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eric wedge mustacheThe search continues …

  • The Cubs have interviewed former manager Eric Wedge for their open position, according to Peter Gammons, speaking this morning on Mully and Hanley. I’ll dig into Wedge a bit more if there’s some confirmation out there, but, for now, I think he’s not the kind of guy that gets folks too excited … but he’s not a bad candidate. Despite being just 45, Wedge has a great deal of managerial experience, having managed seven mixed years in Cleveland in the 2000s (remember, there’s a lot of front office overlap between the Indians in that time period and the Red Sox, Padres, and Diamondbacks, from whence the Cubs’ front office largely came). He also managed three down years for the Mariners, include 2013. He didn’t have much of a roster over that time period, and he declined to return for 2014, although he was reportedly asked to stay on. Wedge is perhaps best known around these parts as the manager who said silly things about sabermetrics, but, if he’s being considered by this front office, I’m going to assume he didn’t quite mean his remarks like they sounded. (Indeed, he probably simply meant that, sometimes, players get a little too into their own head at the plate because of the things organizations ask them to do, as a result of sabermetric analysis.)
  • Wedge, it’s worth noting, was actually interviewed by the Cubs for their open managerial spot before the 2011 season (the job went to Mike Quade). It’s also worth noting that it’s OK if the Cubs want Wedge solely for his badass mustache.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer reports that the Cubs’ managerial search list is seven deep, with only Manny Acta, A.J. Hinch, Rick Renteria, Dave Martinez, and Torey Lovullo as the known names. That means, yes, two mystery candidates (one of which is probably Wedge, given the above Gammons report). Wittenmyer says those two do not include Mike Maddux, Sandy Alomar, Don Mattingly, Jim Leyland, or Jose Oquendo. Patrick Mooney adds that the list also doesn’t include Tony Pena, Jason Varitek, DeMarlo Hale, Dave Magadan, or Chip Hale.
  • UPDATE as I type: sure enough, Wittenmyer confirms that Wedge is the sixth candidate, and the Cubs have spoken with him. A formal interview is forthcoming as soon as next week.
  • Speaking of Mattingly, despite all of the chill of the past week, he’s reportedly returning to the Dodgers next year. What an uncomfortable situation. Good thing the team is successful and expensive.
  • The Cubs are officially now not the only team talking to Rick Renteria, a reported favorite for the Cubs gig: yesterday, the Padres’ bench coach met with the Mariners about their open managerial position. If the Mariners decide to act quickly and make an offer to Renteria, the Cubs may be in a bit of a sticky situation as they (reportedly) wait to make a decision until after they’ve had a chance to talk to Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo. The Mariners, for their part, are also reportedly considering the guy the Cubs don’t seem to be ready to consider, Brad Ausmus.
  • Jesse Rogers hears from many folks that A.J. Hinch should not be the guy for the Cubs’ gig.
  • Folks sure are trying to push the Ozzie Guillen thing. Despite no indications whatsoever from the Cubs that they would actually consider bringing Guillen – and all that accompanies him – into the fold, the Tribune reports that Guillen would gladly return to baseball as a coach … but only with the Cubs. Guillen says there would be no worries about the manager looking over his shoulder, since Guillen already has his money, and would come back to coach only if that’s actually what he wanted to do. Speaking as a person who is charged with writing about the Cubs every day, I say, hell yeah, bring Ozzie on! But speaking as a fan of the organization and the team, and thinking about what’s best going forward, I’m not sure Guillen, in any capacity, is a good fit.
  • The Nationals are set to hire Matt Williams for their open job, per Ken Rosenthal. Unless he was a mystery candidate, Williams wasn’t in the mix for the Cubs, so there’s only a positive impact here.
  • Mrs. Howell

    Fictional character manager, Jesse Pinkman…bitch!

  • Brian Peters

    Lt. Col. Frank Slade. HOOOOOOOAHHHHHHH

  • carklos

    Fasrball; Very well said! Could not have been better said by myself. OZZIE….OZZIE….OZZIE..

  • Required

    Has anyone considered Micheal Jeffery Jordan yet? His love for winning has to rub off on some of the team.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      I’ve seen his FO/managerial work. El Paso!

      (He’s knocking boots with his new wife anyways…)

    • X The Cubs Fan

      “Love for winning”… The NBA draft lottery. Go Bobcats!!!

  • CF

    As a Seattleite who’s watched a lot of Mariners games under Wedge, I would be shocked if it’s he’s chosen. Although I love the mustache, his player development has been atrocious. Consider that Wedge has been managing a Mariners team for the past few years that had 3 top 20 positional prospects (Ackley, Montero, Smoak), all of whom have flopped in a bad way at the big league level. Ackley was the top college hitter in the draft, picked behind Strasburg, and has regressed badly under Wedge. Montero possibly regressed due to a newfound lack of PEDs, but he was a guy billed as having a Manny Ramirez ceiling when he was in the minors. This year he hit below .200 and was sent down to the minors prior to his 50-game suspension. Smoak was once the centerpiece of the Cliff Lee trade as a power-hitting 1B and has frequently been closer to Darwin Barney than to any decent power-hitting 1B. The M’s also have a couple of other top 100 positional prospects who have recently come up and taken a step backwards.

    I also wouldn’t be overly concerned about anyone the Cubs are seriously considering accepting the Mariners job without first hearing from the Cubs that they’re out. Zdurencik, the M’s GM, is in the last year of his deal and is likely to be gone after next season. Thus, the M’s new coach has a pretty good chance of only lasting one year.

    • Idaho Razorback

      Spot on!

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Maybe Seattle (and BA, sacrilege) are not as good at their evaluations of talent as one would hope.

      Wedge did better in Cleveland no doubt. So Seattle – wasn’t his cup of coffee!

      Who knows all the differences between the two FOs and their adoption or skewering of sabermetrics.

      But will see. [img]http://media.theonion.com/images/articles/article/560/Starbucks-logo_jpg_250x1000_q85.jpg[/img]

    • Patrick W.

      As a fellow Seattleite who has seen a lot of Mariners game, I think it’s not necessarily fair to judge Wedge on the production of Ackley, Montero and Smoak (ATTYs at Law). Jack Z. built a roster of 5 starting pitchers, 7 bullpen pitchers, 1 shortstop, 1 thirdbaseman, 1 outfielder, 1 catcher and 9 1B/DH types, 3 of which are the aforementioned prospects. Kind of hard to develop a guy if you have to play them out of position or give them two days off every week.

  • CubsFanMike

    [img]http://www.conservative21.net/Media/BlogImages/R_LEE_ERMY.jpg[/img]

    • CubsFanMike

      Now we can start winning

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      You will not laugh. You will not cry. You will learn by the numbers, I WILL TEACH YOU!

    • DarthHater

      “What’s your name, fat body?”

      “Sir, Daniel Vogelbach, sir!”

      “Vogelbach? What kinda name is Vogelbach? It’s not American, is it?”

      “Sir, yes, sir!”

      “I don’t like the name Vogelbach. From now on, your Adipose Rex.”

      “Sir, yes, sir!”

      • http://Bleachernation Glenallen

        “& are you allowed jelly donuts?? No because you are a disgusting fat body!”

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Leaving aside his frustration-driven comments on sabermetrics, Eric Wedge does seem to be a candidate that is worth considering.

    Mid-market (Seattle & Cleveland) payroll. Lots of young talent that sometimes makes it, other times, a bust. (Cleveland – 2007 team – had 21-yr old Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Franklin Gutierrez, Edward Mujica and Grady Sizemore)

    Luis Valbuena knows him a bit too.

    If they interviewed him, they must seem something – or know something about their offseason plans – that makes him a plausible.

    Grady Sizemore is FA; Franklin Gutierrez is unlikely to be renewed. Shin is the marquee guy…. So, if you buy in at all to managers like certain guys, or players play better for certain managers, Wedge is certainly a consideration.

    Eric Bedard – as a scrap heap SP would be familiar with Wedge. http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.aspx?playerid=126&position=P&pitch=FA

    At 45, he has more managerial experience than all the other candidates put together. And has gotten closer to a WS (Boston 2007) than any of the other candidates. He runs batting cages in Boston, so, he comes with some FO ties, I’d presume.

    • Idaho Razorback

      Holy S#*t! You nailed it. Luis Valbuena knows him. Why haven’t we hired him yet?

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Seeing he was about 23 when playing under Wedge, it goes against the narrative that he doesn’t develop talent at all. Since: we have Mr. Valbuena stuck on our roster, it reflects that Luis’s MLB career did not evaporate under the tutelage or haphazard care of one said Eric Wedge.

        • Edwin

          It kind of did, though. The Cubs got Valbuena off the scrap heap, and it wasn’t until coming to the Cubs that Valbuena actually started playing like a legit player. Even now, he’s probably more of a bench/platoon player.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            That’s not completely accurate. In 2009, he batted 398 times, the most of his MLB career at 23. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/v/valbulu01.shtml

            Wedge was gone after 2009 from Managing. Luis stayed in Cleveland

            The biggest difference in 2013: Valbuena is his BB%, it is nearly double that of 2009. 23 year olds can still improve their walk rates as they learn pitching, and settle down.

            But yes, he’s a role player. What I am driving at is, Luis is still an MLB player. Wedge played him more than most would have. Therefore, he does not squelch youth development for favoring vets, per say – at least not in this case. He’ll play a guy, even more than his STATS would ‘project’ to do so.

            Lastly, I see Valbuena’s inclusion struck some nerve with you two. Why?

            • Edwin

              It’s not a big deal. I just don’t think of Luis Valbuena as supporting your argument about Wedge “developing” players. Valbuena may have played a lot for Wedge, but he certainly didn’t play well at all. He didn’t develope into a useful player until well after Wedge.

              Plus, If anything, I would think giving a player like Valbuena that many at bats, when Valbuena was clearly struggling, would be a mark against Wedge.

              • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

                Well, I am sure Theo (being the GM of Boston then) knows quite a bit more about the travails of Wedge and Valbuena than our non-industry minds can conclude.

                If he’s interviewing, because we are NOT lacking candidates, it means they see something, know something about him. Or they like frequent flier miles…

                I just put Valbuena in there as a 23-year old rookie, in essence, who came from Seattle to Cleveland in a huge trade. Not a highly rate prospect, none that I’ve seen, that, has stuck in the bigs.

                Again, the focus was not on Valbuena. (One very short sentence.)

                But I was wrong. I am not perfect.

                Wedge is not the worst idea. We have done worse in Chicago…and the wheels have spun on.

                That’s all.

        • Idaho Razorback

          You win Powers. I’ve had too many Natty Ice’s. Bed time for me as I work graveyard. Bottom line, Wedge is not our guy.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            I did graveyard for 7 years. I feel ya.

            Not about winning, by how you play the game!

            (Wedgy is unlikely. But they thought to interview. Frequent flier miles accumulation.)

    • Napercal

      Wedge only makes sense if the Cubs want a place on the Chicago Coaching Mustache Mount Rushmore beside Ditka and Quenville.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Familiarity breeding contempt….???

  • carklos

    There is only one legit man for cubs manager… OZZIE! The balance of the folks the FO is looking at don’t even come close to the great OZZIE.
    Martnez, Wedge, are just sevum clones. Renitera would spend the entire game checking to see if his pants are tight enough. Luville is the super stone face and sure could not connect with the spanish players. So again… come on lets get on the OZZIE band wagon and start to win some games and fill those ballpark seats, OZZIE…OZZIE….OZZIE.

    • cubmig

      OZZIE—SHhNOZZIE…………..No.

  • CubChymyst

    I’d like to see the Cubs at least interview Asmus. I know they want a guy with managerial experience but I haven’t seen anything suggesting he’d be a bad pick. It be nice to see them expand their search criteria a bit this time to make sure they don’t miss a diamond in the rough. Even if Asmus isn’t picked interviewing him would show that they are checking under every stone. Admittedly, they know a lot I don’t so there could also be a reason not to interview Asmus that I have not seen.

    • Blackout

      I agree, at least interview Brad.

  • Kev

    Wedge is my favorite managerial candidate right now, and its solely because of his mustache. Let me explain why:

    [img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_uLEl_Km4s5c/TVAGXGAXr9I/AAAAAAAAAaA/vREnbQEfQjs/s400/Mike+Ditka+Mustache.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_9Qbb8Q_qcLE/TLYEUPeiMHI/AAAAAAAAABE/cwSDIP8vRX4/s1600/Phil+Jackson.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://sortingbyteams.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/1993topps-ozzieguillen.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://defeatingboredom.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/quin.jpg[/img]

    See a pattern???

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Sign me up for the Stache equals Championships Fan Club!
      Chairman & President – Phli
      COO – DIKTA!
      CIO aka CBSO – Ozzie
      CTO – Quenneville

    • B_Scwared

      …and bonus points for a resemblance to Ron “You had me at meat tornado” Swanson.

  • BigSmokeJ

    If I’m Theo – Hoyer sure I bring Ozzie in for an interview. What does it hurt? For all we/they know he’s the right guy for the job. Hear what he has to say and if it’s not what you want to hear then cross him off this list, but to not even consider him is short sided.

    • Edwin

      If they already know that they don’t want him, then it’d be a waste of his time, and of their time. Same reason why they don’t bring in Joe Torre, Bob Brenly, or Tony LaRussa.

  • Kevin

    Is there a baseball coaching academy? If one exists, couldn’t the FO check if a recent graduate meets all the criteria?

  • BigSmokeJ

    Well those guys haven’t said they wanted to manage the team, but having said that they can put feelers out to see if they would consider it.
    To say they don’t want him is the wrong attitude to have as a manager/leader. You look at everyone especially those you don’t think will work. Because that is how organizations/companies build success. Not by picking yes women/men. And time is all they have and if they have that attitude then they are doomed to fail.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      This is true.

      A certain level of disagreement or differing opinion is needed to be successful. That said, too much obviously does not work.

      My uneducated opinion: Ozzie, Joe Torre, Bob Brenly, and LaRussa, do tend to bring “baggage” that is well known in the inner circles, aside from what are public statements. How much that is – aside again from public revelations – crafts their interviewing process.

      Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Cubs HQ.

  • Die hard

    A search without Ozzie is like a day without sunshine

  • BigSmokeJ

    What does it hurt to talk to him? Time! Hell they have lots of that. If you find him to still be an A$$ then say thanks and move on. All I’m saying is to not even consider him because of the past is stupid and short sided.
    The questions you ask will determine if he is your guy. If he answer’s them in a way that you can’t work with him or doesn’t get you to thinking, ok all you have wasted is some time.

    But what if he is that guy and if you never took the time to talk to him you would never know.

    • Edwin

      Time is valuable, and it makes no sense to waste it on interviewing a candidate that they seem to have no interest in interviewing.

      • Funn Dave

        Yeah, every day we spend interviewing candidates in whom we’re not really interested is a day other teams have to sign the managers we do want.

  • Crazyhorse

    OZZIE. has to be one of the most overrated, hyped delusional bi-polar fan manager candidate For the Cubs. The amount of talent the Whites Sox bought and claimed and its sound pitching staff, Ozzie celebrated his first series title being the jefe (slang) yet his self serving personality compounded by his outspoken family was a readers delight that put serious thought into ozzies sanity at times and my own thought process. He was terrible yet fun to read about. The Sox should have won more games and a World Series title or two but ozzie was ozzie.

    I would just, laugh if the Cubs sign him

  • Patrick W.

    I will be very surprised if Eric Wedge is not managing in MLB next season.

    The Cubs interest and interview probably bought him an interview in Detroit.

    • YourResidentJag

      Maybe. Who knows about the Tigers interest in Riggelman, though.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Frank44

    They won’t interview asmus,Oquendo or Pena but they are interviewing this clown? Interview Ozzie,I don’t like him but he’s been out of work for a while. Maybe he’s ready to shut up and prove he can still manage.

  • YourResidentJag

    So, like Renteria, they’re giving Hinch a second interview….hmm.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    No to Wedge. I want a guy with either a good track record, or no track record. Not a guy with a losing track record. They’re simply doing their due diligence, and it will be either Renteria, Martinez, or Lovullo.

  • Pingback: Obsessive New Manager Watch: Second Interviews … or Not? Wedge on Deck, Waiting on Lovullo | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

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