brad ausmusEither his interview with the Cubs scared the Tigers into action, or it scared him into action …

I kid, in part, but the Detroit Tigers have hired Brad Ausmus for their open managerial position just a couple days after the 44-year-old first-timer interviewed with the Chicago Cubs. The deal is still just in the “reported” phase, but is expected to be formalized today.

The Tigers end up being the organization to take a chance on Ausmus, which could prove a stroke of foresight, or could prove to be an unreasonable risk given the composition of their roster. Only time will tell, but kudos to the Tigers for not just grabbing a retread because they felt like they had to.

As for the Cubs, the lateness of Ausmus’s interview always suggested that there were factions of the front office who weren’t quite sold on his candidacy, even if that doesn’t mean he wasn’t very much a legitimate candidate. The Cubs now turn back to the group they’ve already interviewed – Rick Renteria, A.J. Hinch, Dave Martinez, Eric Wedge, and Manny Acta – as well as the possibility of Torey Lovullo. Renteria has long been described as the favorite, and the continued wait on a hiring seemed to be mostly about wanting an opportunity to speak with Lovullo before pulling the trigger.

We’ll see if that conversation happens this week, and, if so, if the Cubs have a new manager – either way – by Friday.

  • Eric

    The Tigers hiring Ausmus doesn’t bother me. Lovullo seems to be the direction we’re headed. Hopefully he interviews soon.

    • MichiganGoat

      It’s a major changes from Jimmy Smokes it will be interesting to see how the Tigers respond next year.

  • Oswego Chris

    Finally got around to reading Fangraphs interview with Lovullo…he seems bright, I want a smart manager…

  • MichiganGoat

    If Lovullo is man we’ve been waiting for I’m actually surprised more teams we’re waiting to interview him, he now has two options- Red Sox or Cubs.

  • Turn Two

    Any chance Tim Wallach gets an interview. Former young third baseman like 3 quarters of our prospects, seems to be getting interviewed everywhere else.

    • Bric

      Tim Wallach was the guy I modeled my swing after at the age of about six. Overshadowed by other guys of his position at the time like Mike Schmidt and fellow team mates like Tim Raines and Andre Dawson he still seemed like a smart player and cool guy. Very similar to Sandberg and Francona and very dissimilar to other contemporaries like Rosa or Dejesus.

  • walterj

    Well that kind of sucks . Ausmus was my second choice after Girardi . I guess Lovullo is out as well because he is my third choice .

  • Dustin S

    From the late night tweets it sounds like it’s narrowing down to Lovullo and Renteria for sure.

    What I’ve read from Lovullo sounds good. My guess is that Renteria is slightly ahead, but I was doing some digging on him that made me cringe a bit. His first 4 quotes here sound straight out of a 2014 Cubs postgame…

  • Brian Myers

    Everyone needs to get their break somewhere, but strictly on name value none of the guys really have that “wow” factor as a manager (even if we might be familiar with them as a player or former coach). I’m curious, is there a candidate here we should either be excited about or not excited about?

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Read that interview with Lovullo last night. Did you see where he talks about players routines and comfort level? How you don’t want to bat a Pedroia leadoff one day, third the next, and second the next day, and so on. Who does that sound like last year for the Cubs?

  • Jon

    So, one interview with FG, in which Lovello dropped some good answers and now he’s everyone’s must have. Priceless

    • Joe

      I don’t think everyone said that. In fact, I know everyone did not say that.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Dave Kaplan tweets this morning that Rick Renteria remains the clear favorite to be named manager. I’m good with this.

  • Voice of Reason

    What Dave Kaplan tweets and 49 cents will get me an ice cream cone at McDonalds.

    Kaplan is a pin head.

  • IndyCubsFan

    Anyone have any thoughts on Zito? Flyer? Or is he done?

  • Blackhawks1963

    Kaplan just tweeted that he was told be the Cubs this morning that Ausmus was no longer a consideration after the first interview. The Cubs will not waver from the criteria of previous managerial experience, which further telegraphs strongly that Renteria is about to be named the new Cubs manager. Lovullo falls short of the criteria in the same was Martinez and Ausmus did.

    So welcome Rick. I personally like it.

    • Joe

      Lovullo has managerial experience, he had been managing in the minors since 2006 until he went to Toronto.

  • Die hard

    Cubs FO is dysfunctional and candidates can sense this

    • CubbiesOHCubbies

      I hear this is why don kessinger chose not to interview.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Maybe someone can post it for me, I am lousy at doing that. But there is a great article on fangraphs by wendy thurm, discussing the new tv money, and showing where teams are in their salary commitments compared to their previous payrolls. Say whatever you want as to the reasons, but Epstein has put the Cubs in a position of great financial flexibility.
    Amazing to note, that every team in baseball will get 54 million dollars a year, just from the national tv networks.

  • Ballgame

    Regardless of how much the Cubs did/didn’t want Ausmus, I feel like we got used again. I’m curious to know if Ausmus had genuine interest in the Cubs or if he was just putting pressure on the Tigers. We’ll never know, but this has the feel of Anibal Sanchez (used Cubs to get more money from Tigers, never seemed interested in coming to Cubs), Joe Girardi (used Cubs to get more yrs/$ out of Yankees) and Ausmus seems to fall along these lines. This is how a $2 used-up hooker must feel….This is the one thing the FO needs to figure out. Managerial candidates should be banging down the door, not begging to get out!

    • Blackhawks1963

      The reports are that Ausmus was told he was no longer under consideration by the Cubs. Ausmus didn’t use the Cubs nor vice versa. He was simply granted an interview and the Cubs decided he was the guy who fit the criteria.

      Let’s not create false drama and bash the Cubs.

      • MichiganGoat

        BUT BUT BUT if people can’t make up stories and spread bait what will the do? Rationale discussion, rationale thought, fallacy free debate? Why would we ever want that?

        • Brains

          settle down goat, i still love you most.

          • Brains

            in some ways, to me, goat is the biggest cubs can of all because he likes to revel in the glory of the team. me too — !! that’s why i’ve been pissed. i feel like the rug’s been pulled out from under the pleasure principle of hte sport.

            • Brains


        • ssckelley

          Exactly Goat, it is more fun debating rumors and speculations.

          BTW, how about Bob Brenly for coach?

    • Voice of Reason

      Who would say no to the tigers job?

      Ausmus may have used us as leverage to get the tigers job.

      That’s business.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        In a lot of ways, the Tigers are ideal for a new manager. They’ve got a strong starting rotation and a bunch of “plus” bats in their lineup. OK, you can fret about at which position you’ll put a DH-quality fielder for several players: but no amount of managerial experience is going to help you there.

        Really, it will come down to bullpen management, and we have next to zero way of knowing how good the Tigers bullpen will be next year given the high turnover in relief staff and the big year-to-year variance in relief performance. The Tigers bullpen this year was not good: in fact, it was flat out bad given many stats. However, they led the league in the most important category of all for the bullpen: the fewest innings pitched! (And by a long margin: they had 22 fewer innings than the Royals.) In part because of the combination of strong starting and strong hitting (but also perhaps in part to Leyland not doing a ton of “matchup” swaps late in games), the Tigers had the fewest save opportunities in the AL. (Boston had the second fewest, incidentally.)

        So, if the Tigers’s starters manage to replicate this year’s performance (a long shot, but not as long as it would be for most teams IF they can keep Scherzer), then Ausmus will have fewer opportunities to look dumb with this team than he would with almost any other.

        • YourResidentJag

          Plus if he keeps Leyland’s coaching staff…it’s a much safer move for Ausmus.

    • Jon

      Actually, if he was told he was no longer a Cubs candidate, then immediately signs with the Tigers, sounds like his heart was really into the Cubs job

      • Blackhawks1963

        My take? The Cubs somewhat reluctantly interviewed Ausmus late in the process. So it doesn’t surprise me not depress me that he isn’t the hire. It has been my opinion from the beginning that Renteria is their guy. They have rolled the dice a bit but taking their time with the hire to allow Lovullo to interview after the World Series. So maybe the choice is between those two? We have no clue really. But I am expecting the announcement to come no later than Monday. And I guess it is Renteria, He seemingly fits all the criteria and I will like the move. If it ends up being Lovullo then I will have to learn more about the guy to offer an opinion.

    • Rich

      I disagree Ausmus has never been a manager and clearly is looking for
      his shot
      Girardi never talked to the Cubs and vice versa
      He elected not to move his family
      He was getting an extension regardless of Cubs love for him

      Anibal agent absolutely used the

    • Mannylake

      I don’t think the Cubs were “used” in this situation. However, we will be used quite a bit in the future until we start fielding competitive teams. The fact of the matter is that our team is not immediately appealing to free agents at this specific moment in time. So in some circumstances we will be forced to overpay for free agents and they will use that for leverage with a more competitive club. It’s not a great feeling but it’s the reality of our situation. The good thing is we hopefully only have a few more years of this until the player facilities and the youth movement help out.

  • 5412


    Does anyone disagree with the idea the Cubs should be looking for a manager who is not on his learner’s permit? They ran Sandberg off because he did not have enough coaching experience at the big league level and most folks agreed. A bench coach, or higher level coach, sitting next to a great manager and picking his brain would certainly be much further along on a learning curve.

    Smart is a nice place to start, but the X’s and o”s is the technical part of the game. Recognizing talent, coaching, teaching and motivating are also equally important.

    If Sveum was at odds with the players and his other coaches about hitting, then he was a lousy manager. A good manager quickly recognizes the issue and fixes it so Theo does not have to do it for him.

    Whether Ausmus goes into the hall of fame, or is a bust, at this time, I am glad the Cubs are continuing to look around.


  • arta

    Rich u the man, agree.

  • Ballgame

    If Ausmus really was told that he was no longer under consideration, than a different issue is it seems the Cubs might’ve wasted some time/energy. I understand you don’t wanna leave any stone unturned, but if I’m going to buy a sports car, why would I test drive a minivan? Something seems off and for the record, I couldn’t be more pleased with the FO and their plan. It’s rough waiting out these years, but anyone who understands the legit depth in the Minors can deal with the growing pains.

    Mad respect for the FO and their transparency. They’ve never once (not that I can remember) have they been misleading to fans with their plan/process. Last year I’m walking my dog on a Saturday morning, the day of a 12:05pm start. I’m just getting my life together and then I see some dude running down the middle of a street (side street) while holding his phone to his ear, having a convo. None other than Theo, dude NEVER stops working and that’s something I keep in the back of my head knowing how committed (no pun intended) he is to the Cubs. It’s coming, it’ll be one hell of a ride once it does…

  • Die hard

    That’s the rumor which is too bad because he forgot more about managing than every candidate interviewed knows

  • Cheryl

    It always seems like the FO goes with people they have worked with in the past. I suppose its natural but I also wonder if its a blind spot for them. Someone could be overlooked just for that reason. I think Ausmus will do well and perhas this is better for him, but maybe not for the cubs.

    • Die hard

      Agree but not as to Ausmus but more as to experienced mgrs like Ozzie or Kess

      • Eric

        Kessinger is in real estate. At his age, I’d say it’s accurate to say that he’s forgotten a lot more than just baseball.

    • When the Music’s Over

      I’ve been thinking this for a while. It’s almost like they view every decision in the past was the optimal decision. Not sure if that’s true and they love to pat their own backs, the easy route because of familiarity, or if it was the good enough decision because they’re too afraid/risk averse to make the wrong decisions this time around.

      • When the Music’s Over

        …. or could be the easy route for the media to drum up rumors.

      • Brainsb

        i don’t mind this part of the FO – you gotta stick with people you trust. its a character decision. but many of the other decisions don’t resemble a rebuild as much as a construction accident site.

        • Cheryl

          But are the cubs becoming a “little Boston”?

          • YourResidentJag

            Probably, but wasn’t that inevitable?

            • Cheryl

              I guess you’re right.

    • Mike F

      Cheryl this is pretty common people always tend to go with familiarity, it is universal across sports. Unfortunately it happens a lot too in small to medium business. You can only hope they do it for the right reason winning. It goes haywire when people who hire them won’t fire them.

  • Assman22

    Lovullo coming to town next week(Rosenthal)…stay tuned…

  • Kevin

    We are Chicago Cubs fans first, everything else is simply just interesting. It’s great to have some known prospects in the minors but it just always appears the window for the Chicago Cubs to be competitive is 3-5 years away. I would love to hear Theo commit to an exact timeframe when we should get excited about competitive baseball in the city of Chicago, I’m running out of kool-aid.

    • TSB

      I’d like him also to predict the final score and 2014 World Series winner; with that much clairvoyance, I can make a bundle in Vegas!

      • Kevin

        You could make a bundle in Vegas betting against the Cubs.

  • since52

    At this stage, if you believe in Theo et al’s ‘plan,’ you believe, “if you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan” as well.

    The Cubs are looking for a “smart” manager? since when does a smart manager take over a team with it’s entire “core” a half season away from trade bait? Neither Castro or Shark are “smart” players and both are the last of Hendry’s choices. Castro (hopefully) and Shark (definitely) are gone by 2015. Which leaves Rizzo to “develop” with no protection behind him.

    Where does that leave this “smart” manager? It leaves him to smile through another 150 losses, giving the media a daily dose of lipstick applied to the pig.

    Yes, the phenoms are on the way. Great, except any halfway decent baseball guys could have and would have done the same thing with a green light to do it. Our FO has botched every major move it’s tried to make. They act and sound like guys trying to look smart. But the truly smart guys are leaving town. Sveum, McKay, Gerardi are all big red flags as to the direction of this organization, which IMO is looking very similar to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Chicago and Chicago Cub fans deserve a helluva lot better. Hopefully, they’re the ones who smarten up.

    • wvcubsfan

      Nice little political jab there. You do realize that you can keep your insurance as long as your insurance company doesn’t cancel it in order to make more money right?

      • Professor Snarks

        Or if your old insurance only covers band-aids for heart attacks.

        Of course, that was the ‘least’ wrong thing about the comment. Let’s see, if a new smart manager has to live through another 150 loses. I’d say YEA….is that 75 losses each year, over two years, or is that 90 losses next year, and 60 the year after?

        • since52

          No, “prof”, that would be 150 by June/July of 15 when the phenoms arrive and the talent starts “developing.”

      • since52

        Yes I do. And you do realize a bald face lie when you hear one don’t you?

        • MichiganGoat

          Stop don’t start a Fox vs CNN debate on here.

          • since52

            Moving on… btw, who made you posting czar?

    • http://odu Greenroom

      Politics has no place here. Please, Baseball only. thank you in advance~

      Go Cubs~

  • Funn Dave

    Boo. I do like what I know about Lovullo, but it seems like people are placing a lot of stock in one Fangraphs interview. I liked his answers but they seemed like mostly pretty obvious things to say. I’m sticking a camera in the Cubs’ interview room for the next obsessive managerial search…hopefully a long ways off.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’m 100% supportive of Theo. The franchise is absolutely on the right trajectory. The idiots who bemoan what Theo is doing the last two years are clueless wonders or simply trolls who feast on the failure. If the idiots expected Theo to come in here and turn water into wine then there is no helping them. It’s usually the case that this armchair experts are failures in life or their own professional careers. And they have an opinion on literally everything in this world that they are insistent on sharing 24/7. Sad miserable existence.

    • Funn Dave

      “It’s usually the case that this armchair experts are failures in life or their own professional careers. And they have an opinion on literally everything in this world that they are insistent on sharing 24/7. Sad miserable existence.”

      I’m sorry man I’m usually not this much of a dick but when you project your own shortcomings onto the Theo haters I hafta say something…. I’ve never met you and you’re probably a great guy on real life (and I def can’t speak to your professional career), but based on what I’ve read of your comments here you’ve just described yourself to a T.

    • Brains

      what’s interesting about this post is that he calls out both people who love what theo is doing too much, and those who don’t like it at all. i support the rebuild 100%, for example, as long as it’s *actually a rebuild*. i’m not sure this is what’s happening, for reasons not stated in PR press releases. and i don’t think hoyer has done a great job making lemonade out of rotten apples.

      i think what blackhawks might be missing too is that people who are getting pissed aren’t feasting on failure, they’re angry about being fed advertisements instead of just being given a workable team. good on them for improving the minors *just like every single other organization*. the big difference is that the owners have a terrible relationship with the city and the team’s fans, and theo keeps feeding us timetables that are clearly untrue, not to mention that he’s gambling significantly upon a lot of maybes, without making m sense moves.

    • Kyle

      Least self-aware post ever?

  • Stevie B

    My lifelong tie to the Chicago Cubs is starting to fray.

    I need good news…in quanitity, and I need it fast.

  • Crazyhorse

    Looking at the names nothing special in this group of managerial reject,(Rick Renteria, A.J. Hinch, Dave Martinez, Eric Wedge, and Manny Acta ) With this talent pool if i had to choose one The unlucky guy would be Manny Acta.
    Although I doubt Acta could be a yes sir type of manager that the front office wants in a steadfest puppet.
    Not a single establish manager want to deal with the silly egotistical double speak that current front office spew.

    Buy a goat ,dress him in a Cub uniform and let Theo self-centred and narcissistic personality guide the team to a last place conquest.

  • Crazyhorse

    What do you think Theo Epstien would prefer? An establish manager Or soundbite with the national Media? A second baseman Or an interview how he shaped 2013 World Champions The Cubs will be looking for decent Manager and a second baseman the next fcouple years.