Monday, September 25, 2006

Bring back the College of Coaches

Come this Sunday or next Monday, Jim Hendry will make the fate of Dusty Baker official (let's face it we all know what is coming). After firing the man who was supposed to be the savior back in 2002, now the Cubs will go into their normal search for the next savior. We all know the names, they've been out there for weeks: Joe Girardi, Fredi Gonzalez, Manny Acta, Bob Brenly, Lou Piniella, one writer even suggested Smokey Jim Fregosi might be on Cruller Jim's radar. Eventually, we all know that this "savior" will have the same fate as all of the others.

For sometime now, I have told whoever would listen that I want to see the Cubs get Joe Girardi. Last year when the Marlins interviewed Joe I wrote this:

While the Cubs have organizational meetings this week. The Florida Marlins are about to talk to the managerial candidate that many of us think would be perfect for the Cubs. Joe Girardi has been granted permission to speak with the Marlins about the vacancy left from Jack McKeon's retirement.

and I added:

I have always felt that Girardi's familiarity with the Cubs organization and his time spent with the Yankees would make him the perfect candidate to manage the Cubs. It looks like we are stuck with Dusty.

The more I think about the Cubs job, I wonder. When you consider the fact that the Cubs have an inept GM in place for 2 more years and a Mother company that is falling apart, why would anyone want this job. Why would a young up and coming manager like Girardi or Gonzalez take this job? Why would World Series winning managers Brenly or Piniella want this job? To put it kindly the Cubs managerial job is career suicide for these guys.

I don't wanna see Girardi or any of these guys commit career suicide.

To protect these guys from getting involved, I have a solution. The next few years for the Cubs are bound to be bad. The Cubs can reach into their glorious history to find one of the most failed experiments, this side of Ted Turner managing the Atlanta Braves, P.K. Wrigley's College of Coaches. For you youngsters reading at home, has the details of the College:

In 1961 and 1962, the Chicago Cubs employed a rotating system of managing called the College of Coaches. The college was the brainchild of owner Philip K. Wrigley. They used the regular coaching staff with a head coach that was designated for a few weeks at a time. The plan failed as the Cubs went 64-90 then 59-103 in 1962. The Cubs even finished behind the expansion Colt .45's.

The members of the college in 1961 were Vedie Himsl, Harry Craft, El Tappe and Lou Klein. In 1962, they used Tappe, Klein, and Charlie Metro. The College was replaced by Bob Kennedy.

Of course this is the new millenium and these are not P.K. Wrigley's Chicago Cubs. Think marketing, think seventh inning stretch guest conductor! John McDonough can make this thing a smash promotion! He can bring in "Celebrity Coaches" to run the Cubs for a series or homestand. Just think, you could be at a Cubs game with Bill Murray, Billy Corgan, 1060west friend Jeff Garlin or John Cusack making out the lineup card. Brenly could call most of the games with Len and still come down from the booth to manage for a few weeks. Former players like Sandberg and Williams could have their shot running the team. In the end none of them would be held responsible, because nobody was the manager.

Somebody send Cruller Jim a link to this idea!

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