Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Preview, Thursday 8/25, 1:20 CT: The Sandberg Conundrum

We're not likely to see this much longer: Manager Mike Quade of the Chicago Cubs calls a conference on the mound in the 9th inning against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Braves 3-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It seems likely that Mike Quade is going to join Jim Hendry on the unemployment line after this season is over, and the Cubs' new general manager will name a new field manager for the 2012 season.

This Gordon Wittenmyer article in the Sun-Times names some of the possible GM targets: Andrew Friedman, Brian Cashman and Ned Colletti, but also adds this note:

While Colletti is viewed by many as cut from similar old-school-GM cloth as Jim Hendry, one attraction to him, a source said, is the likelihood he would try to bring Ryne Sandberg back to the organization as the Cubs’ manager. Sandberg has told those close to him that with Hendry out, he wouldn’t hesitate to return to the Cubs.

It's been clear to me for some time that there was some rift between Sandberg and Hendry. The reasons for that rift are unknown, and at this point it doesn't really matter, since Hendry is gone. Let me be clear that I am not advocating for Colletti for this reason; I agree with the idea that Colletti, who grew up in Chicago and worked for the Cubs in media relations in the 1980s, is more "old-school", and the Cubs need a newer-idea, younger GM.

I have, though, been an advocate for Sandberg in the past and it seems clear to me that although no one could have managed the 2011 Cubs to the postseason, that they would have been more successful under Sandberg, among whose best traits as a manager appears to be his insistence on team discipline and "playing the game right".

There are those here, I know, who would love Sandberg to be manager. Count me as one of them. I believe he could be hired back under virtually any of the GM candidates, because I know that Tom Ricketts likes and admires Sandberg. The article also indicates that Ricketts might try to go after Cashman and Joe Girardi as a tandem; I'd be fine with that, too.

For anyone here who doesn't want Sandberg as a manager, I'd like to hear from you. Beyond his lack of major league coaching experience -- which I grant is one mark against his credentials -- why do you think he would be a bad choice?

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Ramirez 3B, Peña 1B, Johnson LF, Byrd CF, Colvin RF, Soto C, Garza P

Braves lineup:

Bourn cf, Prado 3b, McCann c, Uggla 2b, Freeman 1b, Gonzalez ss, Heyward rf, Constanza lf, Beachy p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Matt Garza
Matt Garza
Cubs
vs. Brandon Beachy
Brandon Beachy
Braves
6-9 W-L 6-2
3.62 ERA 3.32
151 SO 120
51 BB 32
11 HR 14
vs. Atl -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Matt Garza 6-9 24 24 1 0 0 0 146.2 138 70 59 11 51 151 3.62 1.29


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Brandon Beachy 6-2 19 19 0 0 0 0 108.1 94 43 40 14 32 120 3.32 1.16

Today's game is another pitching rematch of the recent series in Atlanta; this one is from the Sunday, August 14 game where Brandon Beachy struck out 18 Cubs, but the Cubs won anyway. I'll take that result again, please. Carlos Pena won that game with a two-run homer off Braves reliever Eric O'Flaherty.

Today's game is on WGN and SportSouth. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Braves site Talking Chop.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:20 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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