The Cubbies Crib PSA: November 2011


The Chicago Cubs officially introduced Jed Hoyer as their general manager today, but that is something we will go into full detail covering tomorrow. There were no real surprises to come from the Hoyer press conference, although President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein admitted that Aramis Ramirez will likely not be with the Cubs in 2012, and that a decision on whether Mike Quade will return next season as the Cubs’ manager will be made soon.

I wanted to take this time out to introduce a new feature on Cubbies Crib. This new feature, or series, will be called “The Cubbies Crib PSA”. At the beginning of each month there will be a public service announcement in the form of an article. This is where I will sort of cover a couple areas related to the Cubs without following a specific theme. This essentially is a rant and rave where two topics related to the Cubs will be discussed. It is my hopes that these topics will relate to something that happened the previous month. So with that being said, lets begin with the inaugural Cubbies Crib Public Service Announcement.

Ryne Sandberg For Manager?

Along with the change in the front office, many fans are anticipating a change at the manager’s position for the Cubs. That change is warranted. We have already gone to great lengths explaining why Mike Quade is not a major league manager, and that is something that Epstein and Hoyer probably have realized before they officially joined the Cubs’ front office. However assuming that Quade is indeed fired, this will be one of the first major decisions that Epstein and Hoyer will make with the Cubs. That decisions of course is who is going succeed Quade.

By connecting of the fots, many reports have speculated that Ryne Sandberg is the favorite to become the next manager of the Cubs. Epstein interviewed Sandberg last winter to be manager of the Red Sox Triple A- affiliate, but Sandberg wound up in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. This of course, was all after Sandberg was passed over by former Cubs’ general manager Jim Hendry in favor of Quade.

But now the times has come for a possible reunion between Sandberg and the Cubs, and many Cubs’ fans are salivating at that thought. However, my question is why? Why is Sandberg so different from Quade? Of course this where most Cubs loyalist would point to the fact that Sandberg is a hall of fame second baseman, and has succeeded at every minor league level as a manager. But neither of those two things mean that Sandberg is going to be a good manager at the major league level. As a prospect finds out, the major leagues is much different from the minor leagues. Once Sandberg finds his first major league managerial position, he too will likely find out the difference between the two systems.

It is my belief that most Cubs’ fans feel loyal to Sandberg because of the contributions he made to the team while playing for them. That loyalty has blurred the vision of many fans into thinking that Sandberg is the undoubtedly the the best choice to replace Quade. I am not saying that Sandberg will not be a good manager, all I am saying is that the picture most fans are painting of Sandberg as manager may be obscured.

Too Much Intelligence For The Cubs’ Front Office?

For the most part, the Cubs additions of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been praised by many within the baseball industry. However, there are still a few reporters that feel the need to rain on the Cubs parade. Without naming names, to save those individuals the embarrassment, there are some that feel that the additions of Epstein and Hoyer will not do a single thing in changing the culture of the Cubs’ organization. In fact the belief circulating among those “devil advocates” is that Tom Ricketts has went about the front office changes in the wrong fashion. One report asked the question “how many GM’s do the Cubs do need?”

Now you can now fault those naive reporters, after all, they are probably the underlying victims of what was a poorly run Cubs’ front office for most of this past decade. The reason most Cubs’ fans are strangers to having a baseball guy watch over his baseball guy is because that–along with many other modern nuances of operating a baseball department–is something that the Cubs failed to pick up on. Whether it is the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, or Boston Red Sox those top tier of teams all have endless amounts of baseball personnel in their front office; and with Hoyer and Epstein in place, the Cubs could very join that class of teams within the next few seasons.

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