Eventually, Chicago Cubs fans may have to come to the realization that Joe Girardi is not returning to Chicago to manage the Cubs. Granted, as the days continue to pass without a decision, the chances look greater that Girardi will leave the Yankees and be hired by the Cubs.
But, lets play devil’s advocate.
What if Girardi decides to accept the Yankees’ contract offer and the Cubs are forced to fall back on one of the candidates that they have already interviewed.
Over the past week, the Cubs have conducted interviews with former Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta and former Arizona Diamondbacks’ manager A.J. Hinch. The Cubs also have an interest in San Diego Padres’ bench coach Rick Renteria. But chances are that if the team is unable to land Girardi, either Acta or Hinch will be the team’s next manager.
The hiring of either Acta or Hinch is surely going to upset many Cubs fans. In his 212 games as a manager with the Diamondbacks, Hinch has a winning percentage of .420. In his 890 career games as a manager, Acta has a winning percentage .418.
Those numbers certainly will not appeal to the Cubs fans that simply look at things in a black and white perspective.
Truth be told, if either Acta or Hinch–more so Acta–had a winning percentage higher than .500, then fans would be in love with hire.
The one thing that both Acta and Hinch are talented at is developing players. That is far and away the biggest quality that the Cubs are looking for in their next manager. For the same reason that former manager Dale Sveum wasn’t evaluated based on wins and losses, the Cubs are not basing their next manager from who has the highest winning percentage.
It would appear that if the Cubs are unable to land Girardi then Acta would be their fall-back candidate. Though if the team was not pursuing Girardi in the first place, Acta would not be considered as fall-back option.
Acta spent nearly seven hours with the Chicago Cubs front office on Tuesday and chances are his ideas matched similarly with the ideas of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. The next manager needs to be able to fully develop the organization’s top prospects that will be making their way to the Major League team over the course of the next couple of seasons. That is something Acta has proven to be successful. In doing so, that would give a manager like Acta more talent than he has had in his previous six seasons managing combined.
This isn’t rocket science. Develop the prospects and the winning percentage will come. There is no need to be focusing on winning percentage when trying to determine who should be the next Cubs’ manager.