Ryne Sandberg has decided to depart from the Chicago Cubs organization after failing to land the team’s big league managerial job, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to find a better gig elsewhere. Sandberg, who assuredly hoped to land, at a minimum, a Major League bench coach job, is reportedly a candidate for the Phillies’ managerial vacancy on the club’s AAA team. Sandberg was offered the chance to return to AAA Iowa, but declined.
“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 on 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.” cubs.com.
While I still believe Sandberg will eventually return to the Cubs’ organization, his road to the Major Leagues may be a bit longer than once thought. It’s hard to imagine that no ML team wants him as a coach, but that will change soon.