A League of Her Own

Real Thursday Headlines: Happy Trails, Ryne Sandberg

NEW YORK - JULY 14:  Ryne Sandberg, formerly of the Chicago Cubs, attends Vitaminwater's 'Homers on the Hudson' contest at Chelsea Piers Lighthouse July 14, 2008 in New York City.  (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
So long for now

Jim Hendry announced yesterday that Ryne Sandberg had broken up with the Cubs. Hendry wanted Ryno back, but only as manager of Iowa. 
"I don't think that was ever in his plans, to be in the minor leagues after this year," Hendry said. "Whatever other opportunities he looks into, he always will be welcome here. He knows that. If he chooses that he wants to come to spring training, that would be great. If he wants to pursue other opportunities with somebody else, that would be up to him.

The decision was totally his. I never got the sense that if he wasn't the (Cubs') manager he was going to go back there. We left it entirely up to him. ... That's the decision he made. He always will be a beloved Cub, and hopefully we'll hook up in the path that he feels is appropriate in the near future."
The same day that the Cubs bid farewell to a legend, they brought another legend back into the organization.

During a conference call from Mesa, Ariz., where the Cubs are holding their organization meetings, general manager Jim Hendry and field boss Mike Quade praised new bench coach Pat Listach and new staff assistant Dave Keller.

(snip)

Listach, 43, returns to the Cubs after two years as the third-base coach for the Washington Nationals. He previously worked as a manager and hitting coach in the Cubs system.

Keller, 51, has been the Cubs' minor-league hitting coordinator for the past seven years. In his new role, he will be in uniform before games to help during batting practice and other drills.


The Cubs are expecting Aramis Ramirez to pick up his option year sometime this week.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez figures to make it official as early as Thursday that he has re-upped for 2011 for $14.6 million. Ramirez had an out clause in his contract, but he told us repeatedly, and again in Houston on the final weekend of the season, that he'd be back.

Aramis will be back, but don't expect that he'll get any help.

Don't count on Adam Dunn or Cliff Lee -- or even Derrek Lee -- in a Cubs uniform next season.

With a payroll budget that figures to leave little room for big-shot free agents, indications are that general manager Jim Hendry is focusing more on the likes of lefty-hitting Nick Johnson -- if the medicals look good enough -- for first base and is keeping an eye on former Cub Kerry Wood's status for a possible bullpen job.

The Cubs' offseason priorities are adding a starting pitcher, a right-handed reliever and a first baseman



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39 Comments

gravedigger said:

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Good. Minor upgrades are all this team needs.

For me to become a serial killer.

flyball said:

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better than another huge contract

although if they overpay Nick Johnson I will throw things

HackWilson09 said:

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He may be as cheap as Nady was. But if the Cubs bring in Nick Johnson, they'll have to also hire a full-time player to take his place when he's hurt.

He does have an unbelievable career OBP of .400, while striking out about half as much as Dunn. But where does he hit? He's XL and slow, so you can't benefit from the OBP at the top of the order. Along with Ramirez and Soto, this would really clog the basepaths.

flyball said:

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do we get a 2 for 1 deal then?

JulieDiCaro said:

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this is the theme in Chicago today. Jay Cutler also said that the Bears "just have a few small things to clean up."

Like 6 interceptions in one half.

Doc said:

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I'm glad to see that Sandberg has decided to leave all this failure behind him.

gravedigger said:

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Exactly. I dont understand fans who are sad about this. Sandberg broke free from this nonsense, you should feel happy for him.

Teebob2000 said:

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We haz a selfish sad. Happy for his future, sad we'll not see him in a Cubs dugout.

Like when a loved one dies: happy they're in heaven with Jeebus, sad they're no longer sitting on the couch.

cadarnell said:

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I never know when some of you guys are being sarcastic. Maybe you are, but I am of the opinion that we are going to win it all someday. Like Steve Goodman said, "You know the law of averages says, anything will happen that can." and I believe that wholeheartedly. And when we do win it all I am going to laugh, cry, drink, dance, have gratuitous sex, and party like it's 1999 ... And with every fiber in my being, I want Ryne Sandberg to be a part of that (not the sex part though) .. I am very sad to see him go and like a dog sitting in a picture window waiting for his owner to return, I am now waiting for the Ryno to come back to sweet home to Chicago.

Teebob2000 said:

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The Goodman sentiment, while sweet and all (I suppose), doesn't quite work when applied to decades of piss-poor decisions running a major league baseball team. You can't accident your way into a championship.

And sex is *NEVER* gratuitous.

cadarnell said:

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Well, A lot of folks say the whole universe is an accident. If that's possible then a world series championship for the Cubbies is certainly possible as well. We could have a season just sort of work out for us through dumb luck someday .. never know I guess.

I'll be too drunk to have sex anyway, if we win it all ... thinking more about what I'll be doing the night we win the world series, I'm not sure what I'll do really. I may just sit there in front of the TV for hours with glazed over eyes and a dead stare on my face ... anyway, can't wait to find out .. we will win someday, and Ryno needs to be there on the field somewhere.

flyball said:

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if it looks like the Cubs are going to win the WS you know the Cubs will have everyone from the last 80 years there to showcase

but becareful what you say, "we will win someday, and Ryno needs to be there on the field somewhere" if the Cubs win the WS and Sandberg is the manager of the losing team I will laugh

flyball said:

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the Cubs might win someday, but I just don't think it will be in the next few years, if Sandberg can go get some experience and return that would be great, but in the meantime he wasn't going to be the manager and I don't think he should have to hang out in Iowa for the next few years waiting for Quade to leave or get fired

gravedigger said:

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Right. Go experience winning someplace else. When you've had that wonderful opportunity, you can come waste away over here, where your heart is.

gravedigger said:

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I was not being sarcastic. Ryne is free from people like you and me. That's a good thing.

cadarnell said:

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you know it's funny GD ... I've never really cheered very hard for players that have left the teams I cheer for, but I probably will for Ryne. If he gets a job as a manager that will be my second team for as long as he is there ... He'll never be free from me ..haha

plamorte said:

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Is Hendry high? Nick Johnson will sprain/tweak/tear something while signing the damn contract!

HackWilson09 said:

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You're forgetting Hendry's checklist for free agent signings.

1. Has he had at least 2 debilitating injuries in his career?

2. Is he coming off a bad year?

3. Is he cheap?

4. Is there at least a 1.2% chance that next year could magically become his career year?

5. Does nobody else want him?

6. Can I just overpay him anyway, just for kicks? And give him extra years and a non-trade agreement?

summerguy said:

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Who is shocked that Ramirez picked up his option... yeah no one should be shocked by this. He had a terrible year (2nd half doesn't count because there was no pressure to perform).

He also dragged it out and acted like he was contemplating and really thinking about this as a tough decision. Please.

That being said... he is the best 3rd baseman we have had since Santo but it seems like Ramirez could be even better than he has if he could actually step up and carry a team once in a while. He has tanked teams with his slumps.

Teebob2000 said:

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Not shocked, no. And certainly don't begrudge him coming back, either, faked contemplation or not. At his age, and considering his numbers from recent seasons (a good-ish 2009 number-wise, but played only half a season!), where else would he go and make anywhere near that money? This is his last year to cash in unless he has MVP numbers in 2011. Good for him.

HackWilson09 said:

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Ramirez is such a strange case. His numbers tell you that he is the model of consistency, (ignoring last year) and as a contact hitter who usually bats .300, he still has the ugliest slumps.

The problem with DLee and Ramirez as a 3-4 combo, is that they were both very streaky like that. And so is Soriano. We need consistency and stability. But most of all, Ramirez only thrives as a second or third banana. He crumples when he's counted on too much.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Don't know how many of you saw my tweets from Barry Rozner on The Score, but here are the highlights:

1) Ryno was never in serious contention for the manager job.

2) The Cubs were pacifying Ryno by letting him manage in the minors--they never expected him to start winning and developing players. He put them in an awkward position when he started doing well.

3) Ryno isn't in the Hendry Buddy System and no one outside the Hendry Buddy System has a shot at doing anything inside the organization. Oneri Fleita is taking over at AAA Iowa--he's very close to Hendry and Randy Bush.

4) The manager's job has always been Quade's because of his close relationship with Jim Hendry.

And . . scene.

cadarnell said:

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well ryne deserved a lot better than all that ... geeez, you work your ass off for someone and they say goodbye to you when you should be up for a promotion. maybe ryno should take aim at hendry's job ...

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh and ALSO, Rozner openly wondered if the Cubs brought some of the AAA team up to sit on the bench (like Hoffpauir) in order to sabotage Ryno down the stretch and to give them an excuse for not hiring him. That's when things started getting a little tin-foil hat-y

cadarnell said:

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there seems to be a lot of things to wonder about with hendry's "managerial search" .. I still wonder if girardi really had no interest or if he was tipped off that the fix was in. Boy I sure hope Q can bring back the magic the team had in the final 37 games, when they were out of contention, to next years team. If he doesn't, hendry will be in some hot water for hiring him over some other, stronger candidates.

flyball said:

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I would be more surprised if it was an open search, I assume they go into the interviews already knowing who the top 2 candidates are

berselius said:

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It's a Way of Life™

JulieDiCaro said:

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Just bought a warm, fluffy sweater that I had to take off after 3 minutes because of the itch factor. Boo.

sloan peterson said:

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Was it wool? Or synthetic?

flyball said:

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even though it is against my usual "big contracts are a bad move" I would like the CUbs to do the following

sign Jeter, seriously, it would be hilarious, and awesome, and just, well, awesomely hilarious for the offseason

flyball said:

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I should qualify this as I want the Cubs to sign him as to make the offseason interesting, not because I actually think Jeter being on the team will be the big push needed for a good season, this is aan entertainment value signing only

sloan peterson said:

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Warning: my mother adores Jeter! If the Cubs would sign Jeter, my mother will spend many,many hours yelling at the Cubs on tv, stating that they are "mr. Do-NOthings", and they don't try hard enough...

flyball said:

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also I feel this is probably the wrong place to be advertising Giants merchandise

Doc said:

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Sparky Anderson died. :(

jtbwriter said:

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Very sad-he had hospice care starting yesterday-guess God decided it was time. We were lucky enough to have him be a sports commentator for the local ABC station between the Reds/Tigers. A real legend.

Dmband said:

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From the looks of that picture, it appears Ryno has already been signed by the "Vitamin Waters". Guarantee they have a better record than the Cubs next year.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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They're the modern day equivalent of Dr. Johnstone's Miracle Elixir Barnstorming Team. Except they don't claim to cure consumption and the scarlet fever.

MillsChC said:

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Somebody tell Mora that Texas has been eliminated from the playoffs, and that the playoffs are over.

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