Three decades after regrettably trading a 21-year-old Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs the Phillies have hired the Hall of Famer to manage their Triple-A team.
Sandberg managed at Triple-A for the Cubs this season, but left the organization after finishing runner-up to Mike Quade in the team’s manager search and talked about wanting to land a big-league job instead of remaining in the minors any longer.
So, either Sandberg had a change of heart or the big-league coaching opportunities weren’t very plentiful.
Whatever the case, he’s back with the organization that drafted him way back in 1978 and Cubs fans are left wondering why Sandberg couldn’t have just stayed in Iowa if he was willing to continue managing at Triple-A.
Adding another layer of intrigue to the Cubs-to-Phillies move is that the man Sandberg was traded for, Ivan DeJesus, is now the third base coach on Quade’s staff in Chicago.
After finishing runner-up to Mike Quade in the Cubs’ manager search Ryne Sandberg reportedly turned down Chicago’s offer to remain the manager at Triple-A and talked about wanting to find a big-league job instead.
All of which is why it’s surprising to see Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer report that Sandberg “is among the candidates for the Phillies’ managerial vacancy at Triple-A.”
Brookover notes that the Phillies also have an opening on their big-league coaching staff following the departure of first base coach Davey Lopes, but as Craig wrote this morning that job seems likely to go to Juan Samuel or Mariano Duncan.
Sandberg spent 15 seasons in Chicago and went into the Hall of Fame wearing a Cubs hat, but actually began his career with the Phillies. Philadelphia selected him in the 20th round of the 1978 draft before trading him and Larry Bowa to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus in January of 1982.
Ryne Sandberg was passed over for the Cubs’ managerial job, but perhaps the Hall of Famer could end up coaching in Chicago after all.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen praised Sandberg during a radio interview today and seemed open to the possibility of Sandberg joining his coaching staff if third base coach Joey Cora leaves to take the Brewers’ manager job.
Here’s a Guillen quote from the interview, via the Chicago Tribune:
Sandberg is a great baseball man and I don’t know him personally, but you need to hire a coach to help you win games. I say Ryno, after so many years playing in the big leagues and managing for a few years in the minor leagues, I don’t see why not, to help you as a bench coach.
Sandberg was named Pacific Coast League manager of the year at Triple-A this season, but said after finishing runner-up to Mike Quade for the Cubs’ job that he planned to pursue a big-league gig for 2011. If nothing else, spending a season as Guillen’s right-hand man would give Sandberg plenty of material if he ever wanted to write a book. Or if he ever wanted to go insane.