As the Chicago Cubs are on the verge of closing out the disappointing season of 2010, the search for their next manager is beginning to intensify. Bruce Levine noted today that within the next 10 days the Chicago Cubs plan to interview Ryne Sandberg, Fredi Gonzalez, Bob Brenly, Nationals 3B coach Pat Listach, as well as interview former Indians manager Eric Wedge for the second time.
Levine also touched on the fact that the lack of availability of Joe Girardi may hinder his chance to become the Cubs next manager. The Cubs obviously have Girardi as their top choice, but considering that the Yankees season might not be over until November 4th, the Cubs probably won’t be able to afford to wait to interview Girardi. Especially when it is not a guarantee that Girardi would leave the Yankees for the much weaker Cubs.
It still appears that Fredi Gonzalez is close to top when it comes to leading candidates. With the Atlanta Braves also appearing as likely location for Gonzalez, the Cubs may have to sell him quickly on the future of the Cubs and the benefits of working in Chicago. It is expected that the Braves may make an early run at Gonzalez, even though they still may be playing baseball this season.
Ryne Sandberg is hands down the fans choice to be the next manager of the Chicago Cubs, but I completely disagree with that assessment. I’m not saying that Sandberg won’t be a good major league manager some day, I’m just saying I would much rather have a guy with experience in the Majors over an unproven commodity like Sandberg. For those that like to mention his success in the Cubs farm system, that is just silly because by now means should you compare having success in the minor leagues to having success in the Major Leagues.
Nationals third base coach Pat Listach, and Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly are sort of the sleepers of the candidates. While Listach only has been at third base this year, he has shown fire and intensity as by his recent involvement in the brawl that took place between the Nationals and Marlins. Meanwhile, Brenly has impressed many with his knowledge of baseball and his admiration for playing the game fundamentally sound.
If I were to tab a favorite right now, I would have to give those honors to Fredi Gonzalez.