Cubs/Red Sox Manager Decision Coming Soon?

Take my word for it. The 2012 Chicago Cubs will be managed by Mike Maddux. The 2012 Boston Red Sox will be managed by Dave Sveum.

That’s right, you heard it here first. No sources, just a functioning logical brain.

For those of you who have been living in a pineapple under the sea and don’t know what is going on, two of the most historical franchises in baseball have an opening at their manager spots. Terry Francona was fired promptly following the regular season after a historical collapse. Mike Quade was fired a couple weeks into playoff season after, now President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein was poached from the Red Sox.

Sveum seems to have basically wrapped up the Red Sox job, receiving a second interview from GM Ben Cherington. I’ll be focusing on the Chicago Cubs opening.

The 2011 Chicago Cubs finished the season 71-91. Since then, Theo Epstein and Cubs GM Jed Hoyer have interviewed 6 candidates. The interviewing process that the Cubs now hold is very different than that of many other MLB teams. The interviews are essentially day and a half meetings. They meet with the candidate for an evening dinner, getting to know the man before they get to know the manager. The next day, the Cubs meet with the candidate for upwards of 7 hours.

Part of the process during the long hours include the Cubs brass bringing up real life situations and having the candidate immediately tell them what they would do in given situation. When answering, the Cubs also want to hear why the candidate would make the move. Epstein has a system that he is attempting to put in place. The Cubs want their manager to make decisions consistent with how they believe their system should be run.

Pete Mackanin, Dave Sveum, Mike Maddux, and Sandy Alomar Jr. are the four candidates who interviewed in person for the Cubs position. Demarco Hale was interviewed by phone due to Epstein’s familiarity with him during the his time with the Red Sox. Terry Francona is also considered a candidate, but no interview is needed, again, due to familiarity.

The favorite at this point seems to be former Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux. Prior to interviewing the Cubs job, Maddux turned down an opportunity to interview for the Red Sox job. He has been a highly renowned pitching coach and has a great personality to match. He believes in mixing stats and his gut, something Theo & Co. find very important.

Another interesting aspect to the Mike Maddux scenario is his Hall of Fame brother, Greg. Greg Maddux has been a Special Assistant to Jim Hendry for the last two years (much like what Mike Matheny was for the Cardinals). He’s worked with multiple different departments in the front office, from scouting to coaching. There is belief that Mike Maddux might be able to talk brother Greg into joining his staff as Pitching Coach. Greg is known to have a vast knowledge about pitching, acquiring the name “The Professor.”

However, Greg would just be considered a bonus. Mike Maddux has the experience and knowledge to manage a big league team and is the best choice available. All candidates, aside from Francona, would be rookie managers. We can only speculate to exactly what type of manager each will be. But there is no doubt that Maddux has a sparkling personality filled with humility and humor.

Mark my words, we will see Maddux back on the pitching mound this year. This Maddux, though, will be making different types of pitching moves then we are accustomed to.

Mike Maddux is coming. I guess I could be wrong…



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