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Could the next Cubs manager be Dave Martinez?

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George Ofman

I know my stuff. 36 years in broadcasting. Sox Cubs Bears Bulls Hawks. You ask, I'll answer

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Yes, that Dave Martinez, the one who once played for the Cubs and is part of team's folklore in an unseemly manner.  I'll touch on that later.

Martinez is in his 4th season as bench coach of the Tampa Rays, a young team that went to the World Series in his second season and has since been a contender. The boyish looking yet fiercely competitive Martinez is considered by many in baseball circles as solid managerial timber. Long time Rays play by play announcer Dewayne Staats (who also shared a Cubs microphone with Harry Caray from 1985 through 1989) believes Martinez is ready to take the next step. "The more you get to know him, the more you see he has the potential to be a very good manager. Being around Ray manager Joe Maddon gives him a better sense of the job."

 While Martinez has spent over three seasons as a bench coach, he's believed to have interviewed for one managerial job; the Cleveland Indians. He has the Cubs' pedigree just like Joe Girardi. What he doesn't have is Girardi's cache; two managerial stints and a World Series title.  This is hard to beat which is why Girardi should be very high on Jim Hendry's list.  But Girardi, who is in the final year of a contract with the Yankees, could stay only it might cost the Steinbrenners a king's ransom. Martinez would manage for peanuts in comparison. While Martinez toils in relative anonymity in Tampa, Staats thinks he could handle with the Cubs. "They haven't won in over a century so the demands and the size of the market are a challenge.  Dave is respected and grades positive in many areas. He would be a solid major league manager."

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Martinez broke in with the Cubs in 1986 and spent two plus seasons there until being traded to Montreal in 1988.  It was widely speculated that trade and Rafael Palmeiro's departure after the season was connected to one of the more stunning and scurrilous stories in Cubs history.  Martinez, Palmeiro and several others were linked to having had a romantic interlude with Cindy Sandberg, Ryne's ex-wife.  While the story was never proven, it gained prominence when Sandberg retired suddenly during the 1994 season.  Only ten days after his shocking announcement, Cindy Sandberg filed for divorce. Sandberg, who met his second wife Margaret during his retirement, made a comeback in 1996.  And Martinez also returned to the Cubs, albeit for 18 games during the 2000 season. 

Imagine if Martinez got the job. What would Sandberg think? So while Martinez could become the next manager of the Cubs, his lack of experience and innuendo could doom his chances.

You can catch me on twitter @georgeofman and on Facebook. I'm also a contributor on WGN radio 

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