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Chicago Cubs have second chance for Ryne Sandberg? Fan’s take
Ryne Sandberg was one of the greatest players to don the Chicago Cubs uniform. He worked his way up the Cubs minor-league system and was hopeful that he'd realize his dream of managing the Cubs in 2011.
Those dreams were postponed when the interim tag was removed from Mike Quade. Sandberg deserted the organization and is currently with the Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A affiliate, the LeHigh Valley Iron Pigs. They're 53-47 and in first place in International League North.
The dreams were postponed, but not necessarily destroyed. Sandberg isn't holding grudges. He has stated that he'd be willing to return to the Cubs if their managerial position opens up. Sandberg stated:
"I just want to [manage] at the major league level so wherever that comes I would listen,"
While I would have preferred Ryne Sandberg to have been named manager, I supported the Cubs decision to go with Quade. The Cubs finished 2010 with a 24-13 record while Quade was the interim manager. I gave the benefit of the doubt to Jim Hendry because an erroneous judgment could be career suicide.
I viewed the situation as somewhat similar to the Green Bay Packers decision to part ways with Brett Favre and go with Aaron Rodgers. The Packers were coming off a NFC Championship appearance against the New York Giants and Favre was viewed as a god by Northern Wisconsinites. When Favre wanted to return, the Packers had to decide on how confident they were in Rodgers as the long-term answer. Go with the fan favorite or the person who thrived in limited action? The Cubs had a mere 37 games of meaningless baseball to analyze Quade. The Packers had preseason games and a few quarters against the Dallas Cowboys to analyze Rodgers.
The Packers made the gutsy decision to tell Favre to hit the road. Ted Thompson looks like a genius and that's how it should be since he's the professional who's around the team everyday. He should have the best idea of what will spell future success.
The same applies to Hendry. Hendry would be a genius if Quade can manage a legitimate pennant contender that proves it can win postseason series. However, he'll be considered amongst the biggest goats in Cubs history if Quade flops and/or Sandberg enjoys success like he has in the minor leagues. Hendry has accepted more risk with Quade because had Sandberg flopped, some people would still be satisfied that he'd gotten the chance. There'd be no "What might have been" questions with one of the Cubs legends.
Well, the Cubs are feeling the side effects from overdosing on the Q (Quade). At 37-55, the organization is in a comatose. Most players seem to be serving 15-day rehab stints. Hendry doesn't seem to have much more than excuses as he tries to find these immediate remedies like Ramon Ortiz(notes), Doug Davis(notes), and Rodrigo Lopez(notes).
The Cubs should try to rehire Sandberg following this season. They must rehire Sandberg if Quade is relieved of his duties. I'm uncertain as to what they don't see in Sandberg but I'm not seeing anything with Quade that could mean Sandberg would do worse. I couldn't even imagine them passing on Sandberg again if Quade were relieved.
Give him the shot.
Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid 1990s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months.
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