Despite the media’s insistence that 2010 was a horrible year for the Cubs (yes, they finished below .500 with a 75-87 record), I don’t feel this is truly the case.
2010 was more a year of rebuilding than it was some tragic demolition of a ballclub.
Fact, Lou Pinella retired (leaving behind a 51-74 record). Sweet Lou was one hell of a manager and you can bet that his impending retirement was felt in the clubhouse before he stepped foot out the door. As a player, a coach you know and love leaving is like losing a parent, a mentor.
Despite the loss of Lou, Mike Quade stepped in to finish the season, and the Cubs went 24-13 with him at the helm. That’s an outstanding record! Over .500, in fact they won almost twice as many as they lost. I’m no math whiz, but this is a good thing.
Many in the Cubs Nation were upset when Quade was given the manager’s job for 2011 instead of Ryne Sandberg. I too was a tad bit upset, but I see nothing wrong with giving Quade a full season to prove himself, because he’s already shown he’s an asset to the team.
Ryno has a job as the manager of the Phillies’ Triple A club (the Lehigh Valley IronPigs! Bonus points for a sweet mascot!). No, he’s not in the Cubs organization any longer but I don’t feel this little venture will sully Ryno’s good name. He can gain more experience managing and if Quade proves to not be a successful manager in the 2011 season, there’s no reason the Cubs can’t hire Ryno at a later date.
You want a tragic ballclub from 2010? Look to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who finished with a 57-105 record. That’s dreadful. I sincerely hope the Pirates organization doesn’t dwell on that record and can pull together a few more W’s in the 2011 season. I don’t like to see anyone do that poorly, except perhaps the Yankees.
In the meantime, how about we concentrate on how fantastic it is that Spring Training is now upon us. Enjoy a cold beer in the warm Arizona sun!