Andy McPhail snubs Ryne Sandberg
Orioles President Andy McPhail, of the royal baseball McPhail lineage (grandpa Larry, dad Lee) had a chance to snag another ex-Cub and went another direction today by hiring non-nonsense manager, Buck Showalter. Recent speculation by Tribster, Steve Rosenbloom, had Sandberg on Andy's speed dial but it seems it wasn't so. The O's beat writer for mlb.com said the short list was former O's catcher Rick Dempsey, former Indians manager Eric Wedge and Bobby Valentine, who has recently volunteered his services as the next Cub manager.
Sandberg did add some fuel to the speculation when he was quoted in the Des Moines Register back on June 16th:
“The last time I talked to Andy was during the winter meetings, when we
were on a committee together,” Sandberg said before Monday night’s
Pacific Coast League game against New Orleans at Principal Park. “But
I’d listen if someone called, for sure.”
Since shedding the official Tribune Tower sweatervest worn as the Cubs President at the conclusion of the abysmal 2006 season and finding refuge in the tender clutches of Oriole owner Peter Angelos in June 2007, Andy has stocked the Orioles with ex-Cubs like the Statue of Liberty says (paraphrasing now):
"Give me your near retired, your poor fielders,
Your huddled masses short of breathe rounding third,
The wretched refuse of your teeming minors.
Send these, the homeless once Cubs, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the Orange Oriole door!"
We've all enjoyed his accumulation of cast off ex-Cubs. I shall list the names with Cub ties from the McPhail (Cub) era: Front Office: John Stockstill (Scouting/Farm director, previously O's Director of International Scouting); Manager/Coaches: Dave Trembley (former O's manager, minor league manager for the Cubs 1994-2002), Rick Kranitz (pitching coach), Alan Dunn (bullpen coach); Players: Steve Traschel, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Rocky Cherry, Scott Moore, Caesar Izturis, Paul Bako, Jake Fox, Luis Montanez, Will Ohman, Rich Hill.
Could you imagine the Chicago media frenzy if McPhail had named Sandberg as the next Oriole Skipper? If one imagines standing in the room where Tom Ricketts puts the phone receiver to his ear, while on the other end of the phone call, Jim Hendry tells the new Cub owner that beloved Ryno's gone orange. THUD.
"Terms of the deal were not disclosed."
Theo inks five year extension
PC tonite at PNC
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.