Bob Brenly Knows All–Including The Cubs Doom In 2011


The Chicago Cubs managerial search was botched on all levels last winter. It is no secret that Joe Girardi had interest in possibly becoming the Cubs manager, however, general manager Jim Hendry opted to avoid inquiring on the availability of Girardi instead deciding between baseball-lifer Mike Quade and Chicago Cubs icon Ryne Sandberg. No matter how you looked at the battle between Quade and Sandberg for the Cubs’ managerial vacancy, there was no possible way for Quade to be viewed as a better candidate than Sandberg. Sandberg spent four years managing in the Cubs’ farm system–starting at the rookie level and making his way up to the Iowa Cubs. The hall of fame second baseman had first hand knowledge of the Cubs’ system and more importantly, the prospects that are on the cusp of making it to the major league level.

But ever since Quade was named the interim manager to replace the retiring Lou Piniella at the end of the 2010 season, followed by managing the Cubs to a record of 24-13 in their last 37 games it became clear that Sandberg was facing an uphill battle. Sure enough, soon after the 2010 season concluded Quade received a two year deal to be the team’s full-time manager.

However, no matter if it was Quade or Sandberg, the Cubs’ manager was at an immediate disadvantage for the 2011 season. The Cubs were a big market team that had a declining payroll and the front office intended to act as a small market team until they were able to get from underneath some of the bloated contracts that are still on the roster. That combination should have hinted towards doom for the Cubs’ during the 2011 season, and their respective manager.

Fan favorite, and current Cubs’ broadcaster Bob Brenly had the chance to be in the mix for being the Cubs’ manager this season. However, before the search the gained steam, Brenly withdrew his name from consideration. Until this point, Brenly has been mum on why he withdrew his name from the opening, though some speculated that the former Diamondbacks’ manager was not too fond of Hendry. In a report in the Chicago Tribune today, Brenly explains why he stayed away from the Cubs’ managerial position..

"“I kind of saw things that made me uncomfortable moving forward, trying to get that manager’s job,” Brenly said. “Unfortunately, a lot of them came true.“It doesn’t make me Nostradamus or anything, but for me personally and professionally, I was much better off being where I was this year.”"

To sum it up, Brenly knew the Cubs were going to be bad in 2011 before anyone else did. To be honest, Brenly made the wise choice. Even if Brenly was in the Cubs’ manager seat instead of Quade, the ending result for the team this season would be no different. While Quade is by no means a major league manager, the Cubs were a team filled with under-performing talent, and the rash of injuries in the earlier months of the season would have sunk any team. But another underlying issue that the Cubs have been plagued with over recent seasons, is the lack of knowledge when it comes to the basic fundamentals of the game. Brenly has been the loudest whistle-blower about how fundamentally unsound the Cubs are, and that should have been the indicator that he would not be interested in taking over the Cubs.

However, there is reason for hope for all the Brenly followers and supporters–myself included. As we have stated over and over again during the past month, the Cubs are going to undergo a complete regime change. With Hendry now out of the picture, the Cubs are going to have a new person running their baseball operations. There have been many signs that a change of philosophy is coming for the Cubs’ roster, as team chairman Tom Ricketts has all but confirmed that belief as he intends to rid the the Cubs of veterans like Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, and Aramis Ramirez that only contribute to the problem and not the solution.

With that change, the Cubs will almost undoubtedly be looking for a new manager. With a new general manager in place; a new philosophy; and an owner who is intent on spending unlimited resources to ensure that he fields a consistent winner; Brenly should be interested in joining the mix as the Cubs’ manager. Though, he still may fall runner-up to Sandberg.