Thursday, August 26, 2010

Breaking Down The Candidates

A sad season came to a sad ending for Lou Piniella, as real life struck. Piniella was forced to leave the Cubs to tend to his ailing mother. Nothing had gone right for the 2010 Cubs, and in July, Piniella had announced his retirement, but it came to an end sooner than originally expected.

Now, the Cubs are forced to look ahead. The Cubs have played 15 rookies in the ’10 season, and the youth movement has officially begun for the Cubs.

On Monday, the Cubs made another move by naming Mike Quade as interim manager. However, the Cubs organization has now started their search for a new man for the open skipper position. Several candidates have emerged for the job.

TSF gives a look at each candidates, listed in althebetical order by their first name.

Bob Brenly- Brenly has been a great color commentator, so it would be sad to see him leave the booth. Let’s face it; he’s ready to be a manager again. Brenly has one thing that most people at Wrigley have never seen: a World Series ring. Brenly will most likely be interviewed, but it all depends on if he wants to leave his comfortable, stress-free, high-paying job in the television booth.

Eric Wedge- the Cubs brought Wedge in for an interview on Thursday. This came as a surprise to many Cubs fans, but Wedge could be a possible fallback option. Wedge had a decent six-year run with Cleveland before being fired after the 2009 season. Wedge won the AL Manager of the Year award in 2007, but that’s basically the only thing that makes him a strong candidate. Hiring Wedge would be a fallback option at best.

Joe Giardi- The move would make sense for the Cubs. Girardi won NL Manager of the Year with the Marlins, and led the Yankees to their 27th World Series in 2009. He’s proven that he is a great skipper. Even more, Girardi is a native of Peoria, IL, and has family in the Chicagoland area. But the big factor is if Girardi would want to give up his job in New York. Girardi has players like Jeter, A-Rod and other veteran leaders. Why would he give that up to take over a messy Cubs team? Those are questions that Girardi has to answer, and he will get a phone call from the Cubs before anyone else. Will he answer the call?

Joe Torre- The man has been a success everywhere, and he may be looking for a new challenge. His contract with the Dodgers expires after this season, and it appears likely that the Dodgers won’t make the playoffs. Torre would be a great short-term option, but the Cubs aren’t looking for a short-term guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Torre changed zip codes, but don’t expect a move to Wrigley.

Mike Quade- When Lou Piniella left the Cubs on Sunday; Mike Quade was surprisingly named the interim skipper. He began his time as manager with three-straight wins. Quade was a finalist for the job in 2007, and has a great track record in the minor leagues. The Cubs are looking for a guy who can handle young players, and Quade may be the guy. If not, the Cubs wouldn’t have put him in charge of the rest of the season.

Ozzie Guillen- At first glance, it seems like a long shot. Ozzie is public enemy #1 on the north side of town; he openly hates Wrigley Field, and openly hates Cubs fans even more. But consider this. Ozzie’s White Sox are falling out of contention in the AL Central division, and he is in hot water with management. He has history of being unpredictable, so anything can happen. If Ozzie were to leave the White Sox, he would immediately be considered for the Braves and Marlins job openings, but there’s no reason to count him out of the Cubs job.

Pat Listach- Prior to the 2009 season, Listach was a successful manager in the Cubs minor league system. The former Cubs managed for two years in Double-A (West Tennessee in ’06 and Tennessee ‘07) and one year with Triple-A Iowa in 2008. After that, Listach has served as a coach with the Nationals, and is more than qualified for the job. However, the Cubs would most likely veer toward Ryne Sandberg or Mike Quade before hiring Listach, so his chances of being hired are pretty slim.

Ryne Sandberg- This move seems to make sense. Ryno is a Cubs legend has been groomed through the Cubs system. Now, it appears he is ready. He has developed young talent, and the 2011 Cubs appear as if they will be a very young team. Who better to handle the young talent than Ryno? Sandberg appears to be the favorite to get the job, but as any Cub fan will tell you, anything can happen.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

TSF Fantasy Football Preview

It’s mid-August. That means a few things are for certain. The weather is hot, the Cubs are far out of playoff contention, and football season is around the corner.

For those football fans, this means one special thing. It’s fantasy football time!
Fantasy football drafts are being organized, marking a special day for every football fan, because as all fantasy football players know, the draft is half of the fun.

But with football season fast approaching, one might feel overwhelmed by the changes in the NFL. Favre might retire? Well, you probably knew about that already. But there are other subtle changes that may have gone unnoticed. This could create a problem in your fantasy draft.

Fear not! TSF has your guide to a successful fantasy football draft. We’ve got your must-get players, sleepers, busts, and more for your fantasy draft. Here are ten tips to a good draft and a good fantasy football season.