Daily Archives: May 15, 2012
After the season both Chicago baseball teams experienced last season a change at the managerial position was a must as the teams hope for a breath of fresh air and a new direction for the 2012 season.
The White Sox traded Ozzie Guillen to the Miami Marlins saying adios to the manager that led the team to its first World Series since 1918. The outspoken manager wore his welcome out in Chicago after butting heads with General Manager Kenny Williams for the better part of the last three years.
When management declined to offer Ozzie an extension, the two sides agreed to the split that netted the Sox two minor league prospects from the Marlins, the Guillen once served as third base coach during the team’s 2003 World Series winning season.
The White Sox surprised many when they hired former Sox third baseman Robin Ventura who had zero experience coaching or managing on any level in baseball.
The decision to part with the manager and coaching staff from last season’s staff was made for different reasons as the team’s record under Mike Quade sealed the fate of the first year manager.
Finishing with the 6th worst record in Major League Baseball the affable Quade often appeared to be outmatched and in over his head as he struggled to manage the team’s roster.
Quade was particularly stubborn in his refusal to play the younger talent on the roster in favor of struggling veterans conceivably to give him a better record and a higher chance of returning for his sophomore season in the dugout.
The move backfired as Quade was told he would not return after the hiring of new President Theo Epstein who hired Dale Sveum, whom he had as the third base coach in Boston. Sveum was most recently the hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Many Cub fans had clamored for the hiring of former Cub icon and Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg who had climbed the ranks in the Cubs minor league system, having success at every stop.
The hiring of Sveum turned off a plethora of fans fantasizing about seeing “Ryno” in a Cubs uniform again and leading the team to the first World Series win since 1908. Alas, Cubs fans were urged to believe in Theo and trust his decision making, after all he was the boy genius that ended the Red Sox curse with two titles in a four year span as General Manager of the Boston club.
Two teams in the third largest market in America hiring rookie managers. Both fan bases surprised and perhaps even a little confused by the hiring of the two men put in charge of leading the teams back to the playoffs.
Ventura fills the shoes of Chicago’s last manager to bring a championship to the city, and will operate without the off the field distractions Guillen brought with him.
Sveum doesn’t have to do too much for Cubs fans to forget the Mike Quade era. However, the pressure to win for Sveum is immense as the fan base is trying to remain patient under new management albeit with a clenched jaw and pursed lips.
The two managers will face each other in this weekend’s Cross-town classic where they will get a taste of the rivalry from the steps of the dugout.
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Patrick is a diehard sports fan and former football player from Chicago, the greatest city in the world. The home of deep dish pizza, the greatest skyline in the world, and the best sports fans in America. Patrick has been a fan of the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks from birth and is an avid college football fan, particularly the SEC. Patrick is the host of “The Wake Up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com every Wednesday morning from 8-10. View his show’s website here. To read more of Patrick’s blogs click here.