TELANDER: Let Ryno prove mettle as manager elsewhere first
BY RICK TELANDER Sports Columnist August 17, 2013 7:36PM
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, right, shakes hands with Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg as they hand in their line-up cards before a baseball game on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Christopher Szagola)
Updated: September 19, 2013 10:11AM
What do we think about former Cubs star and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg getting his first major-league managerial job with the Phillies?
I know a lot of Cubs nuts think the Cubs blew it when they didn’t hire Sandberg in 2011, opting for Mike Quade instead.
I’m not so sure. First of all, every manager is a doomed sheep with the Cubs. Do you think the much-courted Joe Girardi didn’t know that?
Second of all, Sandberg was a lovely second baseman for the Cubs and a good manager in the Cubs’ minor leagues. But what does any of that have to do with managing in the bigs?
Not much. You can’t start a double play for the big-league guys, and Class AAA ball — where your best players come and go at the whim of the parent club — is to the bigs as Run-What-U-Brung Night is to the Daytona 500.
So let’s see how Ryno does with the underachieving Phillies for a spell — he’s only their interim manager, remember, filling in for just-fired Charlie Manuel — before declaring him the answer to the Cubs’ drought.
Right now, Cubs fans love Sandberg. What’s the hurry to knock him down there with Jim Essian, Tom Trebelhorn, Bruce Kimm, Dale Sveum and so on?
Did I mention the Cubs’ ‘‘College of Coaches’’? No idea what that 1960s committee’s field of expertise was, but it wasn’t winning. Please, let’s spare Sandberg from the fraternity of such clowns.
† WHAT HAPPENED to the great U.S. male tennis player? For the first time in 40 years, none is ranked among the top 20 in the world.
For that matter, what happened to male tennis players in general in this country? I don’t hear guys talk about tennis. I don’t see them on public courts. I don’t see male jocks bopping around in tennis whites or trying to look like ‘‘Big’’ Bill Tilden, Jimmy Connors or even Andy Roddick. Was Andre Agassi’s hairpiece the final straw?
Is it possible that, for red-blooded U.S. athletes, the individualistic game of tennis just isn’t fun to play anymore?
† VIDEO REVIEW — more of it — is coming to major-league baseball, and isn’t it about time?
When TV cameras can slow pitched balls down so much that they look like pumpkins rotating through glue, it’s high time we didn’t have umpires undoing perfect games or ruling runners safe when everybody knows they are out.
In 2010, Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga lost a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce admittedly blew a call at first base with two outs in the ninth inning. And the Cardinals famously lost the 1985 World Series to the Royals in large part because of first-base umpire Don Denkinger’s blown call in the ninth inning of Game 6.
It really is hard to have your eyeballs looking in two directions at the same time, as umpires often are required to do. Moreover, nobody accurately can assess plays made in a hundredth of a second or less.
So bring on the slo-mo. And umpires, you should rejoice.
† ANY PERSON with a logic chip in his or her brain knows the NCAA and its rules for big-time, revenue-producing sports are outmoded, unfair and likely insane. But they work for the powers that be — the athletic departments, TV networks, NCAA, bowl games, etc. — so change will come only through trauma. That is, serious boat-rocking of the USS College Football.
And normal-sized, cocky, immature Johnny Manziel, 20, well might be the guy who finally causes water to come in over the gunwales.
Manziel, the fleet, talented quarterback for Texas A&M — who also happens to be the reigning Heisman Trophy winner — might not be allowed to play his sophomore season. That would be everybody’s loss because this is the kid who beat mighty Alabama last season and has a chance to be as dynamic as any college quarterback in history.
But reports are Manziel has signed memorabilia for cash, and the NCAA thinks that’s a crime against its absurd rule book and is investigating whether to suspend Manziel for the season. This is the institution that has no problem selling likenesses of its amateur athletes to video-game companies, T-shirt companies, TV shows or just about anybody else who comes calling with a wad of cash in hand.
The hypocrisy of the profiteering NCAA not allowing a U.S. citizen — one old enough to vote or go to war — to sell his own signature to those who want to pay for it has to rock even the Barca-Lounger cynics who just want to watch the young fellers knock heads.
Reggie Bush, Cam Newton, Johnny Football — it seems these Heisman winners like money.
And why shoudn’t they?
They learned from their bosses.