There is a wide range of opinion as the Cubs have held their preferences very close to the vest. I've been able to get some information by asking Professor Parks about A.J. Hinch and Keith Law recently stated his preference for Manny Acta. There is also some updated information on Rick Renteria and Dave Martinez.
Update 5:57 PM:
- Bruce Levine tweets that insiders are telling him the Cubs will have 2 and probably 3 bilingual coaches on their staff.
From earlier today...
- Manny Acta is Keith Law's favorite to take the Cubs job according to his chat today. "I hope the Cubs hire him, as he's a great guy (I worked with him a bunch of times this year) and I think that environment will be perfect for his philosophy." I've spoken to some in the industry that feel the same way. As I said, he and Hinch got the most favorable responses with perhaps a slight edge to Acta overall.
- I asked Professor Parks about A.J. Hinch and he said he knows him well and that he's very bright and because the Cubs will be a youth dependent team and will need someone with experience playing at the highest level, as well as experience as a farm director and in player development. He said he can lead and is big stats/information guy, but he's a player first manager. Parks concern would be the microscope he'd be under in Chicago but thinks he can handle it. He also said he liked Brad Ausmus but doesn't have as much farm experience as Hinch.
- And, of course, we can't really have any news and notes section without updating the managerial search. Dave Martinez is interviewing today. Rays Index believes that his rumored past with Ryne Sandberg still resonates with Cubs fans and that it is something the Cubs should consider. It's definitely a concern for ownership who would be concerned about fan reaction, but even the front office must consider the potential difficulties. That's not to say I care or that it should be a factor, but the fan perception is out there. For what it's worth, I've heard that the Cubs didn't initially intend to interview Martinez and are doing so at the request/recommendation of the Rays front office. The perception is that he's picking up momentum, but that happens when every new candidate interviews. It's news, so it jumps to the forefront. I think the reality is that he's a long shot.
- Matt Abbatacola of the Score 670 said it was Rick Renteria's job to lose because Hoyer and McLeod are sold on him. If true that's interesting. One FO guy told me that you can only fire so many managers before the front office has to start point the finger inward. If this is Hoyer's choice than I would think he'd be sticking his neck out on this. If Renteria fails, will people start questioning the FO next? And if so, will it be seen as Hoyer's choice because of his connection with the Padres?
- For what it's worth, my thoughts most closely align with that of Parks and Law on this. I think Acta and Hinch are the best fits when it comes to extending their development philosophy to the field.
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