#Hot Corner

What kind of manager will Ryne Sandberg be?

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Some excerpts from Ryne Sandberg's Hall of Fame induction speech which might or might not be revealing:

Harry [Caray], who was a huge supporter of mine, used to say how nice it is that a guy who can hit 40 homers or steal 50 bases or drive in a hundred runs is the best bunter on the team. Nice? That was my job. When did it -- When did it become okay for someone to hit home runs and forget how to play the rest of the game?

We bunt not to win ballgames, but to teach young men the values of teamwork and self-sacrifice.

When we went home every winter, they warned us not to lift heavy weights because they didn’t want us to lose flexibility. They wanted us to be baseball players, not only home run hitters.

These guys sitting up here did not pave the way for the rest of us so that players could swing for the fences every time up and forget how to move a runner over to third. It’s disrespectful to them, to you, and to the game of baseball that we all played growing up.

Respect.

Home runs are inherently selfish, and disrespect the origins of our great game. All the home runs ever hit amount to but a drop in the ocean of Moving the Runner Over.

It's actually not as bad as all that. Sandberg's record as a manager indicates that after three years as a soldier in the Holy Army of Bunting, he fell out of love with the sacrifice. In his first three seasons, split between Single-A and Double-A, Sandberg's teams finished 3rd, 2nd, and 2nd in the league in sac bunts. But in his next three seasons, all at Triple-A, his teams finished 10th (of 16), 9th (of 14), and 6th (of 14).

Still, the promotion of someone who publicly derogated home runs (and lifting weights!) in favor of discredited one-run strategies seems utterly appropriate for the most retrograde organization in baseball.

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