Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Replacing Ryno Wasn't Easy

Mickey Morandini is the answer to the trivia question, "Who replaced future Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg after he retired (for good)?  The Cubs got Morandini in a trade with the Phillies (like they did with Sandberg years earlier), in hopes of the recent All-Star would fill the void at second left by Ryno.
Morandini played a solid defense for the Cubs, but his offense was a huge dropoff from Ryno, although that was expected.  Ryno spoiled Chicagoans!
After two average seasons in Chicago, Morandini signed as a free agent with Montreal (but was sold back to Philadelphia before the season).  Eric Young replaced Morandini with the Cubs and this started a bit of a revolving door at the position.  The Cubs have used 8 regular starting second baseman since Morandini left.
I always liked Morandini.  I think his career pales because of the wide-spread use of PED's by other players.  His 32 career home runs don't look so impressive compared to some of the inflated stats of others back then.  Morandini would never be considered for the Hall of Fame, but I think his career would have been judged differently in a non-steroid era.
I met Morandini at AU Sports.  He was very fan-friendly and eager discussed his time with the Cubs.  He was a popular player here, but more popular in Philly, where he played for parts of 9 seasons out of his 11 year career.
Mickey Morandini and me in Skokie, IL-Early 2000's.

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