Summing Up Sandberg
Jim Hendry says that he is in no rush to settle on and name Lou Piniella’s successor as the Cubs’ manager. Really? Then why travel all the way to Albuquerque to have lunch with Ryne Sandberg as Hendry did last week? Just to break the news gently that Ryno wouldn’t be called up to Chicago to peer over Mike Quade’s shoulder once Iowa’s season ended? I have a feeling that Sandberg believes, whether he’s been told so or not, that his laidbackness as a player has been a perceived weakness while he’s earned his managerial chops, so he’s sought to demonstrate that he can be fiery on an as needed basis. One of the things he may have been working on during his apprenticeship is the art of the timely ejection. As for Quade’s self-serving auditional mystery tour in Chicago, I’d be more inclined to give him points for a grandstand benching of Alfonso Soriano than the recently ballyhooed one of young Mr. Castro…
It looks like The Sandberg Effect was more pronounced on the PCL road than it was at home in Des Moines. The I-Cubs did go over the half million mark for the seventh time in franchise history, but fell well short of their all-time attendance record, partly because of the loss of a few dates to bad weather. The team also drew more than 500K on the road, something it did not do last year, to top the million mark with all games considered. Too bad for the team ownership that there’s no gate split in Triple A as there is in MLB…
How many autographs did the patient hall-of-famer sign? Well, here in Des Moines a fair estimate might be roughly 10,000. Here’s the math: Approximately 15 minutes per home date while the starting pitcher warmed up x approximately 70 dates = 1,050 minutes [17.5 hours] @ 10 autographs per minute [one every six seconds] = 600 signed per hour x 17.5 = 10,500. Throw in his road show and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sandberg’s signing hand needs an off-season scoping to be ready for spring training…
Sandberg told the Des Moines Register that he thoroughly enjoyed his summer here and seemed to leave the door open for a possible encore depending on decisions made elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how much curiosity other teams with managerial openings have about Sandberg if he doesn’t get the job in Chicago. He’s said more than once that the Cubs are his preferred job but not the only one he’d take given other opportunities. It’s fair to say that the body of his work over the last four years stamps him as more than a pretty name. He deserves serious consideration and it would seem inevitable now that he will manage in the big leagues whether the Cubs hire him or not. Given that likelihood, do they dare let him get away now? Besides earning his bona fides as a teacher of young players, handler of pitchers and in-game tactician he also would be a gate draw, the turnstile numbers in Iowa notwithstanding, at a time when sellouts are no longer a foregone conclusion. And he knows the territory in Chicago! The fact that he will never be quoted as saying that he didn’t realize what he was getting into may be decisive in combination with all of his other credentials. If Hendry doesn’t get some back channel smoke signals that Girardi wants to talk when the Yankees are finished I can imagine him moving quickly to name Sandberg after the Cubs’ season finally and mercifully ends so the organization will have maximum time to huddle up and plot a course toward 2011. If he waits on Girardi and can’t get him he may come back to Sandberg and find him already gone to another team. Sandberg isn’t begging for a chance now, as he effectively was when Piniella was hired. He’s managed, if you will, some leverage since then.
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
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.
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.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
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.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
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.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
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