I’m not sure we’re going to get any kind of decision from the Cubs on the managerial front today, and not just because the ALCS had a game moved to tonight.
Per the latest from Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma, despite reports and indications that strongly suggest otherwise, the Cubs are not necessarily down to just two candidates (David Ross and Joe Espada). Indeed, “other names remain in play,” and the Cubs may even have another interview to conduct, according to The Athletic’s beats.
That the duo of Ross and Espada are not “finalists” in any kind of official way is not necessarily a shock (I think you could still fairly surmise they are the favorites), but the fact that the Cubs might still have another interview is certainly a surprise. Why the wait? Well, it could be that the Cubs want to talk to someone who is still involved in the postseason and they haven’t been able to square away an interview time yet.
If that’s the case, your best guess would be Yankees bench coach Josh Bard, who has a Red Sox connection (2006), was a special assistant in the Dodgers’ front office, and then a bullpen coach there before becoming the Yankees’ bench coach. Good resume.
Meanwhile, Jesse Rogers writes about the Cubs’ managerial search and the various candidates, but very, very strongly indicates that Ross is the favorite. He not only more or less says that explicitly, but it’s also clear in how the other candidates are discussed and described.
In sum? I think we’re still mostly where we thought we were when we went to bed last night: David Ross is still the most likely choice for a variety of reasons, but Joe Espada is a mighty attractive candidate if not Ross. And now we just add in the additional wrinkle that perhaps the Cubs also want a chance to talk to someone like Josh Bard.