Is decision time looming for Jim Hendry? Is Mike Quade on the verge of being named the Cubs manager? Would Ryne Sandberg take a job on Quade’s staff? Possibly serving as Quade’s bench coach?
Are Jim Hendry and Tom Ricketts on the same page? Or does one prefer Mike Quade while the other would like to see Ryne Sandberg leading his team?
Is Jim Hendry waiting for a chance to interview Joe Girardi? Could Hendry be second-guessing a decision he made four years ago?
Should Adam Dunn be the Cubs’ top priority this winter? Is a former first round draft pick switching positions?
Tons of questions for the Cubs to find answers to as Year Two approaches …
Depending on the report, the Cubs managerial race is down to two … Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg. Eric Wedge might still be in the running but it appears Jim Hendry would like to name Quade his new skipper, while the Cubs’ new owner would like Ryne Sandberg to lead his team.
According to Barry Rozner, “Tom Ricketts could overrule GM Jim Hendry and install Ryne Sandberg, but that hasn’t been Ricketts’ style thus far and it would be a surprise to see him take over the decision.”
Somewhere George Steinbrenner is shaking his head.
Rozner pointed out “it’s been apparent for about a month that Mike Quade has been the Cubs’ top choice, with Ryne Sandberg second.” And Rozner is not alone. A majority of the mainstream media, from XM Radio to Jon Heyman to Ken Rosenthal, thinks Quade will land the gig.
Ken Rosenthal reported on the MLB Network Thursday night that most baseball people feel Mike Quade is the favorite to land the job.
So, could Quade and Sandberg end up on the same staff?
Will Carroll, formerly of Baseball Prospectus, tweeted Thursday afternoon he is “hearing that Mike Quade will be named Cubs manager, with Ryne Sandberg as bench coach.” Carroll said the announcement “could happen as soon as next week.”
Ryne Sandberg has publicly stated, on several occasions, that he feels the next step in his managerial career would be to lead a Major League team … and not be a coach on a big league staff.
Not too long after his initial tweet, Carroll sent out another one that stated, “Just talked to a guy who’s very wired into the Cubs. Say’s I’m wrong, especially on timing. We’ll see, but he’s seldom wrong.” Soon after the Carroll tweet-fest, Gordon Wittenmyer tweeted in and said, “Quade and Sandberg as manager and bench coach on the same staff? Don’t believe every tweet you read.”
While Quade and Sandberg sharing a dugout, and likely every pre and post-game press conference, might sound appealing, the likelihood of that happening is very, very slim.
The Sun-Times reiterated “no other teams with openings have formally requested permission to contact Quade or Sandberg, which seems to be an acknowledgement in the industry that neither would consider another job until the Cubs’ process concludes.”
Joe Girardi appears to be the reason for “the deliberate pace” Jim Hendry is taking before making his decision on the Cubs next manager. Gordon Wittenmyer reported “a source close to the process said the Cubs continue to monitor potential signals that Girardi, whose contract expires when the Yankees’ season is done, might be interested in the job.”
The Cubs do not want “to close the door” on Girardi, if he becomes available for an interview.
Sweaty Joe Backs Wedge
Former Cubs’ closer, Joe Borowski, told Waddle & Silvy that Eric Wedge “would be a great fit to lead the Cubs.” During an interview on ESPN 1000, Borowski said that “thick skin is the most important trait” for a Cubs manager and he sung the praises of his former skipper.
Bruce Levine reported after the Cubs hire a manger, they will turn their attention to filling the void at first base … and Adam Dunn is the Cubs’ top priority.
Dunn can hit the ball a mile but has a problem catching it. Dunn has a “personal friendship” with Jim Hendry and wanted to be a Cub two years ago. According to Levine’s sources, the Cubs figure to be one of Dunn’s top choices.
Josh Vitters started at first base Wednesday night in the AFL for the Mesa Solar Sox. There has been speculation for a couple of years that Vitters would wind up across the diamond … and it appears the Cubs could be moving their former first round draft pick.
A final thought … Barry Rozner thinks the Cubs should have already announced who will be the next manager. As Rozner mentioned, Major League Baseball frowns on making big announcements during post-season play. With the ALCS beginning Friday night in Arlington, Jim Hendry will have to wait to make his decision public to at least the break between the League Championships and the World Series.
Well, that’s the latest … and I’m sticking to it!