Cubs Managerial Candidates: Pat Listach, Bob Brenly

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Pat Listach: The Dark Horse

The 1992 American League Rookie of the Year with the Milwaukee Brewers is probably the most interesting candidate on this list. Listach’s playing career flamed out early, but his coaching career has been thriving. Because for as many organizational dues as Ryne Sandberg has paid over the past few years, Listach has him beat several times over. Listach spent six years as a batting coach for Cubs’ minor league affiliates before getting his first managerial gig at AA West Tennessee in 2006. From there, he established himself as one of the best coaches in the entire Cubs’ system, leading Iowa to an 83-59 finish in 2008 and earning Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year honors.

What’s he been up to since? Former Cubs manager Jim Riggleman (more on him in a moment) brought him to Washington as the Nationals’ third base coach, one of the key spots on any Major League coaching staff. He’s got a rock solid reputation amongst the players he’s coached and the coaches he’s worked with. While he’s probably the least sexy choice on this list, he’s certainly done enough for the Cubs to at least have his name be thrown in the hat.

Matt Lindner’s third in a five part series highlighting who could be the Cubs‘ next skipper.

bob brenly

Bob Brenly: The Broadcaster

Brenly is an interesting choice and has to be considered among the favorites to get this job. His name has had a tendency of coming up every time the team struggles and there are rumblings of a managerial vacancy. And why not? He knows more about this organization than just about anyone, having watched the proceedings on the field from the team’s broadcast booth over the past few years.

He’s also been keeping close tabs on what’s going on in the minors as well. His son Michael is an up-and-coming Cubs prospect and Brenly takes time off each summer to catch a couple of his games in person. Like Girardi, Brenly’s proven himself as a successful manager at the Major League level. Back in 2001, he lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 7 game upset in the World Series over the heavily favored New York Yankees. Bringing him back to field level though means breaking up one of the best broadcast booths in the business. Brenly and play-by-play man Len Kasper have a solid rapport that has provided Cubs fans with the best television tandem since the days of Harry Caray and Steve Stone. If it means long term success on the field though, it’s a price fans will undoubtedly be willing to pay.

Matt Lindner is a contributor to ESPN.com and MLB.com

For the introduction to this series go here.

For part two Ryne Sandberg go here

part three Joe Girardi go here

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