So Many Autographs; So Little Ryne

Not as balmy as last year, but better than average Opening Day weather here last night as Des Moines tiptoes toward the Summer of Sandberg. For the record, the Iowa Cubs dropped Ryno’s Triple A managerial debut by a score of 6-3 to the Nashville branch of the Milwaukee Brewers.


 The paid attendance was listed at just over 6,000, about the average for a Pacific Coast League game last year, but there were way fewer than that many rumps in seats and suites. Last year’s home opener drew about 9,500, but it was on a warm Friday night later in the month [April 17th] after the team opened on the road. I’m still pegging last night’s official figure at roughly 1% of what the season total will be. The club record for season attendance is around 575,000 [2007]. Having Sandberg on hand to sign autographs before the games [Des Moines Register reported that he scribbled 75 last night] and flash signs from the 3rd base coaching box during the games should push the record beyond 600K, about what the Chicago Cubs drew as recently as 1966 [okay, that’s not all that recent, but I was 12 then and very interested in the Cubs when not nearly so many others were]. Of course, whenever Mother Nature is one of your business partners, projections can be hazardous. In the flooded summer of 2008 the I-Cubs actually played a game with a paid attendance of zero since their downtown ballpark was smack in the middle of a municipal evacuation zone at the time.

 

Sandberg was featured in all of the team’s winter marketing efforts even though he’s always been a pretty vanilla guy when not manning 2nd base during his HOF playing career. I’m anxious to see him go toe-to-toe & nose-to-nose with some umps, something he rarely did as a player.

 

His I-Cub uniform is #23, same as the flag flying on the foul pole at Wrigley Field. Just because no Chicago Cub will ever wear that number again doesn’t mean that the guy who retired it can’t slip it on if he wants to [The Register also reported $3,000 worth of Sandberg jersey sales in the stadium gift shop].

 

Whatever lies in store, he is to be commended for exiling himself back to the bush leagues after his induction at Cooperstown and giving the organization an in-house example of how far a healthy respect for the game combined with great talent can take you.

 

Ted Lilly’s rehab start has been deferred from tonight to Sunday afternoon which will enable me to watch. Jay Jackson goes tonight; I send my regrets…

 

Here’s a link to a photo gallery of Episode I of the R-Cubs:

 

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=D2&Dato=20100408&Kategori=SPORTS&Lopenr=4080812&Ref=PH&Profile=1003&SectionCat=SPORTS

 

Comments

"Whatever lies in store, he is to be commended for exiling himself back to the bush leagues after his induction at Cooperstown"

after the wimpy pushover he was as a player it's shocking to see the guy grow a pair and become a leader of men. he seems to have a thing for bunting, though...oddly.

Quiet isn't the same as wimpy.

Also didn't realize that one had to scream profanity in other people's faces to be a "leader of men."

I'm now going to begin a gender-focused critique of all comments. Masculinity Studies 101: Blogs About Sports Teams With Long Histories of Failure.

it'd help if sandy didn't become a joke to teammates everywhere but in the field and at the plate.

the guy was kinda walked all over by some teammates while he went out and played the game. it got to him enough that he took some time off.

just because you play the game right and know how it should be played it doesn't make you a manager of people.

He took time off because he was having a custody suit over his children... but do continue.

continuing...i wonder why he got divorced and what that had to do with the cubs.

Well it seems he's picked some managerial ability up along the way? He's had success in A, AA, and trying AAA this season?

And will be in Chicago by 2011 the latest.

yeah, he gets respect.

"success in A"

He may have managed well, but I don't know about success. Chiefs in '07: 71-68. In '08: 60-78. They got good in '09 after he left. Of course, that has a lot to do with the players.

just because you play the game right and know how it should be played it doesn't make you a manager of people.

If you quote someone, you should really attribute it.

"Dusty Baker is a lousy manager. just because you play the game right and know how it should be played it doesn't make you a manager of people." --Mister Whipple

Ah, that's better.

weird thing is that's the one thing dusty is a master of...

he rarely has an upset clubhouse and if you put some dickheads in the clubhouse (kent/bonds) he tends to be able to diffuse the assholes before it gets to the point you have to trade away your players to make others happy.

Two Words.

Sammy Sosa.

sammy wasn't festering in the clubhouse, though.

dusty did lose control over him. it seems sammy was kinda "checked out" of being a ballplayer at that point, though.

people were thrilled to see him go, but it didn't grind on anyone...well, his choice of music did.

Kent merker and the end of 2004 season. Say hi

merker didn't divide the clubhouse, didn't have to be traded, only pissed off an announcer who got shown the door, and had one of his best years as a cub that season.

That's your proof? That he kowtowed to Bonds and Kent while they were completely juiced out of their gourds? Interesting.

you got that out of what i said?

the guy is well known for being able to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds...country boys, hipsters, egomaniacs, spoiled brats, etc...

Crunch, you blasphemer! Lest you forget, he was once 'Kid Natural'[sounds like something out of Chip Hilton]...

Sorry to do this but it got too thin in last post to comment- In reply to Rob G and Mike C about odd man out with Sori and Colvin.

If Colvin hits lights out, I mean ROY stuff, the Cubs will have to try and trade Dlee. I know he has no trade clause, but he would be easier to move then Fuku (ntc and another year on contract) and put Sori at first base where he's going to end up any ways.

your theory is the Cubs will try and trade Derrek Lee if they're in the race and put Soriano at first base where he's never played in the middle of a season?

Don't see the Cubs being completely out of it on July 31st this year, at least not by Hendry standards. He refused to let Harden go last year and save a million bucks when they were 5 games back in late August.

Fuku's NTC might be a problem, as I don't know how willing he is to waive it, but there are teams that value OBP and defense and he has it in spades. Cubs might not get much in terms of player talent and probably have to pay some of his 2011 contract, but I don't think he's that unmovable at this stage, with the caveat he's closer to his 2009 numbers than 2008 in 2010.

better odds are that someone just ends up getting hurt sometime during the season anyway...

I doubt Lee waives his NTC, but he might, to maybe go to the Dodgers or the Angels.

Fukudome has OBP "in spades"? He does walk a lot, though. Teams are going to have the same problems with Fukudome that the Cubs do - too little power to play in RF.

Giants would probably be the most likely for Lee, but Cubs aren't even going to entertain the idea of trading Lee to get Colvin more AB's, unless they're completely out of it...which I certainly don't foresee.

IF Fukudome is hitting at his 2009 levels, than yeah, he has OBP in "spades", .375 would have been 8th best in the majors for qualified RF'ers. We're already know 2-4 teams that liked Fukudome since the Cubs signed him, Cubs just aren't giving him away yet. If they reach the point that Tyler Colvin is the future, and can get some salary relief, I could see the Cubs to start making some concessions on what they expect back for him.

Imo, Colvin has 3 option years left and either worse or as good as the other 3 options. No reason to do anything unless they can completely get out of a contract or bring back something they need more of (like a second basemen). But considering the contracts, more likely they'd just dump someone and hurt their organizational depth.

15th in OBP among outfielders with 400 PAs, his HR's would tie him for 21st among right fielders. He'd probably be the worst hitting RF on a contending team - if he got traded to a contender or if the Cubs contend.

15th in OBP among outfielders with 400 PAs

15 of 86 is pretty damn good, especially when it's not BABIP inflated.

that being said, I assume a team looking at Fukudome might have an injury they're trying to replace, or maybe a team like the Nats that are hoping to contend next year.

his BP comps sure don't suck...
D. Dimaggio, G. Matthews Sr., B. Murcer, C. Lemon, F. Lynn, G. Woodling, R. Maris, B. Gilkey, JD Drew, R. Greer

the problem is he's a $6-8M player getting paid $12M

still think he's the player the Cubs would have the most luck trading and want to trade out of Soriano, Byrd, Fukudome or Lee.

Look at that list of players again Rob. It's pretty much a who's who of guys whose careers dropped off a cliff.

5 (if Drew keeps it together this year) guys maintained their high 700's/800's OPS through age 34 which is what Fuku's contract runs through.

more importantly, the Cubs will never be able to get rid of Soriano's contract without just waiving him, won't consider trading Lee unless 2010 is a repeat of 2006, which leaves Fukudome or Byrd on the block.

my money would be on them moving Fukudome if it gets to that.

Yes, all these teams will be tripping over themselves to take on a one dimensional platoon player with $15 million left on his contract, instead of a well rounded offensive player with $6 million left. Sorry, Rob, I am going to have to go with history and logic on this one.

is Lee the one with $6 million left? You think the Cubs are gonna trade him this year if there anywhere near the playoffs?

and fuku's got at least two dimensions....

ss theriot, cf colvin, 1b lee, 3b ramirez, rf nady, lf soriano, 2b fontenot, c hill, p silva

http://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/118992...

Koyie Hill wins games...I guess.

Lou do you really Nady in the lineup?

I believe he would be trying to put more than 2 runs on the board. The dude certainly can hit.

It seems only two people know where they will be hitting on a day-to-day basis. I'm not complaining, I'm just making an observation.

Colvin WALKS and scores on an ARam SF

Wooooooooooooooooooooooo.....Colvin OBP to the Moon, Alice!

This is completely off topic, but here's Stephen Colbert's view of the new Tiger Woods Nike ad. Very funny...

http://blogs.golf.com/presstent/2010/04/steph...

Caridad.

~grumble~

Maybe the offense will have a big day tomorrow. That'd be nice. A big lead late in the game (and, preferably, at the end of the game).

Glad to see the bullpen is performing as good as expected. Whose brilliant idea was it to go into the season with basically no proven relievers.

What a great way to start the weekend. But hey, at least we don't have Dusty as our manager.

how can one hate a guy nicknamed "Smiley"

(put a Kevin Gregg mask on him next time he goes to the mound)

Cubbie rules:

- Let Chipper Jones beat you
- Walk bottom of the batting order with a 2-run lead in the 8th
- Never, ever hit with men on base

Cubs are now 1-2 when leading after 7 innings -- champonship stuff, that.

Yep. We knew what the deal was with this bullpen of youngsters and Grabow.

This is what happens when the boss says, "Don't spend any money."

Levine has said on three occasions I have heard that they were $500,000 shy on Capps, and not much more shy on Park.

When the team finishes below .500 at the end of the year, Hendry should be gone anyway (one can hope).

Recent comments

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  • If it was 2006 Hendry would be there w a Bible and a contract
    https://mobile.twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/77...

    jacos 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag

    crunch 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.

    CTSteve 3 hours 37 sec ago view
  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 3 hours 41 min ago view
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 4 hours 28 min ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 5 hours 33 min ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 6 hours 18 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 8 hours 5 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 8 hours 6 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 8 hours 13 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 8 hours 49 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 8 hours 50 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 8 hours 52 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 8 hours 56 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.

    #crunchsplaining

    #willlistentojeffsullivanmorethanyou

    #blessyourheart

    #hitler

    #tcrmartyr

    #billyhamiltonwar

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 8 hours 56 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 9 hours 48 sec ago view