By Dave Wischnowsky–
Last week, when pitching coach Larry Rothschild bolted the Chicago Cubs (honestly, finally) for the New York Yankees (honestly, seriously?) after a nine-year stint on Chicago’s North Side, I’m pretty sure that one name was the first to pop into most fans’ minds as a potential replacement.
It isn’t to be, however, as Maddux – who just finished his first season with the Cubs as assistant to the general manager – has no interest in assuming a full-time coaching gig with the team, according to the ballclub’s current GM Jim Hendry.
“He certainly can do this job when he’s ready to,” Hendry said about the former Cubs star and the role of pitching coach. “But his situation hasn’t changed. He will be in a more expanded role next year, but had no interest in (coaching) now.”
I think that’s because it’s quite possible, if not likely, that Maddux has more interest in another job with the Cubs.
And if the Mike Quade experience doesn’t work out, that GM job could be open much sooner than later.
Ryne Sandberg was my preference to be named Cubs manager (I felt he earned a shot) and, fact is, until Quade wins a meaningful game as manager with the Cubs, I’ll remain skeptical about his hiring.
Now, sure, he could work out. It’s not that I dislike Quade. It’s just that, in theory, Milton Bradley, Kosuke Fukudome and Aaron Miles could have worked out, too.
Here in 2010, we’re a long way removed from the days when Hendry was dazzling fans with deals such as stealing Derrek Lee from the Marlins and swiping Aramis Ramirez from the Pirates. Instead, with his recent batch of decisions – which, of course, include the questionable contracts for Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano – the Cubs’ longtime GM has lost the benefit of the doubt.
here’s little doubt, however, that Hendry has hitched his own future to Quade’s. If the manager succeeds, Hendry will, too. But if Quade doesn’t, the rope that Tom Ricketts gave Hendry to make this hire will likely be used to hang him instead.
Over the next two seasons, we’ll see how it all turns out. But considering the team’s current roster shortcomings, come 2012, I won’t be surprised at all if the Cubs are again looking for a new manager.
And a new general manager, too.
If that does come to pass, I wouldn’t mind at all if those two men’s names wound up being Ryne Sandberg and Greg Maddux.
Pitching Coach: TBA.
Do you agree with Dave? Post your comments below
If nothing else, Dave Wischnowsky is an Illinois boy. Raised in Bourbonnais, educated at the University of Illinois and bred on sports in the Land of Lincoln, he now resides on Chicago’s North Side, just blocks from Wrigley Field. Formerly a reporter and blogger for the Chicago Tribune, Dave currently writes a syndicated column, The Wisch List, which you can check out via his blog at http://www.wischlist.com.