Monday, June 16th, 2008

No Love for Sandberg in Toronto

Based upon my brief time spent in Toronto, it seems that Toronto Blue Jays fans have no respect for the Ryne Sandberg's playing career. For Saturday's game at Rogers Centre, I wore my 1984 Sandberg road jersey. That's among my favorite uniforms of all time. Every time I visit a new ballpark, I buy the home team's fitted hat. I was in Toronto back in 2000, but I didn't buy a Blue Jays hat back then. I was walking through the team store when a local approached me.

"Dude, Sandberg sucks," he said.

Typical trash talk that means nothing. So I responded, "Hey, he's a Hall-of-Famer and former MVP."

"He signs a big contract and puts up chump numbers," he said.

That one stung a bit. "He hit more home runs than any second baseman in history until Jeff Kent."

"He signed a big contract and hit, what, seven home runs the next year?"

At this point, I was trying to walk away, but he continued to follow me. "You call that a great player?"

"He broke his hand at the end of spring training in 1993 and didn't play a full season. The player's strike happened in August of 1994 and he retired in late June of that season." That's when I had to walk away.

Just to clarify, he hit nine home runs in 1993 and played in only 117 games.

That guy was obviously a loser. You know I'm a Cards fan, but I have a ton of respect for Ryne Sandberg. The guy had a great career, and is an upstanding citizen to boot. I lived in Peoria last summer, and went to Peoria Chiefs games regularly, and he was always out there signing autographs and just being friendly. I think that some baseball players deserve some trash talking - some of the big contract guys do get a pretty large ego and then fail to perform (calling out one of my own - Scott Rolen), but I don't think Sandberg fits into that category.
Casey   Monday, June 16, 2008
I think you should have tasered that guy. Just a little bit.
Mark Almighty   Monday, June 16, 2008
Was the fan you interacted with named Joe Morgan? For some reason Morgan is very jealous of Ryno.
RickMonday   Tuesday, June 17, 2008
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