Updates on 4 managerial candidates with thoughts from Professor Parks and Keith Law

Updates on 4 managerial candidates with thoughts from Professor Parks and Keith Law
Epstein and Hoyer have candidates narrowed to 4, but is there a favorite?

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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  • Can we get a thorough briefing on Acta, Hinch and Renteria's sexual proclivities? Maybe the Cubs could have the first Furry manager.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    LOL! I'm surprised it's gotten so much play and I debated linking that piece but I found it interesting that it came from the Tampa Bay side. I think it's a fan thing more than anything and fan opinion more closely aligns with and influences ownership than a front office, so theoretically it shouldn't matter. That said, I just don't see him as the guy for this job.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think Cubs fans wouldn't care whom he's been with if he makes the team a winner.

  • In reply to jamespk:

    At this point in my life if they could raise Attila the Hun from his grave to be manager, I'd take if he could win a WS.

  • In reply to jamespk:

    But the point is that there will be some that don't want to give him a chance.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh II'mm sure. I can tell just from reading all the comments about him. Its as if he's supposedly slept with every Cubs fans wife not just Ryno's...supposedly.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Thorough briefing? Is that anything like a jumbo shrimp? ;-)

  • In reply to Boogens:

    A de-briefing, then. That's the long and short of it.

  • What do you think about the reported FO-desired qualification of the candidate being bilingual? Sounds like something that could be over emphasized, but also do wonder if it might help a player like Castro get more comfortable.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    I think it's interesting but I think it's important because communication was a such a big issue with Sveum and perhaps he struggled more with the Latin players.

    The good thing is that the 3 bilingual candidates: Acta, Renteria, and Martinez are all top candidates anyway. They'd be good candidates even if they weren't bilingual.

  • This thing has turned into a circus. I really wish the Cubs had just retained Sveum, and not because I was sold on him. I just don't see how any of these guys are going to be substantial improvements and I wonder if the F.O. got out ahead of their skis thinking Girardi would take their offer.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I think they wanted to change because they realized they needed a better development guy. If Sveum was losing but did a better job of developing, he probably doesn't get fired.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    How has it turned into a circus? They've quietly interviewed 4 candidates and will make a choice or have 2nd interviews with two or three of them.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    He's referring to the elephant in the living room.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    The F.O. publicly admitted a major mistake by firing Sveum two years into his tenure, then suffered another public letdown when Girardi opted to stay with an aging, declining Yankee team before he'd even spoken with the Cubs about their opening. 'Circus' may have been a strong term, but this thing has been a P.R. failure from jump street.

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    In reply to Eddie:

    agreed on all counts

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Sorry, I don't think it is a PR failure at all. They have handled everything that was within their control very well. I think it is a general failure of most Cubs fans to understand how things work in the real world. And no amount of positive PR spin can save that.

    The Cubs fired their manager. They did so because they didn't think he was the right man for the job. They publicly admitted a mistake and laid out the qualifications they would be looking for in a replacement. No PR failure there, in fact I think they handled it well. They have then quietly interviewed the 4 guys that were actually available that they believe best meet those requirements. No PR failure there.

    They did it with full knowledge that public sentiment would be that that Girardi would be the only option as a replacement. but they knew there was a good chance Girardi would never become available. All along the industry consensus was Girardi would stay in NY. It wasn't a secret or a surprise. Girardi may indeed have been their first choice as a replacement, but you cannot keep a guy employed that you do not have faith in simply because you may not get the guy the fans want. You can't let fear of a little bad press prevent you from making a decision.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    In other words, I disagree on all counts.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    I agree on all counts. Some fans want to blame the FO for anything and everything. Just silly.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Circus was too nice...more like "looming disaster" if they hire any of these four clowns.

    The F.O. is an overrated joke. If they continue to signaverage retreads like DeJesus, Ian Stewart (really?), etc., who really cares.

    Ricketts is more interested in creating a giant carnival out of Wrigley anyway.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Circus was too nice...more like "looming disaster" if they hire any of these four clowns.

    The F.O. is an overrated joke. If they continue to sign average retreads like DeJesus, Ian Stewart (really?), etc., who really cares.

    Ricketts is more interested in creating a giant carnival out of Wrigley anyway.

  • In reply to demunn:

    Who do you suggest they hire? Name names.

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    To be honest, I think all of this Cubs manager stuff is all smoke. There is no possible way we can know who the Cubs want and who is a better manager. We do not have the information the Cubs front office has. All we can go on is the past. And I absolutely understand you have your sources John, and that gives you more insight into this. However, I just think the front office is too secretive for us to really have any idea who is the best candidate and who they prefer.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    Absolutely. We don't really know. And I'd like to say that I've talked to non-Cubs sources, so when I'm talking about "favorites" I'm talking about my favorites based on what people told me. I really have no idea if they are the Cubs favorites.

  • Interesting and informative nationwide poll taken on who the Cubs should hire as their next manager...

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/who-should-the-cubs-hire-as-manager,34091/

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Ha! I actually linked that a while back. Very funny.

  • Hey John, I often see you refer to Jason Parks from BP on here by his Twitter handle, "Professor Parks". Is he an actual professor? Are you doing it playfully, because you know him? I was just curious, because I never thought the "professor" thing was serious, and you usually use the person's real name when citing a tweet/info on here.

    As far as the Sandberg/Martinez thing, can someone fill me in on what the issue is here? May have been a bit before time, because I don't remember hearing about it. (tried googling it, but couldn't come up with anything).

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    It's a nickname.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    No. He's just known that way by most people. I call him Jason. And he's not a professor, but he's a very smart dude.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Gotcha. Yeah, he's really good. And funny.

  • I don't know what to make of this article and situation. There seems to be a mix of positives and negatives about each one. And no clear cut favorite. Does that mean we can't go wrong by picking one of these guys or does that mean we are in trouble cause nobody has separated themselves. And what if the best person can't speak Spanish? Will the eliminate him?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    If the best person doesn't speak Spanish (and Hinch is the only one of the 4), then they'd hire a bilingual bench coach.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    And there really are positives and negatives. The Cubs will just have to weigh all the factors together and who comes out best overall. If it's close, I'm guessing they'll lean toward the side of development.

  • Abbatacola also said those Cub fans who think it disrespectful to Ryno to even interview Martinez are "stupid". I'm not into name calling but if he is the best candidate then I cannot imagine why he would not be chosen let alone given an interview.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    So he makes generalizations about an entire fanbase because of a handful of Score callers, and "Cubs fans" are the ones that are stupid? Ok, then.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    I wouldn't call them stupid, but I agree that shouldn't hold him back if they think he's the best candidate for the job. And right now that is a legitimate if.

  • I hope they fool us all and hire Jason Varitek . That would be like the big surprise on some old wrestling show my kids addicted to lol . But I am not sure He wouldn't be an awesome hire to be at least on staff .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Haha! Maybe they can have the new manager come to the press conference with one of those wrestling masks and then unveil it as soon as they make the announcement.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That would be spectacular.

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    As I told Gordon "I Forgot To Fact Check" Wittenmeyer this morning I really do not believe this is a critical hire for the Cubs, though I did not say it that nicely.

    The Cubs set themselves up to lose a lot of games the past two seasons and Sveum was a fall guy at best. Yes, it would have been great if he could have taken Rudy Stein, Ogilvie, Tanner Boyle, Engleberg and Ahmad to even a .500 record, but the Bad News Cubs were built to lose. All the other issues are really meanningless in that sense, at least as far as the front office's credibility, because the development issues were not all on Sveum, they were organization-wide, and I don't want to rehash any of that. If he made better in game decisions it MAY have equated to 5-8 wins over two seasons. It was a turnstyle clubhouse, and nobody could have won with the rostesr of 2012/2013. Period.

    So to me, this hire is not as critical as everybody is making it out to be. Anything positive that comes out of it is great, but any negative impact should still be considered part of the "process", that Theo Epstein said was a "five-year MINIMUM" undertaking.

    Jeez, it's been two seasons. Lighten up a little. If you are that impatient, you don't care about creating a winning organization. You all want the title, you just don't want to earn it, and if you think winning just one title is enough then you have little uderstanding of what the Cubs are trying to accomplish here.

    Cubs fans are not entitled, Epstein shouldn't have to answer to every single fan, he has a proven track record, and has done amazing things in two years already.

    This is a new regime with a new way of doing business. Stay the course.

    And Bryan Craven, I am 100% in favor of Jason Varitek and have been since October 1.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    What about Buttermaker as manager?

    In all seriousness, it's important enough to have fired Sveum and while I agree that day to day management of the game isn't as big a deal, I do think they need a guy who can create an environment for the kids on the field and in the clubhouse.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I'm just wondering who was the booger-eating moron on this team....

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    In reply to SouthBender:

    I'd nominate Darwin Barney but I'd get skewered by the "root-for-the-underdog" faction.

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    Everytime I hear the Sandberg-Martinez debate my head explodes. Sandberg is a Phillies employee. Who cares what he thinks or how this hiring affects him.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I doubt he cares much about the Cubs other than the Phils beating them.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I haven't seen anyone post that on this article. I dropped it and so should you.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I think you should read all the comments and I don't think I was singling anybody out in particular. Of course, now I am, and a simple comment like this means you haven't actually dropped it..

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Agreed.

  • Here is my personal order and like John I have my own people in the industry. Mine are in this Order Martinez, Renteria, Hinch and Acta. I actually want nothing to do with Acta.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I like this managerial order. And I agree on Acta.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I also agree with your order. I like Renteria a lot, maybe more than martinez. A quick search can find his presser after the big wbc brawl and three things are apparent as he addresses the media, he's composed, honest, and cares for his guys. That's the kind of guy I want in the clubhouse.

  • In reply to northside disciple:

    The reason I like Martinez a little more I'd his energy level is a little higher. I also think out of the 4 he is the best all round fit. Let's check the boxes: work with young players. He has been doing that for the whole time he has been with the Rays do that's a check.

    Speaks Spanish. Check on that too.

    Knowledge of stats strategies. Check that one the Rays are really heavy uses there.

    Leadership: This is the box where from the people I have talked to he licks everyone else's butt on the list.

    I also think he will make the game fun again for these young players. The Clubhouse will be fun not just relaxed but fun.

  • seriously what are the chances the Cubs bring in Varitek in some capacity . Cubs need a filthy animal in the clubhouse just as much as Latin influence . Bostons teams always had an identity and that guy is just a plain winner .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I think it's possible they bring him in but that's often the managers decision. The FO can recommend guys -- and they will recommend at least a couple of coaches stay. But ultimately it is the managers choice. Sveum's choices were pretty much all him, so the new manager will likely have to want Varitek and preferably have some sort of relationship with him already.

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    I'm on the Renteria bandwagon also. But I could go with your order as well.....

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    " 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? "

    I've been saying this for two weeks on here and have been dismissed.

  • In reply to Pooch7171:

    Maybe because they have only fired one manager. Anticipating that the next guy is going to be another failure seems pessimistic at best, and nihilistic at worst. If you are being "dismissed" it is because everyone else is talking about the decision that is occurring here and now and not the one that might happen in another two years.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    I never said this pick will be the wrong pick. I did say they have to get it right though because GM's don't get three managers. IF this pick isn't right heads will have to roll. Which is exactly what the unnamed MLB FO source said too. They already did get one managerial pick wrong, it's fair to skeptical about the next one.

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    In reply to Pooch7171:

    But they didn't really get the pick wrong did they? They ha something like 150+ players in and out of that clubhouse over the past two years. Very little of what happened was on Sveum or the selection of Sveum.

    If the Cubs were re-tooling when Epstein and Hoyer came in, I'd say you're right and the media-inspired "Three Manager" rule (and by the way, that's not REALLY a thing) would apply.

    But they blew up the entire organization and every facet of the Chicago Cubs corporation. You guys are being way too hard on this front office in suggesting this, and the "unnamed source" is really just talking some stupid shit. Considering the comment, why would he have to remain unnamed? I mean it's an opinion. It's not like Tom Ricketts went to Dave Dombrowski and said "Theo better get this right or he's out of here. Oh by the way, that's strictly off the record."

    C'mon man.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    They didn't get the Svuem pick wrong? Then why was he fired? C'mon man.

    The three manager rule isn't media inspired. Its reality inspired how many baseall GM'sget three managers without making the post season during their tenure?

  • In reply to Pooch7171:

    Not by me. It's the way things work. I think Theo has security and he'll be fine, but just wondering that if Renteria is Hoyer's choice and it's not unanimous -- and it turns out to be a mistake, then he may be the one who has to answer for it. Not saying he'd get fired, but I do think that -- IF it is his choice, then he's sticking his neck out a bit on this one.

    And you can look at it this way, if Hoyer feels strongly enough to hypothetically take that risk and get his choice as manager (if that's what it is), then I think it says a lot about how strongly he feels about him.

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    As Lou would say, L-L-L-Look, I don't want martinez anywhere near this team, but not for the same reasons as others who feel that way. It's not because Sandberg was a Cub legend or should have been a Cub manager, or blah,blitty, blah, blah.
    It's because sleeping with the wife of a teammate shows an extreme lack of character. And, as Dubya would say, leopards don't change their stripes. At least not very often.
    So I don't care about any perceived slap in the face. I care that someone with blatantly poor judgment and questionable character issues would be leading our young club.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Haha :) Maybe so, but that was a long time ago. You don't think he's changed/matured (if it's even true at all)?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Maybe. But I wonder is it a case of immaturity or deep-down character issues and lack of morality. He very well may be a different person today, but I don't know how we would have any assurances.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    SMH. Yeah that poor character has him in the league ad a baseball lifer and the right hand man to arguably the best in game manager on the league. Let's. Roll with an unsubstantiated small sample size example ss judging his baseball character instead of the 30 plus years he's had in professional baseball. That sounds like a good closed minded way of doing business.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    You make some good points.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Dave Martinez would have a shorter "honeymoon" with the fans than the other three because of the issue. None of these four are going to win next year, none of them, but Martinez would be jumped on by the fans and the media before the others. Then the boo birds and hecklers would start to build. And the worst part of the Chicago sports media would join in. He has the potential of being a big public relations blunder.

  • In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    I think its the opposite. Most are holding the failures by Acta and Hinch against them in the local media. Dave Martinez is new and would gave WAY more leeway than a couple of guys that have managed and failed already don't you think? I respectfully disagree with your theory. Most fans probably aren't even privy to the Ryno thing yet alone cares about it. It's a small faction of meatballs. Sandberg is a Philly for goodness sake.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Finally, someone understands the issue, instead of assuming that fans just want to take sides with Sandberg! The Cindy Sandberg incident, if it really happened at all, wouldn't be a discussion-killer, but the FO would need to make sure that such morale-killing behavior is a thing of the past.

    Based on Martinez's current role with the Rays, it appears that his judgment and character aren't issues, but it's still a concern that should not be dismissed out of hand.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    How about just Tampa's poor record in developing hitters? All the Cubs best prospects are hitters. That should scare you more than anything Martinez may have done and any lack of character you are assuming he may have.

    I think it is amazing that NOBODY in baseball thinks Dave Martinez lacks character except a few Cubs fans.

    Who is the last hitter that the Rays, as an organization, have developed? And jeez, how many failed offensive prospects have they had in the last ten years?

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    That's a good point. Tampa seems better at developing pitchers.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Longoria seems to hit the ball petty well, though.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Longoria was a Cape Cod MVP with a great college pedigree and never really spent time in their system. He was pretty much a finished project and I think he had little more than 500 minor league at-bats over a season and a half. But taking your side of the argument, that's only one guy out of how many?

  • Is there chance that the cubs are waiting for post season to be over with? Is there anybody on Detroit, Boston, St. Louis, or Los angles that the cubs are waiting to talk to? Does MLB have that rule?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I don't think they're waiting for anyone. I looked into it. They're pretty happy with these 4. One guy that was suggested to me by an ex-scout was Brian Butterfield, 3B coach of the Red Sox, father was a scouting/development guy. Asked about him and a few others but was told no. Then asked if these were the 4 guys and the response was that it looks that way.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks.. Nice work! You have any idea for a timeline?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Thanks. I know they want to get this done quickly. They're definitely going to have it done by the GM Meetings, which start on November 11th, but I think it will get done by the end of the month.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I should also add that I asked about Torey Lovullo and was not told flat out no, but it was more of a "not likely". That made me think he is a plan B candidate if they wind up deciding they don't want or can't get the guy they want from the 4. Sandy Alomar would be in that secondary group, too. But I wouldn't hold my breath for anything like that. They seem to like at least 2 of the candidates.

  • White Sox signed Jose Abreu. Good fit for them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Huge for them. Guess he'll replace Konerko.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm not saying this just because the White Sox got Abreu (although it's a bonus) but I think this dude could end up being a HUGE bust of a contract.

    Yes, He has monster power, there is no doubt about that, but scouts are saying that he has a slider speed & can't catch up to a good fastball, especially inside. He feasts on crappy pitching and mistakes.

    Once MLB pitchers know that, all he is going to see is Fastballs - In. If he hits .220 with tons of K's and 25-30 hrs, is that worth it?

    Puig was 7 years @ $42 Million
    Darvish was 6 years @ 56 Million

    Jose Abreu = 6 @ $68 Million

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I think it's a bit much but there are some teams that really believe in Abreu and I have to think the White Sox are one of those teams. I like the signing for them. Nice replacement for Konerko and Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo should make his transition easier.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    It sounds like the same shit they were saying about Pueg and Cespedes. Forgive me if I misspelled their names.

  • If it was me making the choice - it would be Acta. I liked what he did his first season in DC with almost nothing and a bunch of nobodies filling the staff. Next season was somewhat more disappointing - but that was due to extreme lack of talent rather than the Manager.

    But - I'm not the one making the choice,....

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Agreed. Acta and Hinch are my favorites. I think there's a general fear because they "failed", but that doesn't bother me at all. As we've mentioned many times, many great managers have failed,sometimes several times before finding the right environment.

    I don't think Acta was ever put in a position to succeed and I think the stories about him losing the clubhouse are overblown. He had more supporters than detractors, but the detractors got the publicity. I also think some of the local media trashed Acta (and Hinch) largely because they didn't win and they just want a new guy.

    I think the opposite on this. I kind of like a guy who has already made mistakes and failed. Managing is often a learning experience of trial and error. These guys have made their mistakes and they're both very smart, smart enough to learn from them. New guys will have to learn on the job and, trust me, they'll make mistakes the same way Sveum made mistakes because that's what rookie managers do, even the best of them. I'd rather have guys who have learned from their past than guys who will learn on the job.

  • I'm always at least a little concerned with a guy with no big league time managing a team. More often than not that doesn't work out. For me that gives the edge to Hinch.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    See, I look at it that way too. I think it's not fair to assume that if a guy failed before he'll continue to fail. And I think the good baseball men will learn from their experience, just like a good player with strong mental makeup. I think Hinch is a good baseball mind and so is Acta.

    For me, I want to skip the rookie mistakes we saw with Quade and Sveum and go to a guy who has already made them and learned from them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I share your opinion of past failures as head coach being a positive. But Sveum & Quade didn't have the benefit of being Joe Maddon's right hand man... And lets be honest, those two do have a certain 'buffoonery aspect' to their personalities. Matheny, Ventura, etc have proven previous head coaching experience is not a necessity. Don Mattingly has also proven that even a knucklehead like himself can benefit by being mentored from a great baseball mind....

    The more I ponder these 4 candidates, the more I like DM as Manager of the Cubs.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Sveum worked under Terry Francona and Quade worked under Lou Piniella. I think they had some pretty good mentors. I don't consider that as big a factor as most people do. It's nice, but it's not a key criteria for me.

    Still like Acta as my personal favorite with Hinch a close second. I'm split between Martinez and Renteria for 3rd but I do like them both.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with you but I meant as a player. Manny Acta never made it to the show. More often than not that doesn't go over well with players. Fredi Gonzalez is one exception I can think of right off the top of my head.

    Regarding Acta, I asked a friend who plays about Acta, Hinch, and everyone. He didn't bash Acta by any means but the first thing he said about him was, "I don't think he played did he?" Players can be weird about that.

  • New post up. I did a Q&A with Ben Carhart and he gave some outstanding answers. Very thoughtful guy and I think if you read it you'll have a hard time not rooting for him to make it. Talked about Dave Keller and Mariano Duncan, his great teammates, winning the FSL championship, and converting to catcher.

  • The FO is looking for a person experienced in development but what about the tendency to play veterans over rookies? Are any of the candidates likely to revert to that scenario? Quade had a tendency to go that route and Sveum seemed to fall into that category at times.

  • That "fans perception" about Ex-Mrs. Sandberg thing gets me. I'd like to see a poll and see how many fans out there really care bout that crap. That's just stupid.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Totally agree, the vast majority of cubs fans could care less. It's just a vocal few who for some reason take it personally. All I want is the Cubs to win!

  • In reply to KDC22:

    I think that the vocal few are spinning more of a cautionary tale than taking it personally. If Martinez is the new Cub manager fans will support him, but if the team doesn't improve many fear the repercussions.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Why would the repercussions be any different for Martinez ? I think no matter who the manager is if there isn't improvement there will be repercussions. And most likely fans will start to question the front office.

  • In reply to KDC22:

    True, but the fans and media might come down harder and quicker on the guy labeled the 'Latin Lover' whether he deserves that title or not. Millionaire baseball players and their wives/girlfriends have access to lifestyles that conventional fans would not sanction. I'm sure if that is personal, but it exists.

  • None of these guys are very impressive, but Acta is clearly the worst. Failed horribly in DC, failed in Cleveland for basically the same reasons (did not learn from his mistakes). I think the FO will have a difficult (Martinez/Hinch/Renteria) to impossible (Acta) task selling one of these guys to the fans/media. I would still rather see them expand the pool of candidates (including some big names/old school guys/etc.) to see if some better options are out there..

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    In reply to VaCubFan:

    Aside from previous won-loss records, which other criteria are you judging Acta on?

  • In reply to Joe Stallings:

    The fans in DC ended up hating the guy. I have coworkers from Cleveland, they hate him too. Nothing special from a strategic standpoint, did not defend his players on the field, overall just very bland and boring. His last year In DC, the FO swapped out a bunch of the coaches, hoping this would make a difference (including Riggleman as Bench Coach), but ended up firing Acta in the middle of the season. Riggleman was promoted and considered to be enough of an improvement, they gave him the job for the following season. So if Riggleman is a somewhat below average manager, what does that say about Acta?

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    Sorry for posting so much but one last thing I think a lot of people are forgetting. The Cubs are not looking for a "win now"manager. They are looking for a guy who realizes that here is still some development and projection left when younger players get to the majors and that development is a constant process until payers reach the 26-28 age in most cases.

    If you look at the selection process form the point of view of what the FO is trying to accomplish, all of these guys make sense in this order:

    Acta, Renteria, Hinch and Martinez.

    The Cubs are not going to win next year and probably hope to be a .500 team by 2015. Had they hired Girardi, they may have switched gears and tried to speed the process up with trades and free agent signings.

    But Girardi passed. And do you really care how it "sells" to the media? How many games have the media won? Maybe Gordon Wittenmeyer, who will hate anybody the Cubs hire regardless, can pitch and bat cleanup next season.

  • I'm not familiar enough with the various Latin cultures to know if there is a certain leadership style and personality that the Latino baseball player would best respond to. However, I do watch a lot of soccer and it seems that the technical/tactical manager always does far better developing a team and getting the most out of his players than a former player who was a noted leader on the field.

  • In reply to Cleme:

    It's hard to say because every culture is different and I can only present from my own experience (which happens to be half Latin American/half "white"/European). I taught Mexican-American kids for two years and one of the first things I learned is they work cooperatively very well. Getting them to work on their own took more leadership on my part. I also taught classes that were primarily "American". I think the American culture is a more individualistic one (in general), so getting them to work cooperatively sometimes required a bit stronger leadership. Again, that's just my experience working with adolescent kids, so take it for what it's worth.

    I think Acta's style would do well with Latin American players (and perhaps that's the real reason some players believed he favored them). He also understands the nuances of modern strategy and statistics -- and as I mentioned in a previous response, his Cleveland teams actually won more games then they were supposed to per their Pythagorean record in his 3 years.

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    What was Acta's expected win-loss record compared to actual and the same for Hinch? Anyone know?

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    In reply to Teddy Robinson:

    You can get that at Baseball-Reference, but remember, expected win/loss is based on Bill James Pythagorean formula for baseball.

    The Indians had a Pythagorean record of 64-98 and under Acta (and six games where Sandy Alomar was 3-3) the Indians won 68 games.

    So through some combination of good luck for the Indians, bad luck for their opposition and somewhat reflective of managing ability the Indians were +4.

    Most analysts predicted the Indians would be a 77-win team in 2012, which would make Acta a -9. Of course there are far too many factors and I think the question is, discounting record, how did Acta do in all aspects of managing a team?

  • In reply to Teddy Robinson:

    With Hinch it's hard to say because he had two partial seasons, but like I said, he had a better combined record than his predecessor Bob Melvin (who is now the A's manager) and his replacement, Kirk Gibson, with the same teams. That tells me that team just wasn't ready to win no matter who was managing.

    In Manny Acta's most recent job, he won 69 games with a team that was expected to win 70 and the next year he won 80 games with a team that was expected to win just 75 games. The year he was fired, the team was projected to win 64 games and he won 65 games with 6 games to go, he probably would have won 67 or 68 if he were allowed to finish. So overall, based on the talent, he actually overachieved.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks for the responses guys. Thats exactly what I was looking for.

  • I've been kind of quiet about this. I posted a few times that I thought Sveum was gone because the future of the Cubs is not how he handles Greg or Barney, but how he handles Castro and Rizzo and the next wave. He wasn't a "fall guy", he was simply held accountable like a guard at Fort Knox. When the FO found the gold missing, he got fired. I think some of you guys reach a little too far for controversy. THIS perspective fits with the rebuilding plan the front office has promoted since they arrived. So why the hyperbole about Sveum?

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    First time poster, here I wanted to chime in on the Dave Martinez discussion.

    First off, if our front office were basing it's decision off of an unconfirmed rumor, they have a very flawed decision-making process. Cubs fans should be understanding that our front office will choose the best candidate for the job. That being said, from the information us fans have available, Acta, Hinch, or Renteria seem to more closely match the front office's "Phase 2" type of manager with managerial experience as well as player development accumen. I believe most of us would agree that Martinez is a wild card so this is unlikely to become an issue in the first place.

    If there was a picture floating around of Dave Martinez with his pants down in an alley way with Sandberg's wife and a drunk Martinez smiling real big with this thumb up in the air, that would be something tangible to rule out Martinez as a candidate. That is not the case here.

    Let's trust that they'll choose the best candidate for the job.

  • In reply to Joe Stallings:

    Agreed Joe. Well said and thanks for posting.

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    In reply to Joe Stallings:

    I think the rumor was confirmed when they hurriedly traded him to Montreal in a one sided-deal for Mitch Webster.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I remember being so angry about that deal and wondering what the Cubs could possibly be thinking. Jim Frey made that deal so at the time I thought it was par for the course for his usual bad trades where the Cubs got taken to the cleaners.

  • I think if the 'boys' deem Dave as the best for the job than Martinez will be the Cub manager. We will soon know.

  • Torey Lovullo anyone?

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