The Future History of Cub Managers, 2010–2013

(Apologies in advance if the readings from my crystal ball prove faulty. It's something about the neighborhood. Even the cable reception is erratic around here.)


by Paul Sullivan, Tribune Reporter
2:17 p.m., CDT, May 6, 2010

PITTSBURGH – If you thought that watching his team lose to the perennial doormat Pirates, 9-3, on Wednesday night and plummet into the NL Central basement was the toughest thing Jim Hendry has ever had to do as a baseball man, an hour after the game you were proven wrong.

Hendry informed the assembled media and all of Cub Nation that he was firing his good friend and Cub manager for the past 4+ years and 526 games, Lou Piniella.

"There's no two ways about it. This stinks," said an emotional Hendry, "but after a very disappointing season last year and the awful start we've had this year, we're going to have to take the team in a different direction. Alan Trammell will be taking over the ballclub for the rest of the year, and I know that he and the other coaches are going to do everything humanly possible to turn this thing around.

"There's still time to make this a special season, but the ballplayers have to start doing the things they're capable of. I know that, Alan knows that, and the ballplayers know that."



By Bryan Hoch/
11/08/10 11:10 AM ET

NEW YORK — To the surprise of few, the New York Yankees, still basking in the glow of their second consecutive World Championship, have signed manager Joe Girardi to a new, three-year contract.

The former catcher had been rumored to be a candidate for the Chicago Cubs managerial position, which opened up when the team chose not to retain interim manager Alan Trammell. But Girardi said the Yankees post was the only one he wanted.

"This is where I want to be, for as long as the Yankees will have me," Girardi said.



by Dave Van Dyck, Tribune Reporter
9:13 p.m., CST, November 16, 2010

Lou Boudreau did it. Jerry Coleman did it. And now Bob Brenly has done it.

The now ex-Cubs announcer will be stepping out of the broadcast booth and stepping back onto the field as the new manager of the Chicago Cubs. Brenly's hiring was announced Tuesday by General Manager Jim Hendry, whose own future with the Cubs has been the source of endless debate for many months in light of the team's failure to win a single post-season game during Lou Piniella's tenure and the Cubs' dismal fifth-place finish in the National League Central this past year.

Brenly, who led the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 92-70 record and a World Series title in just the team's fourth season, is undaunted by the challenge in front of him.

"I've watched these players," said Brenly. "I know these players. There are some champions on this roster. With the personnel moves that I know Jim is planning to make and by readjusting the way this team approaches its job, I have no doubt we're going to get where we want to go."

If the Brenly Plan should run seriously off-course at some point, the 56-year-old Iowa native won't have to look very far over his shoulder to see his presumptive successor: Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, fresh off his first season managing the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa club, was named Brenly's bench coach.

"Threatened? Not at all," Brenly responded when asked how he'd feel with an obvious future managerial candidate alongside him. "I feel like the luckiest manager on earth knowing I'll have a guy like Ryne Sandberg on the bench next to me. With his baseball smarts and his experience from having worked with some of these young men up as they came up through the system, he's going to be a tremendous asset to me and to the Chicago Cubs."




By Carrie Muskat/
01/07/2013 4:46 PM CT

When he patrolled the Cub infield and stood in the batter's box at Wrigley Field, the thought of managing couldn't have been further from his mind. But on Tuesday afternoon, when the Cubs' newest manager was introduced to the media, it was clear that the job offered him the possibility of satisfaction in ways that all of those thousands of Major League at-bats never could.

"I'm honored, really, really honored. That's all I can say," new Cub skipper Neifi Perez said to the assembled reporters and cameras. "Now I'll turn it over to Jim."

"Jim," of course was Cub GM Jim Hendry, who was left to explain one of the most surprising hirings in the history of an organization that has made more than its share.

"Neifi was always on our radar," Hendry said. "There was a misperception—and to be honest, it was really about you folks in the media—that Ryne (Sandberg) was going to be our guy. Obviously, when Ryno took that job in San Diego, that took him out of the picture here. But regardless, we have always liked Neifi. He has a great baseball mind. And I know that he and his coaches are going to do everything humanly possible to turn this thing around."


I guess I am the only one who likes Lou and hope he stays. Don't worry though, he'll be gone at the end of the season. The club will cite his "health." (diabetes). He will not get fired.
Meanwhile, you can all dream about Sandberg, Brenly, Giraudi, etc., None of them will make a difference at this point. The new ownership does not inspire confidence with their emphasis on marketing to the more mindless element of our fanbase. I just want a bullpen that can THROW STRIKES.

I don't like liars and hypocrites, so I have a lot of problems with Lou, but I agree if your point is that no manager would make this team the dominant force in the NL. I think that the team should contend, though.

Sandberg was a very smart ball player, but I am not sure how much of the mondern analysis he's been able to internalize so far. If he's sacrifice bunting in the first inning, hopefully someone, Bruce Miles or the owner will give him a copy of "The Book" and he'll get in the game.

Neifi... ha.

Unfortunately, the Trammel scenario sounded the most real.

Sandberg will be here by June, right after Ted Lilly.

I love you guys but this actually pissed me off. I've been working non stop for two days and I actually thought this was real. Fuckers.

But really, does the manager even matter in this mess of a team?

We need a real GM. Maybe McFail is available.

But really, does the manager even matter in this mess of a team?

A new manager is not the most glaring need, no.

Brenly won't manage this team as long as Soriano's on it. He may like him as a person. But he can't stand him as a ballplayer.

Nice piece though.

Didn't Brenly say he would not manage his son, in the off chance that his son makes the team in the near future?

In the year 2003, Hillary Clinton swore she would not run for president. People say stuff.

I think Brenly's chances of being manager, Hillary's chances of being president and Michael's chances of being on the major league roster are all approximately equal.


Jim Hendry is still the GM in 2013 and gets to hire 3 new managers?


Neifi! - bold move Cotten, let's see how it plays out.

heyman tweets:

rough week for reds: first volquez ban, now morgan hiring. Reds to introduce Joe Morgan as special advisor  (via @Cincinnati Reds).

rofl...and Greg Maddux plunks Morgan where most of his creative thoughts come from ( in the butt)

says Ryan Dempster to pen is the "most logical", thinks Gorz is staying in rotation

then Dave Cameron says Dempster to pen is the 2nd dumbest thing he's read all day...

I guess I fail to see why it's so "dumb". *shrug*

I'm ready to write him a strongly-worded letter

Because right now, he may be the Cubs best starter...

Though he's right, this is the same Dave Cameron that scoffed at the idea of the Cubs signing Dempster to his original extension. The guy is as pompous as me, but hypocritical on top of it. The baseball analysis community would be better served if he were to take up golf.

Yeah, dumb, it's not like Dempster has any experience out of the pen.

Heyman reiterates that it will be a righty moving to the pen

Considering that John Smoltz went back and forth from starter to reliever - and back (sort of) - it is not unheard of.

The Braves however, for the most part, were a much better all-around team during Smoltz' 'pen days than this Cubs team is now.

In fact, 2002, when he had like 45 saves, the Braves were loaded with the Jones', Javy Lopez, Marcus Giles, Sheff, Furcal, Castilla, DeRosa, Surhoff...

A little "cut above"what the Cubs throw out there these days as their everyday dudes.

However, let the record show that in 2003, with his 55 SAVES, our Cubbies beat their asses! [tomahawk chop - whoa---whoa--whoa...]

I am just saying it would be possible under the right circumstances for Demp to say, "OK". I just don't know if these are them. Is it the right circumstance that his GM is a moron?

Didn't Smoltz go to the pen because he was injured?

Yes, it was to protect his... elbow, I think. One of his arm parts, anyway.

However they shuffle their pitchers won't matter much if they don't score some runs.


Thank you.

And in the meantime, putting a valuable starter in the bullpen doesn't make any sense. When it's the season changer, consider it.

And in the meantime, putting a valuable starter in the bullpen doesn't make any sense.

well it makes sense if you want to improve the bullpen, although certainly not the best use of resources. Aren't all the Cubs starters, valuable right now?

obviously Silva is the guy that should go based on past performance and expected drop-off, and if it has to be a righty. As I mentioned, he's had two featherweight offenses so far in Cinci and Houston. It's also nice that he doesn't walk folks.

I just completely contradicted myself in the new thread.

Tim Dierkes not overly impressed by Fukudome's tight flight OB abilities, I guess.

Reyes, Castillo, Wright, Bay, Francoeur, Davis, Barajas, Pagan, Perez.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.