Yes, Marlon Byrd. There's a very good reason - let me explain.
- Marlon Byrd has been hit by a pitch 16 times for the Cubs this year.
- The last Cubs batter to get hit by at least 16 pitches was Frank Chance in 1904 (16) and 1905 (17).
- In 1905, the Cubs named Chance player/manager in mid-season.
- In 1907 and 1908 the Cubs won the World Series, with Frank Chance as player/manager.
- From 1909 to 2009, the Cubs never had a player get hit by 16 pitches, and never won a World Series (as you may know).
Now, I know everyone loves Ryne Sandberg - I walked among about 15,000 Ryne Sandberg jerseys in Cooperstown in 2005 for his Hall of Fame induction (and saw a total of 3 Wade Boggs jerseys all weekend). But the fact is, Ryno never got hit by more than 7 pitches in a season. But the Cubs have never won a World Series without being managed by a guy who had taken 16 plunks for the team. Maybe it's just that grit and determination and willingness to sacrifice his body for the team that made Chance a winning manager, and that's just the ingredient that's been missing from every manager since 1908.