Tagged: Joe Girardi

Cubs Open Door For Girardi

The Cubs have a managerial opening now that Dale Sveum is officially gone.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will begin the process of finding a replacement immediately. Epstein has made it clear that the Cubs want a manager that can establish a winning culture in Chicago. The last couple of years have been dismal, but the farm system has flourished and that means the Cubs have some exciting prospects knocking on the door. Before the Cubs bring up Soler, Baez, Almora, Bryant and Olt, Epstein wants to have a manager in place that can cultivate this pool of young talent. The Cubs are looking for an established, experienced leader that knows what it takes to win. It all makes sense now. Sveum was hired to make it through the past two seasons while the Cubs traded payroll for prospects. So far, this phase has been successful in spite losing 197 games during that time. Sveum cannot be blamed for all of it, but let’s face it, he is not part of the winning culture that the Cubs are looking for.
Enter Joe Girardi. While having much success with the New York Yankees, Girardi may want the opportunity to take on a fresh challenge. The Cubs offer such a challenge. Girardi is from Chicago and has played for the Cubs during his career. In my opinion, Joe Girardi is the perfect fit for the Cubs. He brings everything a Cubs fan could want in a manager. He knows what the Cubs fans have suffered through and understands the importance of winning a World Series. Girardi’s contract with the Yankees is up and the window of opportunity to acquire him is now. Simply, the Cubs had to fire Dale Sveum to open the door for Joe Girardi should he choose to come home and attempt what some say is the impossible. Girardi understands what it would mean to Cubs fans like no one else. Ryne Sandberg would have been a likely candidate but he signed a 3-year deal with the Phillies. Girardi would seem to be the most attractive manager on the market. He has proven what he can do with young, talented players when he won Manager of the Year with the Florida Marlins. Anybody that watches baseball knows the poise, presence, and power that Girardi has in the dugout. He understands the game, knows how to manage. I can’t see anyone else in the future as Cubs Manager. Joe Girardi is the perfect choice. Hands down.

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Will The Winter Meetings Bring Solace to Cubs’ Fans?

It has been a year of disappointment and frustration for Cubs’ fans.  The Cubs’ have yet to make any moves to fill the glaring holes at first base and the lead off position.  Time is running out and Cubs’ fans are getting nervous.  What are the Cubs going to do?

The 2010 season was lost from the very beginning.  The season brought many disappointments along the way.  After Lou Piniella suddenly retired, Mike Quade took over and brought some renewed hope to Chicago.  He managed to motivate the players and the Cubs finished strong.  A glimmer of things to come?

Following the season, the managerial search was on.  Fans argued over who should be the next manager.  Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi were amongst the names that most believed would win the job.  Of course, the Cubs decided on Mike Quade, who earned the position with the strong finish.  Many diehard Cubs’ fans were angered that Sandberg wasn’t named manager, others were mad that Girardi never had the opportunity to interview.  In the end, it didn’t matter what Cubs’ fans wanted, the Cubs had made their choice. 

Next came the off season.  The Cubs have many holes to fill, particularly first base.  The Cub faithful once again started a debate.  Who should the Cubs acquire?  Many Cubs’ blogs have made suggestions. The Cub Den, http://cubden.mlblogs.com/ and Strictly Cubs Baseball, http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/ have explored all of the possibilities.  I, myself, have made some suggestions.  Unfortunately, our suggestions have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.  Do the Cubs actually listen to the fans?  Do they acknowledge what the fans want?  It has been my opinion that they do not.  Of course, I understand that the Cubs have all the experts that share their input when it comes to assembling a team.  That’s what they get paid to do.  However, since the fans are the ones that support the team, shouldn’t the Cubs take a more active interest in what the fans want?  I think so.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any evidence of that.  I suppose that we should leave the management to the professionals, but I would like to believe that the Cubs care about the fans.  Obviously, the fans have a thousand opinions and not all of them are wonderful, but some are. 

So what is my point to all of this?

I would like the Cubs to listen a little more closely to us diehard fans, that’s all.  Sometimes we feel ignored.  Many of us wanted the Cubs to acquire Adrian Gonzalez, but he got away.

As the Winter Meetings get under way, the Cubs need to get busy filling holes.  The Cubs haven’t done anything yet and other teams are swooping down and plucking players left and right.  Hopefully, the Cubs will make some moves that will earn the fans’ respect again.  Cubs’ fans don’t want to wait till 2 or 3 years before the team competes.  We want to compete each and every year.  Baseball should be exciting, not disappointing.  On that note, Jim Hendry needs to get busy.  Cubs’ fans are getting restless.

My All-Time Favorite Cubs!

I have been a diehard Cubs’ fan for over 32 years.  Here is a list of my all-time favorite Cubs.

In no particular order, I have broken my favorites down by position.  Former Cub Greats like Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, and Ron Santo are NOT listed since I never had the opportunity to see them play.  However, obviously, they are the best.

In the OUTFIELD, my favorites include ANDRE DAWSON.  Andre Dawson is a Hall of Famer and his numbers speak for themselves. 
thumbnailCASVJS4E.jpgSammy,
thumbnailCAGSWXSZ.jpgon the other hand, lost favor with me when I, along with the rest of the world, discovered that he used a corked bat while hitting 66 homeruns in 1998.  Sammy was exciting to watch, but with the steroid scandal, he became a major disappointment.  I was at Wrigley all summmer long in 1998 and was a witness to history, unfortunately it was all smoke and mirrors for the fans.   Another favorite has been Gary Matthews.  “Sarge” always took charge in the outfield and played hard-nosed baseball.  He was an all-out effort kind of player. My third favorite outfielder, in my time, is BOB DERNIER.
thumbnailCASG8UGU.jpg
thumbnailCAYVE10S.jpg  He was a speedster that not only stole bases, but had a gold glove as well.

At THIRD BASE, the Cubs haven’t had anybody that has stood out until Aramis Ramirez came along. 
thumbnailCA6WKXR1.jpgAlthough he struggled with injuries last season, he has been a solid performer over the past few years with the Cubs.  Hopefully next season, he will return to form.

At SHORTSTOP, my favorite was Ivan DeJesus
thumbnailCAU6D3I4.jpgHe was the lead-off hitter back when I began watching the Cubs.  He played solid defense and stole bases.  He always gave 100%.

At SECOND BASE, there is only one RYNE SANDBERG. 
thumbnailCACA1ZSP.jpgA Hall of Famer, Ryno was simply the best.  He was the most clutch hitter that I’ve ever seen.

At FIRST BASE, while most fans would arguably pick Mark Grace and rightfully so, my pick is BILL BUCKNER.  Back in the day, Buckner was a hitting machine.  In my opinion, he was a better hitter than Gracie.  He was a pretty good defensive player as well.  It is unfortunate that fans only remember the ball that went through his legs at Boston.
thumbnailCAK2MV8C.jpg  The same could be said for Leon Durham in 1984.  Derek Lee deserves special recognition.  I almost picked him and probably should have.  He is probably the best first baseman the Cubs have had in my 32 years as a fan, I just was a big fan of Buckner, that’s all. 

At CATCHER, my favorite was JODY DAVIS.
thumbnailCAIL1KLX.jpg  He was awesome.
thumbnail.jpg  Back in 1984, the Cubs had a good team up and down the line-up.  It was probably my favorite team as a whole.

STARTING PITCHER is none other than Greg Maddux
thumbnailCAXBVF46.jpgHe is the king of the hill.

My favorite CLOSER was BRUCE SUTTER.  He had a split-fingered fast ball that was lights out.  Carlos Marmol recently broke his strikeout record for closers.

thumbnailCA01ENS8.jpgSome of my other favorites include, most notably, JOE GIRARDI, LEE SMITH, DENNIS ECKERSLY, Kenny Lofton, FERGUSON JENKINS, MARK GRACE, Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood, RICK SUTCLIFFE, LEON DURHAM, KEITH MORELAND, Derek Lee, DAVE KINGMAN, SHAWON DUNSTON, Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, and Carlos Marmol.   My FAVORITE CUBS’ TEAM was 1984. 
thumbnailCAFW14WS.jpgIt was a season to remember!
thumbnailCAWZTYEX.jpg

Why Diehard Cubs’ Fans Are Angry!

Mike Quade is now the new Cubs’ Manager, but that’s not why diehard Cub fans are angry.  While Q may be deserving, many fans are bitterly disappointed and some are downright outraged by the lack of loyalty and disdain demonstrated by the Cubs toward Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi.

After replacing Lou Piniella in August, Mike Quade made a case for himself to be the next Cubs’ Manager as the Cubs finished the season strong.  The Cubs went 24-13 under Quade, who made an immediate impression as he proved that he can manage.  A new attitude was adopted by the Cub players and Quade influenced the team to get better, and they did.  Rather than playing out the season, the Cubs stormed back and compiled the best record in the National League, next to the Philadelphia Phillies, during the last 37 games of the season.  The Cubs’ Pitching Staff was vastly improved, Carlos Zambrano was unstoppable, and the bullpen was lights out.  The new look Cubs looked like a different team under Mike Quade, who deserves alot of credit for the turnaround.  Q made a statement, and seemingly out of nowhere, emerged as the leading candidate for the Cubs’ managerial position.

But that’s not why Cub fans are angry.

As the interview process dragged on, many diehard Cub fans waited eagerly as the drama began to unfold.  The Cubs interviewed Freddi Gonzalez, who withdrew his name as the Atlanta Braves announced that he would replace the legendary Bobby Cox following his retirement after the Braves lost to the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. 

Eric Wedge was interviewed but ended up getting a job with the Seattle Mariners.  Bob Melvin was also on the list, but many felt that he was not a good fit for the Cubs.  Finally, Bob Brenly, the Cubs commentator, withdrew his name from consideration because he felt that he was not a good fit.  Brenly was supported by many of the fans, but it appears that he will look elsewhere.  No one really knows why.

Ryne Sandberg was a leading candidate as well.  After managing 4 years in the Cubs’ farm system, many believed that he was being groomed to take over as the next Cub Manager.  The former Cub second baseman and Hall Of Famer, managed the Cubs’ Triple A affiliate, Iowa team to a first place tie this past season.  Sandberg won the Pacific Coast League Manager Of The Year Award and proved that he was a legitimate candidate to manage at the big league level.  Upon hearing the news that Quade was named Manager, Ryno expressed his disappointment and decided that he will explore other opportunities.  He has said, that it is his dream to manage in the Major leagues, if not in Chicago, then somewhere. 

Finally, many diehard Cub fans expected Jim Hendry, the Cubs’ GM, and Tom Ricketts, the Cubs’ Owner and Chairman, to wait till after the post-season to talk to New York Yankees’ Manager, Joe Girardi.  The Cubs have stated that they wanted to have a manager in place by the November Organizational Meetings in November, but there was no hurry to rush the interview process.  That led many to speculate that the Cubs were waiting to interview one last managerial candidate, particularly former Cubs’ Catcher, Joe Girardi, whose New York Yankees were still alive in their quest for another World Series championship.  Apparently, Joe Girardi, who many believed to be the most experienced, successful, qualified candidate for the job, was never even considered.  Upon hearing the news at a Yankee press conference, Girardi appeared shocked by the news but quickly congratulated Mike Quade on the decision.

So why are diehard Cub fans bitterly disappointed and angry?

thumbnailCAJV0B2C.jpgNo one can argue that Mike Quade earned his right to manage.  The reason that the diehard Cub fans are outraged is the complete lack of loyalty and disdain that Jim Hendry and Tom Ricketts have displayed toward two of the diehard Cub fan favorites, Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi.  First of all, the fans expected Jim Hendry to wait for Joe Girardi.  While Girardi’s contract with the Yankees expires at the end of the season, there was some question as to whether or not he will return to New York for another season.  Many believed that he might have interest in coming home to Chicago.  He has said in the past, that managing the Cubs was his dream job.  He interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial position before, but failed to land the job because of his inexperience managing.  Since then, he managed a young Florida Marlin team and has led the New York Yankees to a World Series championship.  This time around, Joe Girardi was completeley snubbed by the Cubs.  He wasn’t even granted an interview.  Sad.  The other sad part of the managerial search was the treatment of Ryne Sandberg.  Many believed that if Mike Quade did get the job, then Ryno would be promoted to Bench Coach.  Instead, Sandberg was snubbed once again.  He was never offered the position.  Now Ryno has to deal with the disappointing news and will most likely leave the Cubs’ Organization to manage another team somewhere else.  Two former Cubs, unwelcomed in their own backyard.  This is why Cubs’ Fans are furious.

Tom Ricketts trusted Jim Hendry to make the final decision.  Jim Hendry demonstrated a complete and utter lack of loyalty in the managerial search.  He has shown disdain toward former Cubs, who have become fan favorites over the years.  While it was a great day for Mike Quade, who finally gets the opportunity to manage in the big leagues, it remains a sad day in Wrigleyville.  Tom Ricketts has stated publicly, that the Cubs should listen to the diehard Cub fans more.  Unfortunately, no one is listening and the diehard Cub fans are extremely angry and disappointed by the PR disaster that Jim Hendry has created.  Many fans have expressed their anger by deciding to no longer support the team.  Many will stay away from Wrigley.  Many have cried for Jim Hendry’s resignation or termination.  Many diehard Cubs’ fans have simply given up.  I have been a diehard Cubs’ fan for the past 32 years and my hopes and dreams of seeing the Cubs win a World Series has been crushed, not because Mike Quade was named Manager, but because two of my all-time favorite Cubs, Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi were treated with a lack of respect and a lack of loyalty.  Somebody please tell me why I should remain loyal to the Cubs when there is no loyalty in the Cubs’ Organization.  I will have to search my heart before I will watch the Cubs again.  My faith and trust in this organization has been shattered.  It breaks my heart.  Thank you, Tom Ricketts and Jim Hendry, your lack of loyalty has just cost you thousands and thousands of loyal Cub fans everywhere.  What were you thinking?

Sandberg To Interview With The Toronto Bluejays; The Latest Twist To The Cubs’ Managerial Search!

It’s official.  Ryne Sandberg has scheduled an interview with the Toronto Bluejays, throwing the Cubs’ managerial search a curve ball.  The Chicago Tribune reports that Ryno will meet with Toronto to discuss the opening for Manager with the Bluejays.

What does this mean?  Is Sandberg tired of sitting around while the Cubs’ General Manager, Jim Hendry and Owner, Tom Ricketts wait to talk to Joe Girardi?  Have the Cubs already made a decision?  It isn’t clear, but I would think that Ryno isn’t taking anything for granted and is exploring his options. 

While the Cubs wait for Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees to finish the post-season, the Cubs are taking a chance that Ryne Sandberg and Mike Quade could find managerial positions elsewhere.  Since Joe Girardi is still under contract, he has not publicly announced any interest in the Cubs’ position.  He simply refuses to discuss the matter which leaves the world in the dark as to whether or not he is an option for the Cubs.  Of course, maybe Jim Hendry knows something that we don’t.  Who knows?  Most Cub fans are willing to wait for Girardi , others panic at the thought of losing Sandberg. 

The Cubs’ managerial search is getting interesting.  No one can blame Ryne Sandberg for exploring his options.  Of course, we’ll see what happens. 

thumbnailCAZ5MTW4.jpgThere is a rumor that the Cubs are waiting to talk to Joe Girardi, who is the most experienced, qualified, candidate, who many fans believe is the best fit for the Cubs.  While Girardi might be the frontrunner in the Cubs’ managerial position, plan “A”, it is believed that Mike Quade is in line for the job if Girardi falls through.  Perhaps, the Cubs offered Sandberg a job as Bench Coach and Ryno snubbed the idea, sighting that he wants to manage a team, not be a bench coach.  If that is the case, then Sandberg may walk.

A Diehard Cubs’ Fan Speculates As Cubs’ Managerial Search Intensifies!

Who will it be? Rumors are flying and speculation is mounting as the Cubs continue the search for the next Cubs’ manager.  Who has the inside track?  Several names have surfaced and everyone has an opinion as to what the Cubs should do.  A Diehard Cubs’ Fan reveals his thoughts of who will emerge as the best candidate for the job.

The Cubs’ General Manager, Jim Hendry and Cubs’ Owner and Chairman, Tom Ricketts have interviewed several candidates for the managerial position but with a couple of weeks left before the November Organizational Meetings, a decision is still hanging in the balance.  More than likely, the Cubs are done interviewing candidates, that is, except for one, Joe Girardi. 

Joe Girardi is still under contract with the New York Yankees and the Yankees are still alive in the post-season, fighting for another chance at a World Series championship.  Until the Yankees have been eliminated or win it all, Joe Girardi is off limits.  The Cubs have insisted that there is no timetable set for naming the next manager.  It is likely that the Cubs are waiting to hear from Girardi before making a final decision.  Depending how the Yankees fair in the post-season will, more than likely, decide if Girardi will stay with the Yankees or move on and pursue what he once called his dream job, of managing the Chicago Cubs.

So far, the Cubs have interviewed Freddi Gonzalez, who elected to take over the Atlanta Braves following the retirement of Bobby Cox.  So he is out.  The Cubs have also interviewed former Arizona Diamondback and Seatlle Mariner skipper, Bob Melvin and former Cleveland Indian Manager, Eric Wedge.  Tom Ricketts has stated that he is looking for a candidate that understands the culture of the Cubs’ history and fans.  Neither of these two candidates have played for the Cubs or have been in the Cubs’ organization.  Both have mediocre managerial records, both below .500 winning per centages.  That doesn’t bode well with Cubs’ fans so it is unlikely that they will be hired.

Most fans will agree that the short list has been whittled down to three candidates, all of which have ties within the organization.  Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi both played for the Cubs back in the eighties, both were well respected and loved by the fans which is why they are at the top of the list.

Mike Quade has been interviewed and has made a strong case for himself as he turned the Cubs around in the final month and a half of this past season following Lou Piniella’s sudden retirement in August.  Quade went 24-13 and has garnered support from the Cub players who have said that they liked Mike and enjoyed playing under him.
thumbnailCACT6MC2.jpg  Quade has turned some heads and has garnered much support in his pursuit to be the next manager.  Unfortunately for Quade, 37 games was not nearly enough to truly evaluate him and his potential as the Cubs’  manager.  Q stands for question marks.  No one really knows how he will stand up to the presseure of a whole season.

Ryne Sandberg is a former Cub and a Hall of Fame member.  He is a fan favorite at Wrigley.  Ryno has had incredible success managing in the minor leagues.  Sandberg won the Pacific Coast League Manager Of The Year this past season with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, Iowa.  Ryno emphasized the fundamentals and has enjoyed success with the younger players in development.  Many believe that the Cubs have planned on Ryno to someday take charge.  The drawbacks to Sandberg are that he hasn’t managed in the Major League, nor has he gotten his feet wet as a coach at this level.  In addition, he hasn’t had the scrutiny and pressure of dealing with the media and fans.

Why hasn’t a decision been forthcoming?  The Cubs are waiting to talk with Joe Girardi. 

Joe Girardi, a former catcher with the Cubs has been quoted as saying, managing the Cubs is his dream job.  Girardi interviewed with the Cubs in the past, but at the time, did not have the MLB experience that was desired.  Since then, Girardi managed a youthful Florida Marlin team and has led a veteran New York Yankee team to a World Series championship.  Joe knows baseball.  Joe knows the Cubs.  Joe knows Chicago, he grew up in Peoria, Illinois.  Joe knows how to manage a MLB team.  Joes knows how to win.  Joe knows how to get to and win a World Series.  Joe knows what Cub fans want and expect.  Joe knows how to handle the scrutiny and pressure of the media. 

Why are the Cubs waiting to talk to Girardi?  Because he is simply the best qualified manager for the job and the Cubs know it.  He is worth the wait!

In my opinion, the Cubs will hire Joe Girardi, if he becomes available, which will depend on how the Yankees do in the playoffs.  If he is not available, then the obvious direction that the Cubs should take, will be to hire Ryne Sandberg and Mike Quade, one as the Manager and one as the Bench Coach. 

The Cubs’ Managerial Search Is Over! The Unofficial Short List!

As the Cubs’ General Manager, Jim Hendry continues the search for the next Cubs’ Manager, A Diehard Cubs’ Fan explains who will advance to the “short list” of candidates and who has the inside edge of landing the job.

While the Cubs and Jim Hendry have been busy taking phone calls and interviewing potential candidates for the managerial position, in the end, there are only three who will be seriously considered.  Let’s evaluate the front runners at this time.  The “short list” will most likely be the following, in no particular order.

1)  MIKE QUADE

thumbnailCARLOKCD.jpg2)  RYNE SANDBERG

3)  JOE GIRARDI

Jim Hendry has also interviewed Freddi Gonzalez, who withdrew his name for consideration.  Reports have surfaced that he may take over the Atlanta Braves following the retirement of Bobby Cox.

Pat Listach decided to withdraw his name as well.  He wants to stay with the Washington Nationals.  Reports claim that he is also interested in the Toronto Bluejays job. 

Bob Brenly was interviewed but declined to waste Jim Hendry’s time siting that he was not a good fit for the Cubs.  It has been reported that he may seek, and have the inside edge to managing the Milwaukee Brewers.

Eric Wedge was interviewed, but a mediocre managing record will probably exclude him from making the “short list”.  Another factor involved would be the fact that he doesn’t have any ties to the Cubs’ Organization.  Bob Melvin falls into the same category and therefore will not make it to the next step in the process.

Jim Hendry and Cubs’ Owner and Chairman, Tom Ricketts have planted clues as to who they want to hire which leads me to believe that the “Short List” has already been written in stone, even though they would deny it.  What clues?  Let me explain.

Tom Ricketts was quoted to say that he wants a Manager that will be the Cubs’ Manager for life.  He wants somebody who will remain loyal to the Organization and will be committed to winning a World Series Championship.  Ricketts has repeatedly hinted that the Cubs are in the midst of rebuilding and has committed to growing the farm system and developing players from within the Organization.  Tom Ricketts is a Diehard Cubs’ Fan himself and has expressed the desire to listen to the Diehard Cubs’ Fans and finding ways to win.  He wants a Manager that has either played for the Cubs or has been with the Cubs’ Organization, which will be the starting point to narrowing the field down to three candidates.  Preferably, the Cubs are searching for someone who has experienced the 102 year curse of the Cubs, someone that understands the importance of bringing a World Series Title to Wrigleyville, someone who feels the Diehard Cubs’ Fans pain and suffering.  Cubs’ Fans are mostly united in wanting a skipper that has formerly played in Chicago, someone who will have their loyalty and support.

Jim Hendry has stated that he prefers that the managerial candidate have previous Major League managing experience.

Let’s look at the top three candidates and decide where they fit in the grand scheme of things.

1)  Mike Quade came out of nowhere to make the short list.  Following Lou Piniella’s sudden retirement in August, Quade took over the Cubs after all was lost for the season.  The Cubs had nothing to play for but Mike Quade somehow managed to turn a disappointing season into a top-notched team.  The Cubs were 24-13 under Q and finished very strong.  The Cubs were winning series’ and won something like 14 out of the last 17 road games.  The Pitching Staff was reborn and the Cubs were starting to play up to their potential.  Cubs baseball was exciting again, while it lasted.  No one can argue with the job Quade has done to turn the Cubs around.  Jim Hendry and Tom Ricketts have said that they were very pleased at the outstanding job Quade has done.  Mike Quade has managed for many years at the Triple A level.  He has roots in the Cubs’ Organization and that will benefit him when the decision is finally made.  The only drawback to Mike Quade is the fact that he only managed 37 games and has not been tested for a full year. 

2)  Ryne Sandberg has been, and will continue to be a top candidate.  The plan has been, for many years, to let Ryno manage at the minor league level, gain experience, then someday, take over the Cubs as Manager.  He earned Pacific Coast League Manager Of The Year honors this past season at Triple A, Iowa, and has proven that he too can manage.  Sandberg is a fan favorite.  His Hall Of Fame status speaks for itself.  He was everything a Cub should be, and more.  Ryno exemplified what a team player should be and defined what is expected as a player.  As a Manager, he teaches the fundamentals of winning.  The only drawback for Sandberg is the fact that he doesn’t have any Major League experience managing which is why Joe Girardi failed to land the job in the past.

3) Joe Girardi may have the best qualifications of all.  The Cubs have repeatedly stated that there is no need to rush the interview process.  They hope to have someone in place by the November Organizational Meetings.  What are they waiting for?  Jim Hendry has vowed not to let any stone go unturned, which means that he plans to be thorough and cover all the possibilities.  The Cubs are waiting until the end of the baseball season.  Joe Girardi is in the middle of a playoff race as the New York Yankees strive to win another World Series Title.  Girardi is currently under contract and therefore, the Cubs cannot legally contact him until after the season has ended.  With Joe Girardi comes many questions.  Does Joe want to continue to manage the New York Yankees?  If so, do the Yankees want him to return?  It will largely depend on what happens in the post-season.  If the Yankees win the World Series, then New York will probably pay him well to stay.  If the Bronx Bombers fail to win it all, then New York will probably demand that Girardi be gone.  That’s how it works in New York, you know.  The other question that remains to be answered is whether or not Girardi wants to manage the Cubs.  He has stated in the past that he would like to, but what about now?  Is he willing to leave the bright lights of New York for the Windy City?  We will have to wait and find out. 

Joe Girardi is a former Cubs’ catcher.  His ties with the Cubs run deep, like Sandberg.  The biggest, and most glaring difference between Sandberg and Girardi is that Joe Girardi not only has Major League experience, but has won a World Series Championship.  Joe knows how to handle the pressures of having to win.  Joe knows how to handle the media.  Joe knows how to handle young players and veterans alike.  Joe Girardi, most likely, will have the edge in the managerial search if he makes himself available.  If he does, then look for Joe Girardi to be the next Cubs’ Manager based on his past in the Cubs’ Organization, experience, and success as a Major League Manager.

If Girardi passes on the Cubs, then look for some kind of combination of Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg to lead the Cubs next year.  Either the Cubs will award the managerial position to Mike Quade for a year while Ryno gets his feet wet at the major league level as the Bench Coach, or Ryno could be hired as Manager and still keep Mike Quade around as the third base coach or as Bench Coach where he can be available to Sandberg for advice.  With so many managerial positions available this offseason, Quade could defect and go elsewhere, perhaps wherever Bob Brenly decides to manage, but he is loyal to the Cubs and whether he wins the Manager position or not, I believe he will stay on with the Cubs. 

As the drama unfolds, watch the New York Yankees carefully as they make a run for another World Series Title.  How the Yankees finish will play a big role in Joe Girardi’s decision to return to Chicago or stay in New York.  The Cubs, of course, would be a far more challenging undertaking.  If Girardi entertains managing the Cubs then he will emerge the frontrunner and the Cubs will risk losing Sandberg and Quade.  Otherwise, it will be a toss up between Quade and Sandberg.  In that case, look for Mike Quade to be awarded the Manager position under a one-year contract while Ryne Sandberg gets his feet wet as Bench Coach.  Then, in 2012, look for Ryno to step up and take charge.

There it is, the Unofficial Diehard Cubs’ Short list!  Of course, this is pure speculation on my part, and only time will tell.  Stay tuned and see what happens!  It should prove to be an interesting process as the Cubs move forward to a new era.