Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Adios, Ryno

An emotional day for Cubs fans everywhere. Ryne Sandberg, a 10-time All-Star for Chicago and a Cubs legend, left the organization on Wednesday.

Sandberg had been in the running in October to be hired as manager of the Cubs following the departure of Lou Piniella. On October 19, however, Sandberg was passed over for the job by Mike Quade. The move prompted Sandberg to relflect on his position within the organization, and ultimately led to his departure.

Quade filled in as the interim manager for the Cubs upon Piniella's departure from the team in August. The team finished 24-13 during his tenure, giving the organization reason to believe Quade could be the man in charge during 2011. Some critics of the move claimed the record should not be accounted for, as many teams the Cubs faced (i.e. Astros, Brewers, Pirates) had already thrown in the towel and the team's record was skewed.

Sandberg has long been known as a "franchise icon" since his playing days with the Cubs, and was considered to be the favorite for the job as well as being the one who many Cubs fans were eager to have lead the club in 2011 and beyond. Sandberg work his way up in the system, beginning in Class-A, culminating in 2010 at Triple-A Iowa. His Iowa Cubs squad posted a 82-62 record, with Sandberg awarded the Triple-A Manager of the Year award.

After learning news of the October 19 decision to hire Quade, Sandberg admitted to being "disappointed," needing time to "digest the news and way his options." It could put a snare in what had been a beautiful relationship between the organization and one of their famous franchise players, but some believe Ryno could eventually return to the organization.

"There's no good-bye. He's a Cub. He'll be a Cub for life," Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said Wednesday on "The Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000. "If he would like to explore some options with other teams to pursue some other opportunities that doesn't really change anything with respect to what he has accomplished for the team or what he means to the team. If that's his decision then I wish him all the best, and he's a Cub forever."

For now, Sandberg will weigh his options for 2011, which he likely hopes will be in a position with a MLB team. His days in the minors are hopefully behind him. He has proven to be tremendously capable, a strong leader and ready for major league managing. The New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates appear to be the lone two teams with managerial openings remaining.

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