Welcome to Part Two of the FBB’s in-depth examinations of candidates for the Chicago Cubs vacant managerial position (Click here if you missed Part One.) Today’s contestant is none other than Hall of Fame second baseman and Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg.
Oh, what glorious scenarios there are to be envisioned with Ryno at the helm! But also what horrifying ones…
Contestant #2: Ryne Sandberg
Ryne Sandberg, come on doooown! Is Chicago’s beloved former MVP ready to manage the big-league team after just four years of experience in the minors? If Ryno were to be hired and not have instant success, would fans be able to face the consequences? Let’s consider the pros and cons of crowning Mr. Sandberg manager:
-We would get to see that smiling face every day.
-Has exhibited through his many minor-league ejections that he has a fire in his tummy. So yummy…
-He would have the chance to lead the Cubs to a championship, be the greatest manager that ever lived, and get inducted into the Hall of Fame TWICE.
-He is already so beloved that a disastrous managerial stint wouldn’t hurt his popularity too much.
-If the team was bad, we might not get to see that smiling face every day.
-I assume that the average uninformed Cubs fan (by whom I mean the people who have never heard of Jeff Baker and pronounce “Quade” lie “Quaid”) is probably in favor of Ryno’s being manager. It would be unseemly of me to align myself the sort of “fan” who daftly assumes that all White Sox fans have mullets, all Yankees fans are ignorant, self entitled babies, and all Cardinals fans are self-righteous nincompoops (only 94.8% of Cardinal fans are self-righteous nincompoops, not all of them. I mean, come on.)
But I digress.
Your Joe Schmo Cubs fans are the ones you hear clamoring for Ryno (he is the only candidate they’ve heard of.) These are also the fans who will demand his head if things don’t go well. None of this is actually evidence that Ryno would be a bad manager, it just makes me wary and gives me headaches. I also do not mean to say that there are not intelligent, genuine fans who favor Ryne. So, don’t get on me, anyone.
-The Cubs would have to un-retire #23, and the retired number flags wouldn’t be even any more.
The Bottom Line:
I can’t make up my own mind about this one. On one hand, I think it could be seriously cool to have Ryno for our manager. We love him, and that is an incontrovertible fact. On the other hand, it is hard to argue that he is the fittest man for the job when Mike Quade has some 18 years of experience at the minor league level, another few in the majors, and has done a stand-up job in his interim position. Of all the candidates, Ryne has the least experience. But he has done well where he’s been, and is already familiar with the slew of young talent that has been popping up in Chicago this season, and will be popping up in Chicago throughout the next few years.
The Bottomest Line:
I suppose if you boil it down, the way I see it is that hiring Ryne Sandberg would be a risk. But it could be one worth taking.