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Who's the next Cubs manager? Would you believe Fredi Gonzalez?

Sep 1, 2010, 9:11 AM EDT

On the same day Ryne Sandberg officially interviewed for the Cubs managerial job, word leaked out that the team may have someone else in mind:

Don’t be surprised if former Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez
winds up a leading candidate to replace Lou Piniella within the next few
weeks.

Sources say that Gonzalez is at the top of general manager Jim
Hendry’s wish list in the early stages of the process and that he
prefers a manager with major-league experience — with Class AAA manager
Ryne Sandberg considered the strongest, if not only, serious candidate
without that.

Hurm.

I don’t own any stock in Ryne Sandberg Enterprises or anything, but I’m curious to hear the argument against hiring him (“we want someone with MLB experience” seems rather weak to me). He’s almost certainly the fans’ choice, and he has paid his dues in the minors.

It strikes me that whoever is going to manage the Cubs next is going to have a tough time as the team tries to rebuild. If you put the unpopular choice in there and he loses, won’t that add an extra layer of angry to all of this in the eyes of the fans?

I admit that’s politics and that politics is not the best reason to hire a manager. But in this case I don’t think you can simply ignore the politics either — and it’s not like Sandberg is unqualified or anything — which makes going with someone who isn’t Sandberg a dangerous choice for Jim Hendry.

  1. Kevin S. - Sep 1, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    The last time the Marlins ran off a manager who didn’t deserve the boot, it worked out well for his new team.

  2. YANKEES1996 - Sep 1, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    Why would you even consider this guy with all the other candidates out there? Not to mention taking the chance on irritating Ryne Sandberg and a lot of Cubs fans with the hiring of Fredi Gonzalez.

  3. ebraves - Sep 1, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    I think it was last July I went to a Tennessee Smokies (AA) game while I was on vacation. It was a nice surprise to see that Sandberg was managing.
    The Smokies were mounting a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, Sandberg took post as 3rd base coach, he was hauling ass down the line with his players as they scored to win the game.
    It was the first time I ever saw a manager move from the dugout to coach a base during a game. For some reason that sold me on his ability to manage. I know it doesn’t mean anything, but it was cool.

  4. Joe - Sep 1, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    I think it’s SOP for minor league managers to coach third base. I’ve been watching the Portland Sea Dogs (AA) for over 15 years, and the managers have always coached third.

  5. Travis W - Sep 1, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Pease tell me Hendry could not POSSIBLY be so stupid?! I think I’ll puke if he doesn’t hire Sandberg. Heck, I might try to root for another team until Hendry is gone if he does this. Everyone talks about how good Hendry is, no, how GREAT he is, but where’s the product to back up this talk? He needs to go. Let’s start paying underperforming players less so we can use the extra moolah to hire the best coaches in the game.

  6. keg64 - Sep 1, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    Yes Hendry needs to go. And he needs to take Rudy Jaramilla with him.

  7. leshphilling - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Fredi is rumored to be the next Braves manager. No way he goes to the Cubs.

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