The Peoria Chiefs announced on Tuesday that Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg would return as the team's manager in 2008.
Sandberg led the Cubs' Midwest League affiliate to a 71-68 record in '07 and a tie for the second-half championship in the Western Division, though the Chiefs missed making the playoffs by virtue of a tie-breaker. Former Cub Carmelo Martinez will join Sandberg's staff as hitting coach.
“I’m excited about coming back to Peoria as I had a great experience there as a manager in 2007. (My wife) Margaret and I both enjoyed our time in Peoria and are looking forward to another season of living and managing in Peoria."
Somehow I would believe that more if it came from Margaret.
Former Milwaukee Brewer shorstop Pat Listach, who managed Double-A Tennessee to a 73-65 record and a post-season appearance last year, is being promoted to the top job at Triple-A Iowa, where he was hitting coach from 2001 through '05. Buddy Bailey, who managed the I-Cubs (79-65) last season, will take over at Tennessee.
Finally, former Cub catcher Jody Davis will return as manager at Class A Advanced Daytona.
Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, reportedly on Jim Hendry's Future Cub radar since at least the Winter Meetings, admitted to a reporter from the Baltimore Sun that he used performance-enhancing drugs, confirming allegations in the Mitchell Report.
Roberts describes his steroid use thusly:
"In 2003, when I took one shot of steroids, I immediately realized that this was not what I stood for or anything that I wanted to continue doing. I never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing drugs prior to or since that single incident.
"I can honestly say before God, myself, my family and all of my fans that steroids or any performance-enhancing drugs have never had any effect on what I have worked so hard to accomplish in the game of baseball. I am very sorry and I deeply regret ever making that terrible decision.
"My only hope and prayer is that the Orioles, my family, friends and fans that have supported me so faithfully will forgive me."
Though Roberts was one of 19 current or former Baltimore players named in the report, the two-time All-Star was the highest profile player in the group. He could spend the rest of his career, whether it's in Baltimore, Chicago, or somewhere else, trying to scrub the stink from his reputation.
On a positive note, the Mitchell Report marks the first time in recent memory that the O's have finished among the leaders in the American League.