Cubs expanding search, what does it mean?

A while back when people were asking me whether any other candidates were going to be considered, my response was that only if they weren't satisfied with the original list, meaning they weren't happy with at least 3 of the 4 candidates.  It's also very possible they weren't happy with all of them or that they liked them but just didn't think they'd be a good fit.

It could also mean they have reason to believe they're about to get Maddux-ed.  That is, their preferred candidate may be sending signals that they may bow out.

We know that A.J. Hinch has mostly worked front office jobs and is considered a future GM candidate.  The Cubs went outside the box here and maybe the interview was about gauging whether he had serious interest.

One source told me that he thinks Hinch would be a good choice -- if he wants the job and if San Diego is willing to make him available.  Maybe that was the case.

As for Acta, he's been set up to fail twice and has said he wants next job to be with a winner.  The Washington Post wrote,

After managing two organizations during rebuilding periods, he wants to manage again but will wait for the “right opportunity.”“I want to get one with an winning organization and the next level,” Acta said. “I’ve paid my dues and I will wait my turn"

Is it possible that after talking with the Cubs, he sensed he would be in the same situation as before.  You don't normally get a 4th chance as a manager in this league if you don't win in your first 3.  I wonder if Acta didn't find the Cubs as that "right opportunity".

As for Renteria and Martinez, no source I spoke with considered them serious candidates.  My sense based on my conversations were that they were fallbacks who needed to wow in their interviews.

Apparently they didn't.

I also had a different source tell me that the Cubs didn't initially plan to interview Martinez and did so only at the recommendation of the Rays front office.  I don't think he was ever their guy.  One industry source told me from the start that Martinez wasn't the right fit.

So now the Cubs are interviewing Torey Lovullo,  a candidate who drew favorable responses with the biggest knock being a lack of MLB managing experience. He was one of my original top 5 choices and if it turns out that the Cubs aren't happy or feel they can't lure any of the top 4, Lovullo becomes my favorite over Mike Maddux, who was mentioned by George Ofman of Newsradio 780 but I haven't seen it anywhere else.  Even if he is a candidate, Ofman says there's no guarantee he wants to come. -- and even if he does want to come, my preference is still Lovullo.  David Kaplan mentioned he thinks the Cubs should go with Brad Ausmus, a candidate we brought up a while back but then scaled down after talking to some about his lack of experience in both managing and development.  Sandy Alomar, Jr. has mentioned as a secondary candidate in the past and one person I talked to like Tony Pena as a possibility, but so far I've heard he's not a candidate.

Speaking of Lovullo, there's an excellent article on him on Fangraphs and in it he mentions "Butter", who is "Brian Butterfield, 3B coach of the Boston Red Sox.  Both coaches have worked with the Blue Jays and Red Sox.

A separate industry source mentioned some surprise he wasn't considered.  Butterfield is respected around the league and is best known for his creative defensive shifts and his abilities as an infield coach.  Orlando Hudson credits him for making him a good defensive player when that was once his biggest question mark. Could he come along for the ride if the Cubs hire Lovullo?  Seems he could help Starlin Castro.

He also has good bloodlines, his father Jack, was the VP of Scouting and Development for the New York Yankees

However, we do know that the Cubs want to bring in bilingual coaches, perhaps as many as 3.  And if they do recommend that coaches like Dave McKay and Chris Bosio be retained as some speculate, that doesn't leave a whole lot of room for bilingual coaches at top positions.   Alex Cora has been mentioned as a candidate by Bruce Levine.

One thing seems certain, the Cubs know what they want this time around and aren't going to settle until they find the right guy and the right fit.


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  • Interview as many people as they want just pick the right one.
    If not Spanish then get a top Spanish assistant

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    Ausmus....... Ausmus........Ausmus

    'Nuff Said

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    Yes, geez thank you. Enough with the nonsense. Ausmus represents the future of managers.

  • This speculation is a bit broad. I hope that the FO is focused on experience at the ML level, bi-linguality, baseball issues, nurturing young talent and not Ryne Sandberg's wife..

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    In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Requiring Experience at the MLB level is what gave us Sveum. Least important factor.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    If every MLB managing position had to be filled with someone who has MLB managing experience, there wouldn't be any MLB managers.

    The Cardinals wouldn't have Matheny. Good grief! Wouldn't we love to have a Matheny?

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    In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    in all fairness, wishing for Matheny is hindsight, many people questioned the move at the beginning of the season. But the point is, the technicalities of managing (lineups, matchups, double switches, bullpen management, fielding shifts) are not that hard to learn. These guys have been seeped in baseball since they were 5 years old, if you really need them to learn anything new at this stage, they're not the right guy. What can't be learned is presence, leadership, projection of authority and competence, steadiness in the face of adversity. People that have those attributes can really do anything, from baseball managing to neurosurgery.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Agreed. It's the intangibles, not technical experience that will separate the candidates.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    john could have managed the cards loaded roster to the playoffs

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Disagree mostly. Managing is all about handling players emotionally and mechanically. Metrics are the province of bench coaches these days. Leadership is innate, I agree, but people skills are learned.

  • In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    I think I would rather have Molina.

  • Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) tweeted at 1:09 PM on Sat, Oct 19, 2013:
    The support for Rick Renteria is staggering and he has emerged as clear cut favorite to be #Cubs manager

    Considering the source, I would say Renteria is no longer being considered.

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    HA! Love it. I think Bob would be a brilliant soothsayer if he just pretended everyday was opposite day.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Ha! It's like George Costanza, just do the opposite.

    Seriously, that's such B.S. If he was a clear cut favorite and had staggering support, they wouldn't have expanded their search.

  • Somebody pick up the phone and call Tony Peña.

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    In reply to GAHillbilly:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I thought I was the only one thinking this very basic thought. And while your at it call Joe Torrie and Tony La Russa just to see if they want to help us pull this train out of the station.

  • In reply to GAHillbilly:

    I keep sayin'.

  • I don't think making a pick of the 'right' manager is the biggest need for this team,....

    My guess - there are several good candidates who can do the 'job'.

    Any of the candidates has strengths and flaws - but the biggest problem any of them will face is figuring out how to manage a bunch of youngsters, encourage them without squashing any fragile egos, and bring out the players' strengths.

    Biggest key (IMO) isn't which of several good candidates should be selected as manager. Biggest key is figuring out how to gel an offense out of the 'youngsters' and not knocking down the generally good quality of pitching (not exceptional,..... but solid) for the next couple of years while the rebuild finishes gelling.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    IMO its not the MLB managers job to develop youngsters. That happens in the minors. Once they are developed the MLB manager's job is to use them in a way that is beneficial to the team based on what their skill sets say is the best way to use them. Of course learning never stops nor does teaching, but only in small isolated increments along the way. The next manager for the Cubs needs to be good at all aspects of the game. IMO good managers don't have weaknesses. They delegate responsibility to the proper assistants for the area's they may not be as strong in. They may make mistakes, but mistakes don't always mean weaknesses. The good ones learn from those mistakes and turn them into positive learning experiences. Even though some may be stronger in area's than others good managers are not weak in any aspect of the job.

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    I feel it would be foolish and irresponsible not to interview as many people as possible. there are no major organizational decisions on the horizon that would need input from a manager right now so why not just do their due diligence and get as many guys in as possible. If anything you get a better insight of what the rest of the league has going on once they return to their teams or get hired by others.

    Also not many get a 3rd chance yet alone a 4th. If Acta is being choosy and won't take a prime job like this that tells me he's a little spineless, and is not the guy for this job. Kinda confirms some of the things Kaplan mentioned some of his FO sources have said about Acta, and also a former player of his, and that's he doesn't have leadership abilities, and can't control the locker room. In other words not a leader of men.

  • I definitely agree with the idea of keeping McKay, anyone who could make Soriano into a decent OF is worth keeping, Id like to see what he could do with Lake. Bosio isnt a bad pitching coach, but if a Dave Duncan became available would you turn him away? And BTW, whats wrong with Mariano Duncan as a batting instructor at the big league level? Seems he did rather well with Baez and the other kids at Daytona.

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    Are they really expanding the search, or has this been in the cards all along? Have they been waiting to interview certain candidates, Lovullo for instance, because their teams are still playing baseball, and they didn't want to be a distraction?

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I think there is a lot of wrong information being exchanged by everyone. No one knows what this FO is thinking. They do an immaculate job of being secretive. I think if Acta/Hinch/Renteria were a "favorite," they would have been named already instead of dragging it out. Based on that logic, no one is a "favorite" until a manager is selected. Everyone has been wrong on any time frame or any likely candidate. I tend to roll my eyes whenever I see an article about how close the Cubs are to a selection, or how they narrowed any pool down.

  • Lovullo appeals more than original 4. Based on, not much. Looks like FO is doing dude diligence.

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    In reply to wastrel:

    I'm inclined to agree with you, but then I never doubted that they would. So this move doesn't really surprise me.

  • You could look at this two ways.

    The Cubs want to interview as many good candidates as they can...or....the first round of guys didn't "wow" them.

    I'm leaning toward the latter. It's a bit disappointing. The Bo Sox bench coach does intrigue me.

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    In reply to Yemi:

    I think Lovullo would be a great choice. If it falls apart, why not promote from within, staying low key and get a manager to grow along with the kids. Promote Dave Keller to Manager, make Mariano Duncan the hitting coach, McKay stays at first, Bosio stays as pitching coach, get a latin coach as bench coach, another as third-base coach and a young pitching coach to start off as bullpen coach who has the potential to become a pitching coach if Bosio leaves at some point down the road.

  • I kind of agree that the Cubs were not just looking at just the 4 candidates mentioned but wanted to see how they would fit. After the interviews so far, none of them seem to be the "guy" yet, hence the widening of the search.

  • Looks like it may be Renteria. If he can develop youngsters, I'm all for it.

  • Digging that Lovullo article. Seems to mix the new school in with some old baseball knowledge.

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    A little of the topic of "Where's Waldo" (the new manager). Does anyone else think that the FO is waiting to see if in fact Olt can win the 3B job before we here of other players like Baez or Bryant switching positions?

    This FO has been rumored to be after Olt for the better part of two years. And when this year's deal went down we had just drafted Bryant and there was talk of Baez possibly being the 3B of the future. So if Olt can in fact bounce back, then we possibly see Baez shift over to 2B and Bryant get moved to RF.

    If Olt isn't out guy for 3B of the future is he just a guy we hope to bounce back and possibly be part of yet another trade? I am so looking forward for the WS to end so I can see all the deals go down over the winter.

    Any thoughts?

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    If he bounce back he could be a hell of a trade chip.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I know you're kinda partial to seeing Bryant at 3B. But he could be a gold glover in RF as well. I don't see a downside there.....

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I am working on an article right now about the Cubs lack of Table setters. The reason I am thinking Olt a trade piece is because they need someone for their players at the top of the lineup. I think Alcantara is one of those players. So I would have Baez at 3B and Alcantara at 2B. Bryant would be in RF.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I really hope to see that lineup! I'm a big lover of switch hitting Alcantara at the top of the order. This would be followed by Almora hitting second and then the new "Murder's row."

    I'm a little surprised to hear you saying Bryant would be out in RF, but I do think it would be the best for the Cubs if that happened. Can you imagine the line up?

    Alcantara 2B
    Almora CF
    Baez 3B
    Bryant RF
    Rizzo 1B
    Soler LF
    Castro SS
    Castillo C

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I see Bryant as the 3rd hitter just because of the approach at the plate and he will take more walks.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    It's best not to imagine that, you'll only be setting yourself up for disappointment, then again I guess as a Cubs fan that's the norm.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    Haha, yep!

  • In reply to KGallo:

    What do you think of Matt Szczur as a table setter? He has a high OBP and speed.

  • In reply to John57:

    They need enough power so they can't cheat in. Szczur is more of a 4th OFer.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I think that Olt will be given every chance to play himself into, or out of, the starting 3B job for next year. He hits during Spring Training, and stays healthy - it's his job to lose against the likes of Valbuena or Murphy to start out.

    Unless Bryant just completely burns up AA or AAA pitching (or both) next season and demonstrates he can stick at 3B in the meantime - I don't think that the management has to worry about whether it is him or Olt penciled in as starting 3B until 2015. Again - what 'terrible' problems to have!

    I don't think that they have to make a final decision regarding Baez either until they see how he plays out at AAA for a while next year (assuming that's where he starts the Spring). Assuming Castro rebounds his offense next year (and he showed signs of the old form end of last season) and continues to progress as SS - I think Baez starts making the move to 2B during AAA in 2014, and could push Barney out (if Valbuena, Murphy, or a Trade haven't already cleared that spot)late 2014, or to start out 2015.

    So - I see Olt most likely as the frontrunner for 2014 as 3B - with some time backing up Rizzo at 1B, especially if his 'platoon' trouble continue next year. Then as trade-bait, or making a Bryant 3B decision needed the next season.

    Spring Training should clarify a lot of this - as should any activity in FA markets or the Winter Meetings.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    I can see your points. But Baez did have a little difficulty on defense at 3B for a few games. I'm sure Baez is at Iowa to start next year. He will probably be at SS. But if the grand plan is to move him off SS, he better start getting some reps at 3B or 2B before he hits Wrigley.

    Just my opinion....

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    And I still hold out hope that we see Alcantara at 2B for the Cubs very soon.....

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Xander Bogaerts is playing third tonight. Ground balls are ground balls for the most part. Throws are throws. If he's in the Major's, and he finds himself at third, he'll be locked in. I bet it takes him about an hour to settle in at third. Especially after taking 250 ground balls every afternoon for weeks leading up to his call up.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    bobby - agree completely especially about that last opinion of yours.

    Baez needs to start getting reps at either of those other two positions if he is going to be read to make a mostly smooth shift to a spot other than SS.

  • I think they'd really like Olt to succeed. Even if he falls in midpoint of his projection, you have a very good defensive 3B with OBP & power capabilities . Sounds like he's an extremely high character guy, also. His emergence would privide an added layer of flexibility for trades. He's my big sleeper for next yr.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I am a big fan of Olt's but the other talent that is coming is better then Olt. I also think that that could keep Baez down a little longer that may help his approach.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Good call. At the very least, when everyone's here he'll be the perfect bench guy. I have a good feeling that he's gonna find his fair share of PT over the next few seasons!

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Yes good players sitting on the bench is always a good thing. They are needed to give rest to the regulars and fill in when injuries happen. This just gives us options. Options are always a good thing. If he becomes just too valuable on the bench just imagine what Theo will get in a trade for him.

  • In reply to John57:


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    In reply to Carl9730:

    I think you have to clear the deck so to speak. To me, that means Olt and Vitters getting every opportunity to stick in lf and 3b respectively. Otherwise you're selling really low.

  • Really glad to see the news about interviewing Torey Lovullo! Why not bring in a guy that's fresh out of a winning culture?

    Always reticent of a manager who didn't play in the majors. That's got Manny Acta firmly in last with me.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    Ben, I understand your concern, but maybe this will alleviate some of that...

    Jim Frey never played in the majors. He won the AL pennant in his first season as a MLB manager. Then won the NL East with the Cubs a few years later. He is also credited with turning Ryne Sandberg into, well, Ryne Sandberg.....Joe Maddon never played in the big leagues either. And he's certainly one of the best in the game today. Other managers who never played major league baseball include Jim Leyland, Jerry Manuel and Jim Riggleman.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Oh yeah, there are several. Buck Showalter is another. Fredi Gonzalez. Let's not forget the legendary Bobby Cox. Nice points but they don't alleviate my concern. For every Jim Leyland there are 5 Mike Quade's who don't get a lot of respect form some players. Of the 30 managers this year (not including Ryno) there were 5 guys with no ML time.

    Its one thing to be an established big league manager who's never played in the majors vying for a job. Jim Leyland or Buck Showalter is going to get auto-respect in a new job. Not so with our humble list of candidates. I've asked around about Acta and it is a concern. For me anyway. Probably had a little hand in him not being able to get it done it two separate three year stints. I'm not saying he's persona non grata. I'm just saying I have him 4th in a 4 man race.

    I give Jim Frey credit for writing Ryno's name on the card and helping him reach his ceiling. I personally do not give him credit for turning Ryno into a hall of famer. He only managed him for 379 games of the 2164 he played. Not a knock on Frey either.

    Jerry Manuel spent parts of five seasons in the major leagues.

  • The one thing I'd say is that the emergence of Olt would provide the flexibility to leave Baez @ SS and move Castro , assuming he were to regain some value. I still feel Epstoyer isn't terribly fond & Castro would be a critical piece if they have to go to the trade mkt for arms or "table setters" that KGallo referred to earlier - which is a problem that I also acknowledge.

    Olt just seems like the type of player that Epstoyer embraces.If he's a .260/.350/.460 with above avg D & leadership skills,that's something to hang your hat on. The prospect boys at Fangraphs(Hulet) , BP(Parks ,Cole, and Mort) all are still big believers.....

  • Lovullo expresses himself with clarity and balance. First pick to jump out of the mix for me. A question, why do folks have Bryant in right and Soler in left rather than vice versa?

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    In reply to wastrel:

    I think because the first one to arrive will be in right. bryant has a plus arm as well although Soler is much faster.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Soler isn't much faster Bryant is a 50/55. Soler is a 55/60.

  • Would it be possible to interview Lovullo this week instead of waiting until after the World Series is done and have this drag out another two weeks?

    He's going to be in Boston from now until the end of Game 2 on Thursday. I would like to think that Theo could get in touch with his people immediately and see if there is interest. If yes, I would assume Theo and company would schedule an interview, if Lovullo is interested I'm sure he'd be more than willing to clear some time out of his day for them. Could the Cubs hire him lets say next week and he continue to be the Red Sox bench coach? Sort of like a coach in college accepts another job yet stays on to coach the bowl game.

    I feel this is different then in football where they wait until the season is over because there is more preparation involved in football.

    Either way, a week from now I hope this is settled.

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    Applaud the Cubs on interviewing Martinez. Applaud them also for passing. I just don't think Tampa develops hitters. Never liked Acta, either, because he just feels like a warm body.

    I've read a lot about Jason Varitek and I like him. But he's probably not going to be interviewed. I was thinking that Torey Luvullo would be a great choice and since the Cubs have waited this long, another 7-10 days doesn't matter. Perhaps he would bring Varitek in as a bench coach. That would be, I think, the perfect combination.

  • To me as well, I tried to get enthused for the 4 candidates mentioned, couldn't do it. I think if this were 2 years ago Varitek and Ausmus would get more serious consideration. While the Cubs would prefer big league managing experience, a coach who has a rep developing young players is fine with them. I don't think the Cubs are comfortable hiring a guy right now with neither managing or coaching experience , like Varitek or Ausmus. It's kind of a shame because I think both of them have the potential of being great managers.

  • Hey, remember the years when the Bears had a great defense that could single-handedly beat other teams? Yeah.

  • Hey John,

    are there any other candidates out there? I'm really not sold on the majority of these candidates, probably just due to a lack of information. It seems like they all have supporters and detractors. I hear good things about A.J. Hinch but it seems like there a lot of people who have doubts about him as a manager.

    I also love what the Tampa Bay Rays organization does so if they speak very highly of D. Martinez then he must be highly qualified and highly thought of. Yet, I've also heard the Cubs' Front Office isn't really enamored with him. I don't know what to think of these candidates honestly anymore...

    It doesn't seem like there are any "J. Maddons" out there, and J. Girardi isn't available now. I'm also of the mindset that a manager really has minimal impact on the season as a whole, but that is VERY different come October. The manager does make difference come playoff time as the Dodgers can attest. D. Mattingly made many mistakes and should've been fired IMO.

    I hope the Cubs can get a great tactical manager, and not just someone who can nurture young players and can communicate well.

  • Gesundheit !

  • From afar, the mangerial choice is betyween Renteria & Luvollo. Personally, I'd add in Brad Amus for due dillegence but favor Luvollo.

  • FWIW, per MLBTR, LaRussa is open to managing again but is assumed to prefer a gig in the FO.

  • A bit off topic (of course) - but it's good to see that the machine that Theo helped build in Boston is still bearing fruit.

    And the inner Cubs fan in me wishes them luck at several leves against St. Louis.

  • I really hope that this hire isn't part 2 and then in a couple years go after a big name after the top prospects all get to Chicago

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    Anyone know how many guys on the Red Sox current active roster were actually drafted and developed by the Red Sox? Just doing a little research.

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    On the ALCS 25 man roster:
    Bogaerts (IFA)
    Doubrant (IFA)

    Might be more that I've missed.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks. According to the ESPN depth chart 4 of those guys are in the starting lineup.

    But if you look at the Cardinals, it's just crazy. They have something like 17 players drafted and developed by St Louis! That's how a middle to small market team stay competitive!

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    OK, It looks like you need to add Junichi Tazawa as an IFA to that list. That makes 9 guys drafted or acquired as an IFA by the Red Sox.

    I show 17 guys for the Cardinals.

    Is it any wonder why these teams are where they are? The bulf of their lineups are guys that they drafted and then developed. It's the new normal for building a successful club....

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    *bulk* of their lineups

  • Why is McCay not considered managerial material? Just curious, I am not suggesting he be considered, but he is clearly one of the best and respected coaches in the game.

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    For anyone who's interested...This is an article regarding the "Cardinal Way"...hopefully this is what Theo and Jed are in the process of building here, and we will see the results of in the not too distant future.....

  • In reply to Kevin Campbell:

    I don't believe in any of those "Cardinals Way" or as you hear in football "Patriot Way".

    You'll have a way named for you if you win. It's about getting good players more than anything. Same goes for the Cubs Way people say the Cubs are trying to get. It's just a dumb way of saying they're trying to win.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    If the Pirates won Game 4 or 5 in the DS you wouldn't even hear about the Cardinal Way, you'll be hearing about the "Pirate Way". That article is laughable, "it's about everyone buying in and trusting each other", no,it's about having the better players and producing.

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    In reply to Yemi:

    That's not true at all. The Cards are among the most respected organizations in all of sports, regardless.

    They've been talked about for more than just being successful this year or recently.

    No one will say "pirates way" for quite some time because they've been a joke for two decades.

    Having a "way" is about acquiring and producing talent.
    Talent itself won't always win games but if you're talented consistently for long enough, success will come.

    That's what Theo has been preaching.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    They're respected because they win, it has nothing to do about a way.

    No one will say Pirate way because they lost. If they won one more game you'll would have had people saying they're building the Pirate Way.

    I guess you won't hear the about the Cubs way for quite some time either because they've been a joke for far longer than two decades

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    In reply to Yemi:

    You still have to consider a systemic, organization-wide operational plan that is adhered to at all levels and by all players and staff. The teams that win consistently operate under a similar mission. Maybe calling it "The Cubs Way" or "Any Team's Way" is a little overplayed but it is certainly more than just good drafting and retaining key free agents. The Cardinals are a great example because when a player goes down or is lost, somebody comes up from within their system that is better than replacement level.

    It doesn't mean it is full proof. Certainly there is no "Yankees Way." There is probably no "Dodgers Way" for that matter either. It is in fact a way to utilize less financial resources to achieve optimal development. The Cubs have been transparent all along - they are going to model a mid-market team from a financial and developmental point of view and then when spending is necessary the money will be made available.

    If they want to call it "The Cubs Way" or "Baseball 101" what difference does it make? It is simply a mission statement and an organizational model. It doesn't even really need a title and I think the press runs with that more than the Cubs do. I hardly think the Cubs have coaches at all level saying "Because it's the Cubs Way."

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    That's the whole thing. The name. If the Cubs are trying to do what the Cardinals are doing, it's the not Cubs Way, it's the Cardinals Way. To answer your question, it doesn't matter if they call it the Cubs Way, that still doesn't make me think it's any less dumb. In the grand scheme of things if I see a pregnant smoking it doesn't matter to me, doesn't mean I can't voice my opinion on something.

    That article makes it seem like the Cardinals are the only team that wants to win and has a plan. All 30 teams have a plan, there's not a team without one.

    I was reading it thinking ... Wait, do other teams want to draft bad and make bad choices or something?

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    In reply to Yemi:

    Normally I am a fan of Fangraphs but I agree, there is an awful lot of overbearing love for the Cardinals. And I think that the Cardinals Way is something they invented. And to answer your last question - The Florida Marlins.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    I get what your saying philosophically. You have to have talent to win. period! That's why Sveum will get a mulligan as a MLB manager.

    But one could argue that the Dodgers had more "Talent" than anybody, including the Cards. It's not always the most talented teams that win. Or the Yankees and their bloated payroll of the 90's and early 2000's would have been crowned champs every year. It is almost always the best TEAMS that win though. Which is the crux of that article really. i.e., the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.

    Like them or not, you have to respect our rivals. 10 trips to the post season in the last 14 years. 11 World Championships and 19 NL Pennants. They're doing something right.

  • For me to respect the Cardinals, would require them to start playing with some class and respect for their opponents. Good luck with that.
    The Cardinals have won two World Series in the last 30 years. One more than the Florida Marlins and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Don't buy the hype, they are quite beatable in the future.

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    The Marlins have two, also.

  • When people talk about a Cards Way or a Pirate Way. The first thing that pops into my head is drafting well and having great prospects come up through the system. Both have had a top minor leagues for a bit. The difference is that the Pirate haven't been able to afford to keep there talent when the become free agents. Reminds me of the Expos. The bottom line is when I hear the term Cards way or Any team ways it starts with producing great young talent and when someone goes down someone is ready to step in.

  • Jim Leyland stepped down? Wonder if this has anything to do with the other 4 people on the list? Is it possible they heard this might happen and wanted to see if tigers came open? I would love Jimmy in his prime.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I knew he was going to vacate. That is a prime job right now.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Wonder if Acta, Hinch, and Renteria knew that? Is it possible cubs offered to one of those guys and they said no thanks?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The only names I've seen mentioned so far are Gibson (if ARZ would let him go) and Ausmus (who was never a serious candidate for the Cubs' job). But that's all media speculation at this point. DET is a veteran team in win-now mode. I'm not sure we're fishing in the same waters.

  • Just wondering if Acta or others backed off cubs because they heard this?

  • I don't think it's the right call to fire someone with the anticipation of hiring someone else (specifically). I also appreciate doing a thorough check to make sure you're hiring the right person.

    But if it's true that Theo & Co. looked at their first four choices and didn't really like what they saw (or their choices didn't like what they saw), that's kind of concerning to me.

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    In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Matt, I think they fired Dale and had hopes of hiring Girardi. But I believe the two moves were independent of one another. Sveum had to go as a means of damage control, even it it meant putting an interim tag on McKay for a year (which I realize was never in the plans - just making a point)

  • No article for 2 days ... going through major cubs den withdrawal ... now cutler is hurt too AHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • Baseball America came out with their 2013 draft report cards. Here is the Cubs excerpt...

    "Position players--

    Best Pure Hitter: 3B Kris Bryant (1) spread out at the plate this spring, keeping his head still and lower while reducing his overall pre-swing movement. That cut down on his swing-and-miss tendencies, and he hit .336 in 128 at-bats in his pro debut.

    Best power hitter: Bryant’s showed his top-of-the-scale raw power all spring, hitting 31 homers to earn BA’s College Player of the Year award, and as a pro, as he hit nine homers and slugged .688.

    Fastest runner: OF Carcer Burks (9) turned in 6.5-second 60-yard times in a predraft workout. OF Jacob Hannemann (3) isn’t as fast out of the batter’s box but flies once under way.

    Best defensive player: Hannemann could stand to add polish, but he outruns his mistakes in center field. C Will Remillard (19) got a $150,000 bonus mostly for his catch-and-throw skills, with his arm being his best tool.


    Best Fastball: Six-foot-7 RHP Scott Frazier (6) tops out at 97 mph and sits in the 94-96 range, but right now he doesn’t generate many swings and misses. LHP Rob Zastryzny (2) sits at 90-91 but adds and subtracts, throws strikes and gets many more swings and misses in the strike zone with his heater. RHP Trey Masek (5) has touched 95 with life.

    Best secondary pitch: RHP Tyler Skulina (4) stands out for his hard, late power slider in the low 80s.

    Odds and Ends--

    Best Pro Debut: Bryant helped Daytona win the high Class A Florida State League title, hitting .350 in the playoffs. RHP Zack Godley (10) helped Boise reach the short-season Northwest League finals, going 2-0, 2.03 overall with 28 strikeouts in 27 innings.

    Best athlete: Hannemann redshirted for Brigham Young’s football team as a 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back, then raked in the spring for BYU’s baseball team after having missed two years while serving on his Mormon mission. He’s strong, fast and explosive

    Most intriguing background: Hannemann, who also is distantly related to assistant general manager for scouting/player development Jason McLeod. RHP Daniel Poncedeleon (14) signed a term sheet but failed his physical, so the Cubs didn’t sign him. He has been ruled ineligible to return to his college team, though Houston is appealing the NCAA’s decision.

    Closest to the majors: Bryant won’t need long at all with the bat; the only question is if he’ll play third base or move to an outfield corner.

    Best late-round pick: RHP Trevor Clifton (12) signed for $375,000. He fell thanks to a raw delivery and his green makeup, but his arm strength produces 91-94 mph fastballs and he flashes plus secondary stuff. He needs a lot of polish.

    The one who got away: Poncedeleon, as well as C Jeremy Martinez (37), a physically mature, strong-bodied centerpiece of Southern California’s recruiting class."

    Hope that helps with the withdrawal...

  • I know Poncedeleon is appealing the NCAA's ruling, but they're known to be stupidly strict about such things. If the reason why he was never officially signed was due to health concerns, I wonder if the Cubs would take another look at him to see if he's in any better condition now...

  • BA also ranked Bryant the best power hitter in the draft with the best pro debut and the 4th college player closest to the majors. Jacob Hannemann was ranked the 5th best athlete taken while Trevor Clifton was tabbed as the 3rd best late round pick.

  • Also, a really nice article on Jorge Soler...

    Sorry, John, don't mean to be pimping a competing website, but this is what you get when you become the best Cubs blog out there and then take a couple days off...

  • My favorites from that article are how Soler is adjusting to the calmer more respectful style of baseball here in the states, how he gained upper body strength while in a boot for 3 months and how his plate discipline is returning after the long layoff.

    He has a great friend in Albert Almora. Boras may want to negotiate a clause in Albert's contract for liaison services...

  • In reply to Quedub:

    You're a lifesaver. I've been having withdrawals as well

  • I have no crystal ball, or even a glass eye. I'm on hold at least for a few days, hopefully only one, until the WS is over. then something besides guessing might happen.

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