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And Another Thing

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Associated Press
The Cubs have never had the patience to do the building-with-young-players thing.

The Cubs job

One thing I know for sure, as the Cubs begin the search for their next victim, er, manager.

Leo Durocher ain't available.

Ditto Herman Franks, God love him. Ditto Jim Frey, Jim Riggleman and all other Jims. And I don't think you're gonna see the return of Whitey Lockman, Joey Amalfitano, Tom Trebelhorn or Lee Elia anytime soon -- although the fabled Lee Elia Rant remains, and will forever remain, one of the more memorable Cub moments of the last 105 seasons.

So, who, then?

Well, Joe Girardi's name always comes up, on account of he's a former Cub. But if the Yankees still want him, and apparently they do, the Cubs have no chance. No one leaves the Yankees for the Cubs, at least not voluntarily. I'm not sure you'd want anyone who would, given that most baseball franchises look down upon hiring the mentally unstable, and mentally unstable is pretty much the definition of spurning the Yankees for the Cubs.

So, again: Who?

How about Eric Wedge?

The Cubs interviewed him the last time he was available, and he's available again, having walked away from the Mariners' job over the weekend. On the surface, it looks like a good fit. With Wedge you'd get a guy who's got a solid track record for building young players into a contender, and he's got the same sort of tough-guy vibe that plays well in Chicago (See: Mike Ditka). So that part works.

Not sure anything else does, though.

Here's the deal: Part of the reason the Cubs have always been such a graveyard for managers is they've never had the patience to do the building-with-young-players thing. That might be different with Theo Epstein holding the reins, but the two-and-out regime of Dale Sveum doesn't exactly suggest that. So the notion that Wedge would have the kind of time Mark Shapiro gave him in Cleveland is probably a dim one. He wouldn't.

More likely, given the Cubs' track record, it would be a repeat of what caused Wedge to leave Seattle: Bring some young guys in, give Wedge a year or so to make it happen, and, if he didn't, move the young guys in favor of more young guys.

I doubt Wedge wants any part of that again. He's done the perpetual rebuilding gig, and it's pretty clear from what happened in Seattle that he's seen enough of it. As much a competitor as he is, I could see the appeal of the job for him -- who wouldn't want to be the guy who finally takes baseball's most incorrigible losers to the promised land? -- but the flip side is, he'd be taking over a ballclub that's pretty much been in rebuilding mode since 1908.

Speaking of perpetual.

Ben Smith's blog.

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