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Tom Ricketts Thinks Big Market...Cubs Fans Think Small Town

Rock Mamola

Producer/Host on WSCR 670AM The Score.

Of all the things that came about from Lou Piniella retirement speech and the following Jim Hendry re-hiring press conference, the one thing that reeks most of all is most Cubs' fans reacting.  I understand that Cubs' fans are upset that Jim Hendry has been given the public vote of confidence from Wrigley's #1 fan and owner Tom Ricketts.  I understand that Cubs' fans are unhappy with the fact that the 2010 season has gone not even close to plan.
However I do not understand how Cubs' fans can continue to think "small market" when the organization itself said yesterday "big market".  In other words, how can a big market franchise make a small market hire with Ryne Sandberg as the next manager of the Chicago Cubs

I see nothing wrong with Ryno as a candidate for the job, but only in terms of a kind gesture from the organization to get the interview.  A sit down to discuss how Sandberg fits in the future of the Cubs organization is something I (in fact) would expect from the Cubs. But to put Sandberg's name in the running with the possibility of landing Bob Brenley, Joe Girardi, or even Tony LaRussa is beyond ignorant.  
I do not understand how Cubs' fans can demand so much that they overlook smart baseball moves when it comes to the people running their own franchise.  What has Ryne Sandberg done to earn the right to lead the Chicago Cubs toward their first World Series in over a century?
A. Was it his stellar 255-259 record as a manager of the Peoria Chiefs, Tennessee Smokies, and Iowa Cubs?
B. Was it his hall of fame career manning second base for 15 of his 16 years in MLB?

C. Was it his great induction speech at the hall of fame where he chastised the one's who cheated the game, and honored those (like himself?) who played the game the right way?
Although Sandberg may be a fan favorite, the last thing the Ricketts family should do is listen to the fans when it comes to hiring the next manager of the Cubs. 

How can Jim Hendry say yesterday:
"At the end of the day, we want the best manager moving forward.  We'd like it to be someone who isn't a short term kind of guy.  We're the Chicago Cubs.  We're a big market."
Followed up by the owner Tom Ricketts saying:
"I think as long as whoever is coming in understands that this is a large market team with a great fan base that has high expectations will be fine."
Even Lou Piniella in his swan song serenade mentioned:
"This is a big-market town, big-market team," he said. "People want you to win. They haven't won here in a long time and you can't blame them for that."
So if each of the three headed monster mentioned the words "big/large market", how can the next leader of this high payroll, big market, high expectation team be a guy who has not coached a game in the major leagues?   
It befuddles me that in an off season where there will be numerous former World Series winning managers on the market, that Cubs' fans would choose one of their own over experienced and proven winners.  One of their own who has an under .500 record in the minor leagues with the same talent that the big league team is bringing up currently.  How can Cubs' fans seriously ponder Ryne Sandberg as their manager of next season when he has not sniffed as much MLB coaching experience as Mark McGwire?
Currently in MLB there are two managers who have been hired to run teams with no previous MLB coaching experience.  The Marlins temporary manager Edwin Rodriguez was just named to lead the team after the fish fired Freddi Gonzalez on a count of not getting along with their superstar shortstop.  The other is Tony LaRussa who was hired in the summer of 1979 with the Chicago White Sox replacing Don Kessinger

Every other manager currently in MLB from Brad Mills of the Astros to Don Wakamatsu of the Mariners had had some coaching experience on the MLB level before becoming a manager.  What makes Sandberg so special that Cubs' fans would take him over Joe Girardi, Tony LaRussa, Bob Brenley or even Joe Torre (contract ends after this season)?
Ryne Sandberg has done NOTHING to become a major league manager yet, and until he does should not be SERIOUSLY considered as a manager of a big league ball club.  For all the talk between Cubs and Sox fans about whom is the smarter fan, Cubs fans need to realize the big picture here.   
The Chicago Cubs are a $726 million dollar machine of a baseball franchise.  Every single year Wrigley Field gets crammed with over three million people to come watch this ball club.  The money, the fan base, and the passion for winning has never been greater.  That is big market baseball, and Ryne Sandberg is not ready to take it on.
Rock Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and co-host of The Joe O And Rock Show on WSCR 670AM The Score
You can follow The Mully And Hanley Morning Show at
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Jimmy Greenfield said:


Girardi was a bench coach for one season before becoming a manager, LaRussa wasn't even a coach at the MLB for a full season before the Sox named him manager. Sandberg might not be the answer, but it's not because he hasn't been an MLB coach.

Rock Mamola said:


Girardi's first gig was with a minor league team in FLA.

LaRussa was the second team in town

The Cubs are a much bigger entity, deserves a proven winner over a former player w/NO experience.

Jimmy Greenfield said:


How is Girardi's minor league job relevant to your argument that the manager needs MLB coaching experience?

And in Girardi, the Yankees hired a failed manager with little experience. Sandberg isn't some podunk kid who'd be in over his head.

Rock Mamola said:


Girardi was a bench coach with the Yankees in 2005. That right there is more experience than Ryno has had as a MLB coach/manager.

Girardi took a team with a 16 million dollar payroll to a respectable 78-84 record in 2006.

My point is can the Cubs say one thing (big market) and hire a man with no experience to lead that (big market) team?

You gonna hire the guy who washes dishes to run Gibson's? You going to hire a PT intern to run a radio station? You going to hire a 16 year old go-kart racer as the head of a NASCAR pit crew?

The point is you need to hire someone for such a (big market) position with someone who has at least had a chance in another market.

Rock Mamola said:



your beard gets creepier everyday...that Twitter pic is f'n insane!

Jimmy Greenfield said:


RedEye did a great job with those pics, truly made my beard look menacing as hell. Chris Smith and Mike Rich made it happen.

mlkirchw said:

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The key thing to realize in dismissing Ryno based on the points you make here is that these realities are never going to change. The Cubs are always going to be a big market team that expects to win and Ryno will always be lacking major league coaching experience. So, he's a hall of fame player who's ridden busses for 4 years for the chance to lead your long are you going to string him along??

iowagyrl said:

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Ryne Sandberg is not "major league" material, no matter how much experience he gets! He's a tightly wound control freak, prone to tirades that make Lou's temper tantrums look like a cake walk. Sentimentality has no place in the conversation.

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