Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whachootalkinbout, Ryno?

Hall of Fame second baseman and current Iowa Cubs manager Ryne Sandberg wants to manage the Chicago Cubs. The position is currently vacant for the 2011 season pending the front office's final decision.

We've heard from people who knew Ryne Sandberg personally that he is not that bright, to put it mildly. His comments on Cubs Insider Sunday morning seemed to confirm that he is not smart enough to manage at the major-league level. He believes Wrigley Field and the day-game schedule (only 30 home night games instead of 55, like all other teams) are to the Cubs' advantage despite their miserable record of mediocrity and 102 years without a title. After angrily typing out a letter to the manager of the Iowa Cubs, we settled on this toned-down version:

Sept. 15, 2010

Mr. Ryne Sandberg
Iowa Cubs
1 Line Dr
Des Moines IA 50309-4640

Dear Mr. Sandberg:

I found your comments on the Sept. 12 edition of Cubs Insider on WGN Radio grossly inaccurate and irresponsible. You mentioned Wrigley Field and day games as being advantages for the Chicago Cubs. Given the Cubs’ championship drought, I don’t understand that. How many World Series championships have the Cubs won in the night-game era (1939-present)? They have never won a championship while playing in Wrigley Field. In fact, the Cubs’ habit of winning pennants stopped abruptly right around the time their opponents shifted to a night-game schedule. Furthermore, since 1945, the Cubs have exceeded 50 wins per season in Wrigley Field just three times. The Cardinals have won 50 games per season more than three times just in the previous decade. So rather than being an advantage, it seems that the day-game schedule and Wrigley Field present real obstacles to winning.

For the Cubs to have a reasonable chance to win a championship, they need the ownership to make extensive upgrades to Wrigley Field’s seating and player facilities—similar to the K.C. Royals’ $250 million ballpark upgrade before this season. Most importantly, the ownership needs to persuade the alderman to allow the Cubs 55 night home games per season, seven nights a week—just like their opponents. Just like the Yankees, who are perennial contenders. In this endeavor, the Ricketts family will need public support from the players and coaching staff. Comments celebrating the day-game schedule that dooms the Cubs to mediocrity are not helpful.

Best wishes for the offseason.



["Winning a pennant" means reaching the World Series but not winning it.]

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