View From The Bleachers

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Thursday

3

November 2011

41

COMMENTS

Managers, Owners, and Draft Picks

Written by , Posted in General

Strike 1: By now, you probably know that Mike Quade is no longer the Cubs’ manager, and that Sandberg has been ruled out of the search for a new skipper.  Theo Epstein personally called Ryno to explain that he’s not on the list of potential candidates.  He was a little more blunt when he informed the rest of the world:

“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.”

The message was clear–Ryno’s not an option.  But many other popular candidates and dark horse contenders still remain in the running.  I’ve said for a while now I think Bob Brenly might be as a good a choice as any, and I don’t see anything on that list that would disqualify him from the search.  Another intriguing name that came up a lot yesterday was Mike Maddux.  Depending on how long the search goes, there might be time to properly breakdown and handicap the candidates.

But for now here’s my question to you–based on that criteria, who do you think is best suited to be the Cubs’ next manager?  Lots of longshot names will be tossed around in the next few days as Epstein and Hoyer make their decision, so for now there’s no wrong answers.  But looking around the league, who do you think best exemplifies and embodies the qualities Epstein highlighted above?

Strike 2:  On Tuesday Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and the MLB reached an agreement to auction the team in bankruptcy court, with the hope that the new owners could take control in time for the 2012 season.  It’s no secret that McCourt has not been a good owner, and the extreme shadiness of his business dealings make it clear now that he probably never should have been given control of a team in the first place.  Add to that the public fiasco of his highly contentious divorce, and he might be in the running for the title of Worst Pro Sports Owner Ever.  Who in your estimation would be his rivals for such an ignominious crown?

Strike 3:  If the NFL season ended today, the Indianapolis Colts (themselves no strangers to bad owners) would own the first pick in the draft–the one earmarked for quarterbacking wunderkind Andrew Luck.  With Peyton Manning determined to return to action–possibly this season, if you believe Peyton–what do you think the Colts should do with the pick?  Should they draft Luck and part ways with Manning?  Or trade down in the draft, and stick with their aging superstar?  It’s clear right now that the Colts are only as good as Manning–regardless of what you think of him or Luck, that’s not a sustainable model for the team.  Is now the time to reboot with the highly-touted prospect, or does Manning still have enough in the tank to stick with him?

  • Buddy

    I’d take Bob Barker as Cubs manager over Bob Brenly.

  • Norm

    Agree with Buddy on the Bob’s.

    I’ll take whoever Theo and Jed choose.

  • Katie

    I like Joe Maddon. We should pick him up.

    The Colts should draft Luck. They should keep him in the “system” for a few years to learn from Manning. Manning is a top-notch QB, and having him AND Luck would be great, because when Manning is done for real, Luck can step in without missing a beat (see: Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers).

  • Flo

    The idea of Mike Maddux is growing on me. Jon Greenberg’s ESPN article was pretty convincing.

  • BLPCB

    1. I like the idea of Mike Maddux. It might convince Greg to stay in the organization. Some day I want Greg as our pitching coach.
    2. The Chicago sports owners: Reinsdorf, Tribune, McCasky, and Wirtz. None of them gave a damn about winning in the last decade. Reinsdorf let Jerry Krause destroy the dynasty, and caused the 94 strike. The Tribune never cared to spend money, only doing so at the end when they knew the team was going to be sold and they weren’t going to be paying those contracts. Bill Wirtz is just about god awful. If he was still alive today, the Hawks would never have won the cup last year. His death is what turned the franchise around. The Bears are as big of a joke as the Illinois government: Run by clowns who have no clue how to fix their mess.
    3. Colts should #SuckforLuck. 6-5, 230 lb QB with a laser rocket arm (and a screwed up neck) only has 3-4 more years left in him. That’s the perfect situation. Luck can learn under Manning and then take over with skipping a beat like Katie mentioned.

  • chet

    Maddux or Brenly would work. Would not mind having somebody with a more defensive/pitching mentality.

  • MJ

    I still think Francona is in the running too.

    The theory that owners are not in it to win is the most ridiculously stupid conspiracy theory a fanbase has ever come up with. Hurts my brain.

  • Theo’s announcement saddens me. If Ryno doesn’t have enough experience, we have practically no chance of seeing the Hawk, Dougie Dascenzo, Shawan Dunston, or Mitch Williams suiting up to manage the Cubs.

  • mrbaseball2usa

    1. I always like Dave Martinez, but I think Joe Maddon would also be a good choice.
    2. Good question… Art Model has been pretty bad, but I’ll keep it close to home and go with ‘Dollar’ Bill Wirtz. HATED that guy!
    3. Draft Luck, and trade Peyton. I think he is done, but some team out there will take a flyer that he will play football again, and the Colts can use that to get some better picks in the upcoming drafts.

  • flyslinger2

    1. I’m not too deep on who is on the list that meets Theo’s requirements to fill the slot. Like I said before, he has an agenda and I think he is executing it flawlessly for what HE was hired for. Could he have an Ace up his sleeve that will surprise us all? I’m leaning towards that.
    2. Easy. Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins. I can never divulge why I harp about this guy so much but suffice it to say he and the devil were twins at birth and they still party together.
    3. I’ve lost my interest in the NFL over the years as they continue to dumb down play and feminize everything. However, I know enough to know that Manning is THE Colts. He epitomizes the phrase “franchise player” and the extreme turnaround in their season attests to that. having said all that he is injured and getting older. Both serious strikes against him. I think the Colts should go deep by getting this kid and get him trained.
    I’m out!

  • Dusty Baylor

    Is Joe Maddon not under contract? I’m pretty sure if he is, the Rays would make the Cubs pay a hefty price to get him.

  • Tony LaRussa

    1 Why not Me?, I’m the only guy on the list not to have seen Cindy Sandberg coning out of a shower. Though I have seen Bob Brenly..Sheeh.
    2. Charles Comiskey. The Black sox happened because of him.
    3. It will take more than suck to get some Luck.

  • Doc Raker

    Len Casper for manager, that would at least improve the broadcast immensely. Who traded away Babe Ruth from the Red Sox because of bad investments in broadway plays? That turned out to be a pretty bad move.

  • Flo

    Whoever we hire, it can’t be worse than the White Sox hiring Ventura.

  • Seymour Butts

    Raker: Harry Frazee.

  • Seymour Butts

    NB

    La Russa, who managed against the division-rival Cubs for 16 seasons with the Cardinals, said the Cubs’ managerial job has a unique and powerful draw around baseball.

    “I think the neatest thing about the Chicago Cubs’ situation is it’s got the best dream going: to bring a world championship to that town,” La Russa said. “I think that turns on a lot of baseball people at whatever level because it’s a challenge that you look forward to. Imagine being a part of that situation. I think in that regard it’s tough to top that for the other 29 clubs. I think the biggest dream going right now is the Cubs.”

  • TLR’s comment should be taken with a grain of salt. You know he is slanted. Day games are great for maxing out lens transition levels, and the early evenings at Wrigley are perfect for testing the lens transition response with all of the shadows.

  • ScottO

    It has to be Francona…all those qualifications. And I think the Red Sox and Cubs might end up with a “trade” in the compensation for Theo. We get Dice K in the mix..

  • Jedi

    It won’t be Francona.

  • Aaron Yavelberg

    Francona also reportedly has a lot of personal stuff going on; separation from his wife, two kids fighting in the military in Afghanistan, possible dependence on pain-killers… four major reasons for players to take advantage of their manager (see 2011 Red Sox). At this point, I’m still trusting in Theo. I do like the Maddux gene pool, though.

    Bill Barnwell from Grantland.com weighed in on the “Suck for Luck” campaign in the NFL (see here: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7160063/breaking-suck-luck-campaign). I thought he made a really great point about the trade values of Manning and Luck. If the Colts draft Luck, they really either have to trade him or Manning immediately to get the best return on the trade. If Manning comes back and plays great, they still get less for him after a year because other teams know the Colts need to make the trade because of the guy on the bench. Having Luck sit on the bench for a year, even behind Manning, hurts Luck’s value because people start to forget what he did in college and who knows who will be in the draft that year. It becomes really difficult to keep them both.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    jswanson, Why we didn’t schedule more 3:15pm starts against the Cubs, I’ll never know.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    You don’t draft a guy like Luck and then tell him to sit, even behind Manning. If the Colts wind up with the first pick, they’ve got a very tough decision to make.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Would anyone in the anti-Brenly crowd care to explain why he would be such a terrible choice?

  • Buddy

    Sure. Poor lineup construction, poor bullpen management, big believer in giving outs away via the sac bunt (with non pitchers).

  • Doc Raker

    I am all for Brenly managing if he brings Len Casper with him, win or lose the broadcasts would be so much more enjoyable. Transition Tony wants the Cubs job? I don’t know about that? Harry Frazee it is then for the worst owner in history.

  • Doc Raker

    Buddy- you followed the Dbacks that closely to know about Brenly’s line up construction and bullpen management?

  • chet

    From what this says it is Francona’s job if he wants it….I can’t see Tito saying yes and Theo saying no.

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/7185139/chicago-cubs-theo-epstein-terry-francona-top-skipper-option

  • Jedi

    That’s definitely news Chet, thanks for adding it – several people had already said Francona wasn’t among the targets. I still doubt Epstein would go hire the only manager he’s ever hired before…15 years with one manager and the same GM at two stops would be very rare in any sport.

  • Norm

    Re: Brenly.
    Game 4, 2001 WS
    #2 hitter, Craig Counsell
    1st inning, man on 1st, none out, sac bunt.
    3rd inning, man on 1st, none out, sac bunt.
    5th inning, man on 2nd, none out, sac bunt.
    —-
    That’s enough for me.

  • BLPCB

    They rode Schilling and Johnson all year

  • Jedi

    That’s a pretty small sample size. 🙂

  • Norm

    from chet’s link:
    Epstein added that the process of hiring a manager will be done in a public way with the Chicago media having a chance to interview every candidate. Epstein and his group will evaluate how the candidates interact with the media.

    More reason to get Sandberg out of the process immediately.

  • MJ

    I think that may be one of the most ridiculous parts fo the whole story. Who cares about the interaction with the media??? Theo, you just lost me a little bit.

  • Chuck

    I hope it is not Mike Maddux simply because if Mike is the manager, Greg may be lurking is some bowel of Wrigley sowing discontent and avarice.
    I can’t stand Greg Maddux. The way he left the Cubs still leaves a bad taste in my mouth and still causes me to dislike the Braves to this day. It is not the knee-jerk disgust that I hold for the Cardinals, but it is there none the less. What ticks me off more than Greg are the Greg apologists who greet him with open arms like he never left.

  • Jedi

    Agreed MJ – the more he talks the more I tend think we’ve Andy MacPhail’d this process again. Let’s party like it’s 1994.

  • Buddy

    Doc, it was a combination of watching D-backs games, looking at the numbers, and reading material by writers I respect.

  • Doc Raker

    I see wisdom in making sure the new manager can deal with a big market big expectation media.

  • Doc Raker

    Brenly had a plan facing Rivera, his hitters were in the box with a plan, it worked with Mark Grace sparking the winning rally.

  • chris in illinois

    If Brenly is named manager I’d quit the Cubs…although it’d probably make a few folks around here happy. Any manager who bunts in the first inning should be immediately fired (if your pitcher gets to bat with no one out in the first, I’d make that one exception)…

  • Buddy

    I won’t go quite as far as Chris, but I’d be pretty disappointed if the Cubs picked Brenly.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Didn’t Maddux get jobbed by Larry Himes when he left?