Hard to believe Ryne Sandberg isn’t part of the Cubs organization.
Even harder to believe Jim Hendry passed him over for Mike Quade.
Ryne did all the Cubs asked of him as a minor league skipper. He won games, developed players and gave fans a reason to flock to the ballpark. Not to mention, twice winning a Manager of the Year Award (2010-11).
What more could Sandberg have done?
What else did he need to prove?
Hendry of course had his reasons for choosing Quade as Cubs manager. It was the players, after all, who wanted Quade back after he replaced Sweet Lou in August. But that shouldn’t have mattered, Sandberg was the
Hendry’s hire to replace Piniella would be a final attempt to maintain his tenure with the Cubs. He needed to choose the right guy, his job depended on it, but ultimately, he picked the wrong one and sank to the bottom with Quade. Less than a year later Hendry was ousted, then Quade…and any bridge the Cubs had with Sandberg was badly burned.
When Sandberg wasn’t the right fit for Team Theo, essentially being snubbed a second time by the Cubs, he transitioned to the Phillies where he spent another year managing at Triple-A before a promotion to the bigs this winter. He’ll serve as Charlie Manuel’s 3B coach and bench coach, presumably until Manuel retires, gets fired or otherwise (Manuel has one year remaining on his contract).
In an interview with Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald, sections of which are posted below, it seems Sandberg has found piece of mind with Philadelphia. He sounds like a guy who feels appreciated, counted on and wanted. Imagine that, a Hall of Fame player who’s excelled as a minor league skipper being coveted by a major league team. What took so long?
Of all teams, the Cubs should have known better than anyone what they were losing by passing on Ryno the first time. And I’ve got a feeling when Sandberg does become a manger, for the Phillies or elsewhere, he’s going to remind the Cubs and baseball they shouldn’t have been so obtuse.
- "I see myself reaching goals and being where I want to be, and that’s in the major leagues," Sandberg said Tuesday while visiting family here in Chicago. "I fulfilled that goal with the Phillies.
- "I would think that wouldn’t have happened with the Cubs, so with what I want to do with my career, which is stay in the game and get back to the majors, I’ve been able to do that with the Phillies and it feels very good."
- "My six years in the minors were a great learning experience and it’s prepared me for my job this year, and prepared me to take on more responsibilities,"
- "The dream of the ring is what keeps me going, keeps me driving forward. That, combined with the relationship I have with the Phillies, and being back in the game, being part of this coaching staff, is a big part of it."
- "Through the two years with the Phillies, it has felt like I was being welcomed back, by the fans and the entire Phillies organization," Sandberg said. "The Phillies have a way of making everyone feel like they’re a part of something bigger, that your job — no matter what it is — is part of the Phillies trying to win the World Series.
- "They give you responsibility and they want your input. It’s a great feeling. It’s great to be a part of it. It feels like home to me."