The Chicago Cubs continue their search for Dale Sveum’s replacement as manager after Yankee’s manager Joe Girardi opted to re-sign with New York. It was a tough blow for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer as well as a fan base looking for something to feel positive about moving into the 2014 season.
Reports are suggesting that the Cubs were not satisfied with how Sveum was handling his role as manager, at least as far as Epstein and Hoyer envisioned. This likely led to Sveum’s firing and not the possible availability of Girardi.
The Cubs missed out on making the splashy hire of Joe Girardi but the baseball operations office were planning for this scenario and have begun the interviewing process. Rumored candidates include Manny Acta, Rick Renteria, A.J. Hinch, Dave Martinez, and Sandy Alomar Jr. None of the candidates are particularly eye popping but the club is looking for someone who can develop the young players coming up through the system.
None of the alleged candidates with big league managing experience have a winning record. Acta holds a 372-518 record in 6 seasons of managing the Washington Nationals and the Cleveland Indians. Acta is fluent with sabermetrics which fits what Epstein and company are looking for.
It seems unlikely that any of these managerial candidates are going to be appealing enough to ratchet up interest into the rebuilding ball club.
Attendance numbers have sagged to a 15-year low in 2013 according to ESPNChicago’s Jon Greenberg. In fact, attendance numbers have declined in all four of the seasons that the Ricketts family have owned the franchise. The Ricketts knew that a major rebuild, as the Cubs are currently undertaking, would cause a decline in fan interest but with a club unlikely to contend in the near future when will they see a bottoming out in attendance?
The Cubs, from a business standpoint, could have really used a boost in interest that the hiring of a Joe Girardi could have provided. However, the Yankees successfully held on to their manager after a turbulent year and the Cubs’ re-signing of outfielder Ryan Sweeney is not going to put butts back into the seats. It’s doubtful the Cubs’ next manager will do the same either.