No, I'm not whining about pro-choice Republicans, I'm bringing you gold - USA Today's profile of Hall of Fame Cub Ryne Sandberg midway through his first year managing the Cubbies Class A affiliate in Peoria.

Sandberg, 47, approaches his job with the Peoria Chiefs in the same manner he did everything in his 15 seasons as the Cubs' second baseman — The Right Way. No shortcuts, no big-leaguing it, no mailing it in. He rides the team buses, stays in the economy motels, takes his rotation pitching for batting practice, coaches third base during games and files daily reports on his players....

Sandberg's credentials — 10 consecutive All-Star Games, nine consecutive Gold Gloves for defensive excellence, 1,061 runs batted in and a .285 career batting average — give the manager instant credibility with his aspiring players, who range in age from 18 to 24. Some remember seeing him play; some don't.

Sandberg hears one comment often from them: "Hey Ryno, you were my parents' favorite player."

That notion definitely plays in Peoria: The Chiefs' second baseman is Ryne Malone, and the spelling of that first name is no coincidence. The Clinton, Iowa, native was named after Sandberg.

Hmm... Anthony Ryne Lu? Er... pretend you didn't read that.

I didn't know until I read this that Sandberg interviewed for the Cubs job last year. That must have been in my disenchanted period. According to the article, Hendry recommended he take over Peoria to get some experience.

This reminds me, I gotta get out there for a game.

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on June 26, 2007 11:20 PM.

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