It’s no secret that tomorrow is decision day for Chicago Cubs Manager Dale Sveum who has one year left on his three-year contract. There are rumblings that the Cubs will eat that last year and give him his walking papers.
The past two years, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein has stripped the team down and tried to convince fans that the real payoff is building a farm system that can feed the parent club. And while the kids in the minors may have been doing a great job, the parent club has suffered. After last year’s miserable season, fans wondered if it could get worse, and it almost did. The Cubs ended this season with a record of 66 and 96, not much better than last year’s 61-101 record.
Given how miserable this season was, many are calling for Epstein to fire Sveum and bring in another manager. The popular vote is going to Joe Girardi. Girardi would be a good fit for the Cubs. He is from Peoria, graduated from Northwestern, was a Cubs fan and played for the team twice. He also has had great success with the Yankees, managing them to the post season four of his six years as Yankees manager.
Fans seem to be split on whether to bring Sveum back or to go after Girardi. Of those who think we should go after Girardi, Steve Barnes made a point when he told Examiner.com, “You cannot lay the season solely at his feet. Yes, he has flaws, but I don't see him as the lone cause of the Cubs not winning. If you can get Girardi, do it. If not, one more year of Sveum is not going to matter a whole lot. Then, re-weigh options in 2015.”
There are some who say one more year of Sveum won’t make any difference.
“I don't think Dale should be fired. The front office wasn't expecting to compete these last two years. They had a plan coming in and knew the farm system was horrible. I remember when Baez was drafted it was reported that Theo (still with Boston) made the comment ‘they finally get it’ speaking of the Cubs, so he knew how bad the system was as a whole. Many people are fired before they have a true chance to succeed. Look at Joe Torre, Bill Belichick, and several others who were fired, then won somewhere else when they got the right players in the right positions. Now, do I like every move Dale has made? No way, but he doesn't have the players needed to compete," Greg Wright pointed out.
To be fair, Sveum has not had much to work with the past two years. However, he complained an overworked bullpen, but kept using the same pitchers, leaving the rest of the bullpen as bench warmers much of this year.
Bob Galerstein, a sports anchor for SiriusXM and ABC in New York says there’s no way Girardi will leave the Yankees. “Girardi is not going anywhere. The overwhelming sentiment here is that he did a solid job with all the injuries. He will be back next season.” Galerstein also said that there are some in New York who think Girardi should get some votes for American League Manager of the Year.
After the Yankees’ last game today at Houston, Girardi himself said he was not sure whether he would be back as Yankees manager next year, but wanted to make a decision quickly. He also said that money would not be a driving factor, though his decision may be between managing the Yankees or not managing at all.
Cubs fans need hope right now, something that has been lacking this year. Girardi would give them that hope. Tomorrow may be an interesting day for all of Cubs Nation.