As is probably common knowledge by now, Cubs President Theo Epstein flew down to Florida today to meet with Mike Quade and tell him face-to-face that he will not be retained as the Cubs manager for 2012.
In addition, Epstein also contacted Ryne Sandberg and told him that he would not be a candidate for the job, as the Cubs are looking for someone with managerial or coaching experience at the major league level.
While Steve Rosenbloom of the Tribune suggests that the Cubs hire former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who became the fall guy for this year's Red Sox collapse. However, I do not think that is likely.
According to Carrie Muskat at MLB.com, some possible replacements include Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale and Milwaukee hitting coach Dale Sveum.
No real marquee names on that list and I won't speculate as to who is the best candidate as I really don't know much about any of them.
Bottom line, to me at least, the Cubs should have hired Joe Girardi when they had a chance.