We have discussed here previously how little experience the Cubs' major league coaching staff has, at least in terms of managing. Many other teams have experienced major league managers as bench coaches, or elsewhere on their coaching staffs.
While the Cubs do have coaches with significant major league coaching experience (Rudy Jaramillo has 16 years as a batting coach; Mike Quade had seven-plus years as a base coach), there are no former MLB managers on Quade's staff.
This inexperience has, in my opinion, shown at various times this year via bad decisions made, some of which have cost the Cubs games.
Just how little managerial experience does this staff have compared to other teams? I took a look at all the MLB coaching staffs and put together the information you'll see after the jump. The numbers are the number of years that each man had as a major league manager before the 2011 season. In some cases I rounded "up" -- i.e. gave him credit for a full year if he managed most of a season. If not, I'll mention the number of games or just put a "+" after the number of years to indicate a small fraction of an additional season.
The results are illuminating.
Cardinals: Tony LaRussa (32 years)
Tigers: Jim Leyland (19 years), Gene Lamont (8 years), Lloyd McClendon (5 years)
Reds: Dusty Baker (17 years)
Giants: Bruce Bochy (16 years)
Nationals: Davey Johnson (15 years), Pat Corrales (9 years)
Marlins: Jack McKeon (15 years)
Orioles: Buck Showalter (12 years), Willie Randolph (4 years)
Angels: Mike Scioscia (11 years)
Red Sox: Terry Francona (11 years)
Phillies: Charlie Manuel (9 years), Sam Perlozzo (3 years), Pete Mackanin (2 years), Juan Samuel (51 games)
Rockies: Jim Tracy (9 years)
Twins: Ron Gardenhire (9 years)
Pirates: Clint Hurdle (8 years), Nick Leyva (3 years)
Royals: Ned Yost (7 years), John Gibbons (4 years)
Mariners: Eric Wedge (7 years)
Athletics: Bob Melvin (7 years)
White Sox: Ozzie Guillen (7 years)
Mets: Terry Collins (6 years)
Rays: Joe Maddon (6 years)
Yankees: Joe Girardi (4 years), Larry Rothschild (3+ years)
Braves: Fredi Gonzalez (4 years), Carlos Tosca (3 years)
Padres: Bud Black (4 years), Glenn Hoffman (88 games)
Rangers: Ron Washington (4 years)
Indians: Manny Acta (4 years)
Astros: Brad Mills (1 year), Al Pedrique (83 games)
Diamondbacks: Kirk Gibson (83 games), Don Baylor (9 years), Alan Trammell (3 years)
Cubs: Mike Quade (37 games)
Brewers: Ron Roenicke (0), Jerry Narron (4 years), Dale Sveum (12 games)
Blue Jays: John Farrell (0), Don Wakamatsu (2 years)
Dodgers: Don Mattingly (0), Davey Lopes (2+ years), Trey Hillman (2+ years)
What jumps out at you? Absolutely, it's the fact that Mike Quade, fourth from the bottom of the list in terms of managing experience before the 2011 season, has absolutely no one on his staff who is a former major league manager. The other four men with less than a year's experience coming into this year all have men with previous managing experience on their coaching staffs to help them out. Even the 12 games managed by Dale Sveum count for something, because he was asked to finish out the 2008 season for the Brewers with the team fighting for the wild card (which they did win).
Further, while there are other managers with more experience who don't have experienced coaches on their staffs, there are nearly as many who do. Jim Leyland, who's second in current managerial tenure, has two former managers on his staff. Charlie Manuel, who has been in two World Series in the last three years, has three former managers to help him out.
It's clear that this year's Cubs team doesn't have the talent to compete in the NL Central. But the lack of experience of the coaching staff has, as I mentioned above, helped lead to some decisions that may have cost even this not-so-great team some games. It would have been useful to give an inexperienced manager an experienced bench coach, or base coach, or someone who had been through this before.