Rizzo and Barney Finalists for Gold, Cubs Add Wedge to the Skipper Search and Other Notes

The starting right side of the Cubs’ infield this past season is finalists for a Rawlings Gold Glove. Anthony Rizzo and Darwin Barney are in the running for the defensive honor after excellent seasons in the field. Barney won his first Gold Glove a year ago and is up against the Reds’ Brandon Phillips and the Dodgers’ Mark Ellis this season. Rizzo would have to beat out Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez to win his first Gold Glove.

The last Cubs’ first baseman to win the Gold Glove was Derrek Lee in 2007 and the last pair of Cubs’ teammates to be rewarded with a Gold Glove at the end of the season was Derrek Lee and Greg Maddux in 2005.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday at 6:00pm CDT on ESPN2.

Updating the Skipper Search

One of the two mystery managerial candidates was possibly unveiled when news surfaced on Friday morning the Cubs had interviewed Eric Wedge. Peter Gammons reported the front office had already interviewed Wedge, but according to other reports that is not the case.

According to David Kaplan, the Cubs conducted a phone interview with Wedge and they are expected to formally interview him next week in Chicago.

Eric Wedge was one of the finalists for the Cubs job in October of 2010 before then General Manager, Jim Hendry, decided to stick with Mike Quade instead. It was thought at the time that Wedge finished second to Quade, and not Ryne Sandberg. Bruce Levine confirmed the reports from three years ago on Friday. According to Levine, Wedge did finish behind Quade but he did spend an entire day with Tom Ricketts, so the Cubs’ Chairman already has an idea of what Eric Wedge is all about.

The inclusion of Wedge would run the managerial candidate list to six names … A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta, Rick Renteria, Dave Martinez, Torey Lovullo and Wedge. There is reportedly at least one more name on the Cubs’ list, and possibly more. Lovullo is the only candidate the Cubs have not formally spoken to at this point of the process.

Reports suggested on Thursday that the front office would begin the second phase of the interview process in the coming week, but if they have not interviewed Wedge or formally spoken with Lovullo, that timeframe could be off by a week.

From all indications, the front office is going to continue interviewing candidates while waiting for the Series to wrap up so they can speak to Torey Lovullo. According to Mark Gonzales, “there is a growing curiosity about Lovullo’s candidacy, especially because his duties under John Farrell are somewhat similar to what Dale Sveum did for former Red Sox manager Terry Francona.”

Once again, Theo Epstein said the managerial search would not be made public this time around, and to this point it has not been. While it is thought that the front office has interviewed only four candidates with two more formal interviews expected in the next week to ten days, there is no way to know for sure which candidates are or are not on the Cubs’ skipper list.

The Cubs have a loose deadline of November 11 to have the new manager in place, but considering this is the fourth October in seven years that the Cubs’ focus has been hiring a new manager, does it really matter how long it takes to find the right manager this time?

News and Notes

There was a report out of Dallas last weekend that the Cubs had asked the Rangers for permission to talk to Mike Maddux about the manager’s job. The report was shot down multiple times this past week and Maddux is apparently not on the list two years after nearly landing the job. According to a report from ESPN Dallas, Maddux would like the challenge of managing a team but has not been formally contacted by a team yet.

The Cubs’ rebuilding plan is showing progress according to Jesse Rogers.

After missing time with residency issues, Jorge Soler is 5-for-8 with a home run, four RBI, a walk and two runs scored in his last two games in the Arizona Fall League.

Chris Jaffe recognized the trade that sent Ferguson Jenkins to the Rangers for Bill Madlock 40 years ago. Jenkins was the first of a series of trades that off-season that dismantled the hugely popular team that captivated the city in the Summer of 1969. Randy Hundley was traded to Minnesota, Glenn Beckert was sent to the Padres, Milt Pappas retired and Ron Santo was traded to the South Side for Steve Stone and Steve Swisher. Billy Williams was traded the following October to Oakland for three players, the most notable of the three was Manny Trillo.

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Why Not Re-Hire Dusty? Seven Reasons Why Sanity Should Prevail

    1. Very poor in game manager. Totally bumfoozled by matchups; who hits who effectively, and who
    cannot even make contact vs. whom. Not a thinker like Tony LaRussa; more in the mold of Essian or Lefebre. He doesn’t strategize. Ever.

    2. Grinds a pitching staff into powder. By the end of the year, nothing is left in their arms to win in the post season, or to win next year, and for some, does permanent damage to their career. (See: Wood, Kerry: “153 Pitches & 20 K’s”). Why wouldn’t this alone condemn him?

    3. Favors vets and sits the rookies until they rust away. Eternally.

    4. His main virtue is players like him because
    he promises that, if they cooperate, “I’ll get you the money.” That phrase, “I’ll Get You the Money,”
    was his theme for one of the years as manager. Think for a few seconds…he’s saying, “I am less about winning, and more about placating players by promising the vets a big payoff at the end of the year.” Think “free agency.” Think “counting stats.” Think “let the rookies rust away while I get counting stats for this vet to keep the veteran clubhouse happy.” Think “he’s a terrible manager if you are interested in winning and/or developing young talent.”

    5. Doesn’t seem to learn; makes the same mistakes over and over and over again.

    6. If you have an All-Star team, Mr. Baker can–as you say–“get you close.” Consider the 2013 Reds. PATHETIC third place finish.

    7. King of the Bunt–with an All-Star team of HR hitters. DUH!

    This ought to be enough to start with…..

    Now the big question: why would any thinking GM ever hire the guy?
    They don’t.

    It’s the owners who insist he have a job.

    • Sonate

      Agree completely. Dusty is probably the most over-rated manager in history. (Although nobody takes a back seat to Billy Martin in destroying pitchers!)

    • Tony_Hall

      Where have you heard that Dusty is being considered? You know that has zero chance.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Dusty is rumored to be interested and considered for the Detroit job.
        And our FO runs in AL circles. Ya never know.

        • Tony_Hall

          He doesn’t fit the mold or meet almost any of the criteria. The Cubs have a better chance of winning the World Series in 2014 then the Dusty does of becoming the next manager of the Cubs.

          • Ripsnorter1

            And then there’s this from MLBTR:

            here is at least one mystery candidate on the Cubs’ short list of potential managers,Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rick Renteria, Torey Lovullo, A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta and Dave Martinez have already been connected to the job and Eric Wedge is the latest candidate to be scheduled for an interview. As to the identity of the unknown candidate, Wittenmyer says it isn’t Sandy Alomar, MikeMaddux, Jose Oquendo, Don Mattingly, Jim Leyland or any of the Cubs’ current coaching staff.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Admit it, Mr. Hall: your false teeth would drop out on the ground if
            it is reported that Dusty is even interviewed by this FO.

            But it was reported that Dusty was seen in sunglasses, a large trench coat,
            and makeup on just the other day.

          • Tony_Hall

            Theo and Jed would have to be drunk and start prank calling guys to call Dusty to interview to work for them.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Like I said, Dusty is not hired by GMs.
            He is hired by owners.
            Don’t forget it.

          • Tony_Hall

            Tom Ricketts would have a very amusing conversation with Dusty as well. Look at the type that he has hired for the Cubs and worked with in his original career. Dusty is not on their radar in any way.

          • Tony_Hall

            That is definitive. I take it back Dusty must be the mystery candidate.

            Can you imagine Dusty interviewing with Theo and Jed? That would be hilarious as Theo and Jed would keep looking back and forth at each other and say, “did he really say that he doesn’t like all those walks, because they just clog up the bases”

          • triple

            By that logic, maybe that mystery candidate is you RIP! You’re chances of managing the Cubs are exactly the same as Dusty Baker’s second-go-round with the Cubs; One in a million…. “So you’re saying there’s a chance?”

    • triple

      Wow Rip, your memory is terrible!!! Seriously, man, you gotta start fact checking your own posts. I know you are smart about baseball, but your memory is terrible, T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E! When did Dusty start coaching the Cubs? 2003. When did Kerry have the 20 strikeout game? His rookie year, 5th start of his career. Gee, was that in 2003? No, it was 1998. Who was their manager that year? Why, it was Jim Riggleman! But you seem to think his name is Tom Riggleman. Go ahead and look it all up, that is how it really happened. Your negativity seems to get in the way of the facts way to often!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Sorry about that. I guess I shouldn’t write any posts at 2 a.m. anymore.

        Thanks for the correction, Triple.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Eric Wedge finished second to Mike Quade…and our brilliant, Ivy League FO is considering hiring him?

    As I said yesterday, “Just say ‘no’ to Eric Wedge.”

    • Tony_Hall

      Yes Rip, the interview process that chose Mike Quade couldn’t of let better managers get missed and not hired.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Look, Eric Wedge put it on his resume that he finished second to Quade.

        Don’t blame me for what he does!

        LOL

        • Tony_Hall

          I know very little about Wedge and didn’t want him back then. I always thought of him like the old time managers back in the day, that would show up to the game still hung over and by the 5th inning was looking for their flask. It is extremely wrong about Wedge, but that is the image I have of him.

          • Ripsnorter1

            One more thing…don’t forget that Jim Essian was a catcher.

          • Tony_Hall

            I know, I like catchers, but that is just one part of what I like about a manager. It is not a deal breaker to me, just something that I think is many years of great training.

            I always like Essian as a player. I played Strato Matic as a kid and he crushed lefties one year and was a great platoon guy to have on a roster.

    • CubsfannearSeattle

      I posted a couple of weeks ago that I hoped the Cubs would consider interviewing Wedge – glad to see it becoming a reality. …. Wedge is a class act and wasn’t afraid to speak up when the Mariner’s FO insisted on signing and playing veterans (Ibanez, Bay, etc). In short, it isn’t Wedge’s fault that players such as Ackley, Saunders, etc. haven’t developed as quickly here in Seattle as some have hoped. ….. As a Cubs fan here in the Pacific Northwest I really do hope the interview with Wedge leads to the next stage. If it does and he somehow lands the job (he’s still probably a longshot), mark my words – Cubs fans will someday be singing his praises.

      • SuzyS

        We gave you kudo’s in yesterday’s thread for bringing Wedge to our attention!!!

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Yessir, you were the first person I thought of when I saw that report. I wasn’t crazy about retread managers but you are close to the situation up there so I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt.

          I still would like to see Ausmus get a shot but guess it’s not happening. Some of my desire for Ausmus may be the “Matheny syndrome.” He has done so well and Ausmus seems to have a similar path. Of course that doesn’t mean a thing really. But non-star catchers have as much of a chance of being a good manager as any other thing you can use to predict. Torre, Girardi, Matheny. Two factors seem to be an indicator of success; a former catcher and a guy that struggled to remain in the Bigs and hovered around the 22-25 spot on the roster. Ausmus qualifies.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Milt Pappas…once traded for Frank Robinson, Hall of Famer.

    Cubs’ GM John Holland bought him for lunch money from the Atlanta Braves in 1970.
    He went 7-2 2.38 that year. 17-14 3.51 in 1971, and 17-7 2.77 in 1972 with the near perfect game
    no-hitter of the Padres. I remember Larry Stahl’s AB.

    During his career, Pappas was in the top 10 in ERA eight seasons, in wins six seasons, fewest walks per nine innings nine seasons, complete games seven seasons, shutouts eight seasons, and he was tied for the league lead with a perfect fielding percentage (1.000) four seasons.

    Pappas needed just one win in 1974 to have won 100 games in the AL and 100 games in the NL.
    The Cubs released him, and he retired.

    I liked Milt Pappas.

    • Sonate

      Me too. Milt flourished under a manager who could handle pitchers (Leo!). He never won as many as 17 games in a season under any other manager.

      • Ripsnorter1

        But he did it twice for Leo.

  • Tony_Hall

    Quote from the Jesse Rogers story Neil linked above.

    “If you don’t believe better days are ahead for the Cubs then you aren’t paying attention or you’re just paying attention to their win/loss record.”

    “The signing of Feldman and his subsequent trade never happen if the Cubs are concerned with other things besides the longer-term health of the organization. If the Cubs wanted to win a few more games they could have held onto Feldman until closer to the trade deadline but they took advantage of the situation and dealt him early — and it netted them two very good arms.
    This kind of strategy is being used in all aspects of the team. If the Cubs can be 1 percent better because of a move that might be detrimental to their current win/loss record, they’re going to make the move. Fans should be applauding this, not deriding it. If .500 was the goal then Feldman, Soriano and Garza are still on this team. Then where are the Cubs in the coming years? Those players aren’t long-term answers — not even Garza.”

    And this is a great line, if you just think about it for a minute. “The Cubs are much better off now than they were a year ago. Prospects abound and soon enough they will make their way to Wrigley Field. The secret to their success will be taking full advantage of the losing. Think about it. The Cubs have been losers for most of the past century but never took advantage of it. They simply wallowed in it.”

    • triple

      “Yeah, well, you know that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man.”

      • SuzyS

        Triple…There’s definitely a major divide amongst Cubs fans on the strategy current ownership is taking.
        We all want a winner…badly…the divergent views on how we get there is what makes it interesting…IMHO.

        • triple

          Thanks Suzy. I was just being facetious with that post. I very much agree with everything mentioned in Tony’s post. I believe it is a long path to our goal, but it is the correct one. As many have stated, the free agent market is not what it used to be, and it rarely delivers, especially when weighing the costs against rewards. I applaud RIcketts for his patience to stick to this plan, and the FO in using the free agent market in the best way that is helping to fill in the cracks of our farm system with some quality arms and the position players we’ve acquired over the last couple years.

        • K_Gripp

          I think the vast majority of Cubs fans agree with the long term approach the FO is taking but some of us believe that being competitive now and building a perennial contender are not mutually exclusive. To put it bluntly, I shouldn’t have to watch 65 win baseball for 5 seasons in exchange for the hope of making the playoffs in year 6.

    • cubtex

      The signing of Feldman and his subsequent trade never happen if the Cubs were looking to compete. Totally agree. No other team would promise a rotation spot to someone who was coming off such a down season as Feldmans.

      • Tony_Hall

        Are you just now coming to grips that the Cubs FO didn’t think that the core that was here last off-season, could compete for a World Series, by just adding a few 30 something FA’s?

  • Tom U

    It was a good week for some former Cub pitching prospects in the Mexican Pacific League as Obregon’s Marco Carrillo got his first victory and teamed with Oswaldo Martinez in a 5-0 shut out of Los Mochis on Tuesday. Jay Jackson earned his third save as Mazatlan defeated Navojoa 3-2 on Tuesday and picked up his second victory on Friday in a 3-2 triumph over Obregon.

    • SuzyS

      Hey Tom, what are your thoughts on Barret Loux???

      • Tom U

        Seattle (for short) I do like the potential of Loux, however, you do have to worry about the looming injury issues. Lets hope that the Cubs’ “nursing” Loux through last season not only helped him physically, but gave him some experience to build on.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Was Loux ahead of Wacha in the A&M rotation? Ray, how did they project in college? Was Loux the better pitcher?

          • SuzyS

            Loux actually was better…remember…Arizona made him the sixth pick in the draft…then shied away from signing him due to his medicals.
            MLB declared Loux a FA…and he signed with Texas for a little over 300K…a far cry from the millions he was projected to sign for with Ariz.
            So far…he reminds me of Mark Prior/Angel Guzman…hopefully he can beat the medicals and have a different outcome.
            If he can regain his health…he is a TOR candidate.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Jay Jackson….once Top Ten guy in our farm system.

  • SuzyS
    • Tony_Hall

      Thanks for sharing!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Big Papi will play first tonight in a NL ball park…….I read somewhere that Vogelbach has a better glove then first thought…..and Vogelbach will be projected a 40 HR / 290 hitter……..I take that over a guy who hits 280 w/ 25HR’s…………not only did the Cubs trade away Jenkins/Santo/Williams…..they also traded away a young first baseman named Andrew Thornton … for who?……anyone….anyone……Hall…….Hall……..for Steve Renko & Larry Biittner……….remember when Biittner lost the ball in his cap on a diving play in RF?……guy was looking all around on the field for the ball……so funny…..so typical Cubs ………….Jesse Rogers telling us better days ahead for the Cubs….Really?……I bet Cubs Nation did not know that……..where would this world be at without a Jesse Rogers supreme Cubs knowledge?………..Two bars and a restaurant burned down near Wrigley…..hmmmmm…….do the owners know about a long dragged out legal battle coming with the Ricketts?……is there a shakedown going on with Wrigleyville bar owners on smaller business owners to pay for legal costs?…….pay up or be burned out!…………hmmmm, good tv script to submit for “Criminal Minds”…,…..the suspects would be a Star Cubs player, family member to the Owners, a bar owner, a recent released convicted arsonist, a Cubs blog writer or the unknown guy dressed in a gorilla suit? ……the arsonist is………..the local politician lawyer who would make a profit on land deals!…….you think that script would sell? …….only 60 days left before Christmas……who will Cubs get for their Manager?…………….who will be our #4 starter?……Arietta?……Rusin?…..Hendricks?….Vizcaino?….
    Anyone know who is next for Cubs manager interviews?……..maybe the “mystery” guy?………what is Cisto Gaston doing these days?…or Buck Martinez?

    • Brp921

      That down arrow doesn’t belong to Tony Hall…

      • Tony_Hall

        Never has!

        • CubbyDenCritic

          say something?

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Does anyone really project as a 40 HR, .290 guy? That is a HOF projection…

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I thought many of you will enjoy seeing our top ten Prospects over the years….Pre Theo……(source: Baseball America)
    Here are the Top Ten Prospects in 2006…..

    1. Felix Pie, of
    2. Mark Pawelek, lhp
    3. Ronny Cedeno, ss
    4. Angel Guzman, rhp
    5. Rich Hill, lhp
    6. Sean Marshall, lhp
    7. Ricky Nolasco, rhp
    8. Ryan Harvey, of
    9. Brian Dopirak, 1b
    10. Eric Patterson, 2b

    Here are the Top Ten Prospects in 2007…..

    1.Felix Pie, of
    2.Donald Veal, lhp
    3.Jeff Samardzija, rhp
    4.Tyler Colvin, of
    5.Sean Gallagher, rhp
    6.Eric Patterson, 2b
    7.Scott Moore, 3b
    8.Ryan Harvey, of
    9.Chris Huseby, rhp
    10.Mark Pawelek, lhp

    Here are the Top Ten Prospects in 2008…..

    1.Josh Vitters, 3b
    2.Geovany Soto, c/1b
    3.Tyler Colvin, of
    4.Jose Ceda, rhp
    5.Sean Gallagher, rhp
    6.Donald Veal, lhp
    7.Josh Donaldson, c
    8.Jeff Samardzija, rhp
    9.Tony Thomas, 2b
    10.Kevin Hart, rhp

    Here are the Top Ten Prospects in 2009…..

    1.Josh Vitters, 3b
    2.Jeff Samardzija, rhp
    3.Andrew Cashner, rhp
    4.Dae-Eun Rhee, rhp
    5.Wellington Castillo, c
    6.Kevin Hart, rhp
    7.Starlin Castro, ss/2b
    8.Ryan Flaherty, ss
    9.Jay Jackson, rhp
    10.Hak-Ju Lee, ss

    Here was out top ten prospects in 2010,,,

    1.Starlin Castro, ss
    2.Brett Jackson, of
    3.Josh Vitters, 3b
    4.Andrew Cashner, rhp
    5.Jay Jackson, rhp
    6.Hak-Ju Lee, ss
    7.Logan Watkins, 2b
    8.Chris Carpenter, rhp
    9.Ryan Flaherty, ss/2b/3b
    10.D.J. LeMahieu, ss/2b