Ryne Sandberg will not be returning to Cubs next season

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When Lou Piniella stepped down from his post as Cubs manager earlier this year, there was an assumption that Triple-A Iowa skipper and Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg would take over to start the 2011 season.  Then Mike Quade stepped in, led the Cubbies to a 24-13 down the stretch and was awarded the full-time position last week.

The Cubs asked Sandberg to return to his post at Iowa, but he felt snubbed when they went with Quade and he is now planning to move on after four years as a coach within the organization.  This according to ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine.

“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, confirming the report. “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 … He’s a Cub forever.”

Quade patched the final holes for his 2011 coaching staff this week with the hiring of Pat Listach as bench coach and Dave Keller as a major league staff assistant.  Pitching coach Larry Rothschild, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, bullpen coach Lester Strode, third base coach Ivan DeJesus and first base coach Bob Dernier will return from Piniella’s staff.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.