By the end of the day on Thursday, the Chicago Cubs will have officially announced their successor to the unsuccessful Dale Sveum as the next manager of the franchise. At this point in time, all signs point to that next manager being San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, barring some completely unforeseen circumstances.
Now we’ve known all along in this search that it didn’t necessarily matter who the Cubs hired. There wasn’t a name that they pursued as a managerial candidate that was an overwhelming one, outside of Joe Girardi. They never received the opportunity to interview Girardi before he re-upped with the New York Yankees. That may have thrown a tremendous wrench into their plans, we don’t know.
What we do know is that Renteria is the favorite. No one else has really been as consistent a name in the mix as he has been, outside of perhaps A.J. Hinch. And while Renteria has drawn some pretty rave reviews from those around Major League Baseball, and has been a candidate for other jobs, it should still be something of a concern if he does end up getting the job, simply due to the length of time it actually took.
The Cubs have been searching for a new manager for the past five weeks, give or take a few days. Renteria has been available virtually since the beginning. They knew pretty early on in the search that Girardi wasn’t going to be available. Were they simply not impressed enough with Renteria, to the point where they were hoping Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo would blow them away?
Unfortunately for the Cubs, they’re not going to see that opportunity come to fruition either. The Red Sox have refused to allow him to interview with the job, on account of lingering bitterness with the current Cubs regime. Now they go back and look at a list of candidates that is headed by Renteria, who has been sitting around the whole time. If he was the guy they were going to hire all along, why wait all this time?
It could be a matter of the Cubs doing their due diligence in trying to wait for Lovullo. It could also be a matter of the Cubs not being impressed with the other folks interviewed. This is looked at, whether correct or not, as a hire that the front office absolutely needs to get right. They don’t want to be on a third manager by the time this team is ready to contend.
At the end of the day on Thursday, Rick Renteria is very well going to be named the new Cubs’ skipper. Time will tell if he was the right hire, and this piece is by no means any sort of judgment of the man himself, but there will be questions for the Cubs to answer as to why it took as long as it did to hire a guy who had been around for the duration of their managerial search.