A day after telling reporters that fate of manager Mike Quade will be determined within the next week, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer have to come to a decision. Despite the fact that Quade has one year remaining on his contract, the Cubs have decided to part ways with the manager. This decisions comes after both Epstein and Hoyer sat down with Quade last Thursday to discuss the direction in which the team was going to go.
Epstein issued the following statement:
“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,” Epstein said in a release. “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,” Epstein said. “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.”
Ever since former General Manager Jim Hendry was fired, the writing was on the wall that Quade would no longer be of service to the Cubs’ organization. Besides, Quade was contributing to the problem and not the solution. Time after time this season, Quade has prevented the grown of certain prospects that were called up to the major league level. Catcher Wellington Castillo, and infielder D.J. LeMahieu are two examples to name a few. While Castillo may not be of the same caliber as LeMahieu, both deserved to be on the playing field for the Cubs rather than on the bench. The other issue I had with Quade was that he had no sense of leadership. Whether it was Ryan Dempster or Carlos Zambrano, just about every Cubs’ veteran walked over their manager this past season. Quade’s only
“leadership” came when he would publicly chastise Starlin Castro or Darwin Barney. Having a manager who had an axe to grind with young players would have been a direct contradiction with the philosophy that Epstein and Hoyer are trying to implement.
In addition to firing Quade as manager, Epstein also fired Ryne Sanberg as a managerial candidate. Considering one of Epstein’s reuirements for the next manager is that he must major league experience as a manager or a coach, that would eliminate Sandberg from the get-go. Though, Sandberg could very well return to the Cubs’ organization in some capacity. One name that has immediately popped up in the Cubs’ developing managerial search is Dale Sveum. Sveum is currently the hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers, but the Theo/Hoyer connections comes when he was the third base coach for the Red Sox during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Speaking of the Red Sox, Sveum spent the day interviewing for their vacant managerial positions. I’d imagine an interview for the Cubs’ vacancy isn’t too far behind. Sveum appears to be a big supporter of sabermetrics, which would blend in well with Epstein and Hoyer.
Epstein and Hoyer are seeking a manager that can fill the position for the long-term, which may lessen the chances that Terry Francona follows Epstein to the Cubs’ organization. But considering how quickly Sveum’s name was thrown into the Cubs’ managerial candidancy, I guess he would be labeled as the unofficial front-runner. Though I would imagine that the list of candidates likely included Bob Brenly, Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, and Boston Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale.
There also is the chance that Epstein already has a manager lined up. Considering the fact that Epstein had Jed Hoyer lined up as general manager before he was officially introduced as the Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations, I would not be surprised if there is already a verbal agreement in place with the Cubs’ next manager.
Nonetheless, I would expect the Cubs to name their next manager sometime within the next three weeks.