Monday, September 30, 2013
Candidates for Cubs' managerial gig
By Doug Mittler
Let the speculation begin on Chicago’s North Side, where Dale Sveum was dismissed as Cubs manager Monday following a meeting with team president Theo Epstein.
Sveum was 127-196 in two seasons as Cubs manager and had one year left on his contract. The Cubs’ job remains one of the more attractive in baseball, even if the franchise has gone more than a century without a World Series title. But the Cubs are still in a rebuilding mode, so it remains to be seen if an established manager will jump in headfirst at this point.
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi has often been linked to the Cubs' job and Girardi only fueled the speculation that he could be available by saying Sunday that he hadn't made up his mind as to whether he will return to the Bronx in 2014. While Girardi played previously for the Cubs and has family ties to the Chicago area, Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com cautions that those ties may not be as strong as they once were.
Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com cautions that Girardi could be taking a big risk if he decides to sign on with the Cubs.
If not Girardi, who will be next skipper to try to end the "Curse of the Billy Goat?" Here are some early candidates:
The Boston Globe reported earlier this month that Boston’s bench coach has "elevated himself" in the chase for a potential opening. Lovullo has interviewed previously for head jobs with the Red Sox and Indians and has seen his stock rise while working in a high-visibility position in Boston.
Maddux has been praised for his work as pitching coach of the Texas Rangers. He was in the mix for the Cubs’ job a few years ago before the job went to Sveum. And if the Rangers have a long playoff run, the Cubs might not be willing to wait on him.
Reports over the weekend claimed Ausmus, the former catcher and current special assistant to baseball operations for the San Diego Padres, is on the Cubs’ radar. Ausmus has interviewed for several jobs and made a strong impression on the Red Sox last season before that job went to John Farrell.
Currently a bench coach for the Yankees under Girardi, Pena was the AL Manager of the Year for the Royals in 2003. He may be ready for a second chance.
Williams has earned positive reviews for his work as the Diamondbacks' third base coach and has been linked to the managerial opening in Washington. But there's no reason Epstein couldn't place a call as well.