The Chicago Cubs have cut ties with manager Mike Quade, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein announced Wednesday. Quade got his big break when the Cubs hired him as interim skipper after Lou Piniella retired in 2010, going 24-13, then stayed on for one (far less successful) full season at the top step of the Cubs' dugout.
The Cubs needed this. For one thing, Quade (while a terrific guy) was a miserable tactician and a poor manager of the Cubs' young assets. He did not fit any longer, and besides, the Cubs need "a clean slate," as Epstein put it.
It's time to look forward, and to that end, Epstein immediately ruled out Ryne Sandberg as the next in line for the job. Sandberg may or may not be a good manager in the long run, but right now, hiring him would be more a nod to Chicagoans' nostalgia than to any definable, tangible asset in the dugout.
Terry Francona is in play, which would complete the transplant of the Red Sox management cadre to Wrigleyville. Francona headlines this list of 10 guys who would fit nicely into the newly vacant role.