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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Jilted by the Cubs, Ryne Sandberg has moved on

Who’ll Be The Next In Line…Or The One After That, Or The One After That, Or The One…

‘‘[Cubs general manager] Jim Hendry called me on a Tuesday to say I did not get the job in Chicago,’’ Sandberg said last week before his IronPigs beat the Pawtucket Red Sox. ‘‘Which, later on, I was not surprised about. Because later on, he mentioned I wasn’t even the third or fourth guy in line. There was no other job offering other than, ‘We’d like you to come to spring training, hit a couple of fungoes and walk around.’ At that point, I knew it was time to move on.

‘‘I said I was talking to somebody else that has an appealing job for me to stay on the path I’ve chosen.’’

...Some think Sandberg was spared from the carnage that became the 2011 Cubs.

‘‘Why would they spare me?’’ he asked. ‘‘If I was the third or fourth choice, I wasn’t even in line to be the next guy.

Repoz Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:03 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, history

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:12 PM (#3891958)
Because later on, he mentioned I wasn’t even the third or fourth guy in line.


My god.
   2. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:20 PM (#3891968)
At that point, I knew it was time to move on.

He went on to add, "The pebble have been snatched from my hand. Like 'Kung Fu.'"
   3. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#3891971)
Knowing that Jim Hendry thought so little of Sandberg as a managerial candidate is the highest recommendation another GM would need to give him a chance.
   4. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:24 PM (#3891976)
The Dodgers did this to Scioscia. I remain convinced it was one of the biggest mistakes in a decade full of them.
   5. Weeks T. Olive Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3891994)
I have no idea whether Sandberg will make a good MLB manager, but I've long said (2-3 years, at least; well before this past offseason, anyway) that Hendry had something against Sandberg. No idea what it might be (maybe Sandberg's always been an ass to him) and I have no proof, just a hunch based on reading various stories and quotes from Hendry.

Honestly, Ryno should thank his lucky stars he didn't get the job and forever be saddled with the sack of crap that is the 2011 Cubs.
   6. Sam M. Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3891995)
Compare this to the way Sandy Alderson handled the unsuccessful candidacy of Wally Backman to become Mets' manager this past off-season. Alderson went out of his way to praise Backman's interview, his success as a minor league manager, and basically to use his own status within the game to do a lot to rehabilitate Backman in many eyes. He also promoted Backman, who is now managing the Mets' AA affiliate in Binghamton. Backman has about a 1000x better chance of possibly getting a big-league job within the next 3-5 years than he did a year ago at this time.

Wally Backman doesn't have 1/1000th the stature of Ryne Sandberg, obviously, but he is pretty loved by much of the Mets' fan base. Alderson treated him that way. Is it any surprise that Alderson also made a much better decision in his managerial choice than Hendry did?
   7. Mash Wilson Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#3892005)
Weeks: My guess would be Hendry felt threatened by Sandberg, Cub icon that he (Sandberg) (certainly not Hendry) is. Hendry doesn't strike me as the most secure individual in the world.

I think it's probably in everyone's best interest if Sandberg gets his major league managerial career (if he's going to have one) started somewhere other than Chicago. Being as much a legend in Chicago as he is could pose pecking-order challenges (to what extent does the manager have to follow the GM's orders?) that, at the very least, we can agree a guy like Hendry isn't prepared to deal with.

Plus, seriously, who would want to manage this train wreck?
   8. Srul Itza Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3892006)
Accepting that we generally dislike Hendry's statements, actions and choice of breakfast meats -- what do we think about the advisability of Ryno going public with Hendry's statements to him?

Was it unwise of him to air that conversation with Hendry, or is Hendry considered enough of a schmuck that it would work in his favor?
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3892009)
This is why you should never interview a big star with your team as manager. Because they act like they are entitled to the job I'm not saying Sandberg wasn't qualified for the job, but you don't see other candidates blabbing in the press like this.

Hal McRae felt really jilted in 1987 when the Royals went with John Wathan over him (McRae finally did get the job, replacing Wathan years later). Frank White seems to have a chip on his shoulder for never getting the managerial gig in KC. I'm sure other franchises have similar examples (didn't Backman kinda whine about not getting the Mets gig?)
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3892020)
I'm sure other franchises have similar examples (didn't Backman kinda whine about not getting the Mets gig?)


Backman's whined about not getting a second chance after the Diamondbacks fiasco. I don't know if it was ever Mets specific.
   11. Sam M. Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3892023)
didn't Backman kinda whine about not getting the Mets gig?


No. There was a misleading headline in the Daily News implying that he'd said he should've gotten the job over Collins, but all he said was that he was disappointed, thought he'd interviewed well, but he guessed he hadn't convinced them. Typical tabloid nonsense to try and make something out of nothing.
   12. Mash Wilson Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:14 PM (#3892028)
Srul: definitely that second thing.
   13. Srul Itza Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3892034)
I'm sure other franchises have similar examples


Going all the way back to Babe Ruth feeling slighted that he never got the managerial job from the Yankees.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3892037)
Or Hendry did what any decent manager does and said (in essence) "Sorry, you don't have a future with this company." It would have been worse for Sandberg for Hendry to say "It was a really tough decision and we'd love for you to manage our AAA team" because that just leaves Sandberg twisting in the wind hoping Quade screws up.

Anyway, this was a yes or no moment regarding Sandberg's future with the Cubs -- seems both Hendry and Sandberg understood that and acted accordingly.

My guess would be Hendry felt threatened by Sandberg, Cub icon that he (Sandberg) (certainly not Hendry) is. Hendry doesn't strike me as the most secure individual in the world.

Huh? Hendry has hired two of the biggest managerial names there are (Baker and Piniella), both obstinate arrogant controlling types of guys. Sandberg is a pissant compared to those two.

The easy choice for Hendry would have been to hire Sandberg. It would have pleased many fans and probably ownership. Sandberg was the biggest "name" they were interviewing. It would have given Hendry more cover given the popularity of the choice ("hey, not my fault, everybody thought Ryno was the guy to turn this around").

Hiring Quade over Sandberg was a perfectly sensible business decision. It may turn out to be a disaster but it doesn't require BS armchair psychology to explain.
   15. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3892039)
Jilted by the Cubs, and 29 other teams.
   16. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:33 PM (#3892044)
Weeks: My guess would be Hendry felt threatened by Sandberg, Cub icon that he (Sandberg) (certainly not Hendry) is. Hendry doesn't strike me as the most secure individual in the world.

Hendry has always struck me as someone who operates largely out of fear.

My God - what will happen if I don't sign Player X? (Not someone like Player X or someone w/ similar skills, but the specific player himself). Better sign him up at market value or a little above, with a few extra years as well, and give him a no-trade clause on top of it.

My God - what happens if people blame me or the team itself for the current PR issue? Better blame the player, throw him to the wolves, publicly lessen his value as much as I can -- and then trade him away when his value is bottoming out.

It isn't "what'll happen if I do this" w/ Hendry. It's "what'll happen if I don't do this?
   17. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#3892046)
If Hendry had something against Sandberg, it might be because Sandberg showed up with no experience expecting the managing job in '07.

Even if Sandberg finished 2nd for the job, it makes sense to tell him it's best if he moves elsewhere, otherwise you have sports radio flaring up at the first sign of failure from Quade. Granted, Quade has been a disaster as a manager, but you don't set up the guy you want to hire for year-long scrutiny because the ex-player is hanging around as bench coach or AAA manager waiting to pounce.
   18. Sam M. Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:35 PM (#3892048)
Or Hendry did what any decent manager does and said (in essence) "Sorry, you don't have a future with this company."


I think any reasonable Cubs fan would hope that Tom Ricketts has a similar "decent manager's" moment after the season.
   19. Mash Wilson Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:35 PM (#3892049)
Fair argument, Walt. (I still think there's an extra dynamic with Sandberg where the rank-and-file fans are more likely to side with him in any disputes that isn't there with Dusty or Lou, though.)

Also a fair point, Dag.
   20. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:35 PM (#3892050)
It isn't "what'll happen if I do this" w/ Hendry. It's "what'll happen if I don't do this?


Wouldn't hiring Sandberg be a textbook example of this?
   21. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:48 PM (#3892059)
SSR - It would. WHich was one reason I was surprised it didn't happen.

It works better with Hendry's player personnel moves. Not just the big names, but even secondary players like Glendon Rusch and Neifi Perez got mutli-year contracts at a few million per year. Nothing crippling about some contracts like that. Every team has some. But I remember Maury Brown had an article up at THT at that time showing the Cubs had one of the highest median payrolls in baseball. In other words, they spent more money on their 13th player than almost any other team. That was a preseason article in the last year of Dusty Baker. As you probably recall, they lost over 90 games that year. I'm rambling.
   22. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:56 PM (#3892066)
Huh? Hendry has hired two of the biggest managerial names there are (Baker and Piniella), both obstinate arrogant controlling types of guys. Sandberg is a pissant compared to those two.

I would guess that Hendry didn't really have much say in either Baker or Lou. I'm betting Andy wanted Baker in and I wouldn't doubt if the Trib brass called for Lou to come in. The disconnect between Baker and Hendry seemed pretty open back in their time together.
   23. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 03, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#3892070)
Dag, I agree with you on both counts. Hendry's terrible on the margins, and I was shocked when leaks started coming out that Sandberg wouldn't be the guy. It just seemed so safe. What surprised me even more was the minimal backlash from the meathead crowd.

McCoy, define disconnect. Hendry basically did whatever Dusty told him to.
   24. Brian C Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:09 PM (#3892148)
If Hendry had something against Sandberg, it might be because Sandberg showed up with no experience expecting the managing job in '07.

Is this fair? Would a guy who "expected" the job then turn around and say, "Oh, OK, well low-A ball is the next best thing. I'll take it." And then hang around the next few years after that?

In other news, I think Sam in #6 makes a lot of sense. I agree that Hendry had no obligation to hire Sandberg, but at the same time, Sandberg took Hendry's advice and worked in the organization for four years to build the experience Hendry told him he needed. The least Hendry could have done was be magnanimous about it instead of acting like Sandberg was just another random candidate who showed up without an appointment during his lunch hour.
   25. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:35 PM (#3892173)
McCoy, define disconnect. Hendry basically did whatever Dusty told him to.

Well, yeah, until the end where Hendry basically went out and got his own players. It just seemed like that Hendry was handcuffed by Baker and the top brass and it wasn't until the Dusty sheen wore off that Hendry got to assert himself in the roster construction.
   26. Brian C Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3892181)
FWIW, I do remember everyone going crazy wondering why Lenny F. Harris was so hard to get rid off. I'm not sure if that's a point in McCoy's favor or SSR's.
   27. TerpNats Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:47 PM (#3892182)
If I'm Jerry Reinsdorf, I let Ozzie Guillen go to the Marlins in 2012 and bring Sandberg to the Chisox. What better way to stick it to the North Siders?
   28. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:58 PM (#3892190)
If I'm Jerry Reinsdorf, I let Ozzie Guillen go to the Marlins in 2012 and bring Sandberg to the Chisox. What better way to stick it to the North Siders?

A better way to stick it to them? Go back to the World Series and win it again.
   29. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:43 PM (#3892582)
He also promoted Backman, who is now managing the Mets' AA affiliate in Binghamton. Backman has about a 1000x better chance of possibly getting a big-league job within the next 3-5 years than he did a year ago at this time.

The problem is that Ryno had already been moved up to the AAA affiliate the year before so the choice was either hire him or see him walk away.

Of course, the bigger problem is that Hendry kept promoting him which created an expectation on the fans' part (and probably Ryno's as well) that he would be next in line for the major league gig. Frankly, I don't know what Hendry was thinking because this would have been easier if he'd let Sandberg languish in A or AA. Instead, he gave him steady promotions which turned it into more of a "thing" than it had to be. For my part, I suspect that Sandberg wasn't really a candidate because any Cubs GM would lose any and all power struggles with him... but I can't really explain his steady promotions prior to that.
   30. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3892597)

McCoy, define disconnect. Hendry basically did whatever Dusty told him to.


That was the myth concocted by Dusty-bashers, at least.
   31. Cabbage Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:30 PM (#3892638)
The unexplored part of all this is how well Sandberg did as a minor league manager. During the Quade/Sandberg debate in the offseason, I remember someone pointing out that, for whatever reason, Sandberg and the successful/big name Cubs prospects never seemed to be on the same team at the same time.

I don't know, and don't feel inclined to look that up. But I do want to point out that its entirely possible that Hendry (who I loath to defend) had perfectly good reasons for thinking that Sandberg couldn't hack it.
   32. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#3892661)
Sandberg's promotions were even weirder when you consider the timing of them.

Peoria: 71-68
Peoria: 60-78
Tennessee: 71-69
Iowa: 82-62

Obviously record isn't the driving force behind what makes a good minor league manager, but what exactly was driving these promotions if he wasn't viewed highly by the organization?
   33. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3892664)
That was the myth concocted by Dusty-bashers, at least.


Dusty sure as #### seemed to love having dreck on his team to run out at the 1-2 spot every chance he got. He loved Lenny Harris so much he chose to have Mark Guthrie face Mike Lowell in the NLCS rather than have Dave Veres face Lenny.
   34. McCoy Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#3892669)
That was the myth concocted by Dusty-bashers, at least.

You know this because. . . . .

When Dusty first came to Chicago the Cubs loaded up on Dusty-loved players. The Cubs no longer load up on Dusty-loved players. Are you saying that Hendry would have loaded up on Dusty-loved players even if Dusty had never come to Chicago?
   35. McCoy Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#3892670)
The unexplored part of all this is how well Sandberg did as a minor league manager. During the Quade/Sandberg debate in the offseason, I remember someone pointing out that, for whatever reason, Sandberg and the successful/big name Cubs prospects never seemed to be on the same team at the same time.

I looked at earlier and Sandberg really didn't get a lot of time with anybody in the Cubs' farm system that had a reasonable chance to be a regular major leaguer. People kept saying Ryne would be a good fit because he managed all these kids in the minors but that wouldn't have really been the case. Granted, the Cubs ended up trading away all their possible MLB talents so that basically makes the point moot anyway.
   36. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3892688)
Granted, the Cubs ended up trading away all their possible MLB talents so that basically makes the point moot anyway.


Because of one trade?
   37. McCoy Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:41 PM (#3892699)
Did they give up one player?
   38. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#3892713)
Honestly, Ryno should thank his lucky stars he didn't get the job and forever be saddled with the sack of crap that is the 2011 Cubs.

He's done well with a sack of crap at Lehigh Valley this year, FWIW.
   39. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 04, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3892793)
Did they give up one player?


No they gave up 2 of value. In return they gained one hell of a pitcher.
   40. Brian C Posted: August 04, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3892812)
No they gave up 2 of value. In return they gained one hell of a pitcher.

Who has a 106 ERA+ on top of a 99 last season. Yeah, yeah, I know his peripherals are good. But "one hell of a pitcher" is a big leap that he really hasn't taken yet. If he can keep the gains he's made this year over the next couple years, I can see using that description. But now? He's just a guy having a career year that even still isn't amounting to much.
   41. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 04, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3892842)
If you know his peripherals are far outpacing his ERA, why even bring ERA up? It's not like Garza's Glendon Rusch, he just has a terrible defense behind him. I'd say calling Hak-Ju Lee and Chris Archer MLB talents a bigger leap than saying Garza is one hell of a pitcher.
   42. Brian C Posted: August 04, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#3892883)
It's not like Garza's Glendon Rusch, he just has a terrible defense behind him

Maybe, or maybe he's a decent but not exceptional pitcher who's having a good year. I bring up his ERA because it's more in line with his established performance than his current peripherals are.

Like I said, if his peripherals are still this good in future years, I'll agree with you. Until then, I'm not going to assume he's really this good when he never has been before.

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