After the Cubs wrap up their series against the Pirates — weather permitting — they head to Philadelphia for a three-game set against Ryne Sandberg and the Phillies. Here are the pitching matchups:
Friday: RHP Jake Arrieta (1-1, 2.50) vs. RHP Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.35)
Saturday: RHP Edwin Jackson (4-6, 4.70) vs. RHP David Buchanan (1-3, 6.08)
Sunday: LHP Travis Wood (6-5, 4.95) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (3-5, 4.41)
Looking for a holiday gift for your favorite Cubs fan? Major League Baseball and the Cubs today unveiled “A Century of Wrigley Field: The Official History of the Friendly Confines,” a one-of-a-kind, official retrospective book featuring classic stories and rare archived images to commemorate the ballpark’s first 100 years. The book is available for pre-order beginning today on MLB.com, and 200 advance copies are on sale now at the Cubs Store on the corner of Clark and Addison Streets with additional copies arriving on Dec. 12. The retail price is $50 and all orders must be placed by Dec. 19 to receive shipment by Dec. 24.
Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, wrote the forward for this book that details the life of “The Friendly Confines” and its unique history. The book includes tributes from Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, Chicago native and hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios, Chicago football legend Mike Ditka, Cubs play-by-play commentators Pat Hughes and Len Kasper, and others. It also highlights Cubs Hall of Famers, including Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Billy Williams and the late Ron Santo.
It was a perfect homecoming for Ryne Sandberg at Wrigley Field, which has been anything but friendly to the Cubs this season. Back at the ballpark he called home for 15 seasons, Sandberg, now the Phillies interim manager, celebrated a 6-5 win over the Cubs on Friday. Michael Young had four hits, including a tiebreaking RBI single with two outs in the ninth, and Kevin Frandsen hit a game-tying home run in the seventh to lift the Phillies.
Last Friday in San Diego, the Cubs blew a six-run first inning lead in an 8-6 loss to the Padres. This time, they couldn’t hold a 5-0 lead after five innings. Chicago now is 25-42 at Wrigley, and are one of five teams with more wins on the road than at home.
“Twice in one week, to see this kind of game, and this one at home, with your big horse [Jeff Samardzija] on the mound, cruising along and all of a sudden he starts misfiring and gets the ball up [it’s tough],” Dale Sveum said. “We can’t get a big hit to walk them off or get the chance. Michael Young hits the outfield grass [with his game-winning single] — we’re having trouble doing that at home.”
Sandberg, the Hall of Fame second baseman, received a nice ovation from the fans in his return to Wrigley. He took time to sign autographs, meet the media and say hello to old friends at the ballpark he called home from 1982-94 and again from 1996-97.
“It was good,” Sandberg said of the reception. “I heard it. A little tip of the hat to the crowd for that. And once I got up there with the umpires, we chatted a little bit. I asked them if they wanted me to take them around the ground rules.”
Sandberg not only could offer advice on how to deal with the hitter-friendly wind or the tough infield at Wrigley, but may have had a few suggestions about dealing with Samardzija, who was once on his Triple-A Iowa roster. The right-hander was shut down last Sept. 8 in his first season as a starter because the Cubs wanted to watch his innings. This year, the kid gloves are off. Friday was Samardzija’s career-high 28th start, and it included his 500th career strikeout, which he notched when he struck out Young in the third.
“Any time you get the early runs, you can be aggressive and attack the zone,” Samardzija said. “It allowed me to cruise through the middle innings. I obviously had the hiccup in the sixth.”
Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz each hit solo home runs. The Cubs added on in the fourth on Starlin Castro’s two-run double. Brian Bogusevic hit a RBi single in the fifth. But it wasn’t enough.
Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen tripled to open the Phillies’ sixth and scored on Young’s second single of the game. Jimmy Rollins then singled, and he and Young scored on Chase Utley’s triple to pull within 5-3. Utley then tallied on Domonic Brown’s groundout.
Frandsen stayed in the game, and delivered a solo homer with two outs in the seventh to tie the game at 5.
The Cubs had runners at first and second and one out in the seventh but Zach Miner struck out Murphy. Bogusevic singled to right, and Dioner Navarro, who was on second, tried to score, but was thrown out at home.
“You think about pinch-running there, but at home, in the seventh inning, [Navarro] is coming up again, and unless it was to win a game, it’s tough to [lift him],” Sveum said.
“I knew they were going to send me, there were two outs, tie game,” Navarro said. “They told me he made a perfect throw to the plate. We couldn’t catch a break today.”
— Carrie Muskat
Darwin Barney still has a bat autographed by his former Triple-A manager, Ryne Sandberg. The current Cubs second baseman also remembers all the lessons he learned from the former one, now a Hall of Famer and back at Wrigley Field as the Phillies interim manager.
“I admired the way he prepared for the game every day, his intensity, the way baseball was his life,” Barney said Friday. “He went about it the right way and respected it where he’s like, ‘I’ll start in the Minor Leagues and won’t try to jump on with a buddy and be a bench coach.’ He wanted to learn how to manage. The way he went about his business every day and the way he helped me out before games at second base [was huge].”
Sandberg spent four seasons in the Cubs organization as a Minor League manager, and was passed over the big league job twice. He then left to manage in the Phillies’ system, and was on the big league team’s coaching staff this year. When Charlie Manuel was dismissed, Sandberg took over the Phillies.
Barney was Iowa’s starting shortstop but passed over when the Cubs promoted Starlin Castro from Double-A Tennessee in May 2010. Barney went to Sandberg because he wanted to know what to do to get that call. Sandberg and Barney began working at second base before games three times a week at home and on the road.
“I was fortunate to have a good relationship with him,” Barney said. “The ability to communicate with him was very helpful.”
Dale Sveum could relate to Sandberg’s interim status. Sveum was the Brewers’ interim manager for 12 games in 2008.
“The biggest thing is we’re probably taking over in the same kind of way,” said Sveum, hired as the Cubs manager prior to the 2012 season. “I took over as interim with 12 games. He’s got a couple months, six weeks. As a coach, you’ve got your own little world, and then all of a sudden, you have everybody’s little world, all 25 players, and the game management as well. You have so many responsbilities as well as the media as well as the game management as well as managing 25 players.”
Sveum said he didn’t even think about being an “interim” manager. He was the manager.
“You’re just managing at that time, you don’t worry about any tag,” he said. “You have a job to do and that’s all you can do.”
Sveum expected the Wrigley Field crowd to give Sandberg a nice welcome.
“A guy coming back to a place where he was a Hall of Famer, he deserves a lot of attention,” Sveum said. “He had a heck of a career here in Chicago. On the field, off the field, he was the ultimate professional and deserves all the attention he’s going to get. He’s one of the best players of all time.”
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs open a three-game series against the Phillies Friday at Wrigley Field. Interim Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg becomes the second person to go into the Hall of Fame as a Cub only to manage against the team following enshrinement. Sandberg was admitted into the Hall in 2005. Sandberg joins Rogers Hornsby, who played for the Cubs from 1929-32, and was enshrined in the Hall in 1942. Hornsby faced the Cubs while managing the Reds in 1952-53. A total of 15 Cubs Hall of Famers managed against the organization at some point in their careers, however, Hornsby and Sandberg are the only two to do so following enshrinement into the Hall.
Here’s Friday’s lineup:
On Friday, Ryne Sandberg returns to Wrigley Field as interim manager of the Phillies. The Hall of Fame second baseman played 15 seasons with the Cubs, and made it no secret that he wanted to manage the team. What kind of reception does Cubs manager Dale Sveum feel Sandberg will get?
“I’m sure he’ll get a standing ovation,” Sveum said. “This guy is in the Hall of Fame. He’s arguably the best second baseman to play the game and he did it all in Chicago. It’ll be a nice moment for him to come back, after getting his first job, and a couple weeks after he gets it, he comes to Chicago for the first time.”
Sveum spent most of his playing career with the Brewers, and thought about possibly managing there but was passed over as well. He also managed in the Minor Leagues, but Sveum wasn’t a Hall of Fame player.
“I only did it in Double-A for three years, which is a perfect level to manage at,” Sveum said. “Guys are past the core development, so you have decent players, and you’re dealing more with men than kids, and they’re hungry to get to the big leagues and most people in Double-A have a shot at a cup of coffee in the big leagues. That’s what you try to do as a Minor League manager is get every player a cup of coffee.”
So Sveum, like Sandberg, rode the buses and caught the early flights and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the clubhouse.
“It’s impressive that somebody who had those credentials [like Sandberg] would want to stay in the game and go back to the Minor Leagues and teach and progress and get accustomed to managing, especially to the National League part of managing, and obviously get an opportunity to do it,” Sveum said.
A lot of players say they want to manage or coach, but once they get into player development, they realize how much of a commitment it is.
“Some guys have had great careers but they find out [what it takes], it turns into a 24/7 job, it’s not for everybody,” Sveum said.
“You’re in your own little world as a player,” he said. “At the end [of his playing career], I started asking a lot of questions of Jim Leyland and really paying attention to the game itself. When you’re a player, you worry about your four at-bats and not making a fool out of yourself.”
Did it take long for Sveum to get over not getting the Brewers’ job?
“I don’t think it’s tough to get over,” Sveum said. “It’s just part of the game, and you understand the business part and how lucky it is to get one of these jobs. There’s luck involved. There’s a circulation of managers being let go. There’s only 30 of these jobs and for newcomers to get one, it’s hard to do.
“It’s not easy to put $100 to $200 million payrolls together and hand them to somebody who’s never done it before,” he said. “You keep plugging along and doing your thing, and if it happens, it happens.”
— Carrie Muskat
When the Cubs played in Philadelphia earlier this month, Darwin Barney talked to Ryne Sandberg about his future. At the time, Sandberg, who had been Barney’s Minor League manager for two seasons in the Cubs organization, was the Phillies third base coach.
“We talked about what his future was there and obviously, he was optimistic but he wasn’t at all thinking that it’s his job,” Barney said about the Phillies managerial job. “He was just happy to be at the big league level and obviously, very humble. I think it happened a little quicker than I thought. Good for him. I think there are good things to come.”
What happened on Friday was Sandberg’s promotion from coach to big league manager, replacing the Phillies’ Charlie Manuel as the interim manager for the remainder of the season.
Barney didn’t know about the news until after Friday’s Cubs game.
“I’m really happy for him,” Barney said. “He’s done every step to get there. He didn’t cut any corners, he didn’t hop on with a buddy at the big league level. He wanted to be a manager and he wanted to learn how to manage in the Minor Leagues, and watching his growth every year was kind of fun.
“I know it’s only an ‘interim’ in front of his name, but I think he’s going to do a good job and hopefully he can hold onto that job.”
Sandberg, who played 15 seasons with the Cubs, spent four years as a Minor League manager in their organization, beginning at Class A Peoria in 2007. Barney was on the team at the time, and learned a lot from the Hall of Fame second baseman.
“The main thing was his competitive nature and the way he prepared for every game, even as a manager,” Barney said. “He didn’t say too much when things weren’t needed to be said. When he did say things, you definitely listened because it was very timely and to the point. I think he became a players’ manager pretty quick. He’s a guy you think about and you want to go to battle with him.”
Sandberg, named the Pacific Coast League manager of the year in 2010, made it clear he wanted to manage the big league Cubs but then GM Jim Hendry bypassed him in 2011 and hired Mike Quade, who was dismissed after one season.
Sandberg endured the bus rides and the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the long hours required of a Minor League manager. He didn’t shy from the chores just because he was enshrined in Cooperstown.
“[Being a Hall of Famer] was the last thing on his mind,” Barney said. “One of the things I thought when he left the Cubs organization was that maybe that will help him because now he’s not Ryne Sandberg, Hall of Fame second baseman for the Chicago Cubs, but now he’s Ryne Sandberg, the manager. I think that paid dividends in the end. I wish him the best of luck.”
— Carrie Muskat
On Friday, the Phillies replaced Charlie Manuel with former Cubs second baseman and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as manager. Sandberg will be the interim manager, and finish the season, GM Ruben Amaro said.
“I like Ryne Sandberg, and I’ve liked him ever since the first day I met him,” Manuel said at a news conference announcing the changes in Philadelphia. “I think he definitely deserves a chance to manage in the Major Leagues. I think he’ll be a good manager, and I enjoy talking baseball with him.”
Amaro says they brought Sandberg in because wanted the Phillies wanted a good baseball man.
“We were surprised he had not gotten that opportunity yet [to manage],” Amaro said. “I think he’s got the qualities necessary to be a quality Major League mangaer. Time will tell.”
Sandberg will get to manage in Wrigley Field when the Phillies come to Chicago Aug. 30-Sept. 1 for a weekend series.
— Carrie Muskat
I know this is a few days after the 25th anniversary date, but finally found the play by play (put together by SABR and Cubs historian Ed Hartig) from the first night game at Wrigley Field on 8/8/88 vs. the Phillies that was postponed by rain. Just posting to give you something to read before Cubs face Cardinals on Saturday night:
Phil Bradley, HR to LF
Milt Thompson, groundout, 5-3
Juan Samuel, flyout, 8
Mike Schmidt, foul popup, 3
Mitch Webster, single to CF
Ryne Sandberg, HR to LF
Mark Grace, lineout, 3
Andre Dawson, struck out swinging
Rafael Palmeiro, flyout, 8
Lance Parrish, groundout, 3 unassisted
Chris James, foul popup, 3
Ricky Jordan, single
Steve Jeltz, single, Jordan to third
Kevin Gross, popup, 6
Vance Law, foul popup, 3
Damon Berryhill, double to LF
Shawon Dunston, flyout, 8
Rick Sutcliffe, walk. During this AB, Berryhill advances on wild pitch
Webster, groundout, 3
Bradley, groundout, 5-3
Thompson, groundout, 5-3
Samuel, double to RF
Schmidt, groundout, 6-3
Grace, sacrifice, 3 unassisted, Sandberg to second
Dawson, groundout, 5-3, Sandberg to third
Palmeiro, single to RF, Sandberg scored
Palmeiro caught stealing, 2-4
Parrish called out on strikes
James, groundout, 1-4-3
Jordan, triple to RF
Jeltz, struck out swinging
Rain stopped play, and game called at 10:25 p.m. CT
— Carrie Muskat