There is no joy in Mudville. As I write this, the impact of the decision made by Jim Hendry has yet to fully sink in. But one thing is clear, the hiring of Mike Quade shows just how tone deaf Hendry and the owners truly are.
Lou Piniella quit on this team and their fans long before he announced his impending retirement, and long, long before he actually left the team for good. With an underperforming and underachieving group of individuals going a stellar 5-20 in Lou’s last 25 games, it should have been abundantly clear that this “team” was in serious need of change at the top. With Piniella gone, Mike Quade guided the players to the second-best record in baseball.
No offense, Mr. Quade, but Steve Bartman could’ve done the same. It means absolutely nothing to me. But, I dont want this to come across as a shot at Mike Quade, its actually all about the treatment of Ryne Sandberg.
All Sandberg has done is show nothing but class on and off the field, honed his ever more succesful managing skills over years in the minors, and openly expressed his burning desire to manage the Chicago Cubs.
He is too much of a class act to throw Jim Hendry under the bus, but that is exactly what should happen. How can any true Cub fan genuinely root for a team that keeps Jim Hendry as a GM, but thinks Ryne Sandberg isnt worthy?
Triple Chin Jim made a mockery of this managerial “search.” If he wanted Quade to have the job, then why not give it to him on a non-interim basis? Over the past few weeks of this dog and pony show, fans have shown their overwhelming support of Sandberg as the new manager. Apparently Jim Hendry doesnt care. He is much more concerned with having a “yes” man in the dugout than winning or even appeasing the fan base that makes all things Cubs possible.
Its a slap in the face to every Cub fan out there and it all but guarantees a change in the dynamics that continually fill the Cubs’ coffers. The vast majority of paying fans grew up watching and cheering for Ryno, and pinned many of their hopes on his return to the dugout on the North Side. Now what?
Hiring Sandberg would have allowed the fans to watch and support a genuine Cubs legend attempt to turn this organization around. With Ryno in the dugout, coming off his PCL Manager of the Year award, we would’ve watched him work his magic with the players that he managed on the way up through the Minors. Win or lose, Sandberg would’ve enjoyed a multi-year honeymoon with the true fans of the team.
Instead, we now have Mike Quade. No offense, but we know Ryne Sandberg. We watched him play. We watched him manage. And, Mike, you’re no Ryne Sandberg.
Apparently managing a team to a 24-13 record somehow trumps decades of loyal and classy service to an organization that has shown no recent aptitude for making any sound baseball moves.
Evidently, the will of the fans means nothing to ownership and management. So, for the first time in my adult life, I will not renew my season tickets for the Cubs. I encourage all other die-hards to do the same. Maybe, just maybe, 30,000 empty seats at the Friendly Confines will finally convince the powers that they screwed up, again.