Well, we can stop reading tea leaves...
Yankees announce Manager Joe Girardi will be back for four more years after signing a contract through the 2017 season.
The Cubs will turn to candidates such as Manny Acta and A.J. Hinch, who have already met wit the Cubs and Rick Renteria, who will meet with the Cubs. Regardless of what happpened with Girardi, the Cubs intend to get this done quickly.
UPDATE 3:12 PM: The Padres have announced that all coaches are returning. That may rule out Rick Renteria, though you'd have to think that they'd let him go for a managing position if offered.
UPDATE: 3:17 PM: I've mentioned Tony Pena in passing but I think he could possibly become an interesting candidate if he's looking to manage again. He is known in the industry as a motivator and a guy who works well with young players. His knowledge of analytics has probably improved working under Girardi and the Yankees in general.
As I said, while I am a Girardi fan, I am not heartbroken about this development. There is plenty of managerial talent available and the Cubs front office has a much better handle on this organization and what it needs. We can be assured that the Cubs will take the manager who is the best fit given where the organization is now and where it expects to be in 3 years.
Girardi was the only proven manager available, so the Cubs will have to determine which of the candidates that will be.
Many will say that Theo Epstein has only hired 2 managers, Terry Francona and Dale Sveum. This is true, but it's important to note that the other finalist when he hired Francona was Joe Maddon, who as we mentioned, was a losing manager for the first 8 years of his career (6 minors, 2 majors).
They'll have to find the next Maddon who can grow with the team the way Maddon grew with Tampa -- but there was nothing in his record to indicate he could be that successful. He was also passed over numerous times for other jobs.
A lot of teams missed the boat on Maddon -- but Theo's Red Sox recognized his talent years ago. Let's see if they can find the next one and this time, hire him for the long haul.
Maddon, of course, is a combination of analytics, people skills, and a leadership ability that doesn't employ the stereotypical fiery, speech giving, alpha dog style we sometimes associate with leaders. He was able to both develop players and grow with them as they became contenders.
Of the remaining known and/or speculated candidates, who do you think best fits that mold? (Managers listed in alphabetical order by last name). If you choose other, please specify in comments.
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