Anarchist's Brunch- Manager wanted edition.....

So here’s the latest in the Cubs managerial search.  Dave-man Actareinez is coming in for a second interview this week. A-Rich Rent-in-Hinch will get his second interview after that. Then Theo is going to blindly open baseball media guide and point to three different names., which will be placed on a dart board that Jed Hoyer will throw darts at, whichever one gets hit first will then get leaked to the press. Whoever was not hit, will actually get interviewed. Then Epstoyer will have DNA removed from AJ Hinch, Manny Acta, and Rich Renteria and they will try to clone and grow their own manager using select traits of each candidate- AJ Hinch’s use of sabremetrics, Renteria’s communication skills, Manny Acta’s lack of hair. Then they’ll interview Torey Luvullo.

What exactly is going on here?

I have been and continue to be a giant Epstoyer fan. But this search for a manager, or, judging by this list, should I say “Meh”-nager of the Cubs has been very unsettling. And I wouldn’t have a problem with it as much if I felt that Epstoyer had a plan. Because these guys have plans for everything. But right now it seems like they don’t. Didn’t they say they wanted this done quickly? The Reds needed all of five minutes to promote the pitching coach to manager and Detroit looks pretty close to hiring Lloyd McClendon.  Not hearing a rotating list of people or any kind of leader board in those cities.

Now let me say right off the bat that I don’t think Epstoyer fired Dale Sveum with the idea that Joe Girardi was available. I think they fired Dale on his own merits. But the idea that Girardi somehow could become a candidate has really gummed up the works. One, it pushed everything back for a few weeks while they waited and hoped and sent ravens back and forth because they weren’t even allowed to talk to him. But it really took the shine off the other candidates. When you find out Stevie Ray Vaughn ain’t coming but you’re going to interview the drummer from Double Trouble…..I mean…Ok……but jeez.

And haven’t they had enough time to vet Hinch, Acta and Renteria? What more do we need to know? Kind of arguing between sedans here. Yeah, there are some plusses and minuses to each but in the end they’re kind of the same car. They’re not the Mercedes that Girardi would have been with the higher insurance and the bigger “ooh and Ahh” factor and the higher lifestyle demands.

I don’t think Epstoyer likes any of the candidates. At least that’s the impression that I’m getting. Or at least there’s differing opinions within the front office on each one.  Maybe they’re just killing time until they can talk to Lovullo. Maybe he’s the real play here. But if I’m sensing anything from this search, it’s very similar to last year’s draft: They’re not looking at who could possibly be the best manager for the Cubs. They’re asking who has the smallest chance of not going the Dale route where they’re looking for their 3rd manager in less than 5 years and serious questions are being asked… And I don’t think they like the answer on any of them.

If and when they ever do pick the new “meh” nager of the Cubs, I want to hear Theo at the press conference.  I doubt he’ll say anything like ” When we agreed to let Dale go, we didn’t have a plan for his replacement….”    or “Boy we underrated the managerial pool, let me tell you…..” He’ll talk about being thorough and finding the best possible candidate. and then talk about the next guy- Lovullo, Hinch, Renteria, whoever as if they’re Miller Huggins reborn. Which will lead to the question nobody will ask: If this guy is all that, why did it take so long to hire him?


The Cardinals are too good a team to have the both the Red Sox and the Umpires gift them a game like last night’s. I guess by the “letter of the law” that was obstruction. But gimme a break. By “the letter of the law” the strike zone is from the shoulder to the knees, from the “letter of the law” you have to actually step on second base with the baseball in your glove. Umpires brag all the time about how they have multiple decisions to make during any single play and how human element is part of the game. So now we’re hiding behind “the letter of the law” Horse. Hockey.

Of course, as someone who picked the Cardinals in 5 this comes as no surprise to me.

It also comes as no surprise that the dolt catcher, Jerrod Saltalamatchia,  who’s now cost his team two games with errant throws to third, is on the radar of both teams here in town. I’m gonna need a new 2X4 to smack myself in the head with for Christmas if any of you are looking for a gift.

Although it looks like Elsbury might be pricing himself right out of the Cubs range.

Nobody asked me, but here it is: the only name that even peeked my curiosity meter was A.J. Hinch. Certainly has the most to prove. I would have gone with him weeks ago and given him a head start winning over everybody. All the other guys feel like they have the same pedigree as Dale Sveum, and that exactly didn’t work out too well.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to know that we are 3-5 games away from being Tim McCarver free.

I rank Lightning Bolt just below the self titled album with the avocado and right above Yield. Which kind of makes it the second best of the second flight of Pearl Jam albums.

You won’t see Me” is the Beatles song running through my head. So that makes “Rubber Soul” are Sunday music of the week.

Think I’m getting over my “Breaking Bad” withdrawal. Would have helped if Homeland was any good this year. Oh well…

Boy Michael Wacha sure would look good in the Cubs rotation right now. If only the Cubs could have won 25 more games and had the 19th pick and chosen him…. Ha ha ha.

Eventually, (Hopefully) Albert Almora can make me eat those words.

Until then…

Cardinals are going to have to finish this series off fast, or they risk of having to ask their fans to take a second, possible 3rd shower within a week. and that has deep ramifications.


Leave a comment
  • i swear to god TV Ted Valentine was working the World Series, Umpire wanting to put Himself in the spotlight instead of letting players decide the game. Tainted World Series now whomever wins it. Just like Bud likes .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I disagree. That was pretty blatant and the run scores easily without the trip. The Red Sox might consider that they should stop throwing the ball away at third base with the game on the line. I think the call had to be made and its still anybody's series.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I believe that the game 3 winner wins it all around 2 times in 3. Rats! I hate the Birds., because their organization has been so much better than ours forever.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I agree with you. The play was pretty cut and dried. First off, it's probably a throw that should never have been made, second, Middlebrooks has to come off the bag and make sure he catches the ball.

    This series is a good contrast that shows that AL baseball and NL baseball are two different games. The Sox are a classic AL team and the Cards are a classic NL team. The Sox manager isn't used to playing under NL rules and it showed last night.

    And by the way, in my opinion, the NL plays real baseball, the way it was meant to be played, 9 on 9..

  • In reply to GAHillbilly:

    I was trying to reply to Bloomie in that previous post. I think the ump made the correct call.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 44slug:

    I agree, the obstruction call was the right call.

  • You have become more sarcastic while you were away if that's even possible. Maybe I forgot how funny you can be. Of that 'meh'nager group I like Hinch as well, but what do I know.

  • I don't grok why they wouldn't consider a man of Greek descent for the man of gyros position.

  • Right on the mark. Our collective lust for Girardi has blemished all of the pretenders. Personally, I'm not impressed with any of them all for the same reason. They ain't Joe. I've hyped Pena, because he has a good background at this level. I feel that is vital, because we are counting on a lot of kids with none to get us to contention. I'm now in no rush. If it is to be an analytical process, then let it play out fully. I have posted that I am fairly convinced that I won't live to see that ring on some Cub fingers. For you sake, and my son's I want them to get it right. My kid has long since given up hope, but he is more cynical than me. He cannot deny in the end that he is as hooked as any of us.

  • Too slow a process?
    One, if Lovullo is a candidate, you have to wait.
    Two, if the Cubs FO had acted quickly and chosen X, the second-guessing hordes would be screaming that they hadn't done a thorough job.
    Three, what's the rush? Isn't it more important to get the right guy?

    I trust that they a) have a plan; b) are doing a thorough job; c) have a good pool of candidates; d) are open-minded, perhaps to a fault; and e) will choose the guy they deem the best fit.

    Oh, and f) Whoever it is will be doubted/blasted/second-guessed by a lot of people here.
    Patience !

  • There was disconcerting piece of news from Sherman this AM on posting system. It sounds like changes to posting system may take effect Nov 1. From what he hears it sounds like biggest change will be allowing player right to pick among the 3 highest bidders to negotiate exclusively with. That's not good for us, given the current state of our club. Have to think NYY, LAD, TEX, to name a few, will look more attractive to Tanaka., at this point. Hopefully , he puts stock in AFL stats.....

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    There will be one consideration in what team Tanaka goes to if they change the posting process. And that is what team will pay him the most money. Period.

  • Don't think he's going to pre-negotiate with the final 3 bidders-guessing that won't be allowed. He's going to get paid, regardless. For a guy in his position , coming from an entirely different culture, I'd guess there will be some subjective/lifestyle factors at play.

  • Agreed, If you make the best offer, He's yours.

  • In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    "Making the best offer" only gets you into the final 3, at which point Tanaka decides who he wants to exclusively negotiate . If you're in final 3, you don't get a chance to make an offer to him, unless he decides you get exclusive right. You could be willing to pay him 40 mil / yr but he would never know because he decided to negotiate with Dodgers or Yanks. Guys, this isn't good for a team that is coming off a 90+ loss season and doesn't sit on one of the coasts. Maybe the net effect will be a crapload of behind-the-scenes tampering-seems like our best shot.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I meant once you are in the top three. Give him what you were offering Sanchez last year, thagt should do it.

  • In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    You won't be able to offer him a cent until he picks you as his SOLE, exclusive negotiating partner. If he's not interested in speaking with you, it won't matter what you're willing to pay.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Maybe he's into fighting curses?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Carl9730:

    Much like the draft, I suspect there will be significant backroom deals being discussed. The great thing about strict rules is smart people can always find a way around them.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Is that right? It's not "top 3 bidders can fight for him?" Because the non-exclusive way sounds better for the player and gives more teams a chance.

    The Cubs may never get a posted player under these rules. All they have to do is talk to Fukudome. "The fans liked me for one day. To show their appreciation, they wore racist Chinese peasant hats and Horry Cow t-shirts. That was when they liked me, mind you. Then when I started swinging and missing like a third grade ballerina, they booed me incessantly for two straight seasons. You might want to try a city on one of the coasts."

    Felzz, to bring back a bit of Breaking Bad, just picture a Cardinal fan house party after they win. That's right, it looks and smells a lot like a three-day meth party at Pinkman's house.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    None of the above seemed to prevent Fujikawa from signing with the Cubs when he was a TOTAL free agent and could sign with any of the 30 teams.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Carl9730:

    This is interesting, because it changes the incentives of the bidding process. Right now, you want to win the bid because it's the only way to get the player you want. With this new system, you want to be in the top 3 and -- even more specifically -- you want to be #3.

    Consider this scenario: two teams are willing to spend $150 million over six years to get Tanaka. The first team posts $60 million and wins the bidding, the second team posts $30 million and comes in third. The most the first team will be willing to offer in a contract is $90 million over six years, while the second team can offer $120 million over six years.

    Hence, the incentives are now for teams to lower their initial bid since they want to finish lower in the posting order. Economic theory suggests this will significantly lower the returns to the Japanese team if it's adopted and I can't see NPB sticking with it for too long.

  • I have to admit that I've been in McCarver's corner from the minute that the imbecile punk Dion pulled that cheap crap on him.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    McCarver is the John Madden of baseball but without the charm. Humorless. Bad.

    Buck is humorless and arrogant.

    And both lack any sort of creativity or insight.

    They make a slow game insufferable, especially to fringe baseball fans. They make my family walk out of the room one by one, in fits of excruciating boredom.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    I'm going to stick up for Joe here. I think that he is the best. The consummate professional, who is knowledgeable, prepared, and might I add fair. Even though his dad was a lifelong Cardinal announcer and he was as well, he manages to balance his broadcast without over compensating and does it dispute a homer tool by his side.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    McCarver was taking cheap shots at Deion Sanders from behind a microphone and he paid the price for it. McCarver is a tool.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    I find both McCarver and Deion equally repulsive.

  • In reply to GAHillbilly:

    They seem to be broadcasting to the lowest common denominator: the person who tunes in baseball only for the world series. McCarver spouts nothing but cliches. Both of them have a strong Cardinals bias, and it shows. If I were a Red Sox fan I'd be totally pissed.

  • If the umpires do not call obstruction, it's a far bigger controversy. It was staring them right in the face. Gotta' call it.

    Most of the comments I heard from the Bearded Bosox after the game essentially did not dispute the call. Just a lot of grumbling about it being a tough thing to lose a game on.

    I agree that there's no rush for a manager. You don't need one until Spring Training anyway.

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:

    Actually, there was a blown call by the umpire, but not the one at the end. It was the unwarranted gift to first for Beltran. He made no attempt to get out of the way and appeared to move his padded elbow just a little to make contact. Wasn't his the tying run?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Pete Rose did the same thing in 1980 and got universal praise for doing it.

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:

    Craig wasn't in the baseline - that part bothers me. And don't we all kick our feet up like that when we're trying to get out of the way?

    Saltalamachia, Breslow, Middlebrooks.... Sit them!

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    Does in the baseline matter he was trying get up to run home? I don't care who wins, but I hope the Cubs have seen enough of Saltalamochia. I know that I have!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HackWilson09:

    i agree.....freaking breslow tried to blow it again tonight !

  • fb_avatar

    some great points here felzzy, especially to the lose to get a draft pick crowd. hilarious.

  • fb_avatar

    You pull out Wacha and Almora. I've said it before Wacha was a one in a million shot who got better the second the Cardinals drafted him. But you also have to consider Kolten Wong and Javier Baez and Marco Gonzalez and Kris Bryant. And, in fact, both of the Cubs guys are looking like steals at their draft position and Bryant, at least, certainly wouldn't have been available in the 20s. (Much like Wacha, Bryant has been even better than advertised to this point.)

    This isn't about whether you can get an impact player later in the draft. Obviously you can. This is about what gives you the best chance to draft an impact player.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I liked Wacha a lot but I had Max Fried higher the Almora but they we were very close. I think Fried ends up being a LHP #2. I had Wacha around #15.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KGallo:

    My understanding is that the curveball stunned the Cardinals with how good it was, giving him another pitch and pushing him up the rotation.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Assuming Almora is who we think he is going to be, Would you rather have an every day player or a #1-2 starter going forward. I would want the pitcher but was curious on your thoughts.

  • In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    Of course it's the pitcher.

  • fb_avatar

    You did mean they "overrated the managerial pool", I hope.
    After 3 high-profile managers (baylor, baker, piniella) - granted with less than stellar results - it's hard to think of the Cubs as being back in the days when they had 6 managers' names in their rolodex, and 3 of them were named Lee Elia. I'm pretty underwhelmed by all the names being thrown about, with the possible exception of Ausmus, and at this point I truly don't care any more. Pick one, smile big at the presser, make the best of it. In 3 years, lather, rinse, repeat. Maybe Ryno will be available.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I hope not. I would take ANY of those interviewed before I would take Sandberg.

  • In reply to DaveP:


  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Well Sandberg and our new manager will be going head to head so we will be witnesses.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:


  • Great post felzz. I've been missing me some brunch. Have to agree about letter of the law. If your going to play that card then individual umps don't have their own strike zones{ call it by the letter of the law) and should be no proximity plays at second. Also agree about McCarver (just irritating to listen to) who only seems to state the obvious without much insight.

  • If I hear 'Sandberg' once more I think I'll puke. Get over him!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Bloomie, I don’t know what you want. You constantly cry and moan about how crappy everything is, how this team is never going to win anything in your lifetime, how you’ll die without seeing a world series. And then when someone mentions a player who actually played the game right, who was successful, a hall-of-famer, not a PED user, one of the few Cub players that other teams lusted after, someone we can poin tto with pride – and that makes you puke. Who else should we stop talking about? Ernie, Billie, Santo, Jenkins, Maddux? Anyone else on your S*t list?

  • Since "thinking outside the box" seems to be our criteria, I want to dig up a few corpses as candidates: Felipe Alou and Cito Gaston. Are they alive??? How about Jose Cardenal?

    But seriously... Davey Lopes?

    Gridiron! Phil Garner!

    Too bad Davey Martinez couldn't manage to "stay outside the box". Cubs fans have memories like elephants'.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HackWilson09:

    Preston Gomez or bust!

  • I work with a lot of really smart Ivy League guys over the years with backgrounds like Epstein, in the investment business. They come up with brilliant ideas and strategies, but the thing that a lot of them fail at, is they have paralysis by over analysis. It is like the process is more important to them, than the outcome.

  • Did you guys here about little Johnny, who goes to school one day, and the teacher is asking the students who their favorite baseball team is? Johnny, tells the teacher the Cubs.
    "Well why would you like the Cubs Johnny, they never win the championship, why don't you pick a good team".
    "Well I like the Cubs because my mom and dad are Cub fans".
    So the teacher tells Johnny, "Well you don't have to do everything that your mom and dad do. What if your mom was a hooker and your dad was a crystal meth cook?"
    "Well then I probably would have been a Cardinals fan", Johnny told the teacher.

  • Good one. It will work for White Sox fans as well.

  • If Luvullo's the guy then Luvullo's the guy and everything pretty much is Hunky Dory. But if it does wind up being one of these current three then I have doubts. It's not like "Oh wow they interviewed Rich Rent and were totally blown away..." You're not hearing any of those stories. If it winds up being one of those three you have to wonder why it took them so long to be sold on the guy, and if he was simply the best because you couldn't get who Epstoyer originally wanted.

    If Hinch-acta-ria were truly "the guy" wouldn't there have been a press conference already?

    People say patience. But it was Theo that said he wanted to have a new manager before the World Series.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to felzz:

    Didn't he say by the GM meetings he wanted a manager? That's a week or so after game 7

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to felzz:

    agreed. I known John is convinced they like who they've interviewed because they say all the right things afterward, but I'm not sold on that - I still say it's entirely possible they're banging their heads on the table after each interview.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    And you make that assumption on what basis? That because you don't like the candidates, the front office feels the same way?

    I've heard enough good things said about each of the candidates by smart baseball people inside and outside the industry -- guys that have no connection with the Cubs. Why wouldn't you assume the Cubs have a similar opinion of their candidates? Isn't it quite possible, even likely, that the Cubs FO and others in the industry look at these candidates entirely different than you do?

    They're interviewing candidates because they have time to do so and they are doing their due diligence. I don't think we should make too much out of it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with them doing their due diligence. No good reason not to. They also have the chance to get intel by interviewing people from other organizations. Nice to have names in the rolodex too just in case. At this time there is no function they couldn't do without a manager. You get free looks. Why not take advantage? It's what top organizations do.

  • In reply to felzz:

    They interviewed Sveum and were blown away.

    I would rather they take their time.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to felzz:


  • fb_avatar

    I think they're waiting on Luvollo. He will be their top choice and eventually get the job. And really why not?

  • John you and just about everybody here has the same opinion on McCarver and I might add Buck as well. The manager carousel is still spinning as the Cubs wait to talk to Lovullo and I wonder what they would do if he says no or goes elsewhere ? I think they should take peek at Dave Keller as a manager or possibly a coach to guide the youngsters when they come up. He's already managed 3 of the top 4 Cubs prospects at Daytona play this year. I've read nothing but good things about him.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TheRiot2:

    As I've said earlier, he may not be better than other candidiates, but the more I read on him, Dave Miley (AAA manager of the Yankees) deserves an interview if Luvollo says no or goes someplace else.

  • fb_avatar

    Also, to pass along, one of the great legends of rock, Lou Reed passed on at 71.

  • In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    Sad day :(

  • In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    Yesterday I wad driving into city and "The Day John Kennedy Died" came on my random play. Went it was over, I pressed "repeat."

    Long live Lou Reed!

  • fb_avatar

    More Kris Bryant love. (Is it too cynical to hope this lights one hell of a fire under Javy Baez?)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Why does Javy Baez need a fire lit under him? All reports say that he is very dedicated, a quick learner, very coachable, and he had the results to match. He was the minor league player of the year, what more do you want?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Agreed. Baez already plays with a lot of fire.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Because incentives to push yourself harder are never a bad thing, imo.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    True, but it's not the savior kind of pressures. More like friends one upping each other as they accomplish something together.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Awesome read. Thanks for linking that. First Base?? What the hell is Mayo talking about? Stick to prospecting my good man.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Doubt Baez is going to even read that to get the fire lit under him.

  • fb_avatar

    is anyone else besides me a little uneasy about keeping Bryant playing in Arizona? He seems to have pretty well shown what he's capable of over there, and we'd kick ourselves if he got injured, and for what? One pitch to the head or the wrist and he could be set back for a year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    That's a constant danger, whenever he plays. What he needs now is at-bats, and this is a pretty good level of competition for him, even if he seems to have mastered it.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    small sample size too.....

  • Speaking of mastering, Almora has really dropped down to earth. The pitchers have adjusted to him, and now he has to adjust to them.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Yeah, 2 games without a hit, what a bum!

    The whole team got shutdown yesterday (Bryant didn't play) as they ran into some good pitching from Surprise Saguaros. 4 hits for the day - including doubles by J. Soler and W. Darvill.

    He is 19 going against pitchers that are much more advanced than him, and he is still holding his own. Almora has a good aproach at the plate, but much like Bryant and Baez they are not taking very many walks because with their bat speed and talent they feel like they can crush most of the balls thrown to them, as they move up I'm confident that all 4 (Soler too) will make the necessary adjustments.

    I will say it right now, barring injury the Cub's Big 4 will ALL be MLB Starter quality players at minimum. Although all 4 have the talent, attitude, and desire to be much more than that.

  • One of the few things life has taught me is that the interview process to fill a job opening is an extremely difficult enterprise. Most of the people doing it would be better served throwing darts at the applications.

    I'm fine with management taking all the time they feel they need.

    The obstruction call was too obvious to not call. I knew immediately that it was obstruction and the game was over. I was wondering why Joe was still calling the play like the outcome was still in doubt.

    If Castillo is not the Cubs' catcher next year, I will seriously ponder what sort of mental illness struck the Cubs' front office.

  • One of the things I have learned is that the best job interview does not always make the best employee.

    The criteria for each is different and some of our best employees were marginal during the job interview.

  • In reply to JK1969:


Leave a comment