Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Cubs fan's nightmare? Hoping LaRussa stays in St. Louis.

Here is the scenario...

Tony LaRussa, who has been sitting on a one year contract extension which was offered to him 2 weeks ago by the Cardinals, decides next week to retire.

The Cubs, who have been waiting to see if Joe Girardi will become available, refuse to name a new manager.

The Yankees are eliminated by the Rangers.

Joe Girardi decides he's had a good 3 year run in New York and tell that team he isn't coming back.

The Cardinals come in and hire Joe Girardi.

Is this plausible? I've hinted a few times that this could very well happen. At this point, Cubs fans should probably be at least a little concerned that events could play out exactly like this.

We've seen this act by LaRussa before. He'll sit on a contract extension, and then when the Cardinals press him about it, he re-signs. The thing is, for the first time, LaRussa looked worn out at the end of this season. He might very well be done in St. Louis.

So we go to Joe Girardi. Is it a slam dunk that if he left the Yankees he would come to the Cubs? The Cardinal job has many of the attractions that the Cubs job does for Girardi. It's the Midwest, near where he grew up. The team has tons of loyal, knowledgeable fans.

But the St. Louis job has these other positives that the Cubs job doesn't. First, the media in St. Louis is much more sane than the bone heads in Chicago. Second, the pressure isn't nearly as high. Third, the Cardinals have a tradition of winning (most WS titles in the National League, 2nd in all of baseball). Fourth, they have a beautiful new stadium.

The only things that the Cubs have that St. Louis doesn't are the facts that Girardi cheered for the Cubs growing up, and played for the Cubs. Big deal! In reality, the Cubs job has all the shortcomings of the Yankee job except it's in Chicago instead of the Bronx. (Where would you rather live?)

I've said it before, I believe Girardi is the best manager potentially available. It would be devastating for him to go to St. Louis, and the truth is, I'd find it hard, if I was him, to turn down that job if I was offered it. The Cardinals have talent, superstars, great facilities and are not saddled with 102 years of failure.

I've thought about this a number of times. It's a deep, deep fear but I was able to sleep knowing that this whole stupid thing was just in my head. I couldn't happen. No one else was really mentioning this...until I saw Phil Rogers bring it up today. (Go look it up yourself, I'm not putting a link to a Phil Rogers story on my site.) Then I read one other place (I forgot where and couldn't find it again) this exact same scenario. People are starting to outline this exactly as I've been fearing. Oh Crap.

As we have seen by the media reports the past couple days, no one really knows what is going on with the Cubs managerial search or when it will be over. It appears they are going to wait at least a little while. That suggests only one thing...Girardi is on the top of their list. If Girardi's season ends soon and he decides to stay with the Yankees, we will all know that the next manager of the Cubs will be their second (or third) choice. But if he does become available, and he takes the Cardinal job...(insert Krusty the Clown grunt here)...we Cubs fans will get to witness 15 to 18 games a season against the guy we wanted to be our manager but were rejected.

And the Cubs are stuck taking the ugly chick to the prom (and, yes, Quade is the ugly chick).

As a Cubs fan, it is my job to expect this nightmare scenario to come true. All I can do is pray that Tony LaRussa returns to the Cardinals.