Sandberg? Sutcliffe? Grace? Maddux?
As the Cubs search for a new manager (again), and fans begin to project who would make good coaches in the new regime, something continues to baffle me: Why do fans continue to throw out the names of former Cubs' favorites as prospective coaches?
I mean, come on, who doesn't love Ryno? The Red Barron? Gracie? Sarge? Right? They are Cub icons, and all-of-them, fan favorites. However, it seems borderline ridiculous, or at least yet-to-be-justified to be throwing these guys names out there as coaches for the new regime. What is it that will make Ryne Sandberg a great coach? What is it that will make Greg Maddux a great coach?
I can't say what it is that makes a good coach, but I think that we all agree that from the manager on down, what the Cubs need are excellent, hungry, devoted teachers of the game. We've all complained, and all agree, no-matter-our-differences, that the Cubs' coaches as of late have plain-sucked. It showed on the field everday. The best teachers of the game -- or the best teachers in general, in life -- are not necessarily the Hall of Famers or best players. That is one thing I have always observed about baseball--or any sport for that matter--it's usually the mediocre former players or no-namers that make the best managers and coaches. Excelling as a coach utilizes a different set of skills than succeeding as a player.
So, do people really want these former stars to be coaching our players? I just want to know what other people seem to suggest: What is it that will make Ryne Sanberg a great coach? Maddux? Grace? Me, personally, I always feel more comfortable with the manager making the choice. I mean, it's not a popularity contest.
What does it take to be a great coach? Who are the best candidates? Why would former star players make good coaches?