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So who's the next Cubs manager?

Jul 20, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

The Cubs’ press release in which Sweet Lou calls it a career has him announcing his decision to retire now because “it gives Jim Hendry ample time to find the next manager and he doesn’t
need to do so in secrecy.”  I take that as a license to speculate:

  • Ryne Sandberg: That’s the name you’re going to hear over and over. He’s the fan favorite, certainly, and he certainly hasn’t been down managing in the minors for his health. He wants the top job and all indications to date have been that the Cubs are grooming him for it.  I’d have a hard time coming up with reasons why Chicago shouldn’t give Sandberg the job. The best I can think of is that the Cubs are likely to get worse before they get better and the team doesn’t want to saddle their golden boy with a rebuilding project right out of the gate.  But what’s the alternative? Sandberg won’t wait five years, will he? Someone else might snatch him away.
  • Alan Trammell:  The bench coach and my boyhood hero. Sadly, neither of those things qualify him for the job. To be honest, he may be most qualified to be Sandberg’s bench coach because he went through the “local icon takes the reins of his old team when they’re about to suck hard for a couple of years” thing back when the Tigers gave him their top job.
  • The lateral move:  Paul Sullivan throws out some names today, one of which is Joe Torre. I can’t see what the Cubs would gain by bringing in another Piniella figure (i.e. manager emeritus) like Torre would be. It seems right now that the Cubs have to build for the long haul. That counsels hiring a guy closer to age 50 than 70. And wow, I had no idea that Sandberg is 51 already. I still think of him as a really young guy.
  • Field: There are all kinds of Bob Brenly/Bob Melvin/Willie Randolph types hanging around baseball, any number of whom might make sense.  Some of them skew more re-tready.  Others — like Randolph — may be smart hires. I actually think Randolph deserves another shot somewhere, although I think it’s more likely that he’ll hang on in Milwaukee where he’s coaching right now and take over when Ken Macha gets canned, which may be any day.

Sandberg makes the most sense, I think, but who knows what Chicago will do.  College of Coaches anyone?

  1. Joe Tetreault - Jul 20, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    Sandberg is my guess. I can’t see them not going with him. At the same time, I can’t see him succeeding with the team.

  2. RichardInBigD - Jul 20, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    Sandberg IS a really young guy, as am I (born in 59).

  3. BC - Jul 20, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Bobby V!!!!!!

  4. The Beer Baron - Jul 20, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Don’t forget Girardi. Not that I expect him to go to the Cubs, but his contract is up at the end of the year, he is a former Cub and a Chicago native, and the Yankees aren’t exactly the easiest place to work. He was supposedly their choice 4 years ago if Piniella didn’t work out. At the very least expect the Cubs to run that one up the flagpole.

  5. Mr. Heyward - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    Disassemble the team and let the White Saaaaaax play at Wrigley.

  6. ChiSoxFanPurdue - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Don’t Forget Larry Rothschild if we look at the Cubs staff as well as I think Brenly is another obvious choice that was listed in the field.

  7. bergwood - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Who cares?

  8. Ditto65 - Jul 20, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    This makes me a little sad. Lou has the ability to add impromptu excitement to any game/press conference/bus ride. If I didn’t know that he will unretire in a year or two, I would be alot sad. :(

  9. Omega in Colorado - Jul 20, 2010 at 6:33 PM

    I have followed Sandberg since the ’84 season, he has always been my favorite Cub, past, present and will always be my favorite Cub. No offense to you Mr. Ernie Banks, you are a close second, good sir.
    From an emotional standpoint, he is the only choice in my eyes.
    From a practical standpoint, shoot, do you want to sour him to managing the Cubbies with a rebuilding project? Maybe bring someone else in, a seasoned and experienced Girardi makes me happy too(#3 favorite Cubbie of all time). Sign Joe to a 3 year contract and bring up Sandberg as bench coach for the 3rd year with the understanding that he would take over as manager for the following season?
    With all that being said, a big thanks to Sweet Lou for all the memories and a bigger thanks for giving 40 years of your life to the great game of baseball, it will be a quieter and less interesting place without you in it.

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