I have not vanished -- been busy today getting my phone and internet service switched over to Comcast -- and have just now had time to sit down and read over some off-day online articles.
Found this long, detailed article about Ryne Sandberg and how he has really changed since his playing days, when he had a reputation for being quiet, according to his teammate Rick Sutcliffe:
"I knew he was there to see me, but he couldn't tell me that," Sutcliffe says. "He had a hard time communicating."
Sutcliffe first noticed the change a few years ago, when Cubs President John McDonough asked Sandberg and him to speak for 20 minutes at a Cubs function.
"I laughed out loud," Sutcliffe remembers, "figuring if we were supposed to speak 20 minutes, 19-and-a-half would be me. But then he got up there and just wouldn't stop. And I sat in awe. He was funny, entertaining. It was perfect.
"He's like a different person. His whole personality, everything has really come out. I don't think he could possibly be any happier. And I couldn't be happier for him."
There's more, including quite a bit about his managing tenure so far at Peoria (he's been tossed a Piniellaesque four times already). Worthwhile reading on a cloudy, coolish Thursday afternoon (69 degrees outside my window in Chicago).