11/9 Sandberg to Phillies? – 2nd UPDATE

Ryne Sandberg isn’t giving up on his dream to manage in the big leagues. He is reportedly among the candidates for the Phillies’ managerial vacancy at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

“I’m committed to baseball and what I’m doing,” Sandberg told the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald. “My goal is to reach the Majors again, just like everyone else in the Minor Leagues. But I want to coach and teach and continue to do that, whether it’s in the Minors or the Majors. I’m committed to that. I always have been. I never stopped.”

Sandberg’s agent Jim Turner told the Daily Herald: “Ryne felt it was in his best interests, and [Cubs] ownership’s best interests, to not accept the job at [Triple-A] Iowa. He did not want ownership or the fans or Mike Quade to feel he was sitting there waiting for a disappointing result and an ax to fall in Chicago. That’s not how he’s built.”

Sandberg has talked to the Ricketts family about pursuing other managerial openings. Cubs GM Jim Hendry did give Sandberg the option of returning to Triple-A Iowa but he chose not to. Sandberg is under contract with the Cubs until Dec. 31, but the team will not get in the way of his pursuit of a job.

“He was always welcome to do whatever he wanted,” Hendry said Tuesday night.

Could Sandberg manage in the Phillies system? Sure.

“By not accepting the Des Moines job, Ryne’s sending a clear signal to the 29 other teams,” Turner said. “He’s serious about reaching his goal, and that goal can be reached with any Major League team.”

Sandberg, 51, has spent the last four years in the Cubs’ Minor League system, managing Triple-A Iowa last year. He was named Pacific Coast League manager of the year after leading the Iowa Cubs to a tie for first at 82-62. Sandberg was a candidate for the Cubs’ manager’s job, but Hendry picked Mike Quade, who led the team to a 24-13 record in the final six weeks of the regular season.

Sandberg does have ties to the Phillies. He began his career with the team, which selected the infielder in the 20th round of the 1978 Draft. He was included in the deal which sent shortstop Larry Bowa to the Cubs in exchange for shortstop Ivan DeJesus.

– Carrie Muskat

5 Comments

Sandberg is apparently a free agent. I was trying to get confirmation that the Phillies had talked to him, which is why I asked Cubs officials. And yes, Joey, your buddy, Hendry, is still the GM.

Carrie, are the Cubs still in control of Sandberg? Why is there a mention of the Cubs not being aware of the Phillies REQUEST? Speaking of not being aware…Hendry still the GM?

He, he. Too funny, Carrie. Thank God for your sense of humor. I was just holding out for the slimmest of chances that I might not HAVE BEEN AWARE (you know, like Hendry seems to be about most things logical…) of Hendry’s firing.
Oh well, I’ll continue waiting it out. So, if any of the other major league teams talk to Sandberg you would try to confirm that by asking Cubs’ officials? Why would they be able to confirm who other teams are talking to especially free agents that have severed ties with the Cubs? By being in the same business through cotacts with other teams I suppose…???

I can understand that Ryno doesn’t want anyone to think he is sitting there waiting for an axe to fall, but I do not understand going to another team to manage at Triple-A. I thought he wanted a major league job? Obviously, Jim Hendry stated that Sandberg was welcomed back at Iowa, so it seems to me, that Ryno just wanted out of the Cubs’ Organization completely. Otherwise, all that he needed to do was publicly acknowledge that he accepted the Mike Quade decision and would go back to work, with the hopes that someday it will be his turn to manage. It just sounds like sour grapes to me. I was always a big fan of Ryno and was upset by how “the decision” was handled by Jim Hendry, but I don’t blame Hendry so much anymore, now I am questioning Ryno and his motives. The lack of loyalty is now on Sandberg’s shoulders.

Ryno isn’t the one that suggested Hendry to do anything, it was Hendry that had Ryno serve in the minors for 4 years. The loyalty from Hendry to Ryno is what is in question. As far as leaving the Cubs organization? Why not? Why would Ryno stay with the Cubs knowing that it would be at least two years before he had another CHANCE at the big league managers’s spot. And that would be just a chance, depending on who the new GM for the Cubs would be. The new GM (sounds good, doesn’t it??) might have his own person in mind for the job. I think Sandberg is trying to get to the major leagues and he thinks it will happen sooner with another organization. I see no disloyalty AT ALL on Ryno’s shoulders. He may be putting his desire to get to the majors ahead of his loyalty to the Cubs but there is NO DOUBT he has loyalty to the Cubs, hence his service in the minor leagues. He was ambushed by Hendry and may not want to hang around the man that tossed him under the bus.

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