Obsessive New Manager Watch: Second Interviews … or Not? Wedge on Deck, Waiting on Lovullo

eric wedge mustacheWith the World Series wrapping up by Thursday, this could be the week that the Cubs make a new manager announcement. But with second interviews potentially on tap, it might yet be another week or two.

  • Sources tell Ken Rosenthal that A.J. Hinch and Rick Renteria will get second interviews at some point (we’d heard previously about Renteria, but not about Hinch). Rosenthal doesn’t mention other interviewees, like Dave Martinez or Manny Acta. Contrary to Rosenthal’s report, however, sources tell Patrick Mooney that Hinch and Renteria are not heading to Chicago for second interviews (Renteria may not yet be able to travel (hip surgery), so maybe the Cubs will head out that way for another interview? … or maybe the Cubs are simply going to wait on Torey Lovullo before scheduling any second interviews).
  • Rosenthal adds that Eric Wedge’s interview is expected to occur on Tuesday. Wedge was revealed as a candidate late last week.
  • There’s nothing particularly new to report on Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo. The Cubs still reportedly want to interview him, and he’s still waiting until the Red Sox are done in the World Series. Speaking of Lovullo, check out this interview he did recently with FanGraphs … and then tell me he didn’t answer everything almost perfectly. Sac bunts? Doesn’t like ‘em, outside of very specific, rare situations. Defensive shifts? Loves ‘em. Lineup construction? Best hitters should be at the top so that they get the most plate appearances. Platooning? Digs it. Using a “closer” in a high-leverage, non-9th-inning situation? Into it.
  • Buster Olney says the Cubs are still very high on Renteria, and are “said to be intent” on hiring a bilingual manager. I don’t know the lingual status of guys like Hinch or Lovullo (and I don’t want to make any assumptions based on ethnicity), but I’m not so sure it’s fair to say that the Cubs are intent on hiring a bilingual manager, especially if they were able to add several bilingual coaches to the staff.
  • Padres assistant GM Brad Ausmus has been included, excluded, mentioned, and omitted throughout the managerial search process. He’s the favorite of many, but he hasn’t been noted as an actual interviewee to this point. Patrick Mooney says, however, that Ausmus isn’t totally out of the picture.
  • Red Sox manager John Farrell, who has become something of a media darling with respect to the Cubs’ managerial search (something about how the right manager can make a huge difference), says that his experience as a farm director prepared him more for the job of big league manager than any other position he’s had (and he was a pitching coach for a while). Something to keep in mind.

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

107 responses to “Obsessive New Manager Watch: Second Interviews … or Not? Wedge on Deck, Waiting on Lovullo”

  1. FastBall

    Okay, Lovullo graduated from Jr. High. He answered the most basic lay up questions in the job interview process. LOL

    I hope the boys aren’t getting to geeked up on Lovullo. He will interview in Detroit and Seattle most likely as well as Chicago. If I were him the Detroit job would look like a no brainer over the Cubs job. I am quite happy to hear that Hinch might not get a 2nd interview. If other GM’s in baseball wouldn’t touch him with a 10′ pole then why are we even talking to the guy. Cause he is from San Diego. I am tired of the Boston – San Diego connection. We can’t find anybody outside of these two organizations who is capable.

    1. Coldneck

      Do you think Dusty or even Lou Peniella could graduate Jr. High? There’s a specific way of thinking that a lot of long time baseball men are not interested in. I’m glad Torey seems to be very interested in applying data to his decision making.

    2. hansman

      “He answered the most basic lay up questions in the job interview process”

      Do you expect a 20/20 style interview? These things are like the AFL, you expect the good ones to say the right things and not completely shat the bed.

    3. aCubsFan

      Sorry to shatter your impression of Lovullo, but he is a UCLA grad. So he got far past Jr. High.

      1. DarthHater

        [*insert UCLA jokes here*]

      2. ssckelley

        The same university that hired Alford to coach their basketball team.

        1. On The Farm

          Time to get over that one bud. He gave us a couple Big Ten titles, but in the end he could never get his talent to come together to get very far in the NCAA tourney.

          1. ssckelley

            Hey he did manage to get both of his sons a scholarship at UCLA.

            I am long over it, Fran has got them rolling again. But I have been known to enjoy watching a train wreck.

      3. roz

        Uh, I don’t think he was referring to actual junior high, only the junior high equivalent of the interview process.

  2. macpete22

    Renteria is also interviewing for the Tigers job

  3. Coldneck

    I just fell in love with Torey Lovullo. Total crush. I heart him.

    1. JB88

      He certainly speaks this FO’s language.

  4. CubFan Paul

    Jesse Rogers broke the ‘news’ about the manager being bilingual or of Latin/Hispanic decent being a priority. The search has played out just as he said.

  5. Blackout

    The first guy to say in an interview “New organizational philosophy begins now. No more excuses, no goat jinx, no Steve Bartman hate, no day games whimpers.” gets the job.

    1. mjhurdle

      Do you really think that is what is holding anyone back? That the other managers we have had all told the team after losses that “no worries guys, there is nothing we could have done. It is all the fault of that darn Bartman-Goat thing that roams the stadium during day games”?
      I think that the whole jinx/bartman /”losing atmosphere” affects the fans way more than it does the players.

      1. Blackout

        Your reply is a touch overdramatic.

        More than the others excuses, players have said day games are hard to adjust to when playing for Chicago.

        Push Posh, the Cardinals #1philosophy is No Excuses. The Cubs are too good for that.

        1. mjhurdle

          I live in STL and i can tell you that not even the local media refers to the Cardinals as “No Excuses”.
          Not that they make a ton of excuses, but rather that making or not making excuses does not get you to the best record in the National League. Talent does.
          The Cardinal’s “#1 philosophy”, if they have one, is probably something closer to what their manager thinks
          “You need some cost-controlled players,” Matheny said. “That’s what the organization is trying to do. Continue to have that young group that keeps working their way through our system. If they’re cost controlled, then it enables you to afford veteran free agents to fill the holes. That’s a great model, and they’ve been able to do that. It’s impressive.”
          That gets you success, having young talent that is cost-controlled so that you can afford veteran talent when needed.

    2. Funn Dave

      Boo. Every new manager talks about a new organizational philosophy especially in losing atmospheres like this one. It’s usually meaningless rhetoric.

  6. Blackhawks1963

    I continue to believe that Rick Renteria is the hire unless Torey Lovullo absolutely blows TheoJed away in the interview. Renteria fits all the criteria laid out.

    1. TWC

      “I continue to believe that Rick Renteria is the hire…”

      Yeah, we know. Nary a day has gone by over the last couple of weeks that you haven’t mentioned it. So don’t worry — you’ve successfully laid the groundwork for a long series of “I told you so”s. Can’t wait.

      1. Funn Dave

        Zing!

  7. Jono

    Maybe I either don’t watch enough baseball (not likely) or I misinterpreted something, but aren’t sac bunts already used in specific, rare situations? Please don’t jump all over me, please

    1. MichiganGoat
      1. Jono

        shit man, it’s gonna take me a while to read all that (going back and forth between that and work). I buy into the idea that sac bunts are a rally killer and such. But I just don’t see them being used a lot, anyway. It’s like saber guys are arguing against using the sac bunt in a way in which it’s not used.

        I skimmed the article and didn’t quickly see anything about how often they’re used. Maybe it’s there, I just didn’t see it. I’ll go back and read the article during lunch

        1. MichiganGoat

          Here the quick and dirty summary:
          Sac bunts are free outs and the run expectancy with no outs and runners on 1st and 2nd is higher than 1 out and runners on 2nd & 3rd, plus you run the risk of having an unsuccessful bunt and therefore giving up more than one out.

          The last two parapgraphs sum up bunting nicely:

          “Maybe it’s going to take five more years. Maybe even 10 or 15. But at some point in our lifetime, teams are going to start hiring managers who understand that giving away an out should be a rare occurrence.

          Bunting for a base hit, putting on a well-timed squeeze, beating an overshifted defense, having a pitcher move a runner into scoring position… there’s room for bunting in baseball. The frequency of sacrificing bunting that is prevalent now, though, is simply incorrect strategy, and the sooner it is removed from the sport, the better off Major League teams will be.”

          After you get through that article be sure to click on the link at the bottom that goes into this in greater detail, but the greater point is that Lovullo gets this and is the progressive saber manager that the FO has been wanting.

          1. Jono

            I’d have to look at the link to find the numbers to show how often they’re used. Words can be too subjective

          2. Jono

            I just searched for the link, didn’t find it. But I did skim the article a little more closely and it seemed to give lots of examples where the bunt was used in a manner that’s not “specific and rare”.

            Again, I’ll read the article more closely during lunch, but I’d simply have to agree that those were examples of ways I wouldn’t want the Cubs to bunt. Maybe my eyeball test of games I watch doesn’t offer a big enough sample size

            1. MichiganGoat
        2. Norm

          From Saturday night:

          St. Louis – Bottom of 1st
          Jake Peavy pitching for Boston
          M Carpenter singled to right.
          C Beltran sacrificed to pitcher, M Carpenter to second.
          -
          F that!

          1. Jono

            From Goat’s post above

            “… beating an overshifted defense, … there’s room for bunting in baseball.”

            I’d have to look back, but I think the red sox were giving beltran big shifts (maybe I’m wrong about that, but i believe that’s correct). If that’s the case, again, the argument is for a phantom bunt pattern that doesn’t exist.

          2. Rich H

            That was not exactly what happened. Boston shifted on Beltran and he was trying for a hit. If he would have gotten it passed Peavy then he had clear sailing and Carpenter was probably on 3rd.

        3. MichiganGoat

          As for how often the Sac bunt is used (I’m looking for a specific number on sac bunts vs. “sacrifice”) but all research and thinking argues that the sac bunt should hardly ever be used.

          1. hansman

            The AL, on average, sac bunts 1 game and a hair over an inning per team.

            The NL, gives up 2 games and 2.1 innings per team.

        4. hansman

          You’re right, they aren’t being used A LOT!!!!!! But to have anyone besides the pitcher purposely sac bunt is a waste of an out. In 2013, the Reds gave away a full game’s worth of outs more than the Cardinals. Now, replace Baker with someone like Luvullo and it’s quite possible that you win that extra game, which would have been huge for teams like Tampa, Cleveland or Texas.

          Now, geniunely bunting for a hit, ok, I’d rather the batter swing away but it’s not as big of a deal.

          1. Jono

            I never used the words “A LOT”

            1. hansman

              I know you didn’t. I was saying that it is accepted that sac bunts aren’t being used a lot, but they are still being overused.

              1. Jono

                Well, that’s what I’m trying to find out. Just b/c someone says it, doesn’t mean I believe it. First, I use my seeing-eye test. From the games I’ve watched (which is a significant amount), have I witnessed them being overused? I’d have to say no. Then I look for numbers. This is what I’m going to do right now when I go to lunch. I don’t believe something that’s contrary to my first hand experience simply because someone on TV or the internet says so. I believe Goat that his link I’m about to read suggests they’re being overused. But I want to read it first before changing my mind.

                I think that’s fair, right?

                1. MichiganGoat

                  I think the term over used might be problematic, the better way to evaluate the sac bunt is to question if it’s a successful strategy… and reading those articles plus man others will result in the conclusion – it’s not. It’s old school baseball thinking that moving runners over increases scoring opportunities but the research shows that giving up an out only diminishes scoring chances. Now the eye test tricks us because we remember when moving runners over and then getting a run via a sac fly/tag up makes us think it’s a good move, but our eyes typically remember the positive outcomes vs the failures.

                  1. Jono

                    I bought into the sabermeteic aguement long ago. I read about 1/3 to 1/2 of the second link and just can’t read anymore right now. There’s a ton there. Ill continue later in the day. But overall, I already agree with the point that’s being made. All im looking for are numbers that show how “over used” the bunt is, using the sabermetic template for often it should be used. And yeah, the term “over used”, ir any words, are too subjective. That’s why im looking for numbers

                    1. Cubbie Blues

                      Here are the stats for how many each team sacrificed.
                      http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2013.shtml

                      You will notice that Cubs are last in sacrifices in the NL, but 17th in MLB.

                    2. MichiganGoat

                      Thanks cubbie blue, I thought the SH also included actual Fielder Choice like hits but after hovering the mouse over I see it says (sacrifice bunts)… look who is number one- DUSTY BAKER. Man he loves to give up free outs.

                    3. MichiganGoat

                      Baker gave up over three complete games of free outs last year, thats quite a gift to the rest of baseball.

                2. hansman

                  2013 NL saw about a 1% sac bunt rate, the AL was far below that. In terms of time spent discussing it and time spent sac bunting, WAAAAAY too much time is spent on the topic.

                  I glanced through the fangraphs link and came away that blanket statements (as I like to apply for sac bunts) are wrong (certianly not the first time I’ve been not right).

                  1. Jono

                    What percentage is warranted under standard sabermetric theory on bunting?

                    1. DocPeterWimsey

                      Approximately ([PAs by Pitchers with men on 1st and/or 2nd with less then 2 outs]/Total PAs) + (PAs with runner on 2nd & no out in tie game in the bottom of 9th, 10th, etc. / [Total PAs - PAs by Pitchers with men on 1st or 2nd with less than 2 outs]).

                      This, of course, discounts attempted base hit bunts that scorers call SH anyway.

                    2. jt

                      “What percentage is warranted under standard sabermetric theory on bunting?”
                      –Jono
                      That would depend upon the value of the run and the methods available go get that run
                      When Koufax pitched a run cost a lot and at the same time the ’65 Dodgers didn’t score a lot of runs nor did they have much power. But they did have guys who could steal a base, take an extra base and score from 3rd on an infield out. Getting a guy to 3rd with less than 2 outs would be a good thing.
                      The Weaver O’s were post lower mound but still had great pitching. They could find power in that era so the 3 run HR was available to them. Outs became more valuable than the extra base.
                      I read hansman and learn from his posts. To me the “blanket statement” statement is important as it opens our minds to possibilities.

                    3. Jono

                      :-0

                      That’s one of the best answers I’ve ever gotten for any question ever

                    4. Jono

                      the previous reply was for bender

                      That’s some good information, too, jt. A little hard to follow bender, but good information

          2. jt

            “But to have anyone besides the pitcher purposely sac bunt is a waste of an out”
            –hansman
            *
            I agree if the discussion is limited to the way the game is played today.
            Not sure it applies to the ’65 Dodgers though.

            1. DocPeterWimsey

              Baseball in 1965 was just like it is now: the teams that outslugged and outwalked the opposition tended to win, the teams that got outslugged and outwalked by the opposition tended to lose.

              What has changed is that the negative correlation between sacrifice hits and runs might have increased. In 1965, the correlation between SH and runs-scored was -0.13. In 2013, it was -0.3. So, as a “good fundamental” goes up, the “fundamentally bad” (not scoring) goes up, too: but it’s stronger now than back then.

              This might reflect the AL having pitchers bat, where SH are not bad (and actually reflect a good thing: OBP by the #8 hitter) then, whereas now only the NL does the “less damaging” SH.

              1. jt

                I moved on to 1966 because we are discussing an ERA.
                Combined LAD and Phil had 225 HR and 182 Wins
                Combined SF and Pitt had 339 HR and 185 Wins.
                Atl led the lg with 207 HR and finished 5th 2 games ahead of StL who hit 108 HR.

                1. DocPeterWimsey

                  Ah, well the correlation goes up to -0.06 then. So, a plot of sacrifice hits vs. runs scored is basically a circle then. (The correlation between winning percentage and sacrifice hits was 0.01, which is again a circle. The correlation between SH and the team “luck” (i.e., over/under from expectations given net OPS) was 0.07, which again means that they were random with respect to each other.

                  (In all cases, you square the correlation to get the proportion of the variance in runs, wins, etc. that are explained as covariance with SH.)

                  In 2013, we had the same thing: the correlation between SH & winning percentage was pretty much nonexistent (0.021 for WP, 0.005 for “excess” winning percentage.)

                  So, in all three years in question, we have weak evidence that successfully sacrificing a lot is associated withs something that causes losing, and that teams that sacrifice a lot do no better at winning (or losing) than teams with otherwise similar net OPS do. However, as SH hurt OPS (by lowering OBP), this means that given two teams with (say) the same net slugging and net walk rates, we expect the one that sacrifices less to score more often (and thus win more often) because that team (probably) will have have a marginally higher net OPS.

                  1. jt

                    You are saying that the correlation of runs scored to SH was the same for The ’66 Dodgers/Phils as it was for the ’66 Giants/Braves?

                    1. DocPeterWimsey

                      It is based on all 20 teams extant in 1965 or 1966 (and all 30 teams extant now).

                      Here is what the plots look like for 1966:
                      douc.jpg
                      tvde.jpg
                      tb2y.jpg

                    2. DocPeterWimsey
                    3. MichiganGoat

                      Doc as always this is impressive. So based on your data are you saying the sacrifice hadn’t really made a difference in the overall outcomes of a season? I know the run expectancy goes down with sac bunts (ie giving a free out) but from these finding am I wrong in a assuming it really doesn’t matter?

                    4. MichiganGoat

                      Or is this just looking at a few particular seasons and this cannot be transferred to all season?

                    5. DocPeterWimsey

                      No, this seems to apply to all years: when I was looking at the correlations between why teams did better/worse than you would expect given net OPS, I looked at that. Total SH (or net SH) didn’t correlate with under or over-achieving.

                      I would add that I’m a little surprised that there is not a weak positive correlation for one reason. If an NL (or pre-1972 AL) team has a #8 hitter with a good OBP, then you expect that team to: 1) get more SH from pitcher because of more SH opportunities and 2) score a lot because their “worst” hitter still is getting on base a lot.

                      However, it’s not there. Still, I’d quite like a Cubs lineup with a #8 guy causing our pitchers to bunt a lot.

                  2. jt

                    “Baseball in 1965 was just like it is now: the teams that outslugged and outwalked the opposition tended to win, the teams that got outslugged and outwalked by the opposition tended to lose.”
                    –Doc
                    16 NL teams in 2003 hit almost 100% more HR than the the 10 NL teams of 1966.
                    1966 NL: 31.5% of HR’s for the lg were hit by 11 guys. 10 of those 11 were on either The (Cubs, Giants, Pitt, Braves).
                    The combo of ’66 Giants/Dodgers won 188 games of 324.
                    Both The Giants and The Dodgers were below lg avg for OPS in ’66
                    *
                    What is your sample and what are you measuring?

                    1. DocPeterWimsey

                      The raw numbers would be important only if run-scoring had remained the same while slugging changed. That would mean that there was a time where teams were scoring lots of runs without slugging.

                      What is important are the net numbers: homers hit minus homers allowed. Giving up 10 more HR than your team hits is just as damaging now as it was in 1966.

                      The sample sizes are always the number of teams (20 in 1966, 30 now). The overall correlations that I use for basic stats are from the last 51 years, which is 1338 team-seasons.

                    2. DocPeterWimsey

                      Whoops, sorry: we just had another year! 1360 team-seasons now!

                    3. DocPeterWimsey

                      Here is an illustration of how important home runs were to winning in 1966:

                      http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9774/k5il.jpg
                      Now, that individual season was a little odd: net doubles + triples actually were more important than net HR. Usually, net HR is #1, followed by net walks, and then net 2B+3B. However, it was still down to net slugging in 1966: the teams that gave up fewer extra base hits than their batters created won.

                      k5il.jpg

                    4. Hansman

                      If anything, I think you’d expect that with fewer runs scored each out becomes more valuable

                    5. jt

                      “with fewer runs scored each out becomes more valuable”
                      –hansman
                      I moved back to Boston during the 2004 WS. There was a lot of talk of “keeping the line moving” and not giving away outs. But I couldn’t jive it with these Dodger teams and others I asked had a hard time with it also.
                      I’d hypothesize that a low scoring team has more the need to take advantage of each opportunity. The 2013 Cubs lacked speed. They were not often going to steal second. They were not often going to go first to 3rd on a single. They were not often going to score from 3rd on chopper to a chopper to a drawn in infield. Hell, they’d have trouble hitting the chopper. But, the WS of the 50′s could. The Dodgers of the 70′s could. The Royals of the 80′s could.
                      And then there is the run prevention thing. Not an easy thing.
                      I agree with you guys in that power is the way to go if you can get it. Since the ’90′s there have been a lot of power hitters. But there were 274 fewer HR’s in the NL in 2012 than in 2003.

                    6. Kyle

                      “If anything, I think you’d expect that with fewer runs scored each out becomes more valuable”

                      Not really. Each out represents a lost opportunity to bat. In low-offense environments and eras, that lost opportunity means less.

                  3. jt

                    ’66 LAD was able to maintain a 0.7 O/D run diff even though they were 2nd to last in RS. Obviously this was because of run prevention. 3rd place Pitt also had a run diff of 0.7 and had 92 wins and did it with 60 more HR.
                    If 11 guys hit 31% of the NL HR’s that yr then it is also obvious that power was not available in abundance; supply and demand. So, some teams needed a new paradigm.
                    The Pirates out scored LA by 153 runs. That is a run a game on avg. Pitt was involved in 3 more 1 run games than LA but had 7 few victories in that category.
                    *
                    The score of one game has no memory of another game. While it may be true that the bunt has a negative correlation on run production over a period of time when the study involves the universe of total diversity, it could be that it holds a positive correlation for a particular team in a particularly defined situation. A team with a low OPS (’66 Dodgers) is not going to power in runs station to station. They had the resources to develop or acquire pitching, defense and speed but not slugging. To them each single run became important and to invest an out to try to get that run was worth while. The Pirates on the other had would want to keep the line moving. Each out the Bucs gave away lessened the chance that one of their sluggers would get a PA and increase the chance that that slugger would bat with fewer runners on base.
                    *
                    The value of a single run was higher for The ’66 Dodgers than The ’66 Pirates who had the more the need for multiple run games.

                  4. jt

                    “a #8 hitter with a good OBP, then you expect that team to: 1) get more SH from pitcher because of more SH opportunities and 2) score a lot because their “worst” hitter still is getting on base a lot.”
                    –Doc
                    2008 Cubs– 8th hitter 0.781 OPS 83RS
                    2008 Cubs pitcher 45 SH.
                    *
                    The 8th hitter often bats in back of the lineups 2nd worse hitter (except the pitcher). Does he hit more often with 1 or 2 outs than other hitters in the lineup? If so, would the efficacy of a bunt that resulted in there being 2 outs be less than one that resulted in there be an inning state of only one out?

                    1. DocPeterWimsey

                      That probably won’t vary among teams too much. At any rate, there is a strong correlation between SH attempts by pitcher and the OBP of the #8 guy.

                      The real point is that if you have an NL lineup with 8 “good” hitters, then the #8 guy is going to create a lot of SH opportunities for the pitchers. That guy is also going to create a lot of RBI opportunity for the leadoff and #2 hitters, which in turn creates a lot of runs. So, a team with (relatively) high OBP from #8 should induce both more SH and more runs than should a team with (relatively and absolutely) low OBP from #8. If the run prevention is the same (and it is probably 50:50 that it’s better or worse), then the first team should win more often, and help create a correlation between SH & winning.

                      However, we don’t see it. Of course, this might also reflect the fact that we are talking about maybe 8-10 extra on-bases (and maybe 5-7 extra SH opportunities) a month between the two teams. Over a season, we are in the 1-2 wins category!

        5. josh ruiter

          I think a perfect example of it, was Beltran’s sacrifice in the W.S. – game 3 i think? That was a total rally killer potentially. Gave up a wasted out against Peavy in the 1st inning. The next 3-4 guys got on, had beltran not wasted that about, 3-1 count btw, it could have been bigger inning yet.
          I know they won the game, but it was a close game, and that theoretically cost them a run, if not more. at the very least it cost them a potential base runner.

          1. sans

            How do you know that “it would have been a bigger inning yet”?

            Hypothesis are great. But we can’t project reality.

  8. Eric

    The interview only managed to pique my interest in Brian Butterfield.

  9. cubmig

    While the Cubs FO may want “Candidate X”, who ultimately becomes available is still at the mercy of competitive openings. The Cubs gig offers the biggest reward for anyone succeeding…… but it can also be stepping into a graveyard of those who’ve “tried and died”. The lure reeks with promise and problem.

    I believe the FO knows who they want. I also believe the ongoing search is more of a “look under every stone” to ensure no one better is missed—or to have a plan B at the ready. Obviously, I express only a personal unsubstantiated belief, but I have to think that whatever sources the FO is exploiting to “know” their man, they have a primary “suspect” in mind. That the element of being surprised exist in discovery, that surprise has to exceed what draws them to their “numero uno”.

    just my 2¢

  10. johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Prediction: Jose Oquendo will be next Cubs Manager

    1. mjhurdle

      I hope not, if for no other reason that the Cardinals (who know him best) didn’t want him for their opening, choosing Matheny with no experience over Oquendo.
      If the Cardinals didn’t think he could do the job, im not sure the Cubs should either.
      just my opinion though.

      1. sans

        Excellent point – one overlooked by many.

  11. cubfanbob

    On Saturday night in the 9th I was surprised no one mentioned how Beltran at best didnt move out of the way just standing there letting the inside pitch hit his elbow armor and at worse actually slightly moved into it.

  12. FastBall

    Darwin Barney should always be sac bunting even with nobody on base.

  13. FastBall

    I think we should as the Cardinal to interview Matheny. Screw it. Those bastards have outsmarted the Cubs for years. The win and we don’t. They have smarter people than we have. They put together better teams than we do. Hire those guys. Maybe we can get Lou Brock back.

    1. mjhurdle

      If the Cardinals have smarter people than us, and those smarter people allow us to get Matheny as a manager, do we really want Matheny as our manager? :)

      1. On The Farm

        Well played.

  14. Matt

    Wow, after reading the interview with Lovullo he might be my new favorite candidate.

    “The mentality of a baseball player is such that they love the routine. To pull somebody completely out of their routine — out of their comfort level — I’m not in favor of that. You don’t want to hit Dustin Pedroia leadoff one day, third the next day and second the day after that. I like the idea that the leadoff hitter is going to come to the ballpark knowing he’s hitting leadoff. Same for the second, third and fourth hitter. There are other spots where you can maneuver a little bit. And if you have a player like Ben Zobrist, who can be at his best moving around, I’m all for that, too.”

    Helloooooooo, Starlin Castro!

    1. Voice of Reason

      From reading that one little paragraph he became your favorite?

      You voted for obama, didn’t you?

      1. YourResidentJag

        And you voted for GW Bush???

      2. Jimmy James

        Jesus Christ Harris, don’t start a political war

  15. CubeBlue

    Man that picture is awesome…I would love to have Ron Swanson as our manager.

  16. D.G.Lang

    From Goats posting “Thanks cubbie blue, I thought the SH also included actual Fielder Choice like hits but after hovering the mouse over I see it says (sacrifice bunts)… look who is number one- DUSTY BAKER. Man he loves to give up free outs.”

    My reply “he just doesn’t like clogging the bases”.

    Sorry but the reply link wasn’t showing up to allow me to reply to that specific post.

  17. Justin

    Lets be honest about the Cubs new managers #1 criteria. The Cubs can say all the other b.s. they’re looking for, but it truly comes down to one thing. What manager will get RIzzo and especially Castro back on track. Those guys playing like absolute dog shit last yr on Sveum’s watch cost him his job. Can Wedge and his huge porno stache get the most out of those 2 and the other young guys coming up? I have my doubts… Find a manager that young guys will respond to and go with him, the other shit doesn’t matter… Pretty simple…

    1. Mike F

      This is the definition of insanity. If this is really what they are looking for Ricketts needs to cut his losses on Theo. I am a Theo guy, but making decisions on appeasing Castro and Rizzo would be insultingly stupid. It is their job to be more team friendly and fit into winning. Playing nursemaid to coax performance is idiotic. If they don’t commit to demanding winning, wining effort and winning performance then all is lost. If Dale was fired for his suggestion Castro and Rizzo might be well served by some additional time in the minors, shame on the front office. I think Hinch is an embarrassment and am starting have concerns about the entire process they have meandered through here. I am still on board with Theo, but some of it starting to get very disappointing.

      1. Patrick W.

        See the problem with this response is that you are accepting the assertion that Castro and Rizzo played like “absolute dog shit last yr”

        1. Mike F

          Nit really, I am of the belief you are what you are and they are what they are. They should be guaranteed nothing but the opportunity to compete. And they should be there only until someone better can be found. That should be the case at every single position. That is exactly how the Cardinals, Packers and Walsh 49ers operated. These guys are likely not nearly as special as we fans and the organization frankly have made them out to be. Castro is the perfect example of a guy who is fundamentally flawed and rushed to the majors. You can’t fire managers just because some slackers fail. Then again, when you start to establish a CC you end up with pitchers ordering fried chicken in the clubhouse.

          1. jt

            Perhaps Sveum was hired to institute changes in approach. Those changes didn’t seem to be on the path to success. So the FO could have decided to take a different direction under a new field leader. A guy doesn’t get the job done; he gets fired.

          2. Justin

            I am not saying at all that the performance of Rizzo and Castro was 100% Sveum’s fault. But the only true responsibility Sveum really had was to make sure that the young players developed well and improved. Considering that the 2 most important young players had a terrible year under his watch was a problem. I am still trying to wrap my head around Castro’s year. I would have never guessed he could have been this bad at the plate at this pt in his career. I know he had a lot of stuff he was working on, but man was he bad..

            1. Mike F

              I don’t understand why/ He is undisciplined, he’s not Manny Ramires or Mokina in that he’s not baseball smart and Theo wanted his approach changed. It was Theo that wanted him to work deeper in counts. He doesn’t have the capacity to change. Theo tried it in 2012 and when it didn’t work backed off and then did it again this season.

              If the Cub’s future is dependent on Rizzo and Castro and doesn’t say a whole of a lot for Theo and his regime and I am in their corner. It is completely wrong headed.

          3. Scotti

            “Castro is the perfect example of a guy who is fundamentally flawed and rushed to the majors.”

            No. Through Castro’s first 1,346 AB he had 413 hits. That’s a career average of .307. He had a .304/.343/.422/.766 OPS+ 106 slash line through his first two seasons. That ain’t rushed. That ain’t flawed. That’s All-Star performance from your shortstop. It didn’t take the League 1,346 AB to “figure him out,” it took the Cubs 1,346 AB to mess him up.

            The fundamental flaw was in having a manager, hitting coach and assistant hitting coach all in his ear all at once. That’s just dumb. Doing it for a year (over two seasons)? That’s dumber than dumb.

            1. DocPeterWimsey

              Moreover, Castro’s “fundamental flaw” (i.e., an inability to recognize pitches) is not one that would have gotten better by spending more time in the minors: this is a basic tool and no system has discovered a way to improve it.

              However, there is zero reason to think that having multiple people in Castro’s ear should have been any problem. (Insofar as I am aware, there is also zero evidence that this actually happened, but that is another issue.) The organization is actively trying to find out how you can improve pitch recognition: after all, this is a key aspect of player development that is wide-open. The only time a player gets to see MLB pitching is in a game: so, the approach that they took (asking Castro to deliberately take pitches) is as sensible as any. Until we have HoloDecks, that’s going to remain true.

  18. sans

    Let’s not forget that we’re entrusting this managerial-decision in a front office who went through this process 2 years ago.

  19. Craig

    After not finding anyone to their liking, the Cubs will name Jed Hoyer the new manager

    1. Mike F

      I seriously would think that is far better than AJ Hinch, if he got off to a 10-20 start, the second guessing would be beyond most people’s comprehension. It is one of those situations that has happened frequently in the past and always has the same end to it. Bluntly, it would be better than Wedge ptr Hinch.

      It is so absurd that 3 of the candidates are coming from San Diego, just patently absurd this whole thing is starting to become.

      1. Jimmy James

        Um, the second guessing will be bad no matter who they hire

        1. Mike F

          It would be worse with Hinch, he did so poorly in Arizona and a lot of personnel men have already condemned him to Kaplan. He is clear we told you so and will make them look moronic if he starts slow.

  20. Die hard

    Truth hurts — Ozzie is best available

    1. Jimmy James

      If Ozzie is the answer I don’t want to know the question…..

  21. Die hard

    Ozzie is a pussycat compared to the likes of Pinella Martin Durocher etal and they were always rehired

    1. Voice of Reason

      Ozzie is a dope compared to the likes of pinella, Durocher and martin.

  22. carklos

    OZZIE…..OZZIE…..OZZIE. Come on Theo there is no one better by far. OZZIE…..OZZIE….OZZIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Die hard

    Ozzie contract first year can be shared by former team who owes one more year and that’s a savings

    1. chrisfchi

      Ozzie just as bad as Zombrano. Head case all the way. That’s all the bait I’m biting

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