It took all of about 180 seconds yesterday for Joe Maddon to do two things…get about a tenth of the way through his press conference preamble, and for the world to see his appeal. If you could just hire any competent manager and hand him the Cubs roster and they’d win, that’d be great. But over the past 107 years they’d have like four of those, and none of them could pull it off. It’s going to take somebody who is a great manager, and a little nuts.
So the Cubs finally have a new manager. I for one was getting pretty antsy about the whole thing. Mostly because they have a game coming up…in four months.
They have hired Rick Renteria. Renteria has served the last few years as the Padres bench coach, dispensing pearls of wisdom to Bud Black. He spent eight years in the minors as a manager, including a season in lovely Geneva, Illinois managing the Kane County Cougars.
Check out this video from 1991 from the night Andre Dawson lost his shit at Joe West and threw half the bats in the bat rack onto the field. It’s just all kinds of awesomeness, when you consider who is in it:
When Dale Sveum wrote out his intersquad lineup and had Alfonso Soriano listed as his leadoff hitter, I was impressed. I had no idea Sveum could spell anything with more than one syllable. When he did it again for the Cacti League opener, I was intrigued. When I found out Phil Rogers had written about it, I was entranced. Surely Phil would have a take on this that would be fittingly dumb and hilarious.
Life is tough these days for Ryne Sandberg. Sure, he’s still sitting on a pile of millions of dollars from his playing career, he make can thousands more whenever he wants just by virtue of the fact he gets to sign “HOF” next to his autograph (that does not stand for House of FrenchFries, though that seems like an awesome idea for a restaurant chain). He’s a Hall of Famer, a baseball legend, and, by all accounts one of the really nice people you’re ever going to meet.