Tonight the MLB Network will air a one-hour interview with Ferguson Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson tonight at 8pm Central Time. A lot of it is stuff that hard-core Cubs fans have heard before, but it's probably worth watching anyway. (Full disclosure: The MLB Network sent me an advance DVD copy of the program.)
First of all, it's Fergie, Ryno and the Hawk. If you are the type of Cub fan that needs to check this blog regularly, you know you're going to watch it. The interview was conducted in Cooperstown this July during the Hall of Fame ceremonies. Costas asks them what getting inducted into Cooperstown means to all of them and was it diminished in any way because of the wait that all three of them had to go through.
Costas then asks about Cub fans and the "Curse," although to be fair, it does seem like Costas is just using "curse" as a shorthand for the losing streak. He goes into some depth about the "near misses," although he doesn't go into any real depth as to why they missed, more just going into what these three legends were feeling at the time. All three say they plan to be there when the Cubs win the World Series. I do also give Sandberg some credit for at one point stepping up and saying that Cub fans are tired of the "lovable loser" title.
Most of the rest of the hour is devoted to anecdotes about managers they have played for, Harry Caray and singing the Seventh Inning Stretch and big moments in each of their three careers. For Sandberg, that's naturally the "Sandberg Game" that Costas himself did play-by-play for. For Dawson, that was the Collusion Year of 1987 and for Jenkins, bizarrely enough, it was being the starting pitcher for Ten Cent Beer Night in Cleveland in 1974. Unsurprisingly, Jenkins tells the best stories, although contrary to what he claims, the Indians forfeit that night in Cleveland did not cost him a win. The Texas bullpen had already blown the lead by the time of the forfeit. Sandberg tells about a managing lesson he learned from Don Zimmer and Dawson talks about playing in Wrigley and Fenway.
None of it is hard-hitting. It's a friendly chit-chat with retired Hall of Famers. Sometimes I wish Costas would have acknowledged that Sandberg and Jenkins were teammates at the end of Fergie's career (Would it have been so hard to ask what he thought of his skinny third baseman in 1982?) or that Sandberg actually played his first games for the Phillies. Because the interview was conducted months ago, there is nothing on current Cub events, although Jenkins does praise the Ricketts family for heading the team in the right direction.
But as I said earlier, it's Fergie, Ryno and the Hawk. You really don't need much more reason to watch than that. Those three could read the hog futures and you'd probably watch. I will say this is much more entertaining than that.