Guest Post: An elegantly simple, yet unflinchingly manly solution to the Cubs managerial dilemma

Guest Post: An elegantly simple, yet unflinchingly manly solution to the Cubs managerial dilemma

Weary of the managerial search? Too much information? Conflicting speculation got your head spinning? Are so-called "sources" the source of your frustration?

Well, reader Mike has the answer for all of you, simplifying all the criteria into one elegant, yet very manly solution.

Hey man, have you seen my 'stache?

Could the secret to a World Series title be facial hair?


By Mike Partipilo

I mustache you a question. What two things do Mike Ditka, Joel Quenville, Phil Jackson and even Ozzie Guillen all have in common? Yes, they've all been the head coach or manager of a Chicago sports champion. But the other common thread amongst the group is the colony of fuzz growing on each man's upper lip.

Could it be that the one thing that makes a World Series championship so elusive for the Cubs is the lack of facial hair on the manager? Maybe instead of the Curse of the Billy Goat, the Cubs are battling the Curse of the Goatee. Charlie Grimm, Leo Duroscher, Lou Piniella, Jim Frey, Jim Riggleman and Don "Popeye" Zimmer, all fine managers who led the North Side Nine to the post-season, but none had the requisite mustache to win the ultimate hardware. And sorry, but Dusty Baker's thin, little "Billy Dee Williams" version of a mustache does not count, which would explain the 2003 playoff collapse as well.

Ozzie Guillen may not have had the plush lip caterpillar of a state trooper or 1970's adult film star like Ditka or Quenville, but apparently, it was enough hair for him to ride his 2005 rotation to a ring. The oft-bearded Phil Jackson won six NBA titles as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, more than any other coach/manager in Chicago history. In pre-World Series days, Cap Anson won five Major League championships as the manager of the Cubs. He also rocked a waxed up handlebar mustache with style.

So maybe the clean-shaven Joe Girardi wasn't the right choice after all. Girardi is so anti-stache that he insisted his 2007 Florida Marlins team follow the Yankees example, as players were not allowed to have any facial hair. Taking that into consideration, I believe the Cubs would have had success under Giradi's leadership, but as they have so many times in the past, would have repeatedly fallen short in the post-season tournament.

Of the candidates for the current managerial opening, Eric Wedge has sported both a goatee and a Rich Gossage type mustache while guiding the Mariners. Manny Acta has displayed a short, closely cropped goatee in both Washington and Cleveland, but like Baker, I feel it's just not enough of a face mane to guarantee a championship. Torey Lovullo, Brad Ausmus, AJ Hinch and Rick Renteria all appear to be the clean-shaven type.

After looking at all the evidence, I would have to say that the new manager of the Chicago Cubs should be the tandem of Eric Wedge and his mustache.

Poor Mike Quade never had a fighting chance.
Ed. Note:
Mike has been a Cub fan all his life, worked as a sportswriter for the Belvidere Daily Republican and penned the action/conspiracy novel The Destination Project. He lives in Roscoe, IL, coached at the elite travel level and still gives private hitting tutorials. His son, John (Mike) was a catcher at Triton College. His father was a professional boxer and his (maternal) grandfather played minor league ball for the (gag) Cardinals.


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  • fb_avatar

    Imagine would Wilford Brimley could do with this team.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    Minimum 8-peat.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    He preaches fundamentals, defense and coping with diabeetus.

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    In reply to Eric Foster:

    Eric, you made me lol. Thanks

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    In reply to Eric Foster:

    Love the Brimley idea. Can't you just imagine him playing some old, washed up coach or scout on film?

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    That movie would have a great montage where he's pouring whiskey down the bathroom sink, so he can get back on track.
    But then, everything would wind up happy and Randy Newman would sing an irritating song about overcoming adversity.
    Wilford Brimley can make anything sort of awesome.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Already happened. He was the bench coach in The Natural.

  • Interesting... So, I'm guessing Manny Acta is definitely not our guy... He doesn't have a mustache and he's bald like Quade and Dale lol.

    Thanks for the post, Mike.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Unless he is Patrick Kane, he probably could grow one.

  • I think this is great. For one, we need the humor with this thing seemingly taking forever and for me it works a bit like a satire. All information and opinion out there that seems to shift by the minute tells me we really just don't know and we certainly don't have the information the Cubs do on this, so maybe facial hair is as good as any other reason :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Which reminds me that Kap was foaming on Friday how Brad Ausmus was the obvious choice, until Detroit hired him almost immediately thereafter.

    Hence, it appears that the guiding principle (considering also Girardi) is wait for the last former catcher standing. Is Todd Hundley available?

  • In reply to jack:

    I disagree with Kap on that. I don't think Ausmus was the right fit. Good manager, maybe not the right team right now.

    I was thinking George Mitterwald may be the guy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Koy E. Hill?

  • Haha! I like the Koy, E. twist.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thank you John. It seems you understood exactly where I was coming from. There's so much inferrence and speculation, but no one but Theo and Jed know what their true fellings are. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for the interviews and Theoyer's private conversations.

  • Buckner?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Oooh, nicely played. He has to be the mystery candidate.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Seems more Boston's goat than standing out among all the Cubs goats.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    slug, that is a championship 'stache, indeed. I'd be happy if he became the big club's hitting coach and just let the manager brush his mustache for him. I think that may be enough to put the Cubs over the top.

  • Has Tom Selleck ever tried coaching?

  • In reply to Caps:

    Well hey, he did wind up being a hitting coach at the end of "Mr. Baseball". Put him in the pool of candidates...

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    In reply to Caps:

    Or the late James Gammon. His portrayal of manager Lou Brown in the movie Major League was outstanding.

  • My vote is for A's assistant Phil "Scrap Iron" Garner. Managerial experience, and a great moustache to boot.

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    Great stuff, Mike!

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    In reply to João Lucas:

    Thank you Joao. I believe a little levity is a good thing.

  • I believe some clever Bears fans created a petition to implore Marc Trestman to grow a mustache, citing many of the same examples as above.

    If the new Cubs guy is clean-shaven, we could always to the same thing.

    Oh, and Happy Movember, for those who participate!

  • I'm going to go with an outside-the-box suggestion in Nick Offerman. He's from Minooka, and would bring an element of manliness this team has never seen. Plus, they could make all of their own bats.

  • If memory serves, neither Joe McCarthy (the manager not the Senator) nor John McGraw had a mustache.

  • Hey! It is Movember.

  • Just one more reason to hire my guy........

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    WTF has happened to this world? Is jedstein and co that damn picky?

    The Cubs mgr position used to be a sought out job in MLB. A high paying job that managers would jump at the opportunity. High payroll ( well used to and maybe again) great park, great fans, good front office, solid farm system w some real blue chippers, great city, no pressure to win immediately, and if you win here, your a god.

    Why aren't there more candidates, people lining up? Is the timing that bad right now or am I overselling the position?

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    What about the "Eck" ?

    Hes got the necessary below the nostrils scratch

    HE's got Chicago ties. He knows the league. .................we could do worse.

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