Single-A — Peoria Chiefs
2007: (71-68)…lost Midwest League Championship Game.
2008: (60-78)…7th place, 18.5 games back.
Double-A — Tennessee Smokies
2009: (71-69)…2nd place division.
Triple-A — Iowa Cubs
2010: (56-39)…leading North Division by 7-games.
In two years Ryne Sandberg will manage the Chicago Cubs.
Figure this: the upcoming season is the final year of Sweet Lou’s 3-year deal, throw in a fourth option year for Piniella (meaning the Cubs don’t win the World Series in 2009 and Lou returns in 2010) and Sandberg makes his way from the minor leagues to the bigs for 2011.
The big club announced today Sandberg is taking his act south to Double-A Tennessee after two seasons with Single-A Peoria (131-146).
Forget the sub .500 record with the Chiefs, it doesn’t matter.
The man is a born leader; he played like one on the field and continues to carry himself like one off it.
What’s important in Tennessee is for Sandberg to hone his managerial skills as a bench boss in time to take over for Piniella.
Yes, a winning record is desirable with the Smokies but, no matter the outcome in Tennessee, Ryne Sandberg WILL BE A CANDIDATE TO REPLACE PINIELLA sooner rather than later.
In turn, chances are Sandberg begins fielding big-league managerial offers after this season…so, if Lou is gone after 2009, Ryno is the next man up in Chicago.
If Lou stays???
Then there’s the chance Sandberg manages at Triple-A Iowa or moves outside the Cubs’ organization but, I don’t see that happening.