Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010
Updated 10:21 PM
By Patrick Mooney
Its been 84 days since Lou Piniella first announced that he would be retiring. And more than seven weeks have elapsed from the time Piniella resigned and Mike Quade took over for a 37-game audition.
As promised, the Cubs have been deliberate in the search for their next manager. Multiple outlets reported Tuesday that Eric Wedge has met with chairman Tom Ricketts.
Wedge, 42, managed the Cleveland Indians to within one victory of the 2007 World Series but was fired two years later. Wedge lasted seven seasons in Cleveland (561-573) and is part of a candidate pool that includes Quade, Ryne Sandberg and Bob Melvin. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry has already interviewed each individually.
Wedge and Hendry have roots in the Missouri Valley Conference. Wedge developed into an All-American at Wichita State University and a first-round pick of the Boston Red Sox while Hendry was the head baseball coach at Creighton University.
Melvin also has a history with the Cubs, drawing strong consideration before Hendry ultimately decided to hire Dusty Baker in November 2002.
Like Wedge, Melvin has a sub-.500 record (493-508) in six-plus seasons as a manager, but hell continue to draw interest from other teams because of his experience in Seattle and Arizona.
Melvin guided the Mariners to 93 wins in 2003 and the Diamondbacks to a division title four years later. He also won a World Series ring in 2001 as Bob Brenlys bench coach in Arizona.
The in-house options remain Quade and Sandberg. Each has been credited with helping develop some of the young players the Cubs will be counting on in 2011 and beyond.
Hendry who has been guarded while speaking publicly about the search certainly noticed the clubhouse lining up to endorse Quade as the Cubs finished with a 24-13 run. At this point, its unclear how far that support will carry Quade.
We like him a lot and our play on the field shows it, reliever Sean Marshall said during the final week of the season. I dont know whats going to happen this offseason we dont have much control but I think hes done a great job so far.
Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.