Finally, the All-Star break. Players and fans are on fumes right now as the unofficial first half of the season comes to an end with the Cubs record standing at 47-43 and a 0.5 game lead over Milwaukee.
The next three days become the official “Maddon Watch” for everyone. This, of course, creates the new game, who will replace Joe Maddon? Based on friends, family, social media reports, and anyone else who has ever watched a Cubs game, the list of new managers has been narrowed down to everyone in America who ever played baseball.
Seriously, a friend of mine just texted me and told me he was officially throwing his name in the ring for the job. He needed to clear his calendar first, but he was available. He is one of the few names that actually makes sense.
As a longtime Cubs fan, and frequent writer for this website that covers the team, I have seen a few changes in my lifetime regarding firing the manager. Be careful what you wish for is something I always think about when it looks inevitable.
I will give you my rundown of who won’t get the job before I share with you who will. I will also preface all this by saying that I’m not 100% sold on Theo making he change right now. It rarely works out well when a manager is let go in the middle of the season. Yes, there are always going to be exceptions to this rule, but the bad outweighs the good by a lot.
Leading off the who won’t get this job list is Mark Loretta. The only thing worse than hiring a new manager in the middle of the season is making him an interim manager and Loretta would only be just that. I know Theo and he go way back but I don’t see that happening. If Theo can’t get his guy he will wait until the season ends to fire Maddon.
Same for our number two guy on the list, Brandon Hyde. He doesn’t have enough experience as a bench coach to take on the Cubs managerial position just yet. He may be the guy following this guy though so keep him in your thoughts.
Speaking of lack of experience, the number three choice is David Ross. David may become a manager some day but not this day. He is too close to the players on this team and having to make tough calls on your friends would be unfair to him and the team.
Batting clean-up and not getting the job is Joe Girardi. I think Joe wants this job, but after this season is ended so that he can start fresh in Spring training with a clean slate. If no changes are made this week, put him at the top of your list for 2020.
So, we now come to the guy that will get the job if he makes himself available to Theo.
John Farrell, I believe, will be the Cubs choice to take over for Joe Maddon. He has a history with Theo and Jed Hoyer, and he brings all the things Theo likes in his manager. He is a stats nut, he is even tempered, he is consistent, and he does not change line-ups 159 times a season.
If Farrell wants to come back to the manager business and is willing to do it mid-season, then ladies and gentlemen, your new Chicago Cubs manager will be introduced Wednesday.