Chicago Cubs

Lou Piniella Retires: Is Ryne Sandberg a Good Replacement for Cubs?

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 23:  Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs poses during photo day at the Fitch Park Spring Training complex on February 23, 2009 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Brad GoldbachCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2010

With Lou Piniella retiring at the end of the season, many Cubs fans might be saying good riddance due to Chicago's disappointment recently. 

The next question is obviously, "Who's next?"

Well, Ryne Sandberg has already thrown his hat into the ring. Sandberg, a Hall of Fame inductee and Cubs legend, would certainly bring big-name quality to the dugout and his experience might go over well with the players.

Sandberg is currently managing the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa club and explicitly said he wanted the job, "I am ready...I'm not interested in on-the-job learning or on-the-job training. At this point, I'm interested in winning ballgames at the Major League level."

That is the kind of fire and mentality you want leading your club, especially one that needs a little fire lit to its collective tails to get going.

But Sandberg might be a little bit of work in progress. With only four years of managerial experience under his belt, there might be some on-the-job training going on if he were to take over the Cubs. There would be some lumps and a little bit of a learning curve, so the question is whether it would pay off in the long run.

From a fan's perspective, it might be nice to get some new blood into the managerial position. The Cubs have already tried putting the old guard into that role with Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella recently, so at least this would be trying something new and going in a different direction.

Sandberg said afterward that he doesn't actually expect to land the gig, but the Cubs might be wise to give him a long hard look, something GM Jim Hendry said he intends to do.

If Sandberg is in fact hired, he would be only the second Hall of Famer to be hired as a big league manager after his induction, and the first since Ted Williams. It's a rare pedigree that will help him relate with the players and help him earn their respect.

He is already dealing with Carlos Zambrano, who is working his way through Triple-A right now. Although nobody can handle the loose cannonball that is Zambrano, if Sandberg could forge a relationship with the talented hurler, that could certainly help his case.

That is only one part of the battle, but Sandberg could prove a little something by winning over Zambrano. 

He has already won over Cubs fans with his play on the field during his career, so that is another piece to the puzzle. Managing is always a different story, but you never know unless you are given that shot.

Sandberg might have an uphill battle to land the job, and there might be a few rough patches in his first season if he were to get it; the Cubs might be wise to do something different to try to get the club back on track.

Why not try Sandberg?

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