It’s time to roll out the red carpet, hitch up the welcome wagon or bake same cookies, whatever means you prefer of welcoming the new manager of the Chicago Cubs. It’s been a while in the making, but the Chicago Cubs will name their next manager today. Rick Renteria, come on down!
On Thursday, the Cubs will introduce Renteria as their 53rd manager and fourth in the last five years, according to a Major League source.
There will be no news conference at Wrigley Field for Renteria, who will turn 52 on Christmas Day. The former bench coach of the Padres had hip surgery after the regular season ended and is unable to travel.
I’ll bet the staff at Wrigley was happy they don’t have to worry about sprucing up the media room. I know a lot of you are underwhelmed by the choice after all the speculation, but just listen to Nick Hundley!
“It’s a tough day for the Padres to lose someone with the knowledge and the energy Ricky brings,” San Diego catcher Nick Hundley said. “The city of Chicago is getting a great baseball guy, someone who comes to work each day with the kind of passion and energy that’s tough to match.
“When you’re dealing with someone on a daily basis, six months during the season, two months in Spring Training, you want to know your boss is going to be consistent and is going to have your back. We have that here with Buddy [Black] and the Cubs will have that with Ricky.”
So listen to Nicky Hundley and trust that Renteria was Theo’s first choice all along.
By all accounts, Renteria, 51, was the first choice of Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer from early in the process — even before Girardi was officially made unavailable to a baseball operations department that was already skeptical of the business ops’ faith in Girardi’s interest in the Cubs.
What made Renteria so great that the Cubs will announce a three year contract with two club option years?
“When you look at qualities to lead, I think that first and foremost there is a connection to the player,” Bud Black said. “He’s a communicator. He’ll address things. He’s not one to let things linger. I also think he can motivate. He’s high character, and he’s consistent.”
My first question is what level of involvement will he have in the organizational meetings if he’s not cleared to travel? I know they can video conference and such, but I think I’d rather have the new manager in the room during these meetings if they were so dead-set on having a manager hired before they begin.
As we welcome Rick Renteria to the Cubs family, it’s time to bid adieu to another member. Keith Moreland will be back in Texas rather than in the radio booth with Pat Hughes next season.
Analyst Keith Moreland is leaving the Cubs radio broadcast booth to spend more time with his family, WGN Radio announced Wednesday. Moreland wrote a note to WGN Radio staff, thanking the fans, his colleagues and the Cubs for the opportunity.
“After spending three years doing it, I’ve simply decided that I want to spend more time at home in Texas,” Moreland said in his note.
I’m sure Keith will come back and sing the stretch at some point this season, in case you need a Zonk fix.