By Shawn Muller-
(CBS) I understand why people so wrapped up in the “Who’s going to be the next Cubs manager” hoopla, but, for the love of everything sacred, stop complaining about Ryne Sandberg. If I didn’t know any better, I could have sworn that Epstein and the front office decided against interviewing Connie Mack, Casey Stengel, or Sparky Anderson for the job.
I mean seriously Cubs fans — get a grip!
I’m sorry that all the pro-Ryno Cubs fans aren’t going to get their wish, but it is time to put the Kleenex box away and start putting a little more faith and trust towards Epstein and his crew.
I mean, the “Boston Connection” (as I like to call the new front office) did build two world title teams in baseball’s other championship graveyard known as Boston. The guys obviously know how to win, and they know what it takes to build a contender. So throwing little temper tantrums because Sandberg is not an option right now isn’t going to help matters at all.
Contrary to popular belief, Sandberg wasn’t shunned by the new regime. Not being interviewed for the position wasn’t “childish” (as Billy Corgan stated). Epstein and company just feel that Sandberg isn’t qualified enough for the position at this point in time in his managerial career.
That’s all there is to it.
Epstein said he was looking for a guy with major league experience, and Sandberg does not have that experience. Baseball is a business first and foremost, and just like any other business, the more qualified candidates usually end up getting the promotion — there are more qualified candidates.
Look at it this way: Instead of complaining about Sandberg not getting the managerial seat in Chicago, think of it as Epstein doing Cubs fans a favor.
Sandberg is–and will forever remain– one of the all-time greats in franchise history and will be always remembered for his play on the field. Does any true Cubs fan really want to see that legacy tarnished for the decisions he makes in the dugout? You can’t honestly say that your feelings towards him wouldn’t change—even in the slightest—if he failed in his quest to bring a title home to the North Side for the first time since Frank Chance was managing the club.
So, since he is not going to be the manager now—or anytime in the near future– you won’t have to worry about your feelings toward Sandberg changing at all. Besides, won’t you be much happier being ticked off at a guy like Terry Francona, Mike Maddux, or Pete Mackanin, like you were when Dusty Baker, Lou Piniella, and Mike Quade were in charge instead?
It’s inevitable and it happens no matter who is managing the team. You know that whoever takes the reins on the North Side is going to be booed incessantly sooner or later, so won’t you be happier booing someone that isn’t as beloved as Sandberg?
See, you are coming around on Epstein’s decision to look elsewhere, now aren’t you?
It doesn’t feel so bad now, does it?
When you really think about it, it’s not like any manager—regardless of the name on the back of the jersey– is going to make a huge difference in 2012. All die-hard Cubs fans—well, the realistic ones who don’t expect titles every season, anyway—should expect another sub-par season at Wrigley Field. There is no starting pitching, no bullpen, and a razor-thin offensive lineup. With the team Chicago is most likely going to send out on Opening Day—even after we see what they do in free agency–there is not one scenario where I envision the Cubs making any kind of noise in the Central Division, let alone the National League.
Yes, Chicago is starved for a managerial hire, but let’s see how the other pieces of the puzzle fit together before we disagree with Epstein’s pick for manager. The guy hasn’t even been with the Cubs organization for a month—and already—people are complaining. Let’s not turn this non-issue into an issue. Sandberg just wasn’t viewed as the right fit for the job at this point in time for the organization.
I promise you Epstein knows what he is doing.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24. Read more of his blogs here.