Good things come to those who wait – Chicago Cubs promoted Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg to the Manager of the club’s Triple A Iowa ball club. The 2nd base Cubs legend replaced Bobby Dickerson at the helm – Dickerson took a position within the Baltimore Orioles organization to run their Latin American scouting.
Sandberg has been a manager in the Cubs minor league organization for the past 3 seasons, but he has made it clear that he has aspirations to be a Major League Manager some day. Sandberg guided the Class A Peoria Chiefs to a tie for 1st place in 2007 and he also led the Double A Tennessee squad to the playoffs in 2009. Tennessee lost the league championship 3 games to 1.
Dickerson led the Iowa club to a .500 record at 72-72. The team finished in 3rd place in the Northern Division.
With Lou Pinella’s contract expiring after 2010, it makes you wonder if this could be one final piece to the managing puzzle for Sandberg before he gets promoted to captain the major league team at Wrigley Field in 2011. Pinella never really showed his “wild side” in 2009, as his ball club played like crap for most of the season. Has Pinella lost his drive? Is it time to make a change and bring in some younger, fiery blood like Sandberg? While I like Pinella and think he has done a great job with a so-so squad, I would not be opposed to a change. Let the Ricketts Family get 1 year under their belt in 2010, and then they will need to decide what they want to do with their GM (Jim Hendry) and Manager (Pinella). Hendry has mortgaged the team for years to come as we have discussed so often and left the team with little flexibility to try to add good talent without subtracting first. When teams know that your hands are tied, it’s hard to do anything productive. How cool would it be if the Ricketts Family opted to go with a new GM and Manager in 2011 and then the team ended up winning the whole damn thing that October. Wishful thinking, huh?!