Kap's Corner

The Next Manager is a No Brainer Hire

With Lou Piniella's announcement last week that he is retiring as the manager of the Cubs the speculation has been in high gear as to who will replace him. From Ryne Sandberg to Bob Brenly to Bobby Valentine there has been no shortage of names tossed about.I have looked at this decision for a while now knowing that Lou would not be returning to the Cubs and there is really only one name that should be on the Chicago Cubs...

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AndPrintIt said:

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"they are prepared to pay Girardi handsomely but more importantly that they are prepared to change the culture of the Cubs. ... Stop throwing huge contracts at the problem"

Fantastic logic. Stop throwing huge contracts but pay Girardi handsomely? I guess the culture change begins after they throw one more huge contract at the manager.

When Sandberg originally showed interest in the managerial job, he was asked to get some experience in the minors. He did exactly what they asked and has had some success doing so. Now that the position he wants, the position for which the Cubs themselves asked him to get experience, is available, the Cubs should lock up Girardi long term? Classy. Very classy.

From a business standpoint, who is more likely to energize the Cubs fan base? Speaking for myself, Girardi is not going to make me more likely to renew my season tickets. But Sandberg would. Expectations are not high for next year. Do I want to pay to see Girardi slog through 2010 redux, or do I want to see a rookie manager lay the groundwork for the future? My checkbook votes 23.

Finally, I am not impressed that Girardi was able to win championships both as a player and as a manager for a team consisting of the best players making the most money. That will not be the situation on the North Side over the next few years. Give me the guy who can win with a limited budget, as we are sure to see at Wrigley when the Cubs "stop throwing huge contracts at the problem". (You know, like Girardi's Yankees did.)

cadarnell said:

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if they don't give the ryno his shot right now I really think he'll go elsewhere. I don't know why every Cubs fan isn't on board with the sandberg managing this team. He is really the only guy hendry should consider at all. If Ryne hadn't done all the work in the minor's for the last four years, then Girardi would be my pick. But he did it. He did it well, and he deserves this job now.

diane said:

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How many seasons do you give him if the first is an epic fail?

cadarnell said:

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you do bring up the only argument against Sandberg that I think holds water. If he doesn't have the Cubs in the playoffs in three or four years then I personally would want him fired. I expect winning and nothing less than that, and I think after 102 years a lot of the fan base does. So if he just really is bad at it, then when would they cut him loose. That scenario does concern me as I think he'd get not only one too many years to win, but probably several because of who he is. Even though that's a possibility I think there's just too many reasons to hire him and not enough to look at anyone, even Girardi, other than Sandberg.

joeydafish said:

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You have to give him at least SIX to SEVEN years as the first two to four will still have residual negative effects from the Hendry sabotage years. So a "five year plan" turns into a 7 year plan because of Hendry's stupidity. If anybody can sqeeze some hungry, talented kids into the starting lineup and know what to expect from them (as opposed to inferior veterans like Soriano and Fukodome)it would be Sandberg. This only changes if the all knowing, powerful and brilliant Hendry can somehow dump Soriano, Fukodome and Zambrano.

David Kaplan said:

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So what if he managed in the minor leagues? Great move by him to get some experience but the Cubs don't owe him anything other than to be considered for the job. They have to hire the right guy not the politically correct guy.

cubfan826 said:

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Kap, I'm with you. I'm a big Girardi fan and wanted him as manager when they were hiring the last time. I hope the Cubs come to their senses this time.

AndPrintIt said:

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Didn't Spring Training begin with Tom Ricketts telling the employees/players they were part of a family now? Isn't Sandberg part of that family as a current employee? Isn't that part of the culture change?

Is this how a family should treat one of its members? If so, count me out of the Kaplan Thanksgiving dinner. You can make your own green bean casserole this year. But be sure to have Mrs Girardi bring her strawberry-rhubarb pie. I hear it's delish.

joeydafish said:

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Absolutely spot on my friend. Hiring Ryno is the only choice to make IF the Ricketts are genuine about changing the culture, growing from within and developing from "their own". This should INCLUDE the manager's positon as well and not just the players. Girardi may very well be a very good manager with rings but he is NOT the RIGHT man for THIS particular time in Cubs history. What kind of example would the Ricketts (Cubs organization) be setting if overlooking what Ryno has done from the bottom up, not taking advantage of his HALL OF FAME status. No rings? Of course not, he was a CUB his whole major league career! Only with OTHER organizations was Girardi "put in position" to get his rings. DUH. Kap is dead wrong. Long term? Sure! But with Ryno. Besides, even the "great Girardi" BEGAN his managerial career without a ring for MANAGING a team to the World Series. Everyone BEGINS somewhere at sometime this should be the beginning of the Sandberg era. The End.

diane said:

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Slight quibble...don't forget that first short year Sandberg had with the Phils.
I really don't understand your argument against Girardi. He was successful with the Fish, he was successful with the Yankees. Why not take a proven winner if you can get him, rather than an admittedly popular but essentially unknown commodity?
Sentiment is fine, but do you want sentimentality or success?

cadarnell said:

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I think Girardi could have probably taken a job with the Cubs when he took the Marlins job. It would not have been as the manager, but he could have got on the payroll for the Cubs way back then. He chose to go elsewhere for a manager's position and I don't blame him for that, but none the less.. he did it. In the same way though, I'll bet Sandberg could have probably found someone to give him a job without having to work his way up through the minors, but he stayed true to the Cubs and went to single A Peoria. I just really think that's worth a whole hell of a lot and shows that the man really does love the Cubs. He didn't have to do that. He could have went somewhere else, and at a much higher level job ... Simply put ... Girardi didn't put in the time and pay his dues, so to speak, with the organization. I think it's high time the the Cubs look to a guy who has paid his dues and hire from within. There has never been a more perfect time and a more perfect candidate for the job than Ryne Dee Sandberg.

diane said:

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Did Girardi choose to go elsewhere? Or did the Cubs simply choose Piniella over Girardi?
I don't know the answer to that, I'm just asking.

cadarnell said:

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I was talking about before that. What ever year it was that Joe took the job in Florida. I'm sure he could have taken the same route that Ryne took then. I could be wrong. I am just guessing, but I just think the Cubs would have found a job for him the same way they did for Ryne four years ago. And then Joe would be the logical choice and not Ryne ... in my opinion.

joeydafish said:

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I'm GUESSING cadarnell is right. Just GUESSING.

joeydafish said:

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Amen brother.

joeydafish said:

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I'm not arguing against Girardi, I'm arguing for Sandberg. If Sanberg were not available I would back Girardi. Nothing to do with sentiment. Sandberg is a winner and successful just in different ways than Girardi. All Sandberg's success came as a Cub. Sandberg didn't even have a short year with Phillies, just a cup of coffee. I believe some peoplpe get too enamered with successful ex-Yankees (Pinella) and overlook what's in there own system.

David Kaplan said:

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Paying a manager a salary similar or just a bit bigger than what you have paid the last two managers is not comparable to paying players huge salaries for several years and tying your hands with no trade clauses. Girardi is the right move and the move I believe the Cubs will make.

David Kaplan said:

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Also, if you think that fans will buy tickets because of who the manager is you are sadly mistaken. Fans will pay to see a player but they do not pay to see a manager. There is no manager in the game who people pay to see.

AndPrintIt said:

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really? last time I checked, I was a fan who buys tickets to 50+ games per year. And I would pay to see sandberg manage. Do I speak for all fans? No. Just as you shouldn't either.

joeydafish said:

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you're awesome andprintit! I'm starting lose even more respect for Kaplan.

joeydafish said:

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So the 2010 Cubs fans are stupid? Since they evidently are paying to see THIS team? I can't imagine they forking over hard earned coin to witness the ever hustling Byrd only? Geez. I think fans pay to see a TEAM and that includes a good manager that increases the team's chance of winning. And that includes either Girardi or Sandberg I'm hoping it's Sandberg, that's all.

cadarnell said:

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They won't ... they'll hire Sandberg.

AndPrintIt said:

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Treating the new manager hire in the same way as the past two (i.e. four or more years making him one of the highest paid managers in the majors) is not consistent with the message of "culture change". That sounds a lot like the same old approach.

Moreover, Girardi's greatest success came in the exact culture that the Cubs are trying to change (i.e. paying players huge salaries for several years). That is the best man to lead the Cubs away from the Yankees model?

joeydafish said:

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Like I said, AWESOMENESS!!

joeydafish said:

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KAP, thanks for finally going on record and stating in a tactful way that Hendry did BAD things!!

diane said:

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Andprint,
From a business standpoint, the manager who is more likely to energize the Cubs fan base is one who will win. Honestly, I don't believe that the average fan gives a rip who manages a winning team, just as long as they win.
Girardi is a proven, Sandberg is a possibility.
It's not that I don't admire Sandberg and his success, first as a player and then as a manager in the minors. It's just that, after 102 seasons, the fans want a winner.
And that's what I think Girardi brings.

AndPrintIt said:

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If Girardi had managed the Orioles or Pirates to a championship, I would give him more credit as a winner. But my pet hermit crab Charlie could have won with the Yankees ... and trust me, Charlie doesn't know baseball. (Jai alai, yes. But baseball? Not a whit.)

I believe we are closer to the Orioles level than we are to the Yankees. We need someone to lead us from the pits to the heights. Not the heights to the heights.

Given the situation the Cubs are in, I think La Russa would be a better choice than Girardi. And there is no way I want La Russa. (Charlie, on the hand, is already printing up his "Go Tony!" pennants.)

David Kaplan said:

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You mean the same Yankees who went from 2000 to 2009 without a World Series championship? The same Yankees that Joe Torre failed to win a title with his last 8 seasons? Yep, the same Yankees that didn't win for several years until Girardi arrived.

cadarnell said:

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even weighted dice don't always roll a seven. The yanks are usually stacked, but baseball can be fickle in the playoffs as we saw in 07 and 08. I don't think Girardi is any better than Torre.

AndPrintIt said:

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No, I don't mean those Yankees. Were CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett on those teams? See, there is a little thing called "free agency" that often changes a team's roster from year to year. It's kind of new. You should check into it.

The 2000 team had an aging Clemens and Orlando Hernandez as starters. Do you really want to compare those two with Sabathia/Burnett? Really?

Do you think the Cubs will spend $423 million on three players to help the new manager win as the Yankees did for Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixeria when Girardi worked his "magic"?

joeydafish said:

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All hail andprintit!!! King of the burns!!! Kap is out of your league buddy.

joeydafish said:

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Pinella was a winner from other organizations too....

LPsports said:

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My vote is with Joe Girardi. He has more experience then Ryne Sandberg and he was trained by one of the best minds in baseball in Don Zimmer. He'll be great at handling the young guys coming in.
Ryne needs more time in the minors, lets not rush him into something he's not ready for. We'd be setting him up to fail.
Whoever it ends up being I just hope we can get rid of Larry Rothchilds once and for all. I am tired of watching him sit on the bench with his thumb up his ass after his pitcher has walked 2 in a row. We all know Lilly and Dempster are good for 6-7 innings, so why do they not have people warming up till the other team gets 2 runners on base sometimes. It drives me flippen nuts.
Some have called for management to get rid of Rameriz. He's had the worst season of his life this year,but getting rid of him would be a huge mistake. Just like getting rid of Edmunds and DeRosa for Bradley. A -Ram has had 5 of the last 6 years over 100 RBI's you just don't give up on a guy like that over one bad season.

David Aron said:

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Kap, you are right on. We've seen enough managers in recent years to know it takes two key skills to manage the Cubs: Knowing how to win and knowing how to be a Cub. Ryno only has one of these skills; Torre, Piniella, Baker, Baylor, only have the other. It's Girardi, and Brenly is a distant second. I love Ryno, grew up watching him, but the big market Cubs should not be a proving ground for new managers.

Steven Wills said:

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I love Girardi, I think he would be the best choice for the cubs, however you are overlooking the fact that Joe might stay with the Yankees. If the Yankees win the world series again this year, and he gets offered $10 million to coach NY again next year. That's a tough decision $6 million from the Cubs, or $10 million from NY, and winning back to back championships.
Maybe Girardi would take less money just to be the manager of the Cubs, but if there is anything I've learned from this new era in sports it's that money talks.
Kap, do you think Girardi would take less money to manage the Cubs?

TracyT said:

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Girardi was my choice before they selected Piniella. However, logic dictates that he's staying in NY. If Ricketts can somehow pry him away, then great. But it's unlikely. And why should he come to Chicago? NY, albeit with tons of pressure, is the gold standard in winning. The Cubs? A second-tier ball club that doesn't know how to become a premier organization.

cedarpip said:

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I totally agree with you, David. Sandberg was a great Cub, but he is wrong for managing this team. He has to do what Girardi did; go manage a low profile market team and prove he has what it takes, then he can move on to a higher profile job. This is a no-brainer, and even Brenly ranks higher in my mind that Sandberg. There literally is no rationalizing Sandberg as manager. He has never won in the majors as a manager, because he has ZERO experience at that level. People don't buy tickets because of the manager, they buy because of the product on the field. The Colvin and Castro era has begun, bring in Girardi and we will win.

cadarnell said:

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so if there is no rationalizing the ryno as a manager, then why does Hendry say he is a candidate for the job? Is Hendry being irrational?

joeydafish said:

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low profile? As things line up now for next year the Cubs can't be expected to challenge either the Cardinals or the Reds, how much lower profile can you go? Do they need to relocate to Idaho in order to justfy hiring Sandberg? Dedicated employees that put in time, show loyalty and most importantly show sucess should be promoted within their company. How did Hendry get where he is? He never put together a World Series team, in fact he's failed miserably more times than not. Even Girardi at one time was NOT a World Series manager, let Sandberg have his go. In fact how does Hendry KEEP his job?

cedarpip said:

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Hendry is doing the politically correct thing to do.

joeydafish said:

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Hendry doing anything correct...is just near impossible.

Edelweiss said:

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Whoever decides to take on the Cubs next year,is less relevant than getting Lou out of here before the season's end. The team needs an interim manager now. Lou is driving fans away with his treatment of some of his players. Those of us who sit near the Cubs dugout have heard things that make our hair stand on end. Lou is probably showing signs of Alzheimers, though he is still fairly young (my age). Just because he was a great, Hall-of-Fame caliber manager does not justify keeping him in his present condition,

cadarnell said:

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wow ... interesting thoughts. If they are going to go the way of Sandberg, it would be great to see him up there this year.

Carole Kuhrt Brewer said:

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Agree 100 percent--he's the man.

Max Power said:

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If Girardi chose the Cubs over the Yankees, you'd have to question if his mental state. Let's see, the most successful franchise in sports history...or the Cubs? The franchise who after a disapointing end to the 2008 season that adds Aaron Miles, Kevin Gregg, and Milton Bradley...or the one who adds CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Nick Swisher, and Mark Texiera?
I have the extra inning package, Girardi is an Ok manager, at best. His handling of the bullpen and his destroying of Jobba Chamberlain is almost criminal. He handles the press very well. He does fill out the line-up card well. But with Jeter, Cano, Arod, Tex, Swisher, Posada... is that really saying much?
He's not bad manager, but he isn't great, either. Yes he won the WS last year, but come on, that free agent binge had a hell of a lot more to do with it than anything else. He's also the only Yankees manager to miss the playoffs in the past 15 years.
If the recent past has taught anything, it's that the shelf life of a Cubs manager is about three years. And paying top dollar for a manager or coaches (don't even get me started on el fraude-Rudy Jaramillo) or going for the biggest name on the market, which the Cubs have done on their last three hires, does not equal results.
I say, go cheap, spend the money for something better than a guy that won't mean more than a win or two, if any. Spend it on scouting or player development, or better yet, a secondbaseman.
If Sandberg will do it for low pay, which he probably would, give it to him, see what he's got. This team is going nowhere next year, anyway. When he was told he'd have to earn it in the minors, he called Hendry's bluff, and did it. If Hendry goes back on his word, he looks bad. Not throwing millions of dollars at a hitting coach bad, but still.

joeydafish said:

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Max Power you are on fire! Just one correction however...if Hendry goes back on his word with Sandberg he'll look WORSE as he ALREADY LOOKS BAD...REAL BAD. Jaramillo is just his version of another overpaid "star" just not a player, a coach. I wonder if there was a World Famous Gum Scraper would Hendry hire and overpay him/her to clean gum off the dugout bench? Hey, whoever manages next year will be hardpressed to win and turn a Hendry's ear into a silk purse and if the Cubs think Girardi is the man so be it but there is a far cry from the Yankees lineup and the 2011 Cubs line up. Better to let somebody like Sandberg start from scratch without ANY expectations rather than Girardi to start with expectations of turning the Cubs into the Yankees of the midwest. All is moot until the roster gets turned over and Hendry is gone?

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