Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just say no to Sandberg!

He was my favorite Cub when I was a kid. He played hard, did things the right way, and was someone that I could look up to. He is not selfish. He works hard. He’s paid his dues. He’s been successful. He should be a major league manager.

But not with the Cubs.

I respect Ryne Sandberg. I really do. I respect him so much that I don’t want him to be the Cubs manager.

For Major League managers, the Cubs job is like the call of the Sirens. The beauty of the ballpark, the lure of leading this long lost franchise to a championship and eternal glory is irresistible. And that call draws in these foolish men and they get to Chicago becoming shipwrecked along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Eventually, these once great men leave town a shell of who they once were…defeated, beat up, and completely demoralized by the beautiful song that lured them to Wrigley.

Lou Piniella just could resist her song.

It is obvious the Ryno has heard the song being sung by the Sirens at Wrigley Field. The lure is there. No man is strong enough to resist it. That is why we, Cubs fans, should be helping Sandberg’s ship veer away from the rocky cliffs that exist around Clark and Addison.

Sandberg is going to be a successful manager as long as he doesn’t cave into the song of these Sirens. Let him take over the Yankees when Girardi leaves. Let him go to LA to replace Joe Torre. Heck, Dusty Baker might not return to Cincinnati…that’s a great baseball town.

I respect Sandberg too much to wish the fate of so many other managers upon him. Could he do it? Could he actually lead this team to a World Series title? Yeah…possibly. But I don’t want to take the chance that the job would destroy him.

There are plenty of other very good candidates out there (not Joe Torre) to choose from during this offseason. Let one of these other guys give it a shot. Let one of these guys take a risk at losing everything. I don’t respect any of them as much as Sandberg. If Fredi Gonzalez fails, fine? It won’t devastate me or many other Cubs fans.

But if Sandberg fails, it’s going to crush us all. We are all on that same ship as Sandberg right now, and if he approaches that shore where the Sirens sing, we are likely all going down with him.

 Dusty Baker's ship almost made it...but it sank as well.

So please refrain from crowning Sandberg as our savior. Let him save someone else because he is as likely to fail here as all the other sailors who have come to the rocky cliffs of Wrigley Field.