Rambling While Wondering Who Is Next

It is Friday, so it is time for me to get a little nutty, hopefully funny, and somewhat lovey … dovey.

Unfortunately, there is really nothing to talk about as it relates to the Cubs. It has been a very quiet offseason thus far with basically nothing happening.

So, I am really at a loss of what to write. Or, I guess just go on and throw it all out there, so let’s get at it.

  • When Theo mentioned Francona as possible manager on Thursday, folks KFC and Popeye’s were screaming towards Wrigley for a promotional contract.
  • Meanwhile, the suits at Budweiser just sat back and smiled.
  • What? Too soon?
  • Mike Maddux just makes too much sense to me. Theo claims he wants to keep Greg around, so hiring Mike would most likely do a lot to make that happen.
  • Imagine Mike Maddux managing the Cubs to a World Series victory. Think about that.
  • I would argue that Mike would be more beloved by the Cubs Faithful than Greg. It is hard to imagine another Maddux being more liked than Greg, but in the scenario, it would happen.
  • I might be “mis-remembering” this, but wasn’t Dale Sveum chased out of Boston for doing his best “Wave ‘Em Home Wendell” impression at Fenway?
  • Theo, Jed, McLeod, Wilken, Fleita, Bush, etc …
  • I like that, I like it a lot.
  • I also gained a ton of respect for Randy Bush. Theo sung his praises and wants to keep him. That impresses me.
  • How about you?
  • Like many Cubs fans, I wanted Ryno, but I trust Theo. And if his action of calling Ryne to explain the situation doesn’t speak volumes to you regarding Theo, nothing will.
  • I get the feeling Theo is more open than most of us about allowing Zambrano to return. I really hope this is just a smart PR move to draw a possible trade partner.
  • Hoyer and McLeod left prominent positions to join the Cubs and accept jobs where they will not get nearly as much credit as they would have in San Diego. This tells me a lot about what people think about working for Theo.
  • It makes me want to work for Theo.
  • Seriously, I would be all good working for the Cubs.
  • A short time ago, the Cubs informed season-ticket holders that 10% of their cost would be due by mid-November. This is a departure from the ways of the past where no payment was due until mid-January.
  • I assumed this meant that the Cubs expected many would not renew. However, after the events of the past three weeks, I believe things will be much different than originally thought.
  • I don’t know much about Pete Mackanin, but he would be a great spokesman for the “Great Looking Gray” shampoo. I think the ladies would call him a “silver fox.”
  • In a quick tangent, if you have not seen the television show “Revenge,” you are truly missing out on some good stuff. But, like many shows these days, you have to start from the beginning.
  • I don’t think Crane will have a dollop of input for the baseball side, but I believe Theo will be rather involved in the business side. He will, for sure, have his hand in any and all remodeling plans for Wrigley.
  • My buddy and I came up with a game last week when Theo was hired. It involves imagining the conversations that Theo and Jed will have when reviewing the roster. I am going to close out the ramblings with a few of these bullets. I ask that you add your own below.
  • The game is called “WTF?” The “W” can stand for “who,” “what,” or “where.”
  • WTF is Marlon Byrd doing on this team making $5 million a year?
  • WTF is going to play first?
  • WTF is going to play third?
  • WTF, they gave that guy $136 million?
  • WTF, we have to pay Ryan Dempster $14 million next year?
  • WTF is going to be the 4th and 5th starter next season?
  • WTF is any semblance of pitching talent in this organization?
  • WTF are the advertisements in the outfield?

That is a rambling sampling of the new “WTF” game. I hope you all enjoy and can add some of yours below. Also, let us know who you want to manage the Cubs.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." - Charles Dickens
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  • Dorasaga

    WTF is wrong with Moneyballer like Epstein & Company? Too good to be true?

    • Calicub

      Is he? I’m pleasantly pleased so far he seems to be amking all the right moves in all the right ways. He wasn’t my first choice, it makes me mad that ryno isn’t in the mix, and I’m irked at the possibility of francona coming to chitown, and yet I think ricketts made the best possible decision to hire epstien.

      He is ensuring that the manager fits his criteria, but also knows how to handle the media, something that every cubs manager must deal with intensively during their tenure.

      He recognized the liability of crane kenney in the baseball side of things, has recognized randy bush’s worth,demands responsibility,

      And in a complete reverse of JH #1 he is not a babble mouth, he does not play favorites with the media, he does not mislead, nor does he put the club in an disadvantageous position as JH#1 did in regards to signing FA, handling internal issues like Q and Z as well as keeping what should be underwraps underwraps like the teams budget, plans, etc.

      WTF wouldn’t you be happy so far with theo?

      Btw I’ve modified your WTF rules to include who what where when and why. Hope you don’t mind :)

      Great post as always brian

      • Dorasaga

        WTF to say OH, I just went with the flow and decided we need to start every post with WTF, you know, WTF. That’s all.

        Yeah, there were a bunch of bloggers writing about what is a moneyballer. Some identified Epstein as one of them. He developed a bunch of underrated talents (the Ortiz signing helped). Here’s what I got from them:

        Moneyball Rule #1: Exploit Market Inefficiency. Lewis the arthur of that book actually replied about “WTF is Moneyball” and specifically said so.

        Moneyball Rule #2: Start every post with WTF, featuring Brian this week.

        Rule #3: WTF.

        WTF, man, I love rambles. ;-)

  • Baron_S

    WTF have the Cubs ranked at the bottom of MLB for team speed and stolen bases the last 2 seasons and perhaps coincidentally finished in the same position in their division standings??

    Speed is not the be-all and end-all, but when you have no serious power (1 consistent 35+ HR guaranteed guy), and no serious high OBP guys (without a Mendoza line average – Pena!), there is no other way to score runs!!!

    you can be fast, or powerful, or get on base a lot — If are 0 fer 3 in these areas, you cannot score a lot of runs — and the Cubs have been – fer 3 here for a long time!!

    • Teluton

      A good comment Baron..If I could get Theo’s ear I would encourage the
      notion of bringing in a few speed merchants-( I hope someone can get Campana  to work on his bunting and get the ball in play more this off season).
       The station to station show has been  horrible the last 2 seasons.
      Tailoring the lineup to hit the long ball has been a failure; let’s mix in real speed and defense for better results.

      • Coolpdxcubsfan

        It was so refreshing to see someone with so much hustle. I got tired to the max of lazy careless play by all the so called prima dona veterans with big money and declining skills. (thanks  Quade). IMO Tony was moved along too fast and then his skills ignored by the previous Cubs manager. I believe that he is our future CF and lead off man. I have never seen more excitement on the bases. BUT the real WOW factor was that he drove opposing pitchers, catchers and managers nuts. I particularly enjoyed those many errors on throws You hit the nail right on the head though that he needs to up his OBP. I think that will come with time and more time with Bobby Dernier.

  • Tony_Hall

    I was thinking Boston Market for a sponsorship would be more fitting…

    • Calicub

      LOL

      Chicken roasting on a spit at a ball park?

      That’s the best idea since clam chowder and garlic fries at AT&T Park…

  • Tony_Hall

    WTF is this team doing with Blake Dewitt batting 3rd?

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      WTF is this team doing with Blake Dewitt at alll???

  • Tony_Hall

    I am not sure about a final pick for manager, but I have narrowed down the search for the 2nd interviews.  Ranked in order of my perception of them.

    Mike Maddux
    Sandy Alomar Jr.
    Dale Sveum
    Tim Bogar

    These guys need to battle it out to get down to 2, then 1.  Terry Francona comes into play in the final round, call it a “King of the Hill” format, as I believe, he is in the Final 2, no matter what.  I haven’t decided how I feel about “Tito” yet. 

    • Calicub

      I don’t like the fact that he had such a loose grip on things in boston. I want someone who isn’t afraid to step on toes to get the results needed, that’s why Theo and Co. are growing on me..

    • paul catanese

      Yeah, Tito is in the final two, but will they give him the same test they are giving the others? If they dont’t know how he manages then they havent been around the Red Sox games at all.
      Thats kind of what I mean as the test dosent make sense.

      • Tony_Hall

        He doesn’t need to interview or be given any tests, Theo knows him pretty well.

        • paul catanese

          Exactly, and on the subject of Francona (my opinion only) I found him to be a “passive” ballplayer and very much in the same venue as a manager, dont really know how that would work out with the complete turnaround the Cubs need, in other words will he have the clout at his disposal and the ability to enforce it?

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t think he will be hired, nor do I think I want him to be hired, but he won’t be crossed off until they announce another guy.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree Tony.

          • John_CC

            I just read a quote where Epstein said “we don’t have to recreate the Red Sox here” and that Tito might not be the best fit for the Cubs and that Chicago might not be the best fit for Tito

  • Tony_Hall

    I would love to work for Theo.  I know they are tight on office space, so I will hang out in the big open space out behind their offices.  

    You can see a very high level of respect, that comes out of Jason and Jed.   That is a respect, that was earned over time.I am also impressed with our holdovers from the previous regime, Oneri, Tim and Randy.  For one, they haven’t been thrown off the island, that’s a good start, but they too are willing to work for Theo and Company.  

  • Tony_Hall

    Sun Times gave some odds at the candidates.

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/8590502-455/handicapping-the-candidates-for-the-cubs-managerial-opening.html

    Long Shot – Francona

    Possible – Demarlo Hale

    Strong Candidates – Mike Maddux, Dale Sveum, Pete Mackanin

    They didn’t list Bogar, which doesn’t surprise me, but they didn’t list Sandy Alomar Jr, which is really surprising, as I like catchers as managers.  There have been a long list of catchers, that have been good to great managers.  Pitchers, not so much, a couple lately, but historically pitchers have not succeeded as managers.  Out of position players, only middle infielders are usually into the game situations enough, to translate to good managers.  

    See for anyone out there that thinks I don’t like catchers (I don’t like paying catchers), I do like them, as a managers when their playing careers are over.

    • John G

      Using your same historical logic, HoF’ers have not made good managers either. Apparently Theo knew that fact.

      • Calicub

        Then why did theo try and get him to manage the BoSox AAA team in pawtucket?

        I’d be willing to bet that if he had gotten the job and preformed their as he did in leigh Valley or for the cubs, he would be the red sox next major league manager right now..

        And, if he isn’t hired this year or snatched up as a bench coach by the cubs, i’d be willing to bet there is a spot in Phillie for him after Manuel steps down.

        Maybe its the cubbie kool aide but I feel ryno was different than most, I suppose only time will tell but I feel that where ever he ends up he will be very successful

        • Brp921

          Ryno has done a good job at every stop in the minors. I don’t see how he could have better credentials, other than he doesn’t have major league managerial experience. You can’t get that experience till someone hires you and all great managers started somewhere. I stated in an earlier post that I don’t see where Dale Sveum has better credentials than Sandberg. I think it is a mistake not hiring Sandberg, he is going to get a job somewhere and if it is in St. Louis (I know some of you don’t think that will happen and I hope your right) it could be a monumental mistake. If Ryno becomes the Cardinal manager and wins and the Cubs don’t, it could be the undoing of Theo Epstein in Chicago. I hope whoever the next manager is they will be confident enouph in themselves to bring Ryno on in some capacity. It just seems to me that people are afraid that Ryno would upstage them. I would hope its not an ego trip with Theo Epstein, since Ryno interviewed with him in Boston but then took a different job.

          • Tony_Hall

            There is a difference between being a major league coach vs a minor league manager.  I agree with you on Ryno, but he is lacking, spending a year on a major league bench as a coach.  He would have been better off taking a coaches job last year, but, if I remember correctly, he wanted a AAA managers job over a coaches job.

          • Zippy2212

            I seem to recall and I could be wrong, that he stated he would have taken a major league job just not with the Cubs.  He didn’t feel it would be fair to Quade.

            Also, if I remember when Hendry finally gave the job to Quade most teams already had their coaching staffs in place.

          • Tony_Hall

            That sounds right.  

          • Brp921

            I think the biggest difference between being successful minor league manager and a successful major league manager would be the handling of the big egos of star players and the added scrutiny and pressure from the fans and media in the big leagues, especially a city like Chicago. Sandberg is already familiar with the pressure in Chicago and dealt with it as a player. So the big question would be the handling of the players. Being a HOF player, he would command respect from his players and I think he would quietly have expectations he would insist on players complying with. If he ends up being a successful manager with another team, after being humble enouph to do all the things any other manager has had to go through, and expressing his interest in managing the Cubs it will truly be a kick in the butt to Cub fans. (at least to this one) To that I say WTF!

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree and to this Cub fan as well.  My son is named after Ryno and he has a picture of Sandberg on his wall, he plays 2B…  

            I fully believe he will be a successful manager in the majors.

          • Tno13

            Your son?   Lighten up on him a bit Mr. Piersall?

          • Tony_Hall

            ????  Not sure what you mean.

            He bought the picture with his own money.

            He played SS, before moving to 2B, when we became a more travel team, and there was someone better at SS.

            I only wish he hit as well as Ryno!  

          • paul catanese

            That response by Tno13 was uncalled for Tony, I think its admirable that your’e son has Ryno’s name, a good hero for him to follow.

          • Tno13

            Tony   That was my attempt at humor. The last paragraph could be interpreted that you were saying you believe  your son will be a successful manager in the majors. That would be putting a lot of pressure on a kid ala Jimmy Piersall’s dad. No disrespect intended. And it would be great if he does become the Cub’s manager someday. I wish him the best.

          • Tony_Hall

            I see that now.  When there are multiple themes in posts, its gets hard to know what everyone is responding to.  

          • paul catanese

            Not cool, Tony’s a great guy.

          • Tno13

            Please see above reply to Tony.

          • Tony_Hall

            Thanks Paul.  It’s nice to know that people have your back.

          • paulcatanese

            No problem Tony, class acts deserve it. Plus I named all of my children after me, now thats an ego.

          • Dorasaga

            WTF, yeah, go with the flow~

            LOL

            But seriously, a “HOF” title is not enough to play around the egos of Major League players. They got this far not because of their coach being “HOF,” but their own talents and dedication. In those they trust. In themselves they believe.

            But I’ll say this, Ryno has other attributes (work ethics and all). These might not be enough to handle Major League. It can still be a start. That’s why he needs to go through the “coach” phase; watch and learn.

      • Tony_Hall

        Maybe, but not all HOFers worked there way up through the minors.  I believe that is why they have failed, never had to earn it.

    • paul catanese

      Yep, catchers as managers or pitching coaches are a good choice.

    • Ripsnorter1

      What are you REALLY saying, Tony?

      I mean, I think you are suggesting that Geovanny Soto would be the next manager of the Cubs?  That’s what I hearing, anyway. LOL

      • Tony_Hall

        On second thought, lets go with OF and 1B…oh we already did that too…

  • Chuck

    WTF, not only who will be the manager but who will be the coaches?  WTF, will the Cubs set a new attendence record when they play Boston this summer?  I put Mike Maddux as the top candidate.  If one looks at who Theo had at Boston, there was John Farrell.  Farrell was the pitching coach at Boston and last year was manager at Toronto.  Toronto refused to give permission for Farrell to speak to Boston about manager there.  Pitching has become a much bigger part of the game than what people think.  You can see the success that Mike has had at Texas. Who better knows if the pitcher is on or off than a manager who knows pitching?  Who knows batters better than a pitching coach.  With Mike and Greg in the dugout, we all can go “Madd.”  As Ernie might say,  “Let’s all go Madd in 2012.”

  • Chuck

    P.S.  I am happy to see Randy Bush is staying.  Many forget that Randy was part of the World Series Minnesota Twins of 1991.  He was surprised that I remembered him when I asked him to sign my Twins team ball of 1991 at last years Cubs Convention.

  • ldsteam2011

    WTF, we signed Rodrigo Lopez to pitch, really?  Ramon Ortiz?  WTF, who the hell was in charge around here last year?

    • Calicub

      WTF is a bullpen day? And WTF would think that’s a good idea?

  • Calicub

    WTF have these people been doing the last 103 years?

    WTF kind of GM thinks jeff. Baker, blake dewitt, or reed jojnson are untouchables?

    WTF do we have to kill to move Soriano’s contract?

    Old Style? WTF is the Sam Adams?

    • John G

      LOL – I like Theo and his Boston connections, but if he takes away my Old Style and replaces it with a Sam Adams, he has gone too far.

      Of course I know Sam Adams is a better beer, but I’m talking ball park drinking. I can down OS 2:1 over SA.

  • Agustinrexach

    WTF Theo? What do you mean there aren’t any offices here for the front office people??? I kid you not Jed.

  • Thebearsays

    W(hen)TF will the Cubs and BoSox finally agree on compensation? And Mike Maddux as manager works for me.

  • Roland

    WTF are we going to do about Zambrano?

  • brent carmona

    Great start to my day Brian, keep up the good work!

    Hours later I’m still laughing haha.

  • studio179

    WTF didn’t this organization come up with a proper interview process before now? The Cubs are a business entity. Asking a potential manager tough in game situations and talk to the media seems normal to me.

    WTF was the interview process before now? Where is your favorite fishing hole? Deep dish or thin crust? Do you like margaritas frozen or over ice? 

    WTF will I complain about when I will not see Q-Ball anymore. No more Byrd batting 3rd. No more DeWitt in LF, batting 3rd. No more ripping Castro in the media but praising the vets. No more double digit games out and after sweeping the worst team in baseball (Astros) and proclaiming they are back in it. No more ‘Wellsie’, ‘Cassie’ nicknames.

  • John G

    I just saw a comment on another board suggesting Leo Massone as a potential pitching coach for the Cubs, assuming no Maddux. He is available. But can you handle him rocking back and forth in the Cubs dugout?

    • Agustinrexach

      Yes, if he is the pitching coach he can rock all he needs

    • paul catanese

      John, the Braves were too cheap to provide him with a stop watch, how else was he going to tme the pitchers delivery to home plate. Buying him bubble gum was more cost efficient. Bobbing his head and counting the bobs, a good method it worked for him.

  • Tony_Hall

    WTF Theo, I think we have more office space at your Starbucks you stop at in the morning.

  • Anthony

    A Vote for Sandy Alomar Jr.

    Pedigree
    Catcher…….the only position where you see the whole field
    Young
    All-Star
    Played on bad and good teams, and in WS
    Ability to communicate bilingual

    Class Act!

    • studio179

      Agree on Alomar, Jr. Even when he was playing, many thought he was manager material.   

  • John_CC
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dale Sveum is next up in the interview process. The Cubs will interview Sveum on Monday.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to Baseball America, 13 players in #Cubs system have become minor league free agents http://tinyurl.com/4xwkvzm

    Justin Berg, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Marco Carrillo, Robert Coello, Angel Guzman, Dylan Johnston, Carlton Smith, Alvaro Sosa, Jeff Stevens, Mario Mercedes, Chris Robinson, John Urick and Scott Moore

    • Anonymous47701

      What does this mean exactly, that Iowa could be playing on bare bones or something?

      • Tony_Hall

        It’s just a list of all the teams minor league FA. Cubs do not have an unusual amount of players on this list.  Many get resigned to minor league contracts, some will go to another team.  

        Here’s the details of how they end up as minor league FA.

        Major League Baseball granted free agency to 537 minor league players on Nov. 2, five days after Game Seven of the World Series heralded the end of the 2011 season. The number of players in this year’s free agent class is consistent with totals from 2010 (533 players) and ’09 (536). You can find past free agent classes archived on our blog.Typically, MLB deems a minor league player a free agent if one of two conditions is met. (A minor league player is one not on a 40-man roster.) In many cases, his initial signing team simply has used all six of its contract renewals. We can illustrate this concept using the example of Orioles 2005 third-rounder Brandon Erbe, who signed weeks after that draft. Baltimore exercised contract renewals for Erbe for the maximum of six years—for the 2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10 and ’11 seasons. To retain him for 2012 they would have had to add him to the 40-man roster—or in his case re-add him to the roster.In other cases, a player’s one-year minor league contract, signed either during the 2011 season or in the offseason, has expired. These players are no longer bound to their signing organization with contract renewals. They simply go year to year on one-year pacts. To cite examples, the Nationals signed veterans Matt Antonelli andMichael Aubrey to such deals last offseason.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs in AFL (11/4): Andrew Cashner: 0R, 1H, BB, K, 1IP (Save); Josh Vitters (DH): 1-for-5, R; DJ LeMahieu (3B): 3-for-5, HR, 3RBI, 2R; Marcus Hatley: 0R, 2H, K, 0.2IP (BS)

  • paul catanese

    I have been watching the last couple of weeks with the addition of Epstein and his staff and have been pleased that changes have been made, removing the present manager, letting Aram walk, and assume other changes will be made.

    Something has been bugging me though and couldnt figure it out, everything seems to be going very well and along a schedule that has been mapped out.

    Then it hit me, Computers. Ballplayers, manager, trades coaches all monitered by computers.Tests for managers, monitered by computers, hitters in the orders, computers,success for pitchers, monitered, distance covered by infielders and outfielders, monitered, performance in weather,surface,wind, night-day games and anything and everything monitered. Sabernetics has arrived at Wrigley.

    Brenly has stated,”the game has passed him by”. I knid of feel the same way, where is the Human element in all of this? Are we going to miss chewing out mistakes by players,managers and even umpires, who when researched one can find out what zone he prefers on strikes and balls.

    I am going to miss all of this, but dont get me wrong, I am very happy to see the Cubs headed in the right direction. I just dont want to go to the store to buy a disk, plug it in and watch a game that is already forgone in its conclusion by a computer.

    I dont even think the computer will miss “gut checks” on players when all is plugged in and dont have to play a player because of it, or dont sign him to begin with.

    I hope I can still enjoy watching a game the old fashioned way, and booing and cheering when something unexpected happens, dosent look like thats going to be allowed to happen.

    • Tony_Hall

      As a fan, you can enjoy the game anyway you like.  As a manager in the dugout, or an organization in the office, you better be all over the data behind what happens.  Gut feelings still come into play and sometimes managers go away from the data, but playing the odds is still the best way to go, most of the time.

  • Tony_Hall

    Jim Bowden’s take on the top FA’s and what would pay them.

    ESPN Insider 

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7182272/putting-price-albert-pujols-prince-fielder-other-top-free-agents

    Aramis Ramirez
    3B
    33
    3
    $42M
    $14MAnalysis: He won’t get the overall value he got from his last deal, but he should be paid in the same $14 million range that the Braves are paying Chipper Jones.Best fits: Los Angeles Angels, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers

  • Tony_Hall

    Here is a breakdown of the 1B market.
    From ESPN Insider – Keith Law

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove11/story/_/id/7188746/prince-fielder-albert-pujols-lead-first-base-market

    1. Fielder
    2. Pujols
    3. Pena 

    Avoid: C. Kotchman, DLee, L Overbay

    Top trade targets:
    1. Justin Smoak or Mike Carp
    2. Kendry Morales or Mark Trumbo
    3. Logan Morrison

    • Anonymous47701

      If the Cubs are going to sign an expensive free agent, I would much rather see they go after David Wright and be done with it. No way they should bother with trying to sign Fielder or Pujols, let alone re-sign Pena. LaHair should be given the opportunity to start at 1B on Opening Day 2012. He is pushing 29 years old, but still has some time to make something positive happen.

      • Tony_Hall

        I have Lahair at 1B for next year, when I lay out the team.  

        If I had to choose, I would choose Fielder, but have no desire to go as many years or dollars, that it would take to get one of Fielder or Pujols.

        Not sure about Wright, but it would be a benefit to get out of that park, even though they are making adjustments.

  • Guest

    WTF wheres Josh Beckett o wait hes with the red sox