Obsessive New Manager Watch: Ausmus a Candidate? Lovullo’s Compliments, Wedge’s Interview

eric wedge mustacheThe World Series could be over by tonight, which could accelerate all open managerial searches for a number of reasons (a simplistic one: say the Tigers and Cubs are waiting on Torey Lovullo, and maybe the Mariners want Rick Renteria, but he’s waiting on the Cubs and Tigers, and so forth).

  • Remember when Brad Ausmus was a vogue dark horse candidate for the Cubs’ gig, and then wasn’t mentioned at all, and then was pretty much mentioned only by Dave Kaplan? Well, Patrick Mooney is picking up the torch, and reporting that multiple sources say the Cubs have indeed discussed Ausmus as a possible candidate internally. Currently a special assistant in the Padres’ front office, Ausmus has already been interviewed by the Nationals and the Tigers this year for their openings, and is clearly viewed around baseball as an up-and-coming future manager. The Cubs are not yet believed to have interviewed, or requested to interview, Ausmus for their opening.
  • So what do we make of the way things have played out with respect to Ausmus? He was an under-the-radar candidate, and then quickly dismissed as a legitimate possibility. Then interest in him picked up from other teams, and his name started to pop up again. And now he’s being mentioned as a maybe possibility for the Cubs. The most logical explanation is that Ausmus has a fan or two in the front office, but didn’t quite have enough support to be brought in initially as a candidate. As a wave of interviews proceeded and – I’m speculating – nobody knocked it out of the park, those pushing for Ausmus started have their voice(s) heard a little more clearly. From there, we’ll see what happens. I don’t think it makes Ausmus a kind of fallback candidate. Instead, I think we’re just seeing the front office take a very, very measured and thorough approach to this hiring decision after the last go-around ended after just two years.
  • The other candidate with whom the Cubs haven’t yet met is Torey Lovullo, the bench coach on the verge of a championship with the Red Sox. It can’t have been easy for him to constantly deal with questions about a job (or jobs) for which he can’t yet interview while he’s trying to do his current job at the very highest level. But, as he’s been asked those questions, he’s had nothing but complimentary things to say about the Cubs and their current front office (much of which comes from Boston, where their time overlapped slightly with Lovullo’s). Lovullo is expected to be interviewed by the Cubs shortly after the World Series ends, so that could come later this week.
  • Eric Wedge was yesterday’s interviewee, and he’s something more of a known quantity than the Ausmus/Lovullo/Renteria types that otherwise seem to lead the pack, although there’s no word just yet on how his interview went. Wedge left his job managing the Seattle Mariners after this season, despite management’s desire to bring him back. According to Wedge, the decision was not contract related, but instead was tied to a difference of opinion on the organizational philosophy the Mariners had adopted (from an outside perspective, I would describe that philosophy as: try a million different possible ideas, from signing six DHs to moving the walls in, to trading away successful pitchers, to yo-yo’ing prospects … ). Wedge would have preferred a more consistent, long-term, stick-with-the-vision-even-though-it-might-suck-for-a-bit approach. If nothing else, that certainly seems appropriate for the future of the Cubs.

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

168 responses to “Obsessive New Manager Watch: Ausmus a Candidate? Lovullo’s Compliments, Wedge’s Interview”

  1. cubmig

    Wacha was their “guy” to pull them through tonight. That didn’t pan out. Matheny now has to throw caution to the wind and use even the batboy to get sommeone on base. Too, he must be hoping the long inning wait took its toll on Lackey. Nothing is for certain in a game like this, but I gotta’ like the 6 run lead even though it’s only the 5th.

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      Will people quit using Lackey as an example of how Theo’s free agent signing suck after this, I wonder?

      (This really was the pitcher that Theo signed: injuries simply derailed Lackey during the first three years of his contract.)

      1. Professor Snarks

        Short answer: NO.

        When haters hate, they don’t see facts. Or acknowledge truths.

        1. DarthHater

          I disagree. I hate BECAUSE I see facts and acknowledge truth. ;-)

          1. Professor Snarks

            But you’re an enigma wrapped in a question mark. Or something like that.

            (nice of you to support Blublud, but pink is not your color).

            1. DarthHater

              I’m a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a mother-f___ing plane full of mother-f___ing snakes!

              1. someday...2015?

                “There’s a passage that I got memorized, seems appropiate for this situation: Ezekiel 25,17. “The path of the righteous man is beset of all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil me. Blessed is he who, in the name of the charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

  2. someday...2015?

    12 outs to go! Come on Sox!

    1. Brains

      The important thing is that the Cards lose.

  3. cubmig

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! A failed rundown!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY SHIT! Matheny just shit his pants…………..LOL!

  4. Die hard

    Cubs could use a pitcher like Martinez but its not Tanaka

    1. DarthHater

      Or Marmol! I hear he’s going to be a great starter one of these days!

  5. DarthHater

    If I read one more f-ing tweet from a Cardinal fan about the Yankees winning the Series after 9/11, I swear I am going to turn the Death Star on St. Louis…

    1. kscubfan

      Lol…don’t wait shoot now. It never worksnout for the bad guys if they wait.

      1. DarthHater

        No, the Emperor has commanded me to wait until this battle star is fully operational… :-P

        1. kscubfan

          Well $@:! It has been nice knowing you good luck in you next roll :)

  6. William

    We need some winning blood and should hire Torey Lovullo! :-)

  7. cubmig

    Lackey with a big hiccup……….hope the “relief medicine” will quell all worry.

  8. DarthHater

    This unwritten rule that every singer must add an extra high note at the end of God Bless America epitomizes what is wrong with America.

    1. cubmig

      what about extra low notes? what does that signify?

  9. Eternal Pessimist

    Hooray Red Sox…only 5 more outs! Where have I heard that before.

    1. someday...2015?

      No drama. Love it!

  10. cubmig

    3 outs to go.

  11. Canadian Cubs Fan

    Best thing about this is that McCarvers career ends on a Cardinals LOSS!

    John Lackey is still shitty. He pitched the best worst-pitched game of the year tonight. I just went and looked at his career numbers, and he had one season when he was anything but mediocre.

    1. wvcubsfan

      ????? Not sure if serious

      1. mjhurdle

        im going with not serious, because there is no way he actually looked at Lackey’s career numbers and only thought he had one good year.

  12. Canadian Cubs Fan

    And Dempsters gets a ring, which is cool I guess.

    1. Brains

      actually this fact kind of makes me want to puke

    2. The Dude

      Never cared for Dempster all that much, so whatevs…

  13. CubsFaninMS

    I believe the Cardinals are experiencing the A-wacha-lypse!

  14. DarthHater

    The nursing home really shouldn’t allow Tim McCarver to dress himself.

    1. cubs2003

      Like him or not, there’s no reason to kick a person on their way out the door. We’ll all be old some day, hopefully.

  15. Kramden

    How much of this Red Sox team has “Epstein” written on it?

    1. Jason Powers

      Enough to make you hopeful will be able to do the same in 2-3 years…

      Ownership will influence the speed of such transition. (Do we sign FAs in 2014, or later?)

  16. Jason Powers

    So, I wonder if this motivates Theo/Jed to move the program along a bit quicker?

    1. Brains

      If we’re lucky we’ll pick up a few BoSox waiver lines in February.

      1. Jason Powers

        I will interested to see what the offseason budget shakes out to be. (100M-150M or under 80M total?)

        Will we commit to short-term high salary FAs? (1-2 years , 8-10M+)

        Sign pitching, or focus on hitting?

        Should be interesting…

        1. Brains

          I’ll be watching with interest too. We should be 150m this year, and upwards of 180m after the new TV contracts. Odds are there are other “plans” at stake though. We simply have a poorly run MLB-level team. The minors look great though. Great news for Peoria.

    2. Jason Powers

      Five days after WS: Last date for former club to tender qualifying offer to XX(B) players

      On the 6th day:
      XX(B) and Minor League free agents may sign with all clubs

      12th day after completion of World Series
      Last date for XX(B) players to accept qualifying offer from former club

      Brett will be busy in about 1-2 weeks.

      1. Kyle

        And I *think* technically teams can officially talk to free agents even though they can’t sign for five days.

        1. Jason Powers

          I “think” technically you are correct.

          So which guys do you think we pursue? (No judging…just what your crystal ball show?)

          My reasonably priced wish list:
          Brayan Pena (32)
          Mark Reynolds (30)
          Kevin Youkilis (35)
          Mark Ellis (37)
          David Murphy (32)
          Grady Sizemore (31)
          Carlos Beltran (37)

          Erik Bedard (35)
          Jeff Francis (33)
          Scott Kazmir (30)
          Edinson Volquez (30)
          Roy Oswalt (35)
          Sean O’Sullivan (26)
          J.C. Ramirez (25)
          Eric O’Flaherty (29) – TJ

  17. mjhurdle

    Daniel Vogelbach ‏@Flowbro3 2m
    I can’t wait to win a World Series.. It has to be the best feeling in the world..

  18. Jiujitsu411420

    Hell yea Fu*%#n Right good night redbirds!
    Can’t wait to hear about how you beat yourselves and how your delayed plane flight cost you the game. Props to Theo for constructing most of this Boston team that beat those little red headed step children. Can’t wait to see what you can do in Chi town! 2014 baby

  19. cubmig

    This just came over the wire: The deadbirds are DEAD.

    (sorry. can’t help myself)

  20. Kramden

    Selig doesn’t have his toup on straight

  21. esruc

    Just me or does Cherington sound exactly like Theo when he speaks?

  22. Jono

    F THE CARDINALS!!!!! YEAAHHH, BOOOYYYYY!!!

  23. DocPeterWimsey

    Third time in 10 World Series: but it still feels good.

    Slainte, all!

  24. Sponge-Bob

    Man I hope we see Javy next yr. I have Cubs World Series withdrawal…

  25. Spriggs

    Thank you Boston! Hope lives.

  26. praying the cubs get ready to win

    I think Theo and Jed have done so much more good than bad. They have a plan and their plan even with the losing is a plan, better than what we have had for the past several years. Even when we got into the playoffs. Since the NYG win what have we really accomplished, what plan have we had. I like the direction and I think 2014 might still be a tough year, but 2015 we should be very competitive for a long time.

  27. Frank

    For the first time in my life I rooted for the Red Sox. F*ck the shitbirds.

  28. Aaron

    After watching the Red Sox win another World Series, this one without Theo as their general manager, I felt anger towards the Cubs owners as to the product they have put on the field over the past two seasons and the firing of their first manager one year short of his original contract. I know they have this plan of going young, but so did the Cardinals and they’re still a great team. There’s just part of me that believes the owners take the fans for granted, that since we’ve waited 100 years already for a championship, what’s a couple more? Every season is precious. We’re a major market team. Let’s start acting like one!

    1. mjhurdle

      you really got mad at the owners because they fired Sveum?
      I was a Sveum supporter, but there was/is no reason to be angry that he is gone. He may not have done anything horrible to deserve getting fired, but he also didn’t do anything great to deserve to stay.

    2. Chad

      You just compared the cubs situation to the Red Sox and the Cardinals. That’s ignorant. Yes the cardinals are young, but they have spent years and years developing their farm system. It’s not like they were where the cubs were 3 years ago with aging gigantic contracts and a pitiful farm system. They have had a good system since I was born and they have been good ever since because of that. I think the cubs would love to have their farm system (trying to get to that point) so they can sign a few FA here and there to fill in the blanks when they need to. The red sox fired their manager after 1 year (bobby V), so what is your point. They have a lot of home grown talent out their too and have some good FA signings but none that were over the top. Can’t throw money at the problem anymore, it’s not how it works. They have to have a foundation which both the Red Sox and Cardinals have and then supplement with a few FAs. It doesn’t happen over night.

  29. Aaron

    The Red Sox had only one player (Ortiz) who hit more than 25 homers. no player hit higher than .310. No pitcher won more than 15 games. The team finished with the second fewest saves.

    However, they won the most games, led the league in runs scored and had the second-best ERA in the highly competitive American League East.

    “Really, we’re a team of overachievers,” Ryan Dempster said. “We don’t have anybody out of the ordinary, but a lot of consistent guys who know how to win.”

    And believe they will win. And now they are World Champions!

  30. Aaron

    MJ and Chad…the point about firing their manager was not about Dale, it is that he was not a very good choice from the beginning. I’m not the only one who thought Dale was not going to work out. It seemed as if we lost 2 seasons, where many of our younger players this season actually regressed.

    The FO has many Cubs fans brainwashed about spending money on free agents…”you can’t throw money at the problem.” The real answer is…”you can spend smart money on smart players.” Where would the Cardinals be without Beltran and Matt Holiday? That team went heavy on drafting pitching and those young players came up to the big club and performed exceptionally well. The Cubs have been loading up on position players without addressing their weakness with starting pitching.

    By giving Rizzo and Castro long term contracts, the Cubs have said that those two are the team’s “home grown talent”. Darwin Barney, Shark, Castillo and others are also “home grown talent”. It’s time to produce. By bringing in some “smart” free agents who know how to win, they will teach, but more specifically show our “home grown talent” how to win ball games, rather than losing them.

    1. TWC

      If your unwillingness to use the Reply button after all this time your way of telling everyone on this board to go get bent? Or is it more like my unwillingness to watch Titanic after all these years — a futile, yet stubborn attempt at iconoclasm?

      1. mjhurdle

        It could just lie in a basic misunderstanding of the functionality of message board technology. It is hard for some people to grasp i guess.

        1. TWC

          It’s been pointed out to him before. I think he used the excuse that he was in a meeting the last time it was brought up. Which makes no sense, but whatevs.

          1. mjhurdle

            strange, i wonder how being in a meeting prevents one from hitting a ‘Reply’ button.
            I think your first supposition was correct as to the true reason why he does it. i truly hope that he is not so technologically naive to not understand the function of a ‘Reply’

        2. Cubbie Blues

          Nope, it has been brought to his attention in the past.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.