Is Maddux the Favorite to Land the Cubs’ Gig?

By all accounts Mike Maddux’s time with the Cubs went extremely well and he could be the leader in the proverbial clubhouse to become their next manager. Mike Maddux spent Tuesday night and four hours Wednesday morning talking baseball with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod and Randy Bush. Maddux sounded at ease speaking to the media. Maddux was serious at times while displaying a sense of humor.

Mike Maddux confirmed the report that he spoke with his brother Greg about the Cubs’ organization prior to his interview and did not close the door on his younger brother joining his staff if he gets the job. Most think that Greg Maddux does not want to return to baseball full time due to his own family commitments.

Mike Maddux talked about the importance of his family, which might keep him from leaving Texas and taking the Cubs’ job, if he’s offered the position. Maddux said he enjoyed the interview and when asked about his impression of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, Maddux’s reply … “I can’t do an impression of them.”

Sandy Alomar, Jr. is the last confirmed managerial candidate. Alomar spent Wednesday in Boston and is scheduled to meet with the Cubs’ brass on Friday. Here’s the rest of the update …

Mike Maddux
Here are various quotes from Mike Maddux’s press conference on Wednesday …

On Sabermetrics
“It’s art. You can make some things out of them. But there’s a lot of real stuff to them also. Good numbers don’t lie. Bad numbers can be a little deceptive. You use all the information you can, but when it comes down to it, you gotta trust yourself, trust your players and try to put your players in positions where they can succeed”

What kind of manager would he be?
“A young one! I’d be a guy that would trust his players. I’d be demanding, hold them accountable. That’s the big thing. Hold your players accountable. Send the message, give the message and make sure they adhere to the ground rules. We’re not out there cracking the whip, you gotta walk this way, talk this way. You post your guard rails and let your guys go within the guard rails.”

On Carlos Zambrano
“How would I handle him? I don’t know. The first thing I would do is get to meet him. I heard he’s a big teddy bear. I might just pick him up and burp him. I saw Carlos Zambrano from across the field seven or eight years ago … he was the best thing since sliced bread. He beat you on the mound, he beat you at the plate, he beat you on the field. He could even steal bases. He was the total package. He’s a great competitor, was the best pitcher in the National League.”

On why he thinks the Cubs have not won
“When I was with the opposition, I did everything I could to keep the Cubs from winning. I’ve never been here and analyzed it. I never played for the Cubs, always played against them. I’ve always admired everything – and I despise the song ‘Go Cubs Go’ after they kick our butts. I’ve always admired this town. It’s a unique, very unique set-up, very historic. Whoever becomes the manager of this ballclub is in a good spot.”

On Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer
“Young. Bright folks. Much like what I deal with in my current position. The new age general managers, front office guys, highly educated, very motivated, but very true and very honest and that’s about all you can really ask for is people who are honest, people who share your passion. Even if our educations are far apart, I’m pretty damn proud of my high school education. I went to college, too. Very entertaining. We had a good time together, I think.”

Maddux’s Philosophy
“You really have to hold your players accountable. You send the message, and you have to make sure they adhere to the ground rules. We’re not out there cracking the whip — ‘You have to walk this way, talk this way.’ But you post your guard rails and let your guys go within the guard rails, man. As long as we’re going forward and we’re not going out of bounds, we’re OK.”

Click Here for Video Excerpts from the Mike Maddux Interview

News, Notes and Rumors
Mike Quade broke his silence on Wednesday and spoke with ESPN 1000 and XM Radio. Quade is a candidate to manage the Twins’ Triple-A team. Quade told both Waddle and Silvy and XM Radio that he doesn’t believe his fate was sealed by the roster he was given to work with last season. Click here for the full report from ESPN Chicago and a Podcast of his interview on ESPN 1000.

Ryne Sandberg interviewed for the Cardinals’ managerial position on Wednesday. Sandberg said he was comfortable with the interview and felt it went good.

According to a tweet from Tom Haudricourt, the Brewers have asked the Red Sox for an extension to speak with Dale Sveum about their managerial position.

According to multiple reports, there has not been any progress made in the compensation talks between the Cubs and Red Sox over Theo Epstein. Ben Cherington said Wednesday that he is hoping the two sides could hash out a deal during the GM Meetings next week. According to a report from ESPN Boston, Cherington and Epstein have exchanged some ideas and they’ve been given leeway by the commissioner’s office because progress is being made.

The latest speculation has the Cubs naming their next manager at some point next week. The General Manager Meetings (November 14 – November 15) and Owner Meetings (November 15 – November 16) take place in Milwaukee next week. Those meetings typically lay the groundwork for deals that take place during the Winter Meetings. Team Epstein has a lot of work to do and delaying naming a manager much past next week will put them further behind.

Next Friday (November 18) is the deadline for clubs to file their reserve lists for the Major League club and all Minor League levels to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft. The Cubs’ 40-man roster currently sits at 33 players.

Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

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