Friday, August 16, 2013

EXTRA: Ryne a Phillie or a Cubbie?

RYNO: The Phillie-in-training
Ryne Sandberg is a product of the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

He signed out of North Central High School in Spokane, Wash., back in 1978, played with assorted Phillies minor league affiliates and got in his first major league appearances with Philadelphia near the end of the 1981 season (one hit in six at-bats, 13 games played overall).

AND ON FRIDAY, the Philadelphia National League ball club named the 53-year-old Sandberg as their new manager. He gets to finish out the season, which thus far hasn’t been much better than either of the Chicago ball clubs.
RYNO: The Cubbie all-star
Sandberg finally gets to achieve his dream of being manager of a major league ball club. It would seem that the Phillies can claim to have promoted one of their own to the top spot – someone who has been with the organization at every level.

If only it weren’t for those couple of decades that Sandberg spent with the Chicago Cubs – both as an infielder whose play was good enough to get him into the Baseball Hall of Fame and as a manager of Cubs minor league affiliates. Maybe we can pretend the “Cubs” never happened! Although acquiring Sandberg as a minor league throw-in to balance out a trade of aging Phillies shortstop Larry Bowa for younger Cubs shortstop Ivan Dejesus was one of the few times the Cubs did something right!

Yes, there are those Cubs fans on Friday who are disgusted that one of their favorite team’s most popular ballplayers is now in charge of another team – and that they’ll have to see him as “the enemy” when the Phillies come to Chicago Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

TRAMMELL & WHITAKER: Ought to be in Hall
PARTICULARLY SINCE SANDBERG made it clear during his time in Chicago he wanted to be manager of the Chicago Cubs, which the new ownership made it clear they wanted no part of.

Could Sandberg really have been any worse than Herman Franks, Jim Essian or Jim Lefebvre in terms of leading the Cubs to dismal won-loss records? Probably not.

But there is one reason that Sandberg probably is better off never having been responsible for the home team lineup card at Wrigley Field. He would have had a lot of losses to his record, and that could have diminished his reputation.

VENTURA: Was '12 or '13 the fluke?
Just think of Alan Trammell, the one-time Detroit Tigers shortstop whom some fans think also belongs in the Hall of Fame (along with his counterpart second baseman Lou Whitaker).

HE LATER GOT a chance to manage the Tigers for three seasons – including that atrocious season in Detroit when the Tigers lost 119 games Which ought to put the trashy seasons we’re seeing this year in Chicago into perspective; one-time White Sox third baseman-turned-manager Robin Ventura isn't anywhere near as awful this season, and was far better last year.

How many Tigers fans can reminisce about Trammell and the ‘80s teams (a World Series victory in ’84 and a division title in ’87) without also remembering the year their team came within a single game of losing more than the 1962 New York Mets?


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