A press release from the Chicago Cubs organization regarding the firing of manager Mike Quade contained a tantalizing clue about who the next manager of the team might be:
Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein this afternoon released the following statement after traveling to Florida to inform manager Mike Quade that he would not return to the club for the 2012 season.
“Jed Hoyer and I had an all-day meeting with Mike last Thursday at Wrigley Field, and Mike and I continued our dialogue with a lengthy phone conversation yesterday after the press conference. Today, I flew to Florida to inform Mike in person that the Cubs have decided not to bring him back as our manager for the 2012 season.
“When I joined the Cubs last week, I knew that Mike had a reputation as an outstanding baseball guy, as a tireless worker, and as a first-rate human being. After spending some time with him this past week, it became apparent to me that Mike’s reputation is well deserved. His passion, knowledge of the game, commitment, and integrity stood out immediately. While Mike is clearly an asset to any organization and any major league staff, Jed and I believe that the Cubs would benefit long-term from bringing in a manager for 2012 who can come in with a clean slate and offer new direction.
“The managerial search process begins immediately. We are looking for someone with whom and around whom we can build a foundation for sustained success. The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level.
“I want to thank Mike for his nine years of excellent service to the Cubs, and we certainly wish him well in the future.”
The bold face is my addition. Many Cubs fans have been hoping for Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, who has been managing in the minor leagues for the last five seasons, to be the Cubs’ next manager. With no major league experience, this part of the statement appears to rule him out.
Possible candidates include former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale, and Dale Sveum, who was once a Red Sox coach and was briefly interim manager of the Brewers in 2008.