One day after officially announcing the hires of new General Manager Jed Hoyer and Scouting Director Jason McLeod on Tuesday, Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs decided to part ways with manager Mike Quade. Quade experienced a tumultuous season in 2011 where the Chicago Cubs finished in 5th place with a 71-91 record. It came as little of a surprise that the new Cubs regime decided to part ways with Quade. With a new management team, the Cubs can start over fresh with a new manager and new approach to the game. Theo Epstein announced that the search for a new manager will begin immediately. With several high profile positions open (St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and Boston Red Sox) the competition for desirable candidates will be high. The Cubs management team has had several weeks to assess the situation, and one has to image that they have several candidates already in mind. Of note, Ryne Sandberg is not a candidate for the Chicago Cubs managerial position. Theo Epstein called Sanberg shortly after the announcement of Quade's firing to inform him that he would not be considered as a potential Cubs manager. However, here are some rumored candidates and potential hires for the position:
Dale Sveum - 3rd Base Coach, Milwaukee Brewers
Dale Sveum is a popular candidate for several positions, including the Boston Red Sox manager position in which he interviewed for today. Sveum was a 3rd base coach for the Boston Red Sox under Epstein's regime, and the fact that Cherington has already shown interest leads one to believe that they both shared a fondness for Dale Sveum.
Mike Maddux - Pitching Coach, Texas Rangers
Maddux is well respected throughout the league, and is also a candidate for several positions including the Boston Red Sox. One can't forget either the connection Mike has to the Chicago Cubs front office in his brother, Greg Maddux, who is currently a Special Assistant to General Manager Jed Hoyer. Maddux had a 15 year big league career, and has spent the past 9 seasons as a pitching coach for both the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers.
Dave Martinez - Bench Coach, Tampa Bay Rays
Former Chicago Cubs, and rumored "friend" of Cindy Sandberg, Dave Martinez is also a hot managerial candidate. Martinez played until the 2001 season, and has spent the past 4 with the Tampa Bay Rays learning from one of the best in the game Joe Maddon. On a side note, how great would it be if Sandberg and Martinez managed the Cardinals and Cubs respectively. If you don't follow, do yourself a simple google search kids.
DeMarlo Hale - Bench Coach, Boston Red Sox
DeMarlo Hale has been the Boston Red Sox bench coach for the past 2 seasons, and previously he spent 2006-2009 as their 3rd base coach. Hale has paid his dues as a minor league coach for several years, and as base coach and bench coach for the past decade. Hale may be a long shot, however it is obvious that Epstein valued his abilities as well as the much trusted Terry Francona.
Terry Francona - Most recently with the Boston Red Sox
Francona's reputation took a hit with the ugliness that ensued after Tito's departure. Accusations were abound of pain killers, drinking players, and a completely out of control locker room. If this is true, and Epstein has lost trust, then Francona is most likely not a serious candidate. However, I believe those accusations were overblown to find a scapegoat in the Red Sox end of season collapse. Regardless, I find it hard to believe that Francona will be a serious candidate for the Chicago Cubs.
Bob Brenly - Chicago Cubs Broadcaster
Darren Balsley - Pitching Coach, San Diego Padres
Sandy Alomar, Jr. - Bench Coach, Cleveland Indians
Pete Mackinin - Bench Coach, Philadelphia Phillies
Terry Pendelton - Hitting Coach, Atlanta Braves
Other candidates are certain to be brought up, but one thing you have to respect about this new leadership is their vision and their dedication to keeping information tight lipped. A new era is underway at Clark and Addison, Cubs fans should trust their new leadership to make the right decision to lead this franchise and manage the vision set forth by Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod. The "Cubs Way" must be consistent from top to bottom, and whoever they choose as the next manager will assuredly be given a copy of the manual to memorize on day one.