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.
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.