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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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax