Cheap Seats

You can manage in St. Louis

Here's some food for throught:

The announcement that Lou Pineila will retire at the end of the season means that the Cubs have had seven managers in the 15 years that Tony La Russa has been at the helm of the Cardinals. meanwhile, the Redbirds have only had six managers in the last 45 (not including short stints of interim managers.) During the same span, the Cubs have had 17 "permanent" managers over the same time period.

Even with the short stays of Ken Boyer and Vern Rapp mixed in there, the average lifespan of a Cardinals manager is 7.5 years. Such franchise stability will be a huge selling point when La Russa decides to retire. Only a handful of teams, the Braves, Twins and Yankees, can offer that sort of consistency.

Still, the talk in Chicago is that La Russa will leave St. Louis at the end of the season to sit on the Cubs' hot seat. Riiiiiiiiight. The Cubs have quite the catch 22 when it comes to hiring a new manager: Why would they want to hire anyone who would be dumb enough to want that job?

Ryne Sandberg is the sentimental choice. And the former Cubs second baseman has already said he's interested in the job. But he should ask Wee Bears bench coach Alan Trammell what it's like to manage a team for which you starred. Trammel was the most popular player in Detroit during his 20-year playing career. He got only three seasons to manage the Tigers before he was canned in favor of Jim Leyland.

Cardinals managers since 1965:

Tony La Russa: 1996-present (15th year)

Joe Torre: 1990-1195 (5 years)

Whitey Herzog: 1980-1990 (10.5 years)

Ken Boyer: 1978-1980 (2 years)

Vern Rapp: 1977-1978 (1 year)

Red Schoendienst: 1965-1977 (12 years)