Just who will be on that top step of the home dugout at Wrigley Field in 2014 remains to be seen. The names mentioned include the obvious; Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees, the less-obvious; Sandy Alomar Jr., Manny Acta and Dave Martinez, and the one that makes you scratch your head and ask why Dale Sveum was fired; A.J. Hinch.
Yesterday, we touched on the possibility that Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux could be a potential fit. We also discussed the potential that his brother, former Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux, could join him in the role of pitching coach. Intriguing idea, right?
Well, then Bruce Levine had to send out a Tweet that flipped our world upside down and shook it like a snow globe.
That’s right folks. Not only is Mike Maddux interested, but apparently there have at least been mentions of Greg’s name in the ongoing discussion of just what the Cubs will do should Girardi accept the Yanks’ contract offer, which was made yesterday.
The younger brother (Greg) has a great deal of baseball experience, not to mention a Hall of Fame caliber pitching career under his belt already. He spent time as a roving instructor with Chicago for several seasons and since, has been a special assistant down in Texas.
To speak of, he lacks managerial experience, but what he lacks there, he certainly makes up for in baseball knowledge. He was always known as a player who knew the game and understood its intricacies. His understanding allowed him to be one of the best pitchers to toe the rubber in the 1990s.
So where do we go from here? With Girardi contemplating a contract offer from New York that is said to be “very generous” and would make him baseball’s second-higest paid manager behind only the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Mike Scoscia, the Cubs need to have potential back-up plans. That’s not to say that Girardi won’t be lured in to the prospect of being the first manager in over a century to take the Cubs to the World Series. But in such a high-stakes situation, the team needs to come up with some real alternatives to the obvious top choice.
Of those said options – Hinch, Acta, Alomar Jr and others – the possibility that either Greg or Mike Maddux could be at the helm of the Chicago Cubs on Opening Day 2014 gives me real hope for the future. Could a brother-duo be in the works to rebuild a struggling core of players? It certainly appears so.