Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg will be back in Tennessee this year to manage the AA Smokies, but he’s hoping that after this year, he’ll make it to the big show. He’s working his way up just like a prospect.
“I hope to be a candidate for that job whenever that is,” Sandberg told “Waddle & Silvy” on ESPN 1000 Wednesday. “Lou still has the job, and when he decides to call it a career, I just want to have good experience under my belt. I want to know what I’m doing, and I want to be ready for that opportunity. If that opportunity comes, yeah, I want to go for it. I feel like I’m doing what I need to do right now and it’s very important with the way I did start in the minor leagues. I think there is a lot to be learned there and I found that out in a hurry the first year.”
Sandberg, who is set to manage the Smokies again this season, would have four years of minor-league managerial experience if the job opened up. Would he consider managing somewhere else if the Cubs passed him over?
“As of right now no one has come forward like that so that hasn’t been an issue,” Sandberg said. “I’m slated to be in Double-A next year for the Cubs, and we all know what’s happening in Chicago possibly as of 2011 … as of right now I’m very content with the way things are going. I think it’s been important to gain experience and show everyone and myself that this is what I want to do.” ESPN Chicago.
If Sandberg is set on becoming a Major League manager – and there’s no reason to doubt that he is – the Cubs will have to make a decision in 2011. Either Sandberg gets the job, or the Cubs cut ties with him. It’s hard to imagine Sandberg being willing to keep marking time in the Cubs’ minor leagues when he’s a.) already been successful there, b.) a Hall of Famer, and c.) a multi-millionaire.