Ryno's Not Just Doing It, He's Doing It Well

By Chris Rewers on Monday, August 9, 2010

The longtime intramural sports director ay my alma mater, St. Ambrose University, was a gentleman named Leo Kilfoy. Kilfoy used to hand out t-shirts as awards for intramural champions, runners-up, and all-stars that usually included a motivational phrase of the back. One of those maxims on a shirt that I owned was a play on the old Nike slogan and read, "Don't just do it. Do it better!"

I was reminded of that slogan while reading Tyler Kepner's fine story about Iowa Cubs manager Ryne Sandberg in Sunday's New York Times.

I have mentioned to our readers and in discussions with my friends that Sandberg deserves to be the next Cubs manager because he has "paid his dues."

But Kepner's piece made me realize that Sandberg has done much more than coast on his Hall of Fame reputation during his four seasons as a minor-league skipper. Ryno has accomplished quite a bit during his tenure and has earned the respect of his players, as was evidenced by the remarks of outfielder Jim Adduci.

"At first, it was a little surreal to have a Hall of Famer and a Cubs legend as your manager," said Adduci, an Evergreen Park native who has played for Sandberg at three levels. "But after about a week of that, you just realize that he's your manager and he's going to help you out. He's just like one of us, trying to get to the big leagues, and that's big with us down here."

Kepner also reminded me that Sandberg's teams have had winning records in three of his four seasons. Iowa's 67-48 record this season is the best in the Pacific Coast League.

Sandberg appreciates what it means to be a Cub and he's experienced at dealing with the Chicago media.

Can he handle the heat that comes with the job? He has done an exceptional job of dealing with being the focal point of the fans and media during his stops at Peoria, Tennessee, and Iowa.

The more I think about it, the stronger my opinion becomes that Ryno should be the guy in 2011.

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