The Chicago Cubs were not stingy with handing out World Series rings following the team’s victory over the Cleveland Indians last fall.
In addition to giving rings to 2003 NLCS punching bag Steve Bartman and (for whatever reason) NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, the Cubs also dished out rings to a trio of former staffers – ex-managers Rick Renteria and Dale Sveum, and former GM Jim Hendry.
This info comes from, of all places, a USA Today profile of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
The Cubs showed their respect to Renteria by quietly giving him a World Series ring, Reinsdorf revealed. They also gave one to former GM Jim Hendry and former manager Dale Sveum.
“I thought it was pretty classy of them,’’ Reinsdorf said. “And I thought giving one to (Steve) Bartman was nice, too. Bartman got a bad rap. I’ve seen the video over and over again. There were three or four other guys reaching for that ball, too. He happened to be the poor soul who touched it.
“It wouldn’t have mattered if Alex Gonzalez hadn’t booted a double play ball right afterwards. Gonzalez got a free pass, and everybody blamed it on Bartman. The poor guy.’’
Renteria was given a raw deal by the Cubs, as he was fired following the 2014 season (his one year with the Cubs organization) after going 73-89, a seven-win improvement on Chicago’s 2013 season. The only reason he was axed is that Rays manager Joe Maddon became a free agent and the Cubs felt it necessary to make an upgrade.
Sveum getting a ring is even more confusing. He managed the Cubs in 2012 and 2013, leading the team to a 127-197 record over two years and back to back fifth place finishes in the NL Central.
At least Hendry was employed by the Cubs for 16 years, from 1995 to 2011. He was the general manager of the team during the 2003 NLCS run, and also put together the teams that won the NL Central in both 2007 and 2008.
But hey, it’s not my money. If the Cubs ownership wants to dish out the cash for extra rings, that’s their right.