Ryne Sandberg Would Fail as Cardinals Manager: Fan Take

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports former Chicaco Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg was interviewed for the open managerial post vacated by retiring skipper Tony LaRussa. There have been six candidates interviewed so far and Sandberg is just the second without any previous ties to the Cardinals. Third base coach Jose Oquendo was also interviewed Nov. 9.

Sandberg is the best candidate that general manager John Mozeliak can come up with? He was the AAA manager for the Iowa Cubs and now leads the AAA club of the Philadelphia Phillies. Yes, Sandberg played and coached for the same Chicago Cubs that Cardinals fans hate. Mozeliak may as well say right now that Albert Pujols(notes) is going to the Cubs.

One of the unwritten rules in sports is to never trade players to another team within the division. Most especially, you do not trade staff with your most heated rival. Imagine Len Dawson playing for the Oakland Raiders instead of the Kansas City Chiefs. Just think of Brett Hull playing for the Chicago Blackhawks instead of the St. Louis Blues.

Now think of Sandberg, a long-time Cubs player and hall of famer, wearing Cardinal red in the home dugout. I just don't see it.

The Cardinals hope to make an announcement to introduce their new manager sometime during the week of Nov. 14. With any luck, former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona will get the job. Unlike all of the other candidates interviewed so far, Francona already has loads of Major League Baseball managerial experience. The same was true when the Cards hired LaRussa and slso with Joe Torre. Whitey Herzog managed three other teams before coming to the Cardinals.

The last time St. Louis hired someone without any previous Major League managerial experience was Ken Boyer in 1978. He lasted less than three seasons before Herzog came on. The last time the Cardinals hired a successful manager without previous experience was legendary Red Schoendienst in 1965.

Put succinctly, St. Louis can and should afford someone of high caliber who knows how to win baseball games. That strategy has worked for over 30 years and it shouldn't change now. With all due respect to other candidates, bringing in Francona should be the best thing for St. Louis.

William Browning was born in St. Louis and is a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. He currently resides in Branson, Mo.

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Updated Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011