Those of you who sleep under a rock probably just realized that the Cubs fired Dale Sveum yesterday.  You probably noticed because you rolled over and he wasn’t there.

On Sunday night, Theo Epstein and Dale had a couple of beers and chatted for a couple of hours.  During the chat, Theo fired Dale.  Given Dale’s crack communication skills he probably didn’t notice.

So yesterday they met at Wrigley Field and Theo fired him again.  Some (well, let’s be honest almost all) of the media are proclaiming Theo’s first managerial hire with the Cubs a failure.

They are, of course, wrong.

Cubs fans are in full panic mode over what comes next.  If the Cubs can’t hire Yankees manager Joe Girardi (whose contract ends November 1) then everything is a failure.  Cubs fans are, of course, the worst.

Theo said some interesting things yesterday.  He said something about “lifting up the kimono” (which actually was a party game Yosh Kawano used to play back in the Stan Hack days), and “Soon, our organization will transition from a phase in which we have been primarily acquiring young talent to a phase in which we will promote many of our best prospects and actually field a very young, very talented club at the major league level.”

What he didn’t say was that Dale had been hired for a thankless job.  The team was going to suck, and suck on purpose.  If a player who wasn’t part of the long-term future played well, he was going to get traded for prospects.  Dale was going to lose and there wasn’t much he could do about it, except handle it with dignity, keep the team playing hard and avoid the kind of on-field, in-dugout and in-clubhouse craziness that has plagued the Cubs since the Dusty Baker era.

Not long after Theo took over the Cubs, baseball put in a new set of rules that were supposed to level the playing field between the big spending teams and the low revenue teams.  No longer could you just throw extra millions of dollars at the draft or on international free agents and load up.  The new system awarded one thing more than any other…losses.

It’s why the Astros have chosen to completely bottom out, too.  You lose, you get better picks (like always) but you get more money to sign them with.  Being mediocre has always been it’s own hell, but it’s even more of a hell now.  Win 80 games and you get a mediocre draft pick and a pool of money inadequate to spend your way around it.

What Theo didn’t say was that Dale didn’t get fired for not doing his job.  He got fired because the Cubs feel enough progress has been made in their farm system for the job to change.  What Dale didn’t do was prove he was the guy they’d need to get the most out of the prospects who come up.

The Cubs didn’t make a mistake when they hired him.  He was always a patsy. Somebody had to stand there in the dugout and not lose his mind as the losses piled up.  There was very little chance that guy was still going to be around when the team made their first move from 95-100 losses to 75-80 wins.  That’s supposed to start now.  The next hire should be the guy who is there when the Cubs start to contend again.  So, somebody very, very, young.

The media and the fans will focus on Girardi, and he could very well be a great fit.  He’s a proven manager, he’s handled crazy shit in New York, he’s been fired by Jeffrey Loria (always a good thing) and he has played for the Cubs.  This last part is only important to the dumbest in Cubs fandom.  He even has practice announcing the death of a Cardinals’ player, and, given their driving skills, that might come in handy again.

But Girardi could very well re-sign with the Yankees, because that’s a great job.  He could decide to talk to the Nationals who are much farther along in their rebuild than the Cubs and could realistically contend for a World Series next year.  So if Joe doesn’t take (or get) the job, it’s the end of the world, right?

Call me crazy, but I think Theo’s list might have more than one name on it.