Here’s a fresh open thread for general discussion. And here’s my #HotTake for the day – Ryne Sandberg should be fired for allowing Burnett to throw that many pitches with a rain delay in the middle when the club is trying to trade him. Six innings of shut-out ball proved the point. Seven was ridiculous. Eight was borderline negligent. Phillippe Aumont was fresh in the bullpen to give you two innings, and the game was meaningless to the season.
In general, I don’t care for Sandberg’s managerial style. Last night with two men on he had Darin Ruf bunt so that Andres Blanco could take a crack at Madison Bumgarner. The guy’s barely allowing any baserunners all night, and you want to give him an out against one of your “better” bats so a guy who until two weeks ago hadn’t seen the big leagues since 2011 can take his chance? No. Bad. Also, there’s this, from Jim Salisbury this spring, partially quoting Sandberg’s book:
Sandberg became fed up with the game and abruptly retired, walking away from nearly $16 million, in June 1994.
“I was caught between two generations, the one I came up with, which still cared about the game, and the one I left behind, which hardly cared at all,” he wrote in the book. “In the ’90s, I saw too many guys having fun after losses because they got a few hits or did something good for themselves. That didn’t appeal to me at all. There’s a lack of respect today for the game and for each other.”
So as I read that, he retired in 1994, in part, because he was a petulant child. Respect the game or I’m taking my ball and going home. That’s Brian McCann stuff right there – the stuff I would make fun of for being over-the-top “fun-police” activity. Unwritten rule enforcement, except instead of standing up to it, he walked out on his team while he still had gas in the tank, (he came back for two years and put up 3.2 bWAR in 1996, so he clearly wasn’t done).
Do you really want that guy running what’s supposed to be a modern baseball club? I don’t. Maybe I’m just jealous of the clubs around the league with forward-thinking managers and front offices, but to me, Sandberg is the wrong guy for this generation of baseball. Also, the return we got for him in trade was really lousy, and I blame him a little bit. Ok, not really.
Anyway, that’s my rant for the morning. For more #HotTakes, check out the comments on this thread, I imagine.