Cubs television analyst Bob Brenly officially withdrew his name from the list of candidates for the Cubs skipper job that opened when Lou Piniella retired last month. While he did not disclose his reasons, one sentence seems to say a lot about why he would not want to manage the team in 2011.

Carrie Muskat of had this nugget from Brenly: “I’m not overly pessimistic about this team for next year,” Brenly said, “but I’m not overly optimistic either. You get the players on the field, you start playing the game and you never know what’s going to happen.”

Look, he can’t be too critical of the Cubs chances next season because he’d like to keep his job in the booth. But if you read between the lines, Brenly does not have any interest in managing a team that isn’t likely to be a contender next season.

The Cubs and Tom Ricketts are looking to shed payroll and build through the farm. And while that farm has produced some serviceable players, only Starlin Castro has near-term superstar potential at this point.

Andrew Cashner has the best arm, but nobody knows if he’s a starter or reliever. Jeff Samardzija is no longer a prospect and Casey Coleman never was, though he could be in the running for a fifth spot in the rotation next season.

They do have some younger guys on the rise in the system, such as shortstop Lee Hak-Ju, but they won’t be ready to start next year. Josh Vitters, who was once the heir apparent to Aramis Ramirez at third base, has taken a step backward in the organization and is unlikely to be ready to challenge anyone at this point.

Now, Brenly‘s son Michael is a catcher in the Cubs system, so the chance to manage his boy one day would seem to be an attractive option. Yet even that couldn’t persuade him to take on the headache that is the Cubs.

Jim Hendry‘s managerial search has been an odd one thus far, bringing in candidates like Eric Wedge who would seem to lack the most basic prerequisite that Ricketts said he is looking for.

But Ryne Sandberg, Mike Quade and yes, Brenly too, certainly know what it takes to manage the Cubs, with more than a century of frustration and an increasingly anxious fan base.

Guys like Wedge, Bob Melvin and Fredi Gonzalez, who also declined to interview (he is expected to take over for Bobby Cox in Atlanta), only know what they’ve heard or read about. Not that I agree with Ricketts, but when the boss man says something, you would think Hendry would heed his words.

When Ricketts makes the final decision, you can expect that he will want either Sandberg or Quade, unless, of course, Joe Girardi is available. It’s hard to see Joe walking away from such a good thing in New York, but he would immediately jump to the top of the class if he were available.

Meanwhile, Brenly knows as much about the Cubs as anyone currently with the organization, yet he doesn’t want the job.

Maybe he knows too much.

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