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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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 20 min 17 sec ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 21 min 18 sec ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 10 hours 2 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 13 hours 20 sec ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 13 hours 12 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 13 hours 21 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 13 hours 26 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 13 hours 45 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 14 hours 21 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 14 hours 39 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 14 hours 40 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 14 hours 58 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 15 hours 6 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 16 hours 1 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 16 hours 19 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 16 hours 23 min ago view