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(CBS) It’s official: Mike Quade will not return to the Cubs in 2012.
So, now that we know what we have already assumed for weeks, it’s time to look forward.
Who do you think should be the next Cubs manager?
We already know Ryne Sandberg is not a candidate, but let’s take a look at some of the other names that could be in the conversation:
Terry Francona – Until Tito has a new job, his name is going to be linked to Theo Epstein. 670 The Score’s Dan Bernstein reported Wednesday that he was told not rule out the former Red Sox manager. Francona would give the Cubs the experience Epstein is looking for in his new manager. We already know the respect is there.
Joe Maddon – The Rays manager isn’t looking for a change of scenery, but the Cubs are clearly trying to put together a dream team of leadership at Wrigley Field and Maddon would be another home run hire. It’s a longshot, but worth exploring.
Dave Martinez – Maddon’s right-hand man is a much more realistic option. Martinez’s name surfaced in the White Sox’s managerial search and he’s widely considered one of the top bench coaches because he’s spent so much time next to Maddon in the dugout. He’s also a former Cub.
Dale Sveum – The Brewers’ hitting coach interviewed for the Red Sox manager job Wednesday and will likely get a look in Chicago as well. Sveum worked with Epstein in Boston when he was the Red Sox’s third base coach and is a believer in the advanced baseball metrics Epstein has embraced. He also helped save the Brewers’ Wild Card berth in 2008 when he was named interim manager with a week to go in the regular season after Ned Yost was fired.
DeMarlo Hale – Hale served as Francona’s bench coach the last two seasons and is a Chicago native. You have to think there will at least be a conversation there.
Pete Mackanin – The Phillies’ bench coach was interviewed in Boston and will at least get a look by the Cubs.
Mike Maddux – The brother of Greg Maddux is a well respected pitching coach for the Rangers. More likely to be a Ricketts favorite than an Epstein favorite, but can’t rule it out.
Joe Girardi – An extreme longshot, but considering how this saga has unfolded so far, you never know.
So, your favorites to become the next Cubs manager? Any other names to throw out there?