Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010
By Frankie OCSNChicago.com
Hello again everybody! Frankie O here from behind the bar at Harry Carays! What are we talking about this week? Well as much as we would like to get excited about the Cubs manager, Im not quite feeling it here. No offense, but for the fans I talk to, there were only two choices, Girardi or Ryno, and Girardi seemed like a pipe dream, so once again, Im getting some Cub fan disappointment, buy hey, IM USED TO IT!
Part of the reason is that people dont know Mike Quade like they do the others. Hes a great story: Local guy, baseball lifer and honest as the day is long. He also has a compelling presence. His problem is hes not the other two. My feeling all along was that it was going to be Sandberg. Since his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, I know I, and many others, have looked at him differently. Who knew he had that passion? Also, who knew he wanted to manage? That took the Cubs off guard four years ago and they told him that he needed to work his way up from the bottom.
To the surprise of most, he did it and he did it well. He had an obvious impact on the kids and his status as a Cub icon was a boost to the turnstiles at every level. And very importantly, his teams won and last year he was the manager of the year in the International League. My favorite part was that it seemed that every time I heard about his managerial exploits, he was getting thrown out of a game. Where did that come from? I love the passion. So in my humble opinion, riding buses, teaching kids and honing his craft was exactly what he needed to do to get the big chair once Lou left.
So I was a little surprised when owner Tom Ricketts talked about his three criteria for the new manager: 1) A good teacher and coach. 2) Understanding of being a Cub. 3) Commitment to the organization. HELLO! What he should have said is that he was going to choose whoever Jim Hendry told him to. Now as any of you who know me understand, Im a big fan of Jim Hendry, especially as a person. But, its more than obvious that a) This was his call and b) Hes not a Sandberg guy or more importantly, Sandberg is not his guy. As in almost every facet of life, it gets down to politics and in this case it is no different. Ive been hearing about Hendrys indifference towards Sandberg for a long time, but my feeling was that Jim gave him the opportunity to sink or swim and a decision would be made on the merits of that opportunity. Well, Im WRONG AGAIN!
So as we move forward, Im willing, as should all Cub fans, to give Mike Quade a chance. Hes definitely earned it. But I will do it wondering, what if? And if Tom Ricketts wants to have everyone understand everything Cub, wouldnt it be so Cub, to groom one of the faces of your organizational Mount Rushmore, then turn your back on him so that he could achieve greatness somewhere else? I have a feeling, that there are some rooting for that very thing today.