THE DIEHARD CUBS’ FAN SHORT LIST

The search is on for the next Cubs’ Manager.  Jim Hendry, the Cubs’ GM, will be interviewing candidates to lead the Cubs in 2011.  So far, on his radar, several names have been rumored to be in the running. 

The front runner, according to the media, is former Cubs’ second baseman and Hall Of Famer, Ryne Sandberg.  Ryno has managed four seasons at Cubs’ Triple A affiliate, Iowa and led the team to an 82-62 record.  Sandberg won the Pacific Coast League’s Manager Of The Year.  The Cubs have been grooming him to run the major league team so he appears to be at the top of the list.

Other reports have included former Florida Marlin Manager, Freddy Gonzalez and Cleveland Indians’ skipper, Eric Wedge.

Today, there was a report that Freddy Gonzalez took his name off of the list to be interviewed and could possibly be the next in line to replace Bobby Cox in Atlanta.

Another report mentions that Bob Melvin, formerly managed the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamonbacks will be added to Jim Hendry’s list of candidates to be interviewed.

Mike Quade, who replaced Lou Piniella last month as the interim Manager, has done well since taking over.  The Cubs seem more relaxed and have won 11 out of 18 games.  Quade has made no secret that he would like the opportunity to manage next season.  Jim Hendry has stated that he is pleased with Quade so far.

Cubs’ broadcaster, Bob Brenly, has been unwilling to discuss the matter, but will probably have the opportunity to interview for the job as well.

Finally, rumors are flying about New York Yankees’ Manager, Joe Girardi returning to Chicago.  Girardi remains under contract with the Yankees until the end of the season.  The Yankees are currently in a tight pennant race with Tampa Bay.  Girardi has been tight-lipped about his intentions so we can only speculate whether or not he will be a candidate.

All of the candidates have experience managing and Jim Hendry certainly has his work cut out for him.  To make his job a little easier, I have compiled a “short list” for Jim Hendry.

Cubs’ fans not only want a winner, but we want someone who is a true blue Cub.  Therefore, I have shortened the long list and whittled it down to the four top choices of Cubs’ fans.

  1. Joe Girardi
  2. Ryne Sandberg
  3. Mike Quade
  4. Bob Brenly

Joe Girardi is the top choice primarily because he was a former player, a catcher who was a leader on the field.  Girardi has proven success as a big league Manager and has led the New York Yankees to a World Series Championship.  The only question, does he even want the job.

If Girardi decides to remain in pin stripes, then Ryne Sandberg would be the next logical choice.  The Cubs Hall Of Famer has had success managing at Iowa and already has an existing relationship with the younger players.  Ryno is beloved by Cubs’ fans everywhere. 

Mike Quade has proven he can manage and deserves consideration.  He managed at Triple-A as well, in years past.

Finally, Bob Brenly. wasn’t a Cub in his playing days, he was a Giant.  Brenly has been broadcasting for the Cubs the last several years and does have intimate knowledge of the Cubs.  Of course, he has enjoyed success as a big league manager as well.

That’s it.  The diehard Cubs’ fan “short list”. 

The others were ruled out on account that they aren’t true Cubs.  How can Jim Hendry even consider guys like Eric Wedge, Freddy Gonzalez, or Bob Melvin?  With all due respect, these guys have had average managerial careers.  Cubs fans deserve something more.  Something more meaningful.  Cubs’ fans want to win but we also want a Manager who is a Cub.  The leader of the team should rise out from the team.  That is why Girardi and Sandberg are at the top of the list.  They wore the uniform and know what it’s all about.  The only question is:  Who will be on Jim Hendry’s “short list”?

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