Misery and Despair for 104 years and counting
Before I dive into the seven worst managers in Chicago Cubs history, I do want to point out the fact that it is not completely their fault.
Don’t get me wrong, the Cubs have had some pretty terrible managers throughout their history, but this job can be the most frustrating and difficult position to have in all of sports. Just ask future Hall-of-Fame manager Lou Piniella, who could not even wait to the end of the 2010 season with the Cubs before he called it quits.
The Cubs are undoubtedly the most disappointing franchise in the history of sports. They are an organization haunted by bad decisions, curses and terrible management. With a lot of people speculating that Mike Quade will be fired at the end of the season, the Cubs will once again be looking to hire someone to turn this team around.
The following managers are the worst in the history of the Chicago Cubs.
I really do not know what the Cubs were thinking keeping Jim Riggleman as their manager for five seasons. Aside from one playoff appearance in 1998 where the Cubs squeaked in as the N.L. wild card, they never finished better than third during Riggleman’s time in Chicago.
It’s not like this was a period where the Cubs were not spending any money. Three out of the five years that Riggleman was with Chicago, the Cubs were at the top of their division in payroll. Riggleman just could not cut the mustard.
What makes Riggleman a viable candidate for this list, is the fact that many people around Chicago blame him for all of Kerry Wood’s arm problems.
Fortunately for Riggleman, he has moved on to greener pastures. But it took him quite some time to find another manager position after his stint in Chicago.
The early 2000s could quite possibly go down as the worst period for the Chicago Cubs. With core players in Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood, Fred McGriff and John Lieber, the Cubs were supposed to contend for the division.
Despite one winning season for the Cubs in 2001, Don Baylor went 187-220 with Chicago and not one of his team ever sniffed the postseason. In 2002, after the Cubs went 6-22 in the month of May, it was finally time for the Don Baylor experiment to be over in Chicago.
There will probably be a lot of people disagreeing with me for putting Durocher on this list. Yes, Durocher had winning seasons in six out of his seven years with the Cubs, but baseball is all about championships.
1969 was supposed to be the Cubs' year. Led by hall-of-fame players Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins, the Cubs let an 8.5-game lead cushion on the New York Mets in late August slip away.
The 1969 collapse is undoubtedly the worst in the history of baseball and Leo Durocher played a big part.
When discussing terrible Chicago Cubs managers, Tom Trebelhorn is a name that usually goes forgotten. This is probably due to the fact that he only managed the ballclub for 113 games. During his time with the Cubs, Trebelhorn managed the team to a disgusting 49-64 record, which resulted in the team finishing 16.5 games behind the division leader.
Aside from being one of the worst coaches the Cubs have ever had, Trebelhorn is most known for getting into a verbal argument with a fan outside of Wrigley. You know there’s a problem when a manager actually meets a fan outside of the stadium to argue with him.
1994 was the year that the MLB season got cut short due to the strike, and luckily for the Cubs it was also the end of the Tom Trebelhorn era.
As much as Cub fans try, no one can forget about the infamous Bruce Kimm.
When Kimm replaced Don Baylor as the Cubs interim manager, it was a time when the ballclub was at its lowest of lows. It’s hard to put Kimm on this list because he only managed the Cubs for 78 games, but his hiring pretty much indicated that the Cubs were giving up on the 2002 season.
The Cubs ended up losing 95 games in 2002 and finished a whopping 30 games back of the division leader. You also have to remember that this was basically the same Cubs team who were five outs away from going to the World Series in the next season.
During the 1961 season, the Chicago Cubs went with a coach-by-committee system. Throughout the season the Cubs rotated managers between El Tappe, Lou Klein and Charlie Metro.
The Cubs lost a franchise-worst 103 games that season, and the “college of coaches” concept quickly became one of the worst ideas in baseball.
For the life of me, I will never understand why the Cubs passed on hiring hall-of-famer Ryne Sandberg and instead chose to resign Mike Quade. Even though Ryne Sandberg might not be the answer, it was always obvious that Quade is definitely not.
Throughout the season it has been apparent that Mike Quade has absolutely no idea how to coach this Cubs team. The Cubs, who have the sixth highest payroll in all of baseball, have been by far the most embarrassing and disappointing team in sports. Quade has completely lost control of the Cubs.
The Cubs have looked lethargic for the entire season and all Quade does is sit back and watch it happen. From player outbursts to bad base running, the Cubs have needed its manager to light some fire under them. Quade has completely failed to do so.
For a manager that has spent most of his career in the minor leagues, Mike Quade sure has this Cubs team playing like one.