the class clown and I say no…no…but I sat next to the class clown…


  • WaitTillLastYear

    Lets not forget about Tim Bogar. He was at the top of many prospective managerial lists until he was stuck riding Bobby Valentine’s sinking ship in Boston. He is only 46 years old and has strong ties to Epstein and Hoyer. He managed the Angels AA team (Arkansas Travelers) to a 40-30 record this year.

  • TSB

    I hope that the front office isn’t making the assumption that if the manager speaks Spanish, he will automatically relate with the Spanish-speaking players. One would not make the assumption that the English speaking players will get along and respect a manager as long as he also speaks the queen’s English, so why make the somewhat condescending assumption?

    • CubsFaninMS

      I would say it’s more “ethnocentric” than “condescending”. We’re all stuck in our little cultural bubble to some degree.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      It’s not an issue of relating: it’s an issue of communication. Things simply get lost in assumption when you use a translator.

  • (Not) David Kaplan

    Gotta love the internet “tough guys”

    I was citing a “report” by Levine that suggested Maddux really wanted the gig

    to be sure, I then followed up with Greg, and clarified and reported it.

    Many of you are just jealous I have contacts(see Greg) and can get the correct info.

    Like I said, internet tough guys.

    [Ed. – Do not impersonate other people.]

    • Randy

      like this

    • YourResidentJag

      That being said, I still don’t like your producer. 😉

    • Jono

      either way, who cares? People just like complaining about shit. At least it was a little excitement

    • mjhurdle

      This might be the first time i have seen an “internet tough guy” and a “most of you are just jealous” in the same post without there also being a couple “haters” and the odd ‘lol’ thrown in to complete the rant.

      • YourResidentJag

        Oh, you’re jealous of his sources. Admit it. :)

        • mjhurdle

          dam, you are onto me! :)

  • jim

    Kaplan is so funny! I miss chuck swirsky.

  • jaslhill

    *Cue fake Chuck Swirsky*

    Kap’s too busy to be commenting on BN “tough guys”.

    • YourResidentJag

      Yeah, it’s a wonder he has time to do that show he does on TV.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No. He isn’t. Fake people being fake.

      • Jono

        How do we know that you’re the real Brett?

        • jaslhill

          How do I know that blonde at the top of my screen is really single and christian?

          • DocPeterWimsey

            I’d pay $5 to answer “no” and make that ad go away…..

  • Oswego Chris

    Brett, that picture of Ozzie is awesome

  • Die hard

    Ozzie may be the only one with significant mgr experience who speaks Spanish and who had a decent playing career with success as player and mgr who would want to manage under Theo et al— did all youse know it alls ever tink about dat?

  • Josh

    That would be such a fantastic coaching staff in the Maddux scenario. Tell him he can spend time with his family all winter buy him a place somewhere warm

  • BettingMan

    Despite the fact that Bogar hasn’t been mentioned by the Chicago media he is the “dark horse” that has a one in four chance of being hired despite going off at 40 to 1. In addition to his connection to Epstein & Hoyer he played baseball at Buffalo Grove High School & Eastern Illinois University. Prior to the 2012 season the Red Sox convinced him to stay on the coaching staff as their bench coach, hoping that he would be a liaison between Valentine and the players. He is definitely the “love before tough love” type coach. Valentine managed to have him thrown under the bus with everyone else involved by attempting to deflect his own communication flaws as somebody else’s problems. Valentine blamed the disastrous 2012 Red Sox season on his coaching staff for undermining him. Bogar had no choice but to take a step back (to manage at AA) for a year. If Bogar hadn’t been involved with Valentine in Boston he would be a favorite to get the Cubs job currently. I suppose a positive way to look at his resume is that he learned how NOT to manage in the big leagues from Bobby V.

  • hutch

    I have a feeling this managerial search is going to be horribly unfulfilling. Besides davy Martinez I don’t like any of these managers. When have any of these candidates besides davy ever won anything. The padres haven’t been good in 20 years and were interviewing 2 from their system. What big time prospect has come out of their system in the last 10 years>

  • Patrick G

    Is it possible that Mattingly gets a shot if his option is not picked up? I would think there’s a 99% chance it does, but I’ve read that it’s odd LA hasn’t exercised the option yet. I guess they’re waiting to see how far he goes?

  • Aaron

    The next Cubs manager will be another “transitional one” that will bridge where we are today and when the team is ready to contend, which may be after 3 seasons.

    The key component is the next manager to bring energy, enthusiasm and the ability to work with younger players in their development. This means that the next manager will more than likely not be the one in place when the Cubs are in contention to win the division, National League crown or World Series.

    I’m sure there will be some quality managerial candidates available when that time comes.

  • JulioZuleta

    Don’t forget the 18 games Martinez played for the Cubs in 2000.

  • Brains

    How about Sammy Sosa for player/manager?

    • Jamie

      How about Lynn McGlothen for the job? I know…he’s dead. Just as is Sammy’s relevance to the 2014 Cubs.

  • Bill189

    If Theo/Hoyer are looking for a publicity stunt, hire Ozzie. I’d pay $ to watch him and his antics.

    • Die hard

      Get on board …train is revving its engine.. May be best move Ricketts makes —- sure he’s fiery but so was Martin and Durocher both of whom won and filled the stands

  • Jason P

    Don’t know if this has been posted/mentioned yet, but Keith Law posted his observations on AFL prospects:

    “Moving on to hitters, the Cubs’ trio of impact hitting prospects all looked good on Tuesday and then went off at home on Wednesday afternoon. (I was only at the Tuesday game, but was at another game on Wednesday.) Jorge Soler has filled out significantly since I last saw him in late 2012, now making louder contact during a very impressive BP, but looked rusty at the plate in that first game.

    Kris Bryant also looked strong in BP with plus-plus raw power and had no problem handling bigger velocity on Tuesday, squaring up a 97 mph fastball for a hard-hit single. Albert Almora had the game of the Fall League so far on Wednesday, falling a triple short of the cycle, and has filled out nicely as well since he first signed after the 2012 draft.”

    • jaslhill


    • CubsFaninMS

      I would like this article with some fava beans and a glass of warm chianti. lol I don’t expect anyone to recognize the reference but couldn’t help myself.

      • CubsFaninMS

        *I would like this comment…

      • bbmoney

        Why do you think no one would get that reference?

  • Aaron

    Looking for a professional, clean-shaving manager who can help our younger players succeed at the major league level without stern lectures, blank stares and mis-communication skills.

    • Jamie

      beautiful! You just described a Playboy Playmate until the blank stares and the comm skills. :^)

  • Rebuilding

    Time to float a rumor that you’ll pay Maddon $7 million a year. That’s just a couple more than we paid Scott Baker this year

    • YourResidentJag

      As long as you’re willing to trade someone like Almora.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      It would never be that good of a prospect.

  • Die hard

    Blanco could be hired as pitching coach– a catcher coaching pitchers makes more sense since they know how to get the most out of them especially Blanco who was excellent receiver

  • iowahawks

    I think ron warner would be a good choice. Idk if he is even on the fo minds or if he would even want to come. He lacks major league experiance but is great at developing talent.

  • Aaron

    With all the home run hitters we’ll have in the lineup in the next 4 years…we should consider doing something to “shorten the outfield” walls. We all know they’re brick but there are those baskets, which were installed in 1970. Those baskets reduce the distance to hit a home run by three feet. Maybe we extend those baskets another 3 feet?

    Wrigley Field needs to offer the home team an advantage for playing there. Right now there really isn’t one. Any more ideas out there?

    • Die hard

      Jumbotron to cut down wind blowing in 50-60 games which is why pushing for it and signing Bryant which was discussed here way back before Bryant signed

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        Too hard to say… I remember an SI (I think) article from probably 20 years ago or more looking into why Fenway homers were way down. After studying it, scientists decided that a recent press box addition did something strange. Wind coming into the ballpark, because of the press box, was twisting into a vortex that knocked balls down. This caused more deep flies to be caught for outs rather than going for homers. Ballpark additions can be unpredictable, but there’s little doubt Wrigley will play differently

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      The Royals used to have a fence they could put further away or closer in depending on the team coming in to play…

  • Aaron

    Yes…other than getting better hitters.

  • Cheese Chad

    Just read this on deadspin. Finally a media source badmouthing the Cardinals. http://deadspin.com/why-your-cardinals-suck-1443513646

  • Eric

    Dave Martinez checks more boxes than Acta does.

  • sans

    1.) Shouldn’t we monitor Theo’s next selection as manager with an incredulous eye, since Theo has already fired the first manager he’s hired since joining the Cubs? <~ Rhetorical

    2.) Why is anyone giving credence to the idea that a Spanish-speaking manager is a priority, because communicating with Latin players is so important? Last I checked, many successful managers in baseball who don't speak Spanish, communicate just fine with Latin players – and Latin players have flourished in the majors. Learning English would prove to be a great asset to them, anyway. Besides, it's only a few players.

    3.) For anyone who is justly confused as to why Manny Acta – a coach who's been fired twice and has never resided over a winning team – is being considered as manager: Sabermetrics. Sabermetrics people love him – and they look past his failures as a manager.

  • Chase S.

    I say we reanimate Walter Mathau. He seems alright with player development. He took a lousy team and got them to the ship against the Yankees.

    “Hey Buttermaker, maybe next spring you teach me how to hit.”
    -Darwin Barney

  • Rizzomaniac

    For a front office who refused to interview Sandberg for lack of manager experience, they sure seem to like a lot of guys with little to no manager experience?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      On Sandberg, it wasn’t lack of “manager” experience, it was lack of managerial OR coaching experience at the big league level. All of the current candidates at least meet that standard.

      • MichiganGoat

        That and avoiding the nightmare of Sandberg struggling through the rebuild (see Sveum and any coach that would have had this job the last few years) and the posdibility of getting fired and the backlash that would cause.

  • Rich

    IS there really a difference of coaching at AAA vs. MLB? Just better players to manage. Obviously there must be as not a lot of managers rising through the ranks.

    • bbmoney

      More pressure, bigger egos to deal with, lots more media stuff.

      Tactically it’s probably pretty similar, but that’s just one part of being an MLB manager.

    • Jamie

      More fuzzy and menacing mascots to avoid between innings at AAA.
      Beware the ATV racing around the warning track at AAA.
      Health/life insurance policies are inevitably higher for AAA managers, for many reasons…these two among them.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Very different. Not only different roster composition, but far more personalities to manage, and different in-game/out-of-game development directives. In the minors, you aren’t just managing to win the game. In the Majors, that becomes a huge part of what you do.

      • iowahawks

        What about a minor league manager who has won and a history of helping developt talent like ron warner?

    • college_of_coaches

      I remember hearing Bob Brenly talk about this. I can’t remember the specific examples, but he essentially said that much of the in-game decisions are controlled by the major league team. In other words, a manager might have to remove a starting pitcher after the third inning, regardless of the score or how well he is pitching.