There is no doubt in my mind that the Cubs leading candidate for their next manager is Joe Girardi. But one factor that I’m sure many are overlooking, is the fact that Girardi may not fit into the Cubs timetable as far as when they would like to have their new manager. Jim Hendry told reporters in July that it would be a long process, but he would like to have a new manager by mid to late October. If the Cubs want a new manager by then, they may be forced to cross Girardi off their list.
It is very likely that Joe Girardi will be in the middle of leading the New York Yankees in the postseason. And with the World Series scheduled to go into the beginning weeks of October, the Chicago Cubs can not afford to wait till November hoping that Girardi has hopes of managing the Cubs. So if Girardi is going to have any chance to be the Cubs manager, Cubs fans are going to have to hope for an early postseason exit by the Yankees.
Given this fact, this may give candidates like Ryne Sandberg, Fredi Gonzalez, and Pat Listach a leg up on Girardi. All of the three mentioned are expected to be interviewed by the Chicago Cubs.
In the end, I feel the Cubs managerial position will come down to two candidates and those two are Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi.
If the Chicago Cubs feel they can contend in 2011, then they will probably make a hard push for Girardi. But that leaves the question why would Girardi leave the glorious Yankees for a team in turmoil like the Cubs. The answer to that question may simply be because Girardi truly does have the dream of managing the Cubs.
As for Ryne Sandberg, the only way I see him getting the position is if the Cubs plan to enter a rebuilding phase. Considering that Sandberg has managed exclusively in the Cubs farm system, he has developed a relationship with a lot of the young players that the Cubs intend to have on their team in the near future. Also putting Sandberg in a low pressure situation to begin his major league managerial career, may be the best option for the Chicago Cubs. Because then as the young players on the Cubs grow, Sandberg can grow as well.