Hey, Cubs fans. I’m a little pressed for time today — doing the Dad thing as my daughter’s summer vacation winds down. Obviously, the earth-shaking news since my last post is Lou’s abrupt left turn into retirement. So let’s jump right into the action with an, uh, action-packed edition of …

Cubs Next Manager Power Rankings

1. Ryne Sandberg.His name is echoing throughout the complex set of tubes that makes up this thing we call “the Internet.” Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith has endorsed him. The New York Times has profiled him. And he’s still taking interviews.

When Jim Hendry named Mike Quade the interim manager, he may have been putting someone in place to hold down the fort so Ryno can take over come spring training. He still seems like the guy to beat, though I’d guess Jimbo is going to explore every avenue to ensure he’s not missing out on a better candidate.

2.  Joe Girardi. I know, I know … I saw the quote this morningin which Girardi established that he’s focused on the Yankees. But what else is he supposed to say? Interestingly, the Yankees won’t be discussingJoe’s contract until after the season, meaning anything can still happen. And, for what it’s worth, WGN/Comcast’s Dave Kaplan continues to beat the drum for Girardi. And, for what it’s even further worth, MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds agrees that Joe could shock the world and come to the Cubs.

* 3. Mike Quade. He had a nice debut yesterday and has said himself that he considers the next few weeks an audition. So this odd-looking gentleman, who’s from the Chicago area, has skyrocketed onto the chart. I mean, laugh if you want, but if the Cubs somehow play .500+ or even .500 ball here on out, Quade may do a little shocking of his own – assuming things go south with Sandberg (Seattle?) and Girardi stays out East.

:-| 4. Bob Brenly. BB’s acerbic comments from the booth are getting attention. He called out Aramis the other day. And many fans want an enforcer in the dugout — especially given the teams ungodly error and unearned run totals this season. And Brenly himself has confirmed that he’s interested managing again … somewhere. So maybe he would give up his cushy seat in the sky. But will the Cubs have him?

5. Don Wakamatsu.  Hey, he’s available. I didn’t see many bloggers or pundits linking him to the Cubs. In fact, if anything, Wakamatsu’s ouster earlier this month could mean Ryne Sandberg could wind up in Seattle (where he’s from originally) rather than Chicago. But if Hendry is doing an exhaustive search, I’d have to think Waka-Waka will get at least a courtesy interview.

* 6. Eric Wedge. I’ve seen the former Indians manager’s name making its way into discussions lately. His seven years in Cleveland were up and down – only three of the seven were winning seasons. But he’s another under-the-radar guy to keep an eye on.

7. Alan Trammell. ELIMINATED. But he’s cool with it. I was a little baffled by Hendry’s decision to be so explicit about rejecting current bench coach Alan Trammell for the Cubs manager job. But Tram doesn’t seem to have taken it personally and who knows what’s going on behind the scenes. I still suspect that Trammell is simply too valuable as a hands-on coach to Starlin Castro (among others) to tie up amongst managerial responsibilities.


* Debut!

:-| Back again!

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