And your next Chicago Cubs manager is?
Before waxing on potential Cubs' managerial-candidates, I'd like to express my displeasure with this front-offices' decision to fire Dale Sveum.
Let's be honest - Dale Sveum was never given a chance to succeed in Chicago. He was handed a team devoid of major-league talent, and proceeded to produce results devoid of major-league success -- what did the Cubs expect? Well, in-fact, the Cubs got what they expected: ineptitude. They used Sveum as a bridge - essentially a stop-gap to shoulder and bare the responsibility for the Cubs' abundance of losing. Then - as the Cubs were on the cusp of expressing progress - a new manager would take the helm. This allows Cubs' management to affirm a scape-goat for all the losing, while ushering in a fresh-face to personify hope. I believe the Cubs' plan was for Sveum to finish out his 3-year-contract. However when Joe Girardi became available - at least theoretically - the Cubs moved ahead a year early, with their plan.
In short, the Cubs sabotaged the credibility of a solid baseball-man, in the name of a ridiculous blueprint for success. They gave the chef whom they hired to cook for their parents 40th-wedding-anniversary, scraps from a Burger King dumpster as ingredients, and asked him to cook a five-course, gourmet-dinner; then publicly fired and embarrassed him for not being able to cook anything edible.
Now, in no-particular order -- and because all lists must be either five or ten in-duration -- five names you should be/will be hearing, in-relation to the Cubs' managerial opening.
1.) Joe Girardi
Who else were you expecting to be listed-first? Girardi has everything Cubs' management values in a manager: he's highly-educated; he has years of managerial success under-his-belt; and he commands respect as a leader. Besides, Girardi would be every team who has a managerial vacancy's first-choice.
Verdict: Not gonna happen! I know, I know. Joe Girardi is every Cubs fans wet-dream. He's simply too smart to come to here -- the Cubs are years away from contending, meanwhile the Yankees are built to contend every-year. It's really that simple. There may be a period of posturing between the Yankees and Girardi, but they both desire his inevitable return. If negotiations do hit a snag, I can see Girardi taking a year-off to become an in-studio analyst. The Yankees aren't dumb - he'll be back in pinstripes.
And now, the less-attractive candidates/concise explanations:
2.) Bud Black
Jed Hoyer-connection; pitching-guru
3.) Brad Ausmus
Young, ivy league-educated; catcher's background
4.) AJ Hinch
Former catcher; managerial experience
5.) Minor-League manager-x
The Cubs have the kind of front-office that love to be perceived as ahead-of-the-curve. Hiring an unknown, unproven-manager, would sufficiently feed that ego.
Verdict: Always possible
My guess: It's really early in the game, but for fun, I'll take a guess: Brad Ausmus.
Again, Theo and Jed (they sound like a terrible 60's folk-band) love the perception that they're trend-setting, intellectual baseball-men. Hiring an unproven, like Ausmus, would sufficiently enhance that unworthy-perception - I can already see Peter Gammons creaming his pants. Ausmus comes from a catcher's-background, and holds an Ivy League education. He's their dream-man.