With the season winding down to the last series, it's time to start considering managerial candidates for next season. It's difficult to pinpoint the list down to 3-4 people simply because we don't know who the next GM will be. There are some candidates who may be considered as universal choices while others may depend on what team the new GM comes from. There are many questions left to answer...
- How much does making the fans happy play into that sort of decision? Is it a factor if there isn't much separation between two candidates ?
- Does personal familiarity with a candidate play a significant role? Or does it simply begin and end with the person the GM feels is the best candidate?
- Is it strictly the GMs decision or do other front office members have a say?
I'm not going to list Quade as a candidate although it's possible he will be interviewed. Quade is a known candidate and most of us have made our feelings known about him. I also don't want to speculate on current managers such as Terry Francona, who is said to be taking some heat in Boston. Things will likely start to clear up as we find out more about the GM situation, but let's get an early start on some possible managerial candidates (age in parenthesis) in no particular order...
The Local Favorites - These guys may receive consideration no matter who the GM is because of their popularity in Chicago
1) Ryne Sandberg (52) - Sandberg is the people's choice. Many fans wanted him last year and many are hoping the Cubs give him a second chance. Ryno has done his part, he continues to win after moving on to the Phillies organization, having reached the AAA finals with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. His strength is his familiarity with the Cubs young players and his weakness is his lack of coaching experience at the MLB level.
2) Bob Brenly (57) -- Brenly's name comes up as a possibility whenever the subject of Cubs manager comes up. He's very vocal in the booth and his opinions are popular with many fans. He's most famous for winning a World Series with Arizona in 2001. His team won the division with 98 victories the next year before tailing off and finishing 3rd in '03. Brenly was fired in '04 after a horrendous 29-50 start.
3) Bobby Valentine (61) -- Valentine has made no secret of his desire to manage again. He's famous here in Chicago for his recent comments on Starlin Castro, something he now admits he went overboard with, but it did put him in the spotlight again. Oddly, Valentine has never won a division title although he has won over 90 games twice in his 15 year managerial career, including a World Series appearance with the Mets in 2000. As a bonus for Cubs fans, Valentine has said he'd hire Sandberg as a coach.
Other Guys with Local Ties- These are up and coming guys who may have specific ties to certain GM candidates while having some local ties of their own
4) Joey Cora (46)- Cora has been a long time favorite of the crosstown rival White Sox. He may be in line to take over if Ozzie Guillen leaves, but if Rick Hahn is hired, he may try to bring Cora along with him. He is considered the stabilizing force behind Ozzie's mercurial personality. But make no mistake, he's no pushover. He's pretty tough himself and is considered one of the smarter coaches in the game.
5) DeMarlo Hale (50) - Hale becomes an obvious candidate if either Theo Epstein or Ben Cherington is hired. He is familiar with Boston's philosophy and he's from Chicago, having attended CVS. Hale has been a coach for the past 10 years with the Rangers and Red Sox, two of the game's top organizations. Before that he managed in Boston's system where his resume may be more impressive than Sandberg's. While he had many winning seasons, Hale's best year may have been when he guided Trenton to a best-league 92-50 record in 1999. That season, he also coached the U.S.team in the All-Star Futures game. He was honored as Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America, the Sporting News and USA Today Weekly.
6) Dave Martinez (46) - Martinez came up through the Cubs system and made his rookie debut with the team in 1986 at age 21. He played 2 1/2 seasons before being traded. He is now the bench coach with the Tampa Bay Rays and has already attracted interest as a managerial candidate. He becomes a more serious candidate if the Cubs somehow pry Andrew Friedman from the Rays.
7) Tim Wallach (54) - Has a small local tie in that his son, Brett, is a pitching prospect with the Cubs. Wallach lost out to Don Mattingly for the Dodgers job and John Farrell for the Blue Jays job. He has been a coach with the Dodgers and won the 2009 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year award with AAA affiliate Albuquerque. There have been a few Dodgers former and current execs listed as possible GM Candidates including Ned Colletti, Logan White, and Kim Ng. Of the three, I would expect only Ng to get serious consideration.
The "Outsiders" - These guys don't have any local ties, but they may have some ties to GM candidates.
8) Tom Foley (50) - Foley is the 3rd base coach of the Rays. Although more quiet than some of the candidates on this list, he is considered a leader and an excellent managerial prospect by his peers. He is a lesser known candidate but would come into the spotlight if Andrew Friedman got the job.
9) Dave Brundage (45) - Brundage has been the manager of the AAA Braves affiliate Richmond, where he won a title in 2007. Brundage was given serious consideration as the replacement for Bobby Cox - a job that went to Fredi Gonzalez. Baseball Prospectus says that he was the actual choice of Braves GM Frank Wren, and it's possible that John Coppolella would give him a look if he ends up being the Cubs choice as GM. Brundage is considered to be great communicator and motivator.
10) Tim Bogar (44) - Bogar is currently the 3rd base coach and has been bandied about as a future manager. Aside from his coaching experience, he also had success as a manager in the Indians system. He came within one game of winning a title and was named Eastern League Manager of the Year in 2006. He was also selected to manage the U.S. in the Futures All-Star Game in 2006 and 2007. Additionally, Baseball America called him the best managerial candidate in Eastern League in 2006. Bogar figures to get consideration if someone from the Red Sox or Indians get the job. Those possible GMs include Epstein, Cherington, Mark Shapiro, and Michael Chernoff. Bogar is from the midwest as well, having been born in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Not an exhaustive list by any means and feel free to add anyone you think should be a candidate. The field is wide open right now.
Filed under: Uncategorized