Cubs’ next manager — Joe Girardi? Mike Maddux?
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter September 30, 2013 10:09PM
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi holds up the championship trophy after winning the Major League Baseball World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009, in New York.. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Updated: November 2, 2013 6:25AM
Girardi, 48, was a Cubs fan growing up in Peoria, going to games as a youth and while in college at Northwestern. He was drafted by the team in 1986 and played with them for seven seasons in two stays.
“It would be an advantage knowing the idiosyncrasies” of the “gantlet” that is the Cubs, Epstein said Monday — something he admitted he and his team didn’t fully grasp until going through the last two years.
“Maybe we understand more now what we’d look for,” he said.
Girardi was National League manager of the year with Florida in 2006 and has taken the New York Yankees to the playoffs in four of his six seasons, including a World Series championship in 2009 (above).
Girardi was interested in becoming the Cubs’ manager in 2007, but then-general manager Jim Hendry chose Lou Piniella. His contract with the Yankees expires Oct. 31, and sources close to the former catcher said he will give keen consideration to what Epstein proposes.
Even though Girardi’s father died last year, he has extended family in the Chicago area, where his wife also is from.
The Rangers’ pitching coach — and brother of former Cubs star Greg Maddux — Maddux interviewed for the Cubs’ job two years ago and reportedly was Epstein’s top choice. But he turned down the job then to remain close to his two daughters who were in school in Texas at the time.
Maddux, 52, who has been the Rangers’ pitching coach since 2009, told the Sun-Times in March he made the right decision then — but left the door open to future managing opportunities.
“At the time, I did what was right for my family,” he said. “If there’s other opportunities, I’ll definitely welcome them.”