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  • 10/02/2011, 12:29AM ET

The White Sox should hire Terry Francona.

C-C-C (397-169-39) vs Argos. (184-101-29)
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This is a takeoff on the other TD I'm in with Marlins fan. Since my White Sox are also looking for a new Skipper, it seemed appropriate

Terry Francona is the only manager Michael Jordan ever had. Why is that relevant? Because it was while he was managing the Birmingham Baron's. The White Sox AA affiliate

Tito got his start as a coach, and then manager, in the White Sox farm system. He proved to be an excellent coach and teacher of young players there. So much that he ended up with the high profile gig managing the Red Sox

Now that the Boston divorce is finalized, what better place for Francona than the organization that gave him his first shot?

Not only does it return him to an organization he's familiar with and an owner who he has a good relationship with, it's also the kind of team Terry is best suited to manage

The failings in Boston this year appear to have been caused by his inability to control spoiled veteran stars. Where Francona excels is in the teaching aspects of the game. That was gone with the Red Sox, but much needed in Chicago where they have several young, talented players interspersed with high character veterans (for the most part)


I'll trash Francona later, but first I'll introduce my candidate, Ryne Sandberg.

After having a HOF career on the North Side of Chicago as a 2B for 15 years, he knows and loves the city. The city loves him.

But then he went to coaching...

After three seasons in A & AA and 1 finals appearances, he was promoted to the AAA Iowa Cubs. He won manager of the year going 82-62 and winning the division. This past season he coached Lehigh Valley, and went 80-64 while making the playoffs and making it all the way to the finals.

5 Minor League Seasons, 3 Playoffs Appearances (with 3 different teams), 2 time Finalist

Hall of Fame GM and 3x World Series Champion, Pat Gillick said of Sandberg, "I don???t know what else he could do. I think he had a fairly successful run over with Chicago and he did a great job with us here. I think he???d make somebody a fine manager."

Scouts, and executives have raved about the job Sandberg has done in the minor leagues, and is clearly ready for his shot in the bigs.

Plus, he had a messy falling out with the Cubs last year, and he would love getting back at his former team by managing the cross town rivals, much like Mike Scioscia.


You have to understand the dynamics of Chicago baseball when you start talking about Sandberg.

Ryne is an icon...on the North Side.

On the South side...he's a sworn enemy.

White Sox fans would near revolt with a Sanberg hiring. And that's not an overstatement. These fan bases hate the other team in town with a passion, and Sandberg represents everything Cubs. You may as well suggest Ozzie Guillen manage the Cubs. It would never happen.

Tito was every bit as successful as a minor league coach and manager as Sandberg. But he did it in the White Sox system. He's one of them. Not an outsider and certainly not the enemy.

More importantly, Francona has achieved the highest level of success at the MLB level. Twice. Potential is great, proven success is far better. A bird in the hand, and all that.

Jerry Reinsdorf is the most loyal owner in baseball. He's the man who gave Francona his first shot at coaching/managing professional baseball and by all accounts the two still have a great relationship.

Bottom line, Tito is a near perfect fit while Ryne is as close to the Baseball Anti-Christ as they come in Chi-Sox Nation.


Sandberg going cross town should not be a problem. He had a falling out with the Cubs, and has moved on. The Cubs didn't want him, and he doesn't want them any more. It was a fairly messy divorce/falling-out.

Plenty of players and coaches have gone to their rivals and been beloved by their new team, just like Favre, Shaq, or Johnny Damon. Heck, Slamming Sammy Sosa went straight from the White Sox to the Cubs. No one is going to revolt.

I also wouldn't consider Francona an one of the White Sox, and not an outsider. He last coached their minor leagues in '95. Not too many people (if any outside of Reinsdorf) still around the White Sox organization that knew Terry.


I don't know how successful Francona really has been. He absolutely sucked with the Phillies for 4 seasons. In Boston he had GREAT teams with massive payrolls, yet only won the division 1 time, and only won a playoff game in 3 of his 8 seasons with them. He hasn't won a playoff game with such a great team in 3 seasons, missing the playoffs entirely the past two years.

Francona even lost the club house and players started tuning him out.

Everyone needs a start, and this is the perfect start for Ryne.


It wasn't a messy divorce, it was a trial separation. Ryno's problems were with Hendry, who was just fired. It appears both sides are ready to make Sandberg the next Cubs Manager

Courtesy of the Chicago Sun Times:

Sources close to Sandberg say he???s open to returning after the firing of former general manager Jim Hendry.

Again, you -really- have to understand the dynamics of Chicago baseball before stating it "should not be a problem". It would be a HUGE problem

Sandberg isn't even on the White Sox short list of people to interview. It's unlikely his name has even been uttered. ANY other team in baseball and you could made a good argument for Sandberg. Simply can't happen on the South Side of Chicago

Reinsdorf is all that matters. Sandy Alomar Jr hasn't played for them since 2002. Dave Martinez since 1997. Those are the other two names along with Tito on the short list for the job. (No Ryno)

Francona's style wasn't suited to the current RS roster. It's very well suited to the current White Sox roster. What doesn't work in one place, works well in another

You couldn't have picked a WORSE place to start for Ryne if you tried. Seriously.


Forfeited Turn

October 2, 2011  12:56 AM ET

Too bad I agree with you.

October 2, 2011  01:35 AM ET

He taught MJ well

October 2, 2011  01:36 AM ET

They should get rid of their terrible contracts first and fix what Williams did.

October 2, 2011  01:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

They should get rid of their terrible contracts first and fix what Williams did.

The only "terrible contracts" are Dunn and Rios. Both had awful years, but both are certainly capable of bouncing back. Peavy will be in the last year of his deal next year and should finally be completely healed by the time spring training gets here.

This is going to be a young team next year, with a lot of talented players who will need direction.

October 2, 2011  02:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

He taught MJ well

You say that facetiously, but for a guy who hadn't played baseball -at all- in over a decade, never play at College or pro levels previously, and was thrown straight into AA, MJ did remarkably well.

October 2, 2011  03:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

You say that facetiously, but for a guy who hadn't played baseball -at all- in over a decade, never play at College or pro levels previously, and was thrown straight into AA, MJ did remarkably well.

MJ's stat line in AA...keep in mind he was 31 years old at the time playing against professionals 10+ years younger than he, and hadn't played baseball since high school (13 years)

436AB 46R 17Doubles 3HR 51RBI 30SB 51BB 114SO .202BA

Many of us White Sox fans were not amused at what was thought to be nothing more than a publicity stunt. AA is a critical level for a developing player and we didn't want playing time given to a guy who clearly was never going to be a MLB player just so he could have a real life 'fantasy camp'. That said, by all accounts MJ took is seriously and worked his tail off all season. And the team appreciated the top of the line new bus he purchased for them...

That team was lucky to have Francona. The media circus in every town was unlike anything those kids had ever seen before. Sellouts in AA are not something you see often, that year it was standing room only for every game home and away.

October 2, 2011  03:34 AM ET

Agreed, it would be a good hire for Chicago. They need veteran leadership. Maybe they can trade Dunn to the Red Sox.

Comment #9 has been removed
October 2, 2011  12:04 PM ET

Terry>Ryne Plus Ryne would jump ship as soon as Quade was gone.

October 2, 2011  01:01 PM ET
QUOTE:

Enough said.<<<<----

well Yohi, I guess when you know, you know.

October 2, 2011  02:10 PM ET

I cannot even picture Sandberg with the White Sox

October 2, 2011  02:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

I cannot even picture Sandberg with the White Sox

No fan of the Sox or Cubs could. Hell, nobody even familiar with Chicago baseball could other than maybe a couple sportswriters trying to sell a story.

October 2, 2011  02:24 PM ET

Argos has the right idea but I don't see him with the White Sox. I do, however, think he would be the right man to replace Tito in Boston. He clearly has the pedigree as a player so he will have the player's respect and, after a career with the Cubs, nothing in Boston will intimidate or overwhelm him. And he has managed his **** off paying his dues in the minors, generating success at all stops. He just needs to be given the opportunity and the team that gives it to him will be very pleased and rewarded.

October 2, 2011  03:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Argos has the right idea but I don't see him with the White Sox. I do, however, think he would be the right man to replace Tito in Boston. He clearly has the pedigree as a player so he will have the player's respect and, after a career with the Cubs, nothing in Boston will intimidate or overwhelm him. And he has managed his **** off paying his dues in the minors, generating success at all stops. He just needs to be given the opportunity and the team that gives it to him will be very pleased and rewarded.

Boston has too much money tied up in players to hire a first year manager. I'd be shocked if they went with inexperience at this point.

October 2, 2011  05:05 PM ET

Francona was mediocre at best in Philly.

A manager's success is directly related to the talent on the field. Joe Torre went from pathetic with the Mets to demi-god with the Yankees. Difference? Highest payroll in baseball.

Torre was under .500 his last season in LA, about the same time the talent went down as well.

Managers in baseball are vastly overrated.

October 2, 2011  06:15 PM ET
QUOTE(#20):

Managers in baseball are vastly overrated.

Overrated is the wrong word. Yes, they get way too much credit for success and way too much blame for failures when it comes to W/L, but put a team out there without a manager at all and regardless of how talented they are, they are going fail in a big way.

It's just like the manager of any business. McDonalds is going to sell Big Macs no matter who manages the restaurant, but a poor manager is going to lead to poor quality and service, while a good manager is going to lead to good quality and service even with the same exact product and employees. And even though they all look the same, you know within seconds of walking inside whether it's well managed or poorly managed.

And that's McDonalds. Managing a team of prima donna multi-millionaires is exponentially more difficult.

As much as I dislike Tony LaRussa, you can't argue with his success. And it has often come withOUT being the most talented team, personnel wise. Mangers make a difference.

Of course the talent on the field matters tremendously, but to say who the manager is doesn't matter or is "vastly overrated" is just wrong. If the Red Sox don't choose a manager who can handle their issues, he will fail and his team will fail to reach their potential. Ditto the White Sox or any other team.

Comment #22 has been removed
October 2, 2011  07:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#20):

Francona was mediocre at best in Philly.A manager's success is directly related to the talent on the field. Joe Torre went from pathetic with the Mets to demi-god with the Yankees. Difference? Highest payroll in baseball.Torre was under .500 his last season in LA, about the same time the talent went down as well.Managers in baseball are vastly overrated.

The Dodgers' sub.500 record wasn't entirely Torre's fault, the team imploded.

October 2, 2011  08:59 PM ET
QUOTE(#22):

I always liked Ryno, but I don't understand why he would want to go to the South Side, or why they would want him there.Sandberg should be managing the Cubs.

Cause he had a messy divorce when he didn't get the job last year and is mad at management and ownership.

It would be a good way to get back at them.

 
October 2, 2011  08:59 PM ET
QUOTE:

Agreed.

Disagreed...

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