The Cubs need a new manager. Again. Mike Quade successfully broke the pattern of 3-year tenures by crashing and burning his under-achieving 25 guys in less than one season.
So who’s next? There seem to be close to a dozen names floating around the greater Greater Chicago area (get it? Let’s be honest, Cubs territory covers a lot more of the city than that other team’s), in addition to the sentimental favorites that pop up every time there’s an opening a notch or so above hot dog vendor. So who do I want the next manager of the Cubs to be for the next 3 years, plus another half season of lame duckedness?
I. Don’t. Care. Really, I don’t. Bad fan, good fan, whatever that makes me, I refuse to get caught up in this process. There are (at least, there better be) people much more qualified to make this decision than I. But I will say this: I like that we have new blood in the front office. I like that Theo Epstein isn’t likely to play to the hearts of those who would bring back every former Cub in some capacity. We don’t need Peanuts Lowrey managing the concession stands, or Dennis Lamp to be in charge of the lighting.
I want Theo and his team of nerdy-smart baseball people to pick the right candidate for the job. I don’t know who that is. Frankly, I don’t know enough about baseball to pick a manager. Most fans don’t. Thankfully, Mr. Epstein & Co. do. I trust the new brain trust enough to believe whomever they choose is the right man for the job.
It’s being reported this morning that Theo Epstein is leaving the Boston Red Sox to become the new General Manager for the Cubs. He may also be named Team President, get keys to the city as well as Wrigley Field, and his immediate family will begin appearing on undercover reality shows and Chicago billboards.
I have no problem whatsoever with this move. I just wish my excitement for it matched the energy coursing through the interwebs in Chicago. The players on the field still bear the ultimate responsibility for winning baseball games, not the man on the cell phone. Theo’s job, obviously, will be to get the right players into pinstripes. I worry about the amount of time that will take. Ok, I don’t really worry, because unlike the stereotypical fan that outsiders think all of us are, I don’t expect him to turn things around before all my leaves are raked.
Which brings me to my next fear about this move: Cub fans aren’t patient enough to give him adequate time. I still see daily rumblings about how the Ricketts family has yet to fulfill their campaign promises to bring us a trophy. (What, they weren’t elected? Oh yeah, I suppose they just bought their way into a luxury box right? Then why do we see Tom in the cheap seats all the time. hmmm?) The first slump of the spring will bring cries of “Why didn’t Theo get rid of this bum? What did the Ricketts hire him to do anyway?”
Maybe it’s more difficult for me to be optimistic than it is for other fans. I’ve mentioned before that only leads to heartbreak. I have to be careful with hope.
We all know who we’d like to see stay and go on our ball club; it won’t be that simple. I hope we can all stay calm and realize, it’s been awhile since we’ve had a parade on the north side, and if we don’t have one in 2012, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Let’s give it time.
I just hope he doesn’t get hurt. I hate long contracts.