(WSCR) To this point, it’s would appear to be a foregone conclusion that Mike Quade’s run at manager on the North Side is over.

But Len Kasper, the Cubs play-by-play TV announcer, isn’t so sure the general consensus is right in that regard.

“Everyone assumes, and has assumed all along, that Mike wouldn’t be back,” Kasper told The McNeil and Spiegel Show on Thursday. “I think that’s a little premature. A lot of things have to happen: No. 1, Theo has to get officially hired; you’ve got free agency starting soon; you’ve got an entire baseball operation he has to get his arms around. I have a feeling, without any inside information, that Theo Epstein is going to view 2012 a lot like Tom Ricketts viewed his first year as owner of the Cubs. … I don’t think he’s going to come in here and clean house right off the bat.”

The Cubs’ pursuit of Epstein points to the seriousness ownership has about turning this franchise into an elite, winning franchise. The Epstein hire is a step in the right direction, but it’s not a promise of a World Series.

“It’s no guarantee of anything,” Kasper said. “We see examples of it all around baseball. All you can do is put the best team on the field you possibly can. You hire the best people to make those big decisions, and then you take your chances.”

Still, in baseball, anything can happen – and sometimes does.

“We don’t want to sit here and say the Cubs aren’t going to win in 2012,” Kasper said. “Anything is possible, as we saw with the Arizona Diamondbacks last year, but I think this is a long-term hire as opposed to a short-term one.”

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