Think about that for a second, one week ago today the Cubs were preparing for their last series of the season against the Rockies. Carlos Zambrano was gearing up to win his 17th of the year and take a shot at the Cubs All-Time Home Run Record for a single season by a pitcher. Well, you all know the Cubs lost 2 out of 3 to the Rockies but right after Bobby Howry recorded the 27th out is when the fireworks started and the 2007 season unofficially began. Anyone that predicted Andy MacPhail stepping down….well look out for their nose. Dusty Baker was obvious, everyone knew that was going to happen, but there had to be a doubt in the back of all of your heads that the move not to extend Dusty’s contract was actually going to happen. Then came the official announcement on Wednesday that the entire coaching staff would not be retained unless they were rehired by the yet to be named manager. The Cubs have cleaned house and the only participant left is Jim Hendry. Then came the word that Jacque Jones played the entire season with a torn labrum and bone chips in his elbow.
Former Cubs are contacting the new front office headed by John McDonough. There have been reports that the interim will soon be removed from his current title. There have been reports of Mark Grace and Steve Stone possibly coming back to Chicago….so to say it has been a wild week at 1060 West Addison….well would be an understatement.
So what will the next week be like? Will they name a new manager? Here are a few random thoughts and the latest from the rumor mill…. A report in Wednesday’s Tribune stated Jim Hendry is looking to hire a new manager by the end of the month. With the Texas Rangers dismissal of Buck Showalter on Wednesday, there are 4 teams with managerial openings and all of the names surrounding the Cubs are also rumored in those cities. Dusty Baker is rumored to be the front-runner for the Nationals job and Bob Brenly is apparently very interested in the Giants job. But Joe Girardi, Lou Piniella, Manny Acta and Trey Hillman have all been mentioned to fill the vacancies for the Rangers and Cubs job. The Marlins already took Fredi Gonzalez off the market and if Jim Hendry does not name a manager before the World Series begins it will be November 1st before the Cubs know who their new field general will be. According to several reports, the Cubs have contacted Girardi but not Lou Piniella.
Speaking of Joe Girardi, the Marlins have stated that Rick Kranitz, the Marlins pitching coach, has not be retained as of this writing and will likely land a job on Girardi’s new staff, wherever that may be. Kranitz did a fine job with the young Marlins pitching staff last season.
John McDonough has said all of the right things in his first 5 days on the job. It has been very refreshing to see old wounds being patched between the Cubs and Mark Grace and Steve Stone. Say what you want but both Grace and Stone not being around the Cubs is just plain wrong.
Tim Kurkjian mentioned on Wednesday’s Baseball Tonight that the Cubs might be interested in talking to Buck Showalter. This move is not what the Cubs need, Showalter is an ego manic PERIOD. The only good thing about Showalter being named the Cubs manager would be the last 2 teams he was fired from….the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks both won the World Series the next season.
There are several rumors surrounding players the Cubs could target this off-season but until they hire a manager those rumors will remain just that. Once the Cubs sign a manager everything else will fall into place.
Ron Santo is up for election to the Hall of Fame again this February. The turnout from the Cubs Faithful will be one like Cooperstown has never seen….Can you say Road Trip?
Speaking of Ron Santo, how many of you have been lost this week without Pat and Ron….”Chicago Cubs’ Baseball is on the Air”….the greatest of all lead ins and I cannot wait to hear those words next March. Those two are so much fun to listen to and they made a horrible season worth listening to.
Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” was on the radio today. Great song and one that I appreciate more and more as I get older.
2007….it is hard to believe that is just around the corner. Next year will be the 100th Anniversary of the first Cubs World Championship.
Speaking of World Champions, I know everyone is fed up with the losing and booing at Wrigley has become the norm. I do not care for booing, but what if 40,000 fans chanted “1908” instead?
John McDonough has been the target of a lot of discussion this week. Some have even mentioned the fact he has helped fill Wrigley is one of the problems the Cubs face. Some have mentioned that he has an easy “sale” with the old ball park. But have I have question, is there actually a bad park to watch a baseball game?
Baseball is life, the rest is just details.
Ground Hog Day….a great movie with Cub Fan Bill Murray….hopefully the Cubs will wake up to a new day soon.
The Cubs have had a tremendous week full of change and have brought an excitement and hope back to all of the Cubs Faithful. Between now and the Cubs Convention in January there will be a lot more change….but remember change is good without it no one ever learns and evolves.
Have a great weekend….