Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Day Three of the McDonough Era

A slower day today on the Northside than we've seen the past two days. The biggest news was that it was announced that all of the Cubs coaches would be released, including pitching coach Larry Rothchild. The announcement indicated that the coaches would be available for re-hire if the new manager wants any of them.

Speaking of new managers, Jim Hendry confirmed today that Joe Girardi is on his list of managerial candidates. This is certainly not a surprise, but it's always nice to get confirmation of something that we all suspect.

As expected, Buck Showalter was released today by the Rangers. Buck has made a career of building teams up to the point where they are WS contenders. He did this in both NY with the Yankees and in Arizona. The problem is that he has never been able to get the team over the hump. It appears that the Ranger may be ready to contend for the AL West in 2007, but they'll have to do it without Showalter.

Buck has the reputation as a disciplinarian, which would probably be welcome at Wrigley Field, but he might be too much of a disciplinarian for the Cubs. I've always liked Showalter, but I don't like the idea of him managing the boys in blue.

Rumors also started circulating today that Dusty Baker may be in line to take over the Rangers. While I think this would probably be a good fit (lots of horses and an AL team that doesn't require double switches), I'm a little tired of talking about Dusty. I wish him well, but it's time to move on.

There's also some news concerning Toronto CF Vernon Wells. Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi indicated that he is interested in signing Wells to an extrension, but he doesn't plan on breaking the bank to do it. Wells had previously indicated that he would like to play closer to his home in Texas after his contract with Toronto expires, but more recently he said that he is open to returning to the Blue Jays. If it doesn't look like Ricciardi can sign Wells to an extension, he may decide to trade the center fielder rather than have Wells leave and not get anything for him. If that happens, I'd like to see the Cubs swoop in and trade for him. I'd rather see Wells patrolling CF at Wrigley than Juan Pierre.

Wells is currently doing post-season commentary on ESPN. He's intelligent, well-spoken, and appears to be a solid citizen, not to mention a helluva good ball player. He'd be a very nice fit playing for the Cubs in 2007.


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