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Chicago Cubs: Managerial Candidates Not Named Joe Girardi

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COMMENTARY | Even before the Chicago Cubs relieved Dale Sveum of his duties Monday, speculation had already begun as to who would replace him.

Not only was he wearing out his welcome after nearly 200 losses, but some big-name skippers are also at the end of their respective contracts, or ropes.

While it'd be nice to pontificate on the positives of Mike Scioscia or to mull the merits of swinging a deal for Joe Maddon, it appears at this point that Joe Girardi is the front-runner.

With the possibility of losing nearly all of their big-time players, the New York Yankees won't want to part with their manager as well. GM Brian Cashman smells the blood in the water and will certainly approach Girardi and his agent with a new contract offer.

And this is the Cubs, the team that somehow finds a way to snatch defeat from the snapping jaws of victory time and time again. An established manager would have to be convinced that the situation at 1060 W. Addison St. will be better over the next 3-5 years than what he could find elsewhere.

With that in mind, it's entirely possible that the Cubs will once more go outside the box to find their next leader. Let's take a look at a few of the options:

Brad Ausmus

Cubs fans are probably most familiar with Ausmus from his 10 seasons with the then-division rival Houston Astros. In his 20 seasons in the majors, Ausmus was a 3-time Gold Glove winner with an All-Star appearance under his belt.

He served as the manager for Israel's team at the World Baseball Classic and currently holds a special assistant role with the San Diego Padres. Ausmus worked with current Cubs GM Jed Hoyer for a season in San Diego before Hoyer left for Chicago, so there is some familiarity there.

Mike Maddux

Though he was best known in his playing days as Greg's older brother, Mike Maddux has gone on to become a highly respected pitching coach. He spent 6 seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers before taking the reins of the Texas Rangers' staff.

Maddux was on the short list of candidates, and was reportedly the favorite, to replace Mike Quade two years ago but removed his name from consideration in order to remain closer to his family. With his daughters still in college in Texas, he may yet be unwilling to leave the Lone Star State.

The fact that his brother's name and number reside on a foul pole at Wrigley won't factor in his candidacy, but his experience in matching pitching staffs certainly will

Jose Canseco

While he has never been in charge of a major league roster, Canseco has extensive experience with various independent teams. He has served as bench coach/DH for the Laredo Broncos of the United Baseball League and player/manager for the Yuma Scorpions of the North American League. Basically, Canseco is a power-hitting Kenny Powers.

Baseball fans and literary scholars alike are familiar with Canseco's seminal tome on steroids in baseball, titled Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, & How Baseball Got Big. But these days, he's limiting his revelations to 140 characters or less.

Canseco's recent tweets to Theo Epstein reveal the former Bash Brother's brilliant plan to revitalize the Cubs. Not only does Canseco recommend picking up a new CF and closer, but he also advocates moving the plate up a dozen feet. He has, after all, won two World Series titles, so he knows what he's talking about.

And then there's this gem. Kind of looks like something that would happen to a Cubs player, doesn't it?

So that read like a very short literary version of the March of Progress. In that vein, I'm not really sure where Canseco falls, but I'm thinking Advanced Australopithecus.

I'm sure the Cubs will cast a wide net, but it's pretty clear that they've got a particular fish, a former Marlin to be exact, in mind. But nothing is assured at this point, and the Cubs' front office can't afford to swing and miss on this one.

Have another candidate for the position? Will a new manager make a difference? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Evan spent his formative years on a farm and a sleepy town in Northwest Indiana in the days before Wrigley Field was illuminated. As a result, every summer afternoon was spent watching or listening to the Cubs on WGN, a practice that ingrained the team into his DNA. His kids are named after the team and years of frustration have made him a self-loathing, yet still unapologetic, Cubs apologist. And, yes, he knows that that is contradictory.

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