In case you were wondering how the search for the next manager of the Chicago Cubs is going, so is the rest of the world. You might remember Julie saying that she’d heard four different favorites from three different sources last week, and it appears that we’re no closer to having a real manager than we were then. For what it’s worth, Dave Martinez had a super great interview, y’all.
“I thought it went well,” Martinez said Saturday. “I thought it went really well.”
Martinez, 49, talked extensively during his visit with baseball operations president Theo Epstein and executive vice president/general manager Jed Hoyer and other members of their staff, and also met briefly with team chairman Tom Ricketts. In addition to the standard topics, Martinez said they had detailed talks about lineup construction and game preparation, and watched some video sequences after which Martinez was asked what moves he would make in those situations. “Game-in-progress kind of stuff,” he said.
Did they give you any timetable, Dave?
“They said they’d get back to me soon,” Martinez said.
Uh oh, the dreaded, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Better luck next time, Dave. With Martinez, A.J. Hinch, Rick Renteria and Manny Acta already having interviewed, it seems like none of the four have blown the front office out of the water. They seem to be waiting on Mike Maddux and Boston bench coach Torey Lovullo before they make their decision. Maybe they’ll get someone in place before the first spring training game or so.
In other news, struggling third base prospect Mike Olt is in Arizona and working on his hitting. You might remember that Olt was untouchable when the Cubs wanted him last year in the Ryan Dempster deal, but struggled this season and was thrown in in the Matt Garza trade.
A first-round pick by the Rangers in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, the 25-year-old began this season at Triple-A Round Rock and was batting .139 on April 25 when he asked for some help. In November 2012, he was hit in the head while playing in the Dominican Winter League and was having problems with his vision.
“My depth perception was off,” said the Cubs’ No. 5-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com. “It got to be a little dangerous. I missed a ball — the time I figured out I knew I had a problem was on a steal. I was covering third, and there was a perfect throw to me, and I missed the ball and it hit me right in the chest. I was like, ‘This is getting dangerous.’
So what’s the status of the blurry vision?
“We still don’t know the exact story,” he said of the link between getting hit in winter ball and his vision problems. “After I got hit, my vision wasn’t blurry at first, but eventually, as time went on, it got a little more blurry when I would blink. It finally got to a point where I said something.
“Texas did a great job getting me to every doctor they could to figure it out. We got to a point where we know what to do and we know how to control it, and I’ve been out here [in Arizona], and it’s been night and day since last year when I was out here. It makes me feel a lot better knowing I’m out here and I don’t have any problems with my eyes, just little things.”
When he says, “we know how to control it”, it sounds to me like it’s a manageable condition, but a condition nonetheless. Hopefully he can control it well enough to be the starting third baseman out of Spring Training.