A few minutes ago, what most of us thought was going to happen, happened:

““Jed Hoyer and I had an all-day meeting with Mike last Thursday at Wrigley Field, and Mike and I continued our dialogue with a lengthy phone conversation yesterday after the press conference.  Today, I flew to Florida to inform Mike in person that the Cubs have decided not to bring him back as our manager for the 2012 season.

“When I joined the Cubs last week, I knew that Mike had a reputation as an outstanding baseball guy, as a tireless worker, and as a first-rate human being.  After spending some time with him this past week, it became apparent to me that Mike’s reputation is well deserved.  His passion, knowledge of the game, commitment, and integrity stood out immediately.  While Mike is clearly an asset to any organization and any major league staff, Jed and I believe that the Cubs would benefit long-term from bringing in a manager for 2012 who can come in with a clean slate and offer new direction.

The managerial search process begins immediately.  We are looking for someone with whom and around whom we can build a foundation for sustained success.  The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level.  I want to thank Mike for his nine years of excellent service to the Cubs, and we certainly wish him well in the future.”

Let me emphasize the “he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level” part. That would obviously leave fan favorite Ryne Sandberg out of the running. Other names I’ve seen rumored include Bud Black and Dale Sveum, and no Cub manager rumor would be complete without Bob Brenly.

I thought it would be Sandberg. I’m open minded about it, In Theo I Trust.

*UPDATE* on some Sandberg info from Barry Rozner:

“Theo called me 10 minutes after they issued the press release (on Mike Quade) and told me that they have a list of guys and I’m not on it,” Sandberg said Wednesday afternoon. “He wished me good luck and said he hoped I got a chance somewhere soon.

“He didn’t owe me that at all. He didn’t have to do that. It was a classy move and I’m very appreciative of the phone call. In the end, I wished him and everybody there good luck.”

To listen to Sandberg is to believe him when he says he wants nothing but the best for the Cubs and their fans, and thinks no one should be upset that Sandberg didn’t get the chance here.

“Cubs fans should have trust in Theo. They’re in great hands with him and Jed (Hoyer) and Jason (McLeod),” Sandberg said. “They’re heading in the right direction and they’re going to do everything in their power possible to get the Cubs where they ultimately want to be.”

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