Let's catch up on some items in the news while I took my 2 day "vacation"...
The Manager Merry-Go Round
As for the managerial search, we seem to be in a bit of a holding pattern. There appears to be interest in Torey Lovullo, but he's currently helping to prepare the Red Sox team for the World Series. Current Red Sox manager John Farrell gave a good recommendation,
To me, he's a manager-in-waiting," Farrell told reporters Saturday in Boston prior to Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. "I think he's going to have opportunities until he ends up securing one of the jobs. But he's been integral to the success that we've had here. He's a great baseball mind. The conversations and the feedback and just the insights that he gives, he's going to be very good."
Dave Martinez told the Tampa Bay times that his interview went "really well" and that the Cubs would be in contact with him soon. Hopefully for Martinez that will be good news and in general for Cubs fans it seems to indicate they're still moving forward with their search.
Don Mattingly has emerged as a potential candidate because of some reported issues with the front office, but I wouldn't put him on the Cubs list. For one, he's more likely to want to go to a contender than a rebuilding situation. Secondly, I'm not sure he fits the Cubs profile anyway.
Jim Leyland stepped down as Tigers manager but again, it's doubtful he'll want a rebuilding situation at this point. The fact that he's leaving, however, opens up a spot in Detroit. It's doubtful the Tigers and Cubs would be searching from the same pool of candidates but one potential overlap is Brad Ausmus, though Ausmus is not officially on the Cubs list at this point.
The Reds are out of the equation as they hired pitching coach Bryan Price to be succeed Dusty Baker.
Opinions continue to fly on the current candidates so we'll see how that goes. It feels like the national opinion differs from the local one on the various candidates. Perhaps it's our pathological fear of failure here on the north side of Chicago that makes us petrified of choosing a manager with a losing past. As I've said, I prefer the Cubs hire a progressive-minded candidate and I'm not concerned as much with their past record whether they have won, lost, or haven't managed at all. Just hire the best guy for where this team is now and where it's going. It's time for the Cubs to start looking forward, not backward.
Fall League/Minor Leagues
- ESPN's Jesse Rogers did a Q&A with red-hot Cubs prospect Kris Bryant. There's also an interview of Bryant by the SmokiesonRadio.com website. You can see it below.
- Also communicated with Rogers on Twitter and it appears that Jorge Soler has been sent home due to "residency issues". It's been a frustrating start to Soler's career and despite his talent, he needs to get those reps at the plate. Soler will have to come back strong this spring to lock up a spot in Tennessee.
- Kris Bryant went 2 for 4 with an RBI today while Albert Almora went 1 for 5 with an RBI. They didn't get a ton of support from their teammates as Mesa scored just 2 runs and had 6 hits overall.
- Mick Gillespie wrote an article on the day he became interested in broadcasting. Gillespie is an up and coming announcer who has done some spring training games the past couple of years and currently broadcasts for the Tennessee Smokies. Check out their SmokiesonRadio.com website, it's one of my favorite minor league team sites out there.
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