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Archives for : Ryne Sandberg

Chicago Baseball GM Shake Up!

Let’s talk a little baseball, eh?  Not about the October playoffs specifically, but what’s going down in Chicago.  I’m talking about the signing of Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox as the next GM of the Chicago Cubs.

Cubs fans are buzzing with anticipation knowing Epstein’s track record with the Red Sox.  The Red Sox used to be in the same position the Cubs are in currently, WAAAAAAAYYYYY too many decades passed without a World Series to call their own.  Epstein steps in and wham-bam, in less than a decade two world series under their belts.

On November 25, 2002, he became the youngest GM in the MLB history at the ripe old age of 28.  Two short years later, the Red Sox won their first World Series Championship.  Three years later, the team wins yet another.  Epstein might be young, but the guy certainly seems to know what he’s doing.  On October 11th, 2011, he signed a five-year contract worth $20 million.

With Epstein being given almost free reign to do what he pleases with the Cubs, there are many possibilities.  Going for him are the facts that he doesn’t have to compete with the pocketbooks of the likes of the Yankees nor with an overly involved media like in Boston.  Starting with this offseason fans can expect the Cubs to be active in trades and free agency, especially for a power hitting first baseman. Also, there are a number of starting pitchers that can be brought in like C.J. Wilson that can help bring this team to be a real competitor in his first season.  Epstein has a real knack for finding talent in the draft and then have them come up in the ranks and bring the team big wins.

As if the Cubs weren’t excited enough, new news is starting to emerge.  According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Cubs want to renew ties with Ryne Sandberg.

According to the Sun-Times, “sources close to the Cubs, along with those close to Sandberg, have said in recent weeks that they expect reconciliation this off-season.” The Cubs and Sandberg have not discussed the situation of late but all of that is expected to change once Epstein is officially in place.

It is not clear if Sandberg could be a new manager or if he would hold a prestigious spot on the Cubs’ coaching staff.

On the other side of town, the Chicago White Sox have been scrambling a bit since Ozzie Guillen was shipped to South Beach before the 2011 season even ended.  He was quickly replaced with former White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura.  Ventura spent 10 years with the White Sox and is very familiar with them, but he lacks experience as a manager.  Guillen was never a warm fuzzy GM with his players or with the media or anyone else for that matter.  Ventura gets the privilege of going in there with a clean slate and all the possibilities in the world.

What we do know, is the 2012 Chicago baseball scene will be very, very different than what is was in 2011, and thank goodness for that!

Out with the Lou, In with the Sandberg?

Sandberg next cubs manager?

Hall of Famer and Chicago Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg might be in live to be the next Cubs manager after Lou Piniella annouces his retirement.

Just today Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella annouced that he will retire as Cubs manager at the conclusion of the 2010 baseball season.   During  Sweet Lou’s tenure, the Chicago Cubs went from lovable losers to annual contenders but failed to bring home the ultimate prize– a World Series Championship.  Lou Piniella was supposed to be the answer to a team loaded with talent that just didn’t have that killer instinct.  Lou’s firey personality and sometimes comical on-the-field antics were supposed to motivate as well as keep the players loose.  During Lou Piniella time as Cubs manager, they made the playoffs twice (in 2007 and 2008) but ended up getting swept in the first round both years

Today, the Cubs are in a serious free fall laiden with aging players (and the awful contracts to go along with them).  Cub fans have little to be excited about moving forward with the idea of Alphonso Soriano (19M/year), Kosuke Fukudome (14M/year) and Carlos Zambrano (18.8M/year) locked up for several more years with expensive back-ended contracts.  Mired in yet another disappointing season of baseball at Wrigley Field, Cubs fans are looking for anything to be optimistic about.  The only bright spots this year have been the play closer Carlos Marmol and rookies Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin. 

That all changed today as Lou Piniella annouced he is out after 4 years as the Cubs Manager.  While a change of manager typically means little to an organization not expected to be relevant anytime soon, the Cubs have a manager in waiting that has Cub fans drooling – Ryne Sandberg.  For the past 4 seasons, Ryno has been quiently working his way up the Cubs managerial depth chart.  In 2007-08 Sandberg managed the Peoria Chiefs before moving up to manage the AAA Tennessee. This year Ryne Sandberg took over the helm of the Iowa Cubs.  Ryne Sandberg is the only MLB Hall of Famer to manage in the minor leagues.  Although Sandberg is far from being a lock to land the Cubs full time job, odds are in his favor.  Ryne Sandberg was (and still is) the face of the organization to many Cub fans who grew up in the 1980’s and 90’s (myself included). 

While all of Cub Nation is buzzing with the prospect of Ryne Sandberg returning to Wrigley Field to manage the Cubs- Lou Piniella and the 2010 Cubs are still playing.  With the Cubs on the cusp of dropping out of contention 10.5 games out of first place, tickets are readily available in our Chicago Cubs Tickets section – many tickets below face value.  If you are looking for Cheap Chicago Cubs Tickets also be sure to check out ChicagoingTickets.com who special in Chicagoland event tickets.