Cubs: Ryne Sandberg’s ties to the franchise grow even stronger

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

It’s no surprise that one of the most beloved Chicago Cubs players of all-time continues to grow closer and closer to his former club.

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is joining the organization’s Marquee Network as a ‘multi-platform analyst’ that will see the former Chicago second baseman on the air in pre- and post-game shows, select spring training and regular season broadcasts and in other ways throughout the upcoming campaign.

"“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the incredible team at Marquee Sports Network,” said Sandberg. “I look forward to offering insight and sharing my stories to further connect with Cubs fans across the country, and pass along knowledge to the next generation of athletes and fans.”"

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The announcement marks the latest chapter in Ryno’s lengthy Cubs story. He spent 15 years on the North Side, earning 10 All-Star selections, nine Gold Gloves and seven Silver Sluggers. He also won National League MVP honors in 1984 when he led the league in hits and triples.

Sandberg is just the latest former Cub to transition to the booth in some capacity as a member of Marquee Sports Network. He joins a list that features Ryan Dempster, Sean Marshall, Doug Glanville, Ryan Sweeney, Carlos Pena, Mark DeRosa, Rick Sutcliffe, Mark Grace, Dan Plesac and Lou Piniella.

"“Ryne’s play on the field will forever be a part of Cubs lore, while off the field Ryne has been an All-Star contributor to our community through his efforts with Cubs Charities and as a Cubs ambassador.  By joining the Marquee team, Ryne’s reach will expand again and Cubs fans will get the benefit of his incredible knowledge and passion for the game we all love,” said team President of Business Operations, Crane Kenney."

Cubs have work to do when it comes to Marquee Network

As year two of the network nears, there is still a great deal of uncertainty. One week from Opening Day, there are no streaming service options on the table for fans – leaving countless households with no way to watch the team this year. It’s safe to say Pat Hughes and 670 WSCR might see some number spike with so many folks left in the dark on the TV side of the equation.

And, for those who actually can watch the games, let’s hope fans in the stands and a more ‘normal’ season leads to better broadcasts. Three-person booths felt forced and awkward and there was never any real flow. Perhaps the conditions surrounding the 2020 season prompted this – or maybe the brain trust has more work to do.

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In the booth, for the first time in over a decade, Len Kasper won’t have the call. Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi will team up with Jim Deshaies as the one-two punch on Marquee this season – and, by the sounds of it, we’ll see plenty of Ryno in the mix, as well.