Any idea which Cubs manager leads the franchise in game ejections?
Sweet Lou? Mike Quade? Lee Elia? Nope, none of those guys. Dale Sveum’s not the answer, either.
The title, in fact, belongs to Leo Durocher who managed the Cubs from 1966 until midway through the 1972 season (he was replaced by Whitey Lockman).
Umpires ran Durocher 17 times during his 1,065 games skippering the Cubs, and 94 times total throughout his 26-year Hall of Fame managing career.
Durocher remains in the top five for all-time ejections trailing only Bobby Cox (161) and John McGraw (118). No wonder Durocher was called “Leo the lip!”
You can read more about manager ejections at TwinsTrivia.com where lead writer John Swol has a lengthy article dedicated to the topic. Here are a few nuggets of minutia from Swol’s post:
- Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire is fourth (63) on the ejection list among active managers. But he’s always been a fast climber averaging a heave-ho every 28 games per season.
- Seattle’s franchise leader in manager ejections is none other than Sweet Lou. He hit the showers early 28 times during his 1,551 games leading the Mariners.
- Hall of Fame umpire Bill Klem is responsible for the most ejections (256). Bob Davidson is the active leader (156).
- As for the most ridiculous manager meltdown of all-time? It must belong to Bush League skipper Phillip Wellman, who went berserk on June 1, 2007. It brought him national fame and a three-game suspension.
Hard to believe Ryne Sandberg isn’t part of the Cubs organization.
Even harder to believe Jim Hendry passed him over for Mike Quade.
Ryne did all the Cubs asked of him as a minor league skipper. He won games, developed players and gave fans a reason to flock to the ballpark. Not to mention, twice winning a Manager of the Year Award (2010-11).
What more could Sandberg have done?
What else did he need to prove?
Hendry of course had his reasons for choosing Quade as Cubs manager. It was the players, after all, who wanted Quade back after he replaced Sweet Lou in August. But that shouldn’t have mattered, Sandberg was the
Hendry’s hire to replace Piniella would be a final attempt to maintain his tenure with the Cubs. He needed to choose the right guy, his job depended on it, but ultimately, he picked the wrong one and sank to the bottom with Quade. Less than a year later Hendry was ousted, then Quade…and any bridge the Cubs had with Sandberg was badly burned.
When Sandberg wasn’t the right fit for Team Theo, essentially being snubbed a second time by the Cubs, he transitioned to the Phillies where he spent another year managing at Triple-A before a promotion to the bigs this winter. He’ll serve as Charlie Manuel’s 3B coach and bench coach, presumably until Manuel retires, gets fired or otherwise (Manuel has one year remaining on his contract).
In an interview with Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald, sections of which are posted below, it seems Sandberg has found piece of mind with Philadelphia. He sounds like a guy who feels appreciated, counted on and wanted. Imagine that, a Hall of Fame player who’s excelled as a minor league skipper being coveted by a major league team. What took so long?
Of all teams, the Cubs should have known better than anyone what they were losing by passing on Ryno the first time. And I’ve got a feeling when Sandberg does become a manger, for the Phillies or elsewhere, he’s going to remind the Cubs and baseball they shouldn’t have been so obtuse.
- "I see myself reaching goals and being where I want to be, and that’s in the major leagues," Sandberg said Tuesday while visiting family here in Chicago. "I fulfilled that goal with the Phillies.
- "I would think that wouldn’t have happened with the Cubs, so with what I want to do with my career, which is stay in the game and get back to the majors, I’ve been able to do that with the Phillies and it feels very good."
- "My six years in the minors were a great learning experience and it’s prepared me for my job this year, and prepared me to take on more responsibilities,"
- "The dream of the ring is what keeps me going, keeps me driving forward. That, combined with the relationship I have with the Phillies, and being back in the game, being part of this coaching staff, is a big part of it."
- "Through the two years with the Phillies, it has felt like I was being welcomed back, by the fans and the entire Phillies organization," Sandberg said. "The Phillies have a way of making everyone feel like they’re a part of something bigger, that your job — no matter what it is — is part of the Phillies trying to win the World Series.
- "They give you responsibility and they want your input. It’s a great feeling. It’s great to be a part of it. It feels like home to me."
Starlin Castro says he feels awful about his mental lapse during Monday’s loss at San Francisco when he lost awareness of how many outs the Cubs had in the fifth inning.
‘‘I want to say I’m sorry to my teammates and it will never happen again,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m real embarrassed. There’s no excuse for that. That can’t happen in a game. That will never happen again.’’
Here’s the troubling part. The above quote from Castro wasn’t from Monday’s post-game.
One of my greater frustrations with the Cubs last season was its inability to win three in-a-row. A league worst 134 fielding errors was another, but I digress.
It took Mike Quade’s squad until late July, 102 games into the season, before they finally managed the smallest of winning streaks–nearly four full months removed from Opening Day.
More stunning, however, was the perceived lack of urgency to string together wins. Ten times prior the Cubs were in position to roll a Turkey, but failed on each occasion. Not a trace of killer instinct.
In fact, when Geovany Soto was asked in July if winning three in a row was mentally important for the Cubs he responded “Not really.”
Here’s a scary thought; the Cubs might not reach the .500 mark at all this season thanks to its (0-2) start.
If that sounds preposterous, it shouldn’t.
Washington is just one win away from sweeping the season opening series and sending the Cubs to its worst start in 15 years (0-14, 1997).
If, however, Chicago does win its first game of the season on Sunday, the .500 mark still remains in jeopardy with an unforgiving April schedule ahead.
It’s not fair to compare Dale Sveum to Mike Quade–the Cubs newest manager hasn’t even coached a meaningful game yet.
But this year’s spring camp has a similar feel to last year’s. A new manager preaching accountability, fundamentals and playing the game the right way.
Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it Cubs fans?
As much as we want to believe this year is different, if for no other reason than Theo/Jed & Sveum, there’s no telling until the Cubs take the field one month from now. And even then we’re only expecting the Cubs to be marginally better than in 2011.
Sveum couldn’t be off to a better start. His leadership thus far is getting rave reviews from players and media alike. But the same was said for Quade 12 months ago.
Sweet Lou warned us not to get too “giddy.” We should have listened. Quade, it turned out, talked a better game than he managed. Here’s hoping it’s the opposite for the soft spoken Sveum.
It’s not fair to compare Pete Mackanin to Mike Quade, but the similarities between the two are hard to ignore: both are Chicago-born, both are baseball lifers and both have had successful stints as interim managers.
Jim Hendry and Mike Quade were joined at the hip the minute Hendry announced Quade as Lou’s replacement. If one went down, so would the other.
Hendry, of course, fell first being relieved of his duties in July by Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, which put the writing on the wall for Quade’s future as well.
We know managing the Cubs is Quade’s dream job, his efforts reflected such. But the results never materialized, not to the expectations of the Cubs, the fans, and I presume, Quade himself.
This leads me to believe the decision of the Cubs’ new brass to afford Quade an offseason meeting, essential to plead his case to return as manager, was done out of respect for a man who is widely considered one of the good guys in all of baseball.
Let’s call it the politically correct move from the new kids in town, but I suspect nothing more for Epstein’s team otherwise.
Good guy or not, Quade shoulders the misery of the past season, one in which Epstein and company are working hard to avoid repeating.
If Quade is guilty of anything, it’s his association to the old Cubs way and Jim Hendry, which appears to be exactly what Theo and company are distancing themselves from.
Although a second meeting between both parties has been scheduled for later this week, my gut feeling says there won’t be a third.
My money isn’t on Quade’s return, but I’ve been wrong before.
Two things to watch for as the Cubs’ season draws to a close over the final six games.
1.) The Cubs and Pirates are tied for fourth place in the NL Central.
2.) Chicago has a chance to ruin the Cardinals’ bid for the NL Wild Card.
The Cubs have managed a (27-23) record over its last 50 games to climb into a tie with Pittsburgh for fourth place in the division at (69-87).
The Peg Legs, meanwhile, have gone in the opposite direction. They’ve lost 40 of its last 56 games since leading the division at (53-47) 100-games into the season.