Yesterday afternoon Will Carroll reported that the Cubs were poised to take the interim tag from Mike Quade and make him the full time boss. He also said that they were going to name Ryne Sandberg bench coach. He said these moves could come as early as next week.
I buy the Quade part, as some People Who Know Things have been telling me for a while that they think he’ll get the job. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times casts doubt on the Ryne Sandberg part of that, however, saying that Quade and Sandberg on the same staff isn’t likely. Which makes some intuitive sense in that Sandberg probably doesn’t want to play second fiddle — he has made a point of saying that he is ready to manage, not apprentice — and in that Quade probably doesn’t want a popular “people’s choice” type of guy on staff, because the minute things go sideways with the Cubs folks will be second guessing, calling for Sandberg to take over and all of that kind of nonsense.
As is always the case, we’ll see. For what it’s worth, those People Who Know Things say that the reason they think Quade will get the job is that he’s really popular among the players. Players like Ryan Dempster. Maybe not players like Joe Borowski, though. But really: you lettin’ Joe Borowski decide things? What are you, nuts?
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.