mike maddux cubsAlthough the Chicago Cubs have interviewed four (publicly-identified) candidates for their managerial vacancy – Manny Acta, A.J. Hinch, Rick Renteria and Dave Martinez – it would have been unwise to assume that, especially at a preliminary level, their list of candidates wasn’t much longer.

Indeed, with respect to coaches on teams that are/were still in the playoffs, the Cubs necessarily have to/had to wait until their team’s playoff run ended to even ask permission to talk to such coaches. That leaves open a number of possibilities, including popular Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo.

Lovullo, 48, managed in the minor leagues for a number of years after his playing career ended, most recently for Boston’s AAA squad. From there, he was plucked by John Farrell to serve as a coach on the Blue Jays in 2011 and 2012, and came over with Farrell to the Red Sox as a bench coach this past year.

According to Patrick Mooney, the Cubs are indeed interested in speaking with Lovullo about their managerial opening once the Red Sox’s run in the playoffs is complete. Based on Lovullo’s quotes in the piece, it sounds like he, too, would have interest in a shot at managing the Cubs.

Another coach who is back in the fold is only kind of a “new” name: it’s Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux. One of the top candidates for the job in 2011 before reportedly pulling out of consideration late in the process, Maddux was initially rumored as an obvious candidate this time around. Reports quickly shot down his candidacy, which didn’t make a ton of sense, unless the Cubs learned something about him in the intervening two years that knocked him back (or didn’t like the way he backed out last time, though there are no indications that was the case).

Now he’s back, according to a report from NBC Dallas, as well as from George Ofman. Each says the Cubs have now asked permission to speak to Maddux again about their opening, and I would assume it will not be withheld this time, just as it was not withheld last time.

The Cubs are clearly searching far and wide for the best fit at manager, and I see plenty of attractive candidates. In fact, based on the relatively limited information we have so far on the six named/hypothesized candidates, I’m not sure I’ve got a huge beef with any of them. Call that homerism if you like, but I call it a front office that is good at putting a candidate list together. Hopefully this time around, they find the right fit.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Lovullo would work. Guy is a hard ass, which should be the primary consideration in the job. The press has turned on the Cubs big time, need somebody who can blow through the negativity and get his team to do so also.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Frank44

    Brett: just for fun,no pressure. Who are your top three choices for cubs manager?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Noting that I know about 1% of what the Cubs know about these candidates, I’m liking Acta, Renteria, Martinez. I expect to like Lovullo more once he interviews (and a smidge more comes out on him), I did like Maddux quite a bit last time around. I don’t really have a problem with Hinch, either.

      • http://It'searly Mike F

        I understand where you are coming from, but I think our eyes are little more wide open on the front office. I’m still on board, just think I see feet of clay. That said the last two and Rentreria would be ok with me. I have mixed emotions about Martinez. Acta and Hinch I believe are poor fits here. If they got off to a bad start, and there’s very little to suggest they wouldn’t, the second guessing would be very dicey.

  • Die hard

    Do these candidates have significant or successful MLB mgr experience or significant and successful minor league mgr experience– ? Ozzie Guillen does

  • Eric

    Maddux is too much like Sveum in my opinion. Too old school. I still think Martinez wins this race.

    • YourResidentJag

      Because Francona wasn’t old school enough for Theo, right?

      • Eric

        Francona took directions from Theo and is not old school.

        • YourResidentJag

          Wrong. Francona is old school and listened to Theo about his sabr ideas. Way wrong!

          • Eric

            lol ok

            • YourResidentJag

              Lol yourself.

  • YourResidentJag

    Well, if Maddux is back in the fray…I’d have to say he’s tops for me. Especially with the mostly marginal SP the Cubs have in the minors.

  • Spoda17

    I like Maddux, but will pass. I think Martinez is the guy… cuz I was in the interviews of course.. HA!

  • DarthHater

    Maddux is fluent in Spanish, right?

    • Jed Jam Band

      I know what you’re getting at, but I’m pretty certain they said that would be a consideration for manager/coaches…so, hire Maddux and then likely bring on bilingual coaches.

      • DarthHater

        No, I’m serious. I think I read somewhere that he grew up in Spain and I’m wondering if somebody knows if he’s fluent.

        • Alex

          Your right darth, the maddux kids were born in Texas but moved to madrid, their father was stationed there. Between Texas and Madrid I’d have to assume they picked it up, at least some.

          • cubmig

            Yeah Alex, like: “Una cerveza, por favor.” –or– “¿Donde está el baño?”

            • Alex

              I mean it’s not far to think they learned the language of the country they lived in for years. Most people learn English when they come here do they not?

              • DarthHater

                Many immigrants to the U.S. learn English. But being a military family temporarily stationed in a country is different. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Maddux kids went to a school in Spain for British and American kids. On the other hand, it is my understanding that Kobe Bryant speaks good Italian.

                • themusicbox

                  Nearly every pmilitary base has a school on it. Note i say nearly. All permanant bases have schools. The Maddox boys may have never had to learn the language.

              • cubmig

                Exposure/immersion is the key Alex. The enclaves of ex-pats seem to exist as communities for the English speaking nowadays that one could live in a foreign land and not have to fully learn the language. Survival phrases—yes, but conversational? I have to wonder.

        • YourResidentJag


        • Hansman

          How well does Spain Spanish translate to Latin American Spanish?

          • DarthHater

            I suspect it gets you immediately perceived as a Conquistador. 😛

            • cubmig

              lol—–touché Darth. (Difference exist between Mexico’s v Spain’s spoken Spanish)

          • MichiganGoat

            It’s the same language but minor differences similar to English in England vs America. Same but with oddities in dialect, usage, spelling, and some grammatical changes

        • LakeviewBrian

          Maddux does speak Spanish regularly to his Ranger staff. I don’t know if he would self-proclaim fluency, but he more than gets by with his Spanish. There was a great article on espn.com about Spanish speaking coaches awhile back and Maddux was one that was referenced.

  • cubmig

    Two thongs come to mind in this search journey.

    1) The stakes for FO decison this time around are bigger. Their rep as leaders building a team and staff to develop players to content and win is on the line imho. The Sveum failure (especially preceded by the Quade experiment) has the spotlight on them. Initially, failure is seen at the bottom (player performance), but ultimately catches fire at the top. That’s where I, at least, see where we’re at.

    2) The search extension may say the FO may be thinking a long term hire, as opposed to the talk floated about an “interim” (2 yr?) manager who steps in as the fit to continue developing the up and coming talent. I realize that, if the interim approach is followed and is successful, that a contract extension becomes “the saving grace” available. And yet, it could just be that the FO people may be saying: If were going to invest time to get the best—and believe in our thoroughness in selecting—why hire out of doubt ( i.e., interim model)? Lets hire the man who we agree has the fit to begin and finish the job we seek.

    just my own thoughts.

    • DarthHater

      “Two thongs come to mind…”

      And they’re being worn by Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton.

      • Jed Jam Band


      • cubmig

        hmmmm…….on second thought Darth…….lol.

        • DarthHater

          That’s all I’m going to be able to think about now for the rest of the day, while I’m trying to work. Thanks a lot. 😛

      • Hansman

        Nah, Katy Perry and Kaley Cuoco

  • sven-erik312

    Brett, you want to know what being a homer is? I happened to watch a bit of one of the last Yankee games of the season. It was the Yanks broadcasters too. They were moaning about how bad the next few seasons were going to be like with all the retirements and and a depleted farm system. The clincher was when one of them said: “well, that’s the price of success”. What a crock. You know I’m not a Cardinal Fanboy, but I couln’t help but think that the Cards have been just as successful as the Yanks and look at how much better their farm system is. Now those guys were homers

  • cubmig

    LOL……^ ” things” NOT thongs!…….LOL!

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Many thongs come to mind!!!

  • Brains

    The Maddux brothers would make for a very interesting situation. Smart, talented guys with lots of respect and experience. It’s worth looking into. I have no idea who would want to come here anytime in the near future though. It would be at the risk of their reputation since they’ll have high expectations but be dealt a bad hand. So we’ll likely get a second-tier young and thirsty coach who may or may not work out. One that’s easy to fire and scapegoat for a lack of concerted effort on the part of the FO.

  • Eric T

    Coaches with mustaches historically do well in Chicago foolish not to hire Maddux

  • cubsklm

    As I stated weeks ago, the next Cub manager will be Torey Lovullo.

    For those of you who can’t pronounce his name, just remember it’s

    Torey Love-u-longtime

  • YourResidentJag

    According to MLB trade rumors, Astros may be players for Choo. Really?

    • DarthHater

      No, I think the guy just sneezed while he was writing about the Astros. 😛

      • YourResidentJag

        Yeah, I think he meant the Rays are players for Choo. :)

  • http://Bleachernation.com Frank44

    Thanks Brett,I’m not high on acta or Hinch but I’m ok with the other candidates. I think the front office will get it right. They know the organization inside and out and know exactly what they need in a manager.

  • jeff

    New manager, farm system… wait until 3015 and…all the usual Cubs B.S. Don’t you guys get tired .. rebuilding since 1908 ha ha .Meanwhile the Cardinals are NL champions again!
    Life is too short for one to be a Cub fan!

    • Jimmy James

      Hey, we’re fourth in nl World Series appearances, we ballers

  • Chris

    I can be criticized with homerism, as well, but I do have big beefs with both Acta and Hinch (which stem from Dave Kaplan’s reports), and, frankly, Renteria doesn’t thrill me.

    Dave Martinez, on the other hand, has been tutored under one of the best in the game. Joe Girardi was formerly tutored under one of the best in the game, Joe Torre, and he has had success. Joe Maddon was tutored under Mike Scioscia, and he has now had success. Fredi Gonzalez was tutored under Bobby Cox, and he has now had success. This is not a subtle trend.

    I’m also highly intrigued with Lovullo for the same reason, as I believe John Farrell is one of the game’s rising stars.

    And as for Mike Maddux – I think he’s probably my favorite for various reasons.

    Thank goodness the list has publicly expanded, because I was getting very nervous with only Acta, Hinch, and Renteria in the fold…

    • Jay

      I have no use for any of these good-old-boy network candidates from the Padres. I’d be fine with Martinez or Lovullo and really happy with Maddux.

      • Blackhawks1963

        The thing that is intriguing about Maddux is his success with pitching plus that he comes from the Ron Washington / Oakland As coaching tree. Wash was Billy Beane’s most trusted on field advisor before going to Texas. Some of that Billy Ball philosophy has surely rubbed off on Maddux. And aligns very well with how Theo and Jed think.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Frank44

    I wasn’t high on Renteria at first but the more I hear about him the more I like. I’m intrigued by lovullo as well. I think Martinez would be good if it weren’t for some personal issues from when he played here. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not judging him. People change and we all have done things in the past that we aren’t proud of. I just think it might be too much of a distraction.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Martinez might be to old school for the Cubs. He’s a lot more like Sandberg in this regard versus the other candidates on the table right now. P

    • Hansman

      So who in the cubs organization is still around 20+ years later that will be so grossly offended by him?

  • http://Yotes Blackhawks1963

    The Cubs are in the odd spot of killing time until the World Series is over in order to interview Torey Luvollo. I am going to guess he is the odds in favorite to get the job unless he totally fails the interview process, which he probably won’t because Theo and Jed already know him well enough. Maddux is the wildcard. And if Luvollo doesn’t make it, then I suspect the fallback position is Renteria.

    • Joe

      What makes you assume they know each other well? Is it because Lovullo worked in the minors for Boston for one year under Theo? I wouldn’t say they are best buddies just because of that.

    • cubmig

      What’s with the RedSox connection “thingy”. I know Theo is knowledgeable about that org, but—-doesn’t that strike anyone as playing it safe? I.e., go with what/who you know rather than risk what the data on others is challenging? I hope the evaluation process is one inviting a healthy tension of differing views and not just knuckling under what the “wheel” says or wants. I say that not to presume that that’s what is going on, but rather to acknowledge that biases should not be imbued with any kind of preferential weight. The strength of the best argument should dictate the course of action arrived at.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Frank44

    No players or coaches are around but thousands of fans and some media are. Sandberg was and still is a beloved person too millions of cub fans and it could be considered an insult to him as well as a PR nightmare. I don’t think that is Theo’s intention but it could be the result.

  • Die hard

    Nick Leyva

  • North Side Irish

    Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) tweeted at 1:09 PM on Sat, Oct 19, 2013:
    The support for Rick Renteria is staggering and he has emerged as clear cut favorite to be #Cubs manager

    Considering the source, I would say Renteria is no longer being considered.

    • DarthHater


  • True(ly) Blue

    I blame the Bears for Svuems firing. My buddy and I were laughing after watching an interview with Tresman followed by an interview with Svuem. This was while the seasons were intersecting. Tresman was articulate and erudite and Svuem was, well he was Svuem. Interesting as one thinks of football as blood and guts while baseball as more cerebral. I know who I would think was more able to communicate with players and press. Glad he’s gone!

  • Jono

    I don’t think we know that hiring sveum was a mistake. If they’re changing strategies this offseason, it makes sense to get a manager to fit that strategy. Sveum may have been the right guy for what they wanted to do the last two years. He may have been the right guy to let the FO micromanage the team to aid the rebuild. Now, they might not need to micromanage as much as they need ti develop. The strategy may have changed from micromanaging a rebuild to developing young talent. If that’s correct, then sveum may not have been a mistake for 2012 and 2013, but he would’ve been a mistake to.keep going foward

  • Josh

    Personally I would like it to be Maddux. But I will be happy with whatever decision the front office makes. I just hope this won’t be our biggest move of the offseason. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Olt situation plays out in spring training. I would love to see him win the job. I don’t think it would be a big deal as Bryant is projected to play RF in the majors anyway, and Baez has the ability to play 2B or SS. I mean IF they all pan out(which is about a 10% chance) Olt has a higher defense rating than the others (at least at MLB.com) so I think it would be wise to keep him there

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    You’re over-thinkubg at best. I wouldn’t have fired Sveum, but clearly they thought he was a mistake. It’s not that complicated that you have to hire people for different phases and if it was the approach would be the same for your whole structure. Oh yeah, wasn’t that what we were looking to rebuild. Look at St.Louis, in the time we have gone through dozens of managers they have had 3. You always strive for stability and builders who leave a footprint for success.

    • Jono

      Its a pretty simple idea. Get the right guy for the job. Hoyer already talked about shifting strategies this offseason. Different approaches, different managers. Maybe the guys who they wanted for this next approach wouldn’t let the FO micromanage, hence why Maddux took himself out

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    It is wrong, sorry and it is silly. Castro is excused constantly because he has had so much disruption on coaching 4 years. No team that is worth any thing or organization doesn’t strive for continuity. The last thing the Chicago Cubs need is a carousel of managers. Isn’t that exactly what we have always done? You hire a manager for all seasons.

    • Jono

      No one is saying they’re going to switch strategies every 2 or 3 years. And they obviously tried hiring Maddux last time around. They did try hiring the type of manager last time for this next approach. But maybe those kinds.of.managers wouldn’t let the FO micromanage the team. They didn’t reject Maddux, Maddux rejected them

      • Jono

        “Tried hiring” as in interviewing. No one knows if they offered anyone else the job before sveum. And I think the stability argument can be taken too far. Of course stability is a good thing, but what’s even better is having the right guy. There’s no sense in not having the right manager just bc stability is good

        • http://It'searly Mike F

          It is a semantic argument as the whole concept of the right guy where the right guy changes according to a roster. Part of a good manager is to be able to get everything out of all types.

          I think I agree with your point though about them wanting to hire someone who lets them micromanage. I am not a big believer in that being all that good, but think that plays into this.

          As to continuity, we as Cub fans keep looking at organizations that place a premium on it, but wouldn’t know much about it as we have never had much.

          • Jono

            We certainly haven’t had much stability. That would significantly reduce Brett’s clicks, though. He must love turnover

            • http://It'searly Mike F

              adds spice, I guess if you can’t have winning…..

              And I think there is something kind of intriguing to the last two and Renteria. He reminds me of a well behaved Earl Weaver at least facially. and that wouldn’t be bad.

  • IndyCubsFan

    NBC Sports just blabbed that Renteria is the favorite too

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I find it very difficult to be interested in who the Cubs get to be manager because we really don’t have much tangible evidence of their qualities on the internet. Other than knowing that some speak spanish, and that Hernandez is great with the chicks, I find it to be pretty worthless trying to debate who’s better. I believe the right manager is very valuable, but won’t really know if they did well when one is named.

    At least with player postings we have a chance to watch them, study their performance and make intelligent (sometimes) comments.

    • Jono

      Dont worry. Brett said/wrote that he’ll do 7 hour interviews with each candidate. Im expecting the results any now 😉

    • DarthHater
      • Eternal Pessimist

        Great Episode!

  • macpete22

    Dodgers offered Kershaw 300 MILLION…Holy crap

    • Jon

      Wow 300 million for shitting the bed in the most important game of the year

      • caryatid62

        This comment is everything that’s wrong with sports fans.

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