There’s another high-profile managerial job opening, though this one — unlike the other two — has been expected for several months now.
The Cubs today fired Mike Quade, who was on the job a little over a year.
New Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer said the ballclub wants a manager with a “clean slate,” and that the search for a replacement begins immediately.
The biggest surprise to come out of today’s announcement was not Quade’s axing, however. It’s that Ryne Sandberg, the legendary Cubs second baseman who many believe has been groomed for the manager’s job for several years, apparently has been ruled out as a candidate.
Epstein said the next manager must, among other things, have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level. Sandberg does not; he’s only managed in the minor leagues for the Cubs and, now, the Phillies.
That’s gotta sting for Ryno, who considers managing the Cubs his dream job. And it appeared he was a leading candidate for it last offseason, after four seasons working his way up the system — only to be passed over for Quade. After that snub, Sandberg quickly left the organization to manage the Phillies Triple-A team.
Quade, 54, an Illinois native, finishes his Cubs tenure 95-104. He took over on an interim basis late in the 2010 season, after Lou Piniella retired.
In searching for their next manager, the Cubs will have some competition. Two other historic ballclubs, the Red Sox and Cardinals, have openings, as well, after Terry Francona walked away from Boston after a stunning late-season collapse and Tony La Russa abruptly retired this week, days after St. Louis won the world championship.
Sandberg, of course, could be a fit for the Red Sox or Cardinals. There are reports St. Louis already is trying to arrange an interview.