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.
The Atlanta Braves announced this morning that they have promoted general manager Alex Anthopoulos to President, Baseball Operations and General Manager and have extended his contract through 2024. They have likewise extended the contracts of manager Brian Snitker and his coaching staff through the 2021 season.
Anthopoulos’ promotion will not likely change his duties very much, as it’s become increasingly common for top baseball operations executives to be given the title of “president” as opposed to “GM.” Part of this is some expansion of the role of said executives. Some of it is simple title inflation. Some of it is to prevent other teams from being able to interview and potentially poach top executives without permission under the guise of promotion.
Anthopoulos was hired following the 2017 season, replacing former GM John Coppolella, who resigned and was subsequently permanently banned from baseball following his involvement in a scandal in which he breached rules in connection with signings of international players and obstructed Major League Baseball’s investigation into it all. Before that Antopoulos served as the Blue Jays’ GM for seven years.
Snitker took over as interim manager when the Braves fired Fredi Gonzalez in the middle of the 2016 season. He and Coppolella did not get along and there were strong suggestions that he would never lose the interim tag, but he has been on far steadier ground since Anthopoulos took over. Winning helps, of course, and under the leadership of Anthopoulos and Snitker, the Braves have won the last two NL East titles, going 187-137 in the past two seasons.