Tagged: Ryne Sandberg

Cubs Open Door For Girardi

The Cubs have a managerial opening now that Dale Sveum is officially gone.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will begin the process of finding a replacement immediately. Epstein has made it clear that the Cubs want a manager that can establish a winning culture in Chicago. The last couple of years have been dismal, but the farm system has flourished and that means the Cubs have some exciting prospects knocking on the door. Before the Cubs bring up Soler, Baez, Almora, Bryant and Olt, Epstein wants to have a manager in place that can cultivate this pool of young talent. The Cubs are looking for an established, experienced leader that knows what it takes to win. It all makes sense now. Sveum was hired to make it through the past two seasons while the Cubs traded payroll for prospects. So far, this phase has been successful in spite losing 197 games during that time. Sveum cannot be blamed for all of it, but let’s face it, he is not part of the winning culture that the Cubs are looking for.
Enter Joe Girardi. While having much success with the New York Yankees, Girardi may want the opportunity to take on a fresh challenge. The Cubs offer such a challenge. Girardi is from Chicago and has played for the Cubs during his career. In my opinion, Joe Girardi is the perfect fit for the Cubs. He brings everything a Cubs fan could want in a manager. He knows what the Cubs fans have suffered through and understands the importance of winning a World Series. Girardi’s contract with the Yankees is up and the window of opportunity to acquire him is now. Simply, the Cubs had to fire Dale Sveum to open the door for Joe Girardi should he choose to come home and attempt what some say is the impossible. Girardi understands what it would mean to Cubs fans like no one else. Ryne Sandberg would have been a likely candidate but he signed a 3-year deal with the Phillies. Girardi would seem to be the most attractive manager on the market. He has proven what he can do with young, talented players when he won Manager of the Year with the Florida Marlins. Anybody that watches baseball knows the poise, presence, and power that Girardi has in the dugout. He understands the game, knows how to manage. I can’t see anyone else in the future as Cubs Manager. Joe Girardi is the perfect choice. Hands down.

Will The Winter Meetings Bring Solace to Cubs’ Fans?

It has been a year of disappointment and frustration for Cubs’ fans.  The Cubs’ have yet to make any moves to fill the glaring holes at first base and the lead off position.  Time is running out and Cubs’ fans are getting nervous.  What are the Cubs going to do?

The 2010 season was lost from the very beginning.  The season brought many disappointments along the way.  After Lou Piniella suddenly retired, Mike Quade took over and brought some renewed hope to Chicago.  He managed to motivate the players and the Cubs finished strong.  A glimmer of things to come?

Following the season, the managerial search was on.  Fans argued over who should be the next manager.  Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi were amongst the names that most believed would win the job.  Of course, the Cubs decided on Mike Quade, who earned the position with the strong finish.  Many diehard Cubs’ fans were angered that Sandberg wasn’t named manager, others were mad that Girardi never had the opportunity to interview.  In the end, it didn’t matter what Cubs’ fans wanted, the Cubs had made their choice. 

Next came the off season.  The Cubs have many holes to fill, particularly first base.  The Cub faithful once again started a debate.  Who should the Cubs acquire?  Many Cubs’ blogs have made suggestions. The Cub Den, http://cubden.mlblogs.com/ and Strictly Cubs Baseball, http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/ have explored all of the possibilities.  I, myself, have made some suggestions.  Unfortunately, our suggestions have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.  Do the Cubs actually listen to the fans?  Do they acknowledge what the fans want?  It has been my opinion that they do not.  Of course, I understand that the Cubs have all the experts that share their input when it comes to assembling a team.  That’s what they get paid to do.  However, since the fans are the ones that support the team, shouldn’t the Cubs take a more active interest in what the fans want?  I think so.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any evidence of that.  I suppose that we should leave the management to the professionals, but I would like to believe that the Cubs care about the fans.  Obviously, the fans have a thousand opinions and not all of them are wonderful, but some are. 

So what is my point to all of this?

I would like the Cubs to listen a little more closely to us diehard fans, that’s all.  Sometimes we feel ignored.  Many of us wanted the Cubs to acquire Adrian Gonzalez, but he got away.

As the Winter Meetings get under way, the Cubs need to get busy filling holes.  The Cubs haven’t done anything yet and other teams are swooping down and plucking players left and right.  Hopefully, the Cubs will make some moves that will earn the fans’ respect again.  Cubs’ fans don’t want to wait till 2 or 3 years before the team competes.  We want to compete each and every year.  Baseball should be exciting, not disappointing.  On that note, Jim Hendry needs to get busy.  Cubs’ fans are getting restless.

My All-Time Favorite Cubs!

I have been a diehard Cubs’ fan for over 32 years.  Here is a list of my all-time favorite Cubs.

In no particular order, I have broken my favorites down by position.  Former Cub Greats like Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, and Ron Santo are NOT listed since I never had the opportunity to see them play.  However, obviously, they are the best.

In the OUTFIELD, my favorites include ANDRE DAWSON.  Andre Dawson is a Hall of Famer and his numbers speak for themselves. 
thumbnailCAGSWXSZ.jpgon the other hand, lost favor with me when I, along with the rest of the world, discovered that he used a corked bat while hitting 66 homeruns in 1998.  Sammy was exciting to watch, but with the steroid scandal, he became a major disappointment.  I was at Wrigley all summmer long in 1998 and was a witness to history, unfortunately it was all smoke and mirrors for the fans.   Another favorite has been Gary Matthews.  “Sarge” always took charge in the outfield and played hard-nosed baseball.  He was an all-out effort kind of player. My third favorite outfielder, in my time, is BOB DERNIER.
thumbnailCAYVE10S.jpg  He was a speedster that not only stole bases, but had a gold glove as well.

At THIRD BASE, the Cubs haven’t had anybody that has stood out until Aramis Ramirez came along. 
thumbnailCA6WKXR1.jpgAlthough he struggled with injuries last season, he has been a solid performer over the past few years with the Cubs.  Hopefully next season, he will return to form.

At SHORTSTOP, my favorite was Ivan DeJesus
thumbnailCAU6D3I4.jpgHe was the lead-off hitter back when I began watching the Cubs.  He played solid defense and stole bases.  He always gave 100%.

At SECOND BASE, there is only one RYNE SANDBERG. 
thumbnailCACA1ZSP.jpgA Hall of Famer, Ryno was simply the best.  He was the most clutch hitter that I’ve ever seen.

At FIRST BASE, while most fans would arguably pick Mark Grace and rightfully so, my pick is BILL BUCKNER.  Back in the day, Buckner was a hitting machine.  In my opinion, he was a better hitter than Gracie.  He was a pretty good defensive player as well.  It is unfortunate that fans only remember the ball that went through his legs at Boston.
thumbnailCAK2MV8C.jpg  The same could be said for Leon Durham in 1984.  Derek Lee deserves special recognition.  I almost picked him and probably should have.  He is probably the best first baseman the Cubs have had in my 32 years as a fan, I just was a big fan of Buckner, that’s all. 

At CATCHER, my favorite was JODY DAVIS.
thumbnailCAIL1KLX.jpg  He was awesome.
thumbnail.jpg  Back in 1984, the Cubs had a good team up and down the line-up.  It was probably my favorite team as a whole.

STARTING PITCHER is none other than Greg Maddux
thumbnailCAXBVF46.jpgHe is the king of the hill.

My favorite CLOSER was BRUCE SUTTER.  He had a split-fingered fast ball that was lights out.  Carlos Marmol recently broke his strikeout record for closers.

thumbnailCA01ENS8.jpgSome of my other favorites include, most notably, JOE GIRARDI, LEE SMITH, DENNIS ECKERSLY, Kenny Lofton, FERGUSON JENKINS, MARK GRACE, Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood, RICK SUTCLIFFE, LEON DURHAM, KEITH MORELAND, Derek Lee, DAVE KINGMAN, SHAWON DUNSTON, Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, and Carlos Marmol.   My FAVORITE CUBS’ TEAM was 1984. 
thumbnailCAFW14WS.jpgIt was a season to remember!

Ryne Sandberg Is Officially Back With The Phillies

After the bitter disappointment that followed as the Cubs named Mike Quade their new Manager, Ryne Sandberg left the Organization for good. 
thumbnailCAOA84V0.jpg Today, he landed another job.  Not as a Major League Manager as he had hoped, but a managing job nonetheless.  Ryno will take over for the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate.  Sandberg won the Pacific Coast league Manager of the Year last season with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Iowa.  Cubs’ fans will miss Ryno. 
thumbnailCAS36DY2.jpg He has been a fan favorite since the eighties and now, will return to the team that traded him to the Cubs all those years ago.  Good luck to Ryno.  He will do an outstanding job for the Phillies.

Why Mike Quade Should Consider Ryne Sandberg For Bench Coach, And Why Ryno Should Accept!

As the new Manager for the Chicago Cubs, Mike Quade has some important decisions to make.  Among the first items on his To Do List will be to name his coaching staff.  Q has not ruled out the possibility of adding Ryne Sandberg to the team, but the question that begs to be answered remains, will he name Ryno to his coaching staff?  Would Sandberg even consider the job, considering his bitter disappointment following the Cubs’ decision to hire Quade as Manager?

Let’s consider the big picture.

thumbnailCA8EJEO3.jpgRyne Sandberg was named Pacific Coast League Manager Of The Year last season in his fourth year of managing in the Cubs’ Farm System.  He was one of the leading candidates in the Cubs’ managerial search.  Ryno has stated that his goal is to manage at the MLB level.  That is why he may have declined the opportunity to serve as bench coach in his previous discussions with Jim Hendry, the Cubs’ GM.  However, since then, Mike Quade won the Cubs’ job and Ryno’s bid at interviewing for the Toronto Bluejays has fallen through.  The Bluejays have already filled that position.  So what options does Sandberg have left?  With a lack of MLB experience, Sandberg may be running out of options.  His dream of managing in the big leagues may have to wait until he gains a little more experience.  Jim Hendry has said that Ryno would be welcomed back at Iowa should Sandberg decide to return to his former position.  That being said, Ryno may want to move forward, not backward, and decide that serving as a bench coach could actually be the stepping stone that would bring him closer to realizing his goal to manage someday.   Cubs’ fans were disappointed that Sandberg was free to look outside of the Cubs’ Organization for a job.  Ryno is a true Cub and to see #23 in another uniform would scar many fans who wanted to see Ryno get the Cubs’ managerial job.

Would Mike Quade consider making Sandberg the Bench Coach?

Considering the fact that the Cubs are in the process of rebuilding and focusing on developing the farm system, wouldn’t it make sense that Mike Quade and the Cubs bring Sandberg into the fold.  Ryno managed at Triple-A, Iowa.  Who else knows the young, up and coming, players better than Sandberg?  Furhermore, Mike Quade could win many diehard Cubs’ fans over by simply giving Sandberg his due.  Ryno deserves more than having Jim Hendry show him the door.  He deserves a promotion and the opportunity to assist at the MLB level.  Mike Quade could make that happen and the PR disaster of snubbing Ryno could be averted.  Mike Quade would be a hero.

Would a combination of Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg be awkward, considering that they competed for the same job?

That question has come up many times, but I do not believe it would be a factor.  First of all, Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg haven proven to be loyal to the Cubs.  The goal is to win ballgames, not argue over who should manage and how.  I think that Ryno and Q are team players and they could easily put their ego’s aside for everyone’s sake.  The best leaders lead by example, and what better example than having two guys like Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg, putting their knowledge and experience together, to work as a team.  Both are essential to the Cubs’ rebuilding process and I believe they would complement one another.  Mike Quade has been effective with the veterans and Ryno has been effective with the younger players.  It’s a win-win situation.  Besides, the Cubs’ fans that are clamoring for Sandberg would be pacified, not that that should be a factor.  Another thing, it would give Sandberg the additional experience that he needs at the Major League level.

While Ryne Sandberg explores his options and his future, I hope that Mike Quade has the wisdom and insight to ask Sandberg to join the team.  It seems to make the most sense.  Winning is about teamwork.  Winning is about have the right pieces in place.  Winning is about making the right decisions.  I hope Mike Quade will consider hiring Ryne Sandberg as Bench Coach and I pray that Ryno has the wisdom to accept.  It just seems to be the right thing to do, not only from a PR standpoint, but from a managing standpoint as well. 

Why Diehard Cubs’ Fans Are Angry!

Mike Quade is now the new Cubs’ Manager, but that’s not why diehard Cub fans are angry.  While Q may be deserving, many fans are bitterly disappointed and some are downright outraged by the lack of loyalty and disdain demonstrated by the Cubs toward Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi.

After replacing Lou Piniella in August, Mike Quade made a case for himself to be the next Cubs’ Manager as the Cubs finished the season strong.  The Cubs went 24-13 under Quade, who made an immediate impression as he proved that he can manage.  A new attitude was adopted by the Cub players and Quade influenced the team to get better, and they did.  Rather than playing out the season, the Cubs stormed back and compiled the best record in the National League, next to the Philadelphia Phillies, during the last 37 games of the season.  The Cubs’ Pitching Staff was vastly improved, Carlos Zambrano was unstoppable, and the bullpen was lights out.  The new look Cubs looked like a different team under Mike Quade, who deserves alot of credit for the turnaround.  Q made a statement, and seemingly out of nowhere, emerged as the leading candidate for the Cubs’ managerial position.

But that’s not why Cub fans are angry.

As the interview process dragged on, many diehard Cub fans waited eagerly as the drama began to unfold.  The Cubs interviewed Freddi Gonzalez, who withdrew his name as the Atlanta Braves announced that he would replace the legendary Bobby Cox following his retirement after the Braves lost to the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. 

Eric Wedge was interviewed but ended up getting a job with the Seattle Mariners.  Bob Melvin was also on the list, but many felt that he was not a good fit for the Cubs.  Finally, Bob Brenly, the Cubs commentator, withdrew his name from consideration because he felt that he was not a good fit.  Brenly was supported by many of the fans, but it appears that he will look elsewhere.  No one really knows why.

Ryne Sandberg was a leading candidate as well.  After managing 4 years in the Cubs’ farm system, many believed that he was being groomed to take over as the next Cub Manager.  The former Cub second baseman and Hall Of Famer, managed the Cubs’ Triple A affiliate, Iowa team to a first place tie this past season.  Sandberg won the Pacific Coast League Manager Of The Year Award and proved that he was a legitimate candidate to manage at the big league level.  Upon hearing the news that Quade was named Manager, Ryno expressed his disappointment and decided that he will explore other opportunities.  He has said, that it is his dream to manage in the Major leagues, if not in Chicago, then somewhere. 

Finally, many diehard Cub fans expected Jim Hendry, the Cubs’ GM, and Tom Ricketts, the Cubs’ Owner and Chairman, to wait till after the post-season to talk to New York Yankees’ Manager, Joe Girardi.  The Cubs have stated that they wanted to have a manager in place by the November Organizational Meetings in November, but there was no hurry to rush the interview process.  That led many to speculate that the Cubs were waiting to interview one last managerial candidate, particularly former Cubs’ Catcher, Joe Girardi, whose New York Yankees were still alive in their quest for another World Series championship.  Apparently, Joe Girardi, who many believed to be the most experienced, successful, qualified candidate for the job, was never even considered.  Upon hearing the news at a Yankee press conference, Girardi appeared shocked by the news but quickly congratulated Mike Quade on the decision.

So why are diehard Cub fans bitterly disappointed and angry?

thumbnailCAJV0B2C.jpgNo one can argue that Mike Quade earned his right to manage.  The reason that the diehard Cub fans are outraged is the complete lack of loyalty and disdain that Jim Hendry and Tom Ricketts have displayed toward two of the diehard Cub fan favorites, Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi.  First of all, the fans expected Jim Hendry to wait for Joe Girardi.  While Girardi’s contract with the Yankees expires at the end of the season, there was some question as to whether or not he will return to New York for another season.  Many believed that he might have interest in coming home to Chicago.  He has said in the past, that managing the Cubs was his dream job.  He interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial position before, but failed to land the job because of his inexperience managing.  Since then, he managed a young Florida Marlin team and has led the New York Yankees to a World Series championship.  This time around, Joe Girardi was completeley snubbed by the Cubs.  He wasn’t even granted an interview.  Sad.  The other sad part of the managerial search was the treatment of Ryne Sandberg.  Many believed that if Mike Quade did get the job, then Ryno would be promoted to Bench Coach.  Instead, Sandberg was snubbed once again.  He was never offered the position.  Now Ryno has to deal with the disappointing news and will most likely leave the Cubs’ Organization to manage another team somewhere else.  Two former Cubs, unwelcomed in their own backyard.  This is why Cubs’ Fans are furious.

Tom Ricketts trusted Jim Hendry to make the final decision.  Jim Hendry demonstrated a complete and utter lack of loyalty in the managerial search.  He has shown disdain toward former Cubs, who have become fan favorites over the years.  While it was a great day for Mike Quade, who finally gets the opportunity to manage in the big leagues, it remains a sad day in Wrigleyville.  Tom Ricketts has stated publicly, that the Cubs should listen to the diehard Cub fans more.  Unfortunately, no one is listening and the diehard Cub fans are extremely angry and disappointed by the PR disaster that Jim Hendry has created.  Many fans have expressed their anger by deciding to no longer support the team.  Many will stay away from Wrigley.  Many have cried for Jim Hendry’s resignation or termination.  Many diehard Cubs’ fans have simply given up.  I have been a diehard Cubs’ fan for the past 32 years and my hopes and dreams of seeing the Cubs win a World Series has been crushed, not because Mike Quade was named Manager, but because two of my all-time favorite Cubs, Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi were treated with a lack of respect and a lack of loyalty.  Somebody please tell me why I should remain loyal to the Cubs when there is no loyalty in the Cubs’ Organization.  I will have to search my heart before I will watch the Cubs again.  My faith and trust in this organization has been shattered.  It breaks my heart.  Thank you, Tom Ricketts and Jim Hendry, your lack of loyalty has just cost you thousands and thousands of loyal Cub fans everywhere.  What were you thinking?

Sandberg To Interview With The Toronto Bluejays; The Latest Twist To The Cubs’ Managerial Search!

It’s official.  Ryne Sandberg has scheduled an interview with the Toronto Bluejays, throwing the Cubs’ managerial search a curve ball.  The Chicago Tribune reports that Ryno will meet with Toronto to discuss the opening for Manager with the Bluejays.

What does this mean?  Is Sandberg tired of sitting around while the Cubs’ General Manager, Jim Hendry and Owner, Tom Ricketts wait to talk to Joe Girardi?  Have the Cubs already made a decision?  It isn’t clear, but I would think that Ryno isn’t taking anything for granted and is exploring his options. 

While the Cubs wait for Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees to finish the post-season, the Cubs are taking a chance that Ryne Sandberg and Mike Quade could find managerial positions elsewhere.  Since Joe Girardi is still under contract, he has not publicly announced any interest in the Cubs’ position.  He simply refuses to discuss the matter which leaves the world in the dark as to whether or not he is an option for the Cubs.  Of course, maybe Jim Hendry knows something that we don’t.  Who knows?  Most Cub fans are willing to wait for Girardi , others panic at the thought of losing Sandberg. 

The Cubs’ managerial search is getting interesting.  No one can blame Ryne Sandberg for exploring his options.  Of course, we’ll see what happens. 

thumbnailCAZ5MTW4.jpgThere is a rumor that the Cubs are waiting to talk to Joe Girardi, who is the most experienced, qualified, candidate, who many fans believe is the best fit for the Cubs.  While Girardi might be the frontrunner in the Cubs’ managerial position, plan “A”, it is believed that Mike Quade is in line for the job if Girardi falls through.  Perhaps, the Cubs offered Sandberg a job as Bench Coach and Ryno snubbed the idea, sighting that he wants to manage a team, not be a bench coach.  If that is the case, then Sandberg may walk.