Paul Sullivan has a column in the Tribune today in which he notes that the Cubs didn’t call up one of their prospects after the rosters opened up:
The Cubs called up five of Ryne Sandberg’s players from Triple-A Iowa before Tuesday’s 7-3 loss to the Astros, but not Sandberg himself.
Having one managerial candidate in the same dugout as current manager
Mike Quade was not an idea general manager Jim Hendry said he ever
considered . . . While Sandberg might have benefitted from getting some coaching
experience at the major league level, the Cubs felt the media focus
likely would shift from the play of the team to the competition between
Quade and Sandberg for the 2011 vacancy.
When I read this I thought how odd it would be for a team to call up a minor league manager to coach late in the season. I can’t remember the Braves doing it, for example. I asked Gleeman about it and he said the Twins have done it in the past, but that it’s not necessarily a common practice. I really don’t know.
But what I also don’t know from the article is whether the Cubs typically do this. If they do, and they didn’t in the case of Sandberg, I suppose that’s interesting. If they don’t usually do it however, noting that Sandberg isn’t joining the team now is really just an exercise in stirring things up. Which — don’t get me wrong — I like! Stirring things up can be fun! I just don’t know if this is baseless or meaningful pot-stirring or not. For what it’s worth, Sullivan quotes Cubs GM Jim Hendry as saying that having Sandberg around wouldn’t “be conducive to anybody,” so maybe this was a meaningful thing. Hard to say.
It strikes me, however, that there’s more open rooting going on for the Cubs’ managerial job than most openings, and that the Chicago media is on Sandberg’s side. In light of this, it would probably be “conducive” to Jim Hendry to make his pick as soon as freaking possible after the season is over so as to put this whole issue to bed and allow the team to get on with the hot stove season.