Sunday, August 21, 2011
Could Jim Hendry's firing open the door for Ryne Sandberg?
The stars may finally be aligning for Ryne Sandberg.
After being passed over for the Cubs managerial position this past offseason, things are now looking up for him. With Jim Hendry gone, it is likely that Mike Quade will follow him, once a new GM is hired.
Sandberg has said that he wouldn't rule out a return to the Cubs, "if the position opens up in the future", which might be sooner than he originally thought. In addition, Hendry's dismissal might increase the odds for a Sandberg hiring, as Hendry apparently thought that Sandberg wasn't even one of the top 4 candidates for the job.
The fact is that Sandberg has a strong record of success as a minor league manager. Since being jilted by the Cubs, he latched on with the Phillies' AAA affiliate, Lehigh Valley, and currently has them in a tie for first the the International League's North division.
Another plus for Sandberg is that, as a manager for the Cubs farm system, he has worked with a lot of the players who are expected to be the core of the Cubs future. Players like Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Brett Jackson.
Finally, as Gene Wojciechowski alluded to back in October 2010, Quade may have been hired because he was cheaper than Sandberg. Quade's 2-year contract was estimated to be worth about $1.8 to $2.0 million. A lot less than the $15 million the Cubs paid Lou Piniella during his 4 years here. Sandberg may have commanded a bit more than Quade (I'm guessting in the $3-4 million range), based on his name alone. Now, with several big contracts coming off the books after this season, the Cubs may feel that they can afford Sandberg.
Many people feel that the Cubs picked the wrong guy to be their manager. Well, now they may have a chance at a do over.