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Who Should Be The Next Cubs Manager?

Dale Sveum is out. Who should be in as manager of the Cubs in 2014 and beyond?

Al Bello

About a month ago, I wrote this post about whether Dale Sveum should be replaced as Cubs manager. As shown by the poll there, 55 percent of you said "yes" and now you got your wish with Sveum's firing Monday. (I was among that 55 percent.) Now, the Cubs need a replacement. Who should it be? Here is an absolutely non-comprehensive list of some of the possible hirings. I'm sure I've left someone off this list. You can vote in the poll and add in your own choice in the comments, if your guy isn't on this list.

Joe Girardi, Yankees manager. My No. 1 choice and that of many others here, Girardi's contract with the Yankees is up at the end of October, so the Yankees would have to grant permission for him to talk to the Cubs. If Girardi has made up his mind that he's not coming back to New York, they'd almost certainly grant it. Girardi's positives are well known; he's probably the best-known choice of anyone on this list. He'd surely be a popular choice with the casual fanbase that remembers him from his time as a Cubs player. He's my choice because he has done an excellent job handling the pressures of being Yankees manager, has won World Series rings as a player and manager there, and almost got a really bad Yankees team into the playoffs in 2013. Some of you might not think managers make a big difference. I do think so, and I think Girardi is the right choice for now.

Mike Scioscia, Angels manager. Scioscia would have to be fired by the Angels first; he has five years left on his deal there, so that doesn't seem likely. He's an old-school guy, not sabermetrically inclined, and that means he doesn't seem a good match for this front office team.

Brad Ausmus, special assistant, Padres. Was rumored to be in consideration last week; despite his lack of coaching and managing experience, he's known to this front-office team, especially Jed Hoyer. It's really a complete unknown how he'd do; two current managers (Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura) have been hired with no experience whatsoever, with mixed results. One thing in Ausmus' favor: he's a former catcher. Many of the men on this list are former catchers, and 10 2013 managers were. It seems that playing that position gives you a good understanding of the entire game.

Eric Wedge, former Mariners manager. Wedge quit as Mariners manager because he and GM Jack Zduriencik didn't agree on the direction of the organization. Wedge turned down a chance to interview when Dale Sveum was hired; he doesn't seem a good fit and despite having one playoff season in Cleveland, his overall winning percentage as a manager is .478 (10 seasons, 1,620 games).

Tony Pena, Yankees bench coach. If Girardi stays in New York, Pena might be interested in managing again. Pena was the only manager to lead the Royals to a winning season between 1993 and this year, though overall, he, too, has a losing managerial record. He's been a Yankees coach since 2006.

Sandy Alomar, Jr., bench coach, Indians. Alomar's managerial career consists of six games as interim manager in 2012 after Manny Acta was fired in Cleveland. He was passed over after interviewing for the Cubs job that Sveum got and passed over again for the fulltime job in Cleveland. Perhaps bench coach is his role in coaching life. Also, if the Indians have a long playoff run, the Cubs would have to wait a while before interviewing him and Theo Epstein appears to want to get this done fairly quickly.

Mike Maddux, pitching coach, Rangers. It's not clear exactly why Maddux didn't get the Cubs job two years ago. There are differing reports on whether he dropped out or was passed by, and the reasons for doing so. In any case, he'd still likely be on anyone's short list to be a manager. As with Cleveland, if Texas makes a playoff run, he wouldn't be available for interviews for a while.

Jim Tracy, former Dodgers/Rockies/Pirates manager. Tracy hasn't been mentioned in any of the rumors; he did a good job with the Dodgers, not so much with less-talented Pirates and Rockies teams.Thought I'd put him in here as an "I didn't think of him!" selection.

That's a long enough list, I think, to go through. Maybe you have another preferred choice. With the announcement Monday afternoon that Cubs coaches were free to look for other jobs, it seems that whoever is hired will have free rein to bring in his own coaches, or possibly retain some of those already with the Cubs. Now, it's your turn. Vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments.