When Ryne Sandberg was passed over for the Chicago Cubs’ open managerial job in favor of the more tenured – but less famous and less adored by Cubs fans – Mike Quade, the writing was on the wall: he wasn’t going back to manage AAA Iowa. So when he left to do the same job in the Phillies’ organization, no one should have been surprised.

But people were.

Fans were angry, feeling like the Cubs had betrayed one of their own. Sandberg said he wasn’t invited back to his Iowa managerial gig, though Cubs GM Jim Hendry says that’s not quite true. Either way, I can’t wrap my head around why it matters: after working his way up the Cubs’ minor league system, if the Hall of Famer wasn’t given the Cubs’ gig this time around, he wasn’t staying. That’s just the way it was.

For his part, Sandberg is ever classy, wishing Quade and the Cubs well. But he’s certainly happy where he is, and excited about his new job.

After working four years as a minor league manager in the organization, Sandberg sought to succeed Lou Piniella as the Chicago skipper last year and was a finalist for the job.

But he didn’t get it.

Sandberg’s disappointment, however, turned to excitement a short time later.

The Philadelphia Phillies called and offered a chance to manage the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He accepted, completing a full circle in his baseball career.

“This is a perfect fit because the Cubs thing didn’t pan out,” Sandberg said Tuesday night during the Phillies Winter Tour stop at the Crowne Plaza Reading, Wyomissing. “I feel like I’m going to a place that searched me out, that called me and asked me what I was doing.

“Sometimes things happen for a reason. To come to an organization where I’ve worn the uniform during critical growing years in my life, I feel very happy about that. It’s nice to go to an organization where you feel wanted.” ReadingEagle.

Is that last statement probably a shot at the Cubs? Sure. But so what? This is a guy who poured his heart and mind into doing things the right way in the Cubs organization, and when his (new) dream job opened up, he didn’t get it. I’d be a little pissed, too.

I, for one, wish Sandberg well. Charlie Manuel isn’t going to be around forever, and Sandberg may get the shot their that he didn’t get here.

I wish Mike Quade even better, though.

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  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    The fact is Sandberg could have kept his Iowa job when he didn’t get the big league job. If anyone betrayed anyone else it was Sandberg.

    • miggy80

      Betrayed is a strong word and I don’t think anybody is claiming they we’re betrayed. When Sandberg said “some things happen for a reason” I don’t take that as him saying he’s been betrayed. One has a certain level of expertise to be in the HOF and Sandberg made that expertise available. Since the Cubs looked at it and passed the Phillies, who are one of the top franchises in baseball, saw the value in that expertise and have a plan for it.

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        “feeling like the Cubs had betrayed one of their own” is right there in the original article. As for the Cubs passing on Sandberg’s “expertise”, that’s not true. He was welcome to return to Iowa and chose to leave.

        • miggy80

          Ok, those were Ace’s words, not anybody in the organization or Sandberg. When your a finalist for a position and are not picked, I think it’s safe to say that you were passed on. Let me ask you, did Joe Girardi pass on the Cubs in 06′ when they didn’t offer him the job and New York did since he didn’t wait for the Cubs to reinterview him in 2010? Do you want these guys to just wait around for the Cubs organization?

          • Philoe Beddoe

            I wouldn’t be upset with Ryno if he felt betrayed. Quade seems like a great guy, but Sandberg did what very few players(especially Hall of Famers) are willing to do…work his way up. He was riding buses in the minors for crying out loud…I am sure Quade is very deserving…but I still think the smarter pick would have been Ryno just from a ticket selling point of view. As far as actual managing..its probably a wash…

          • Ace

            Some folks felt the Cubs betrayed Ryno. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not one of those people.

            • Terry

              i am one of those people,the smart thing if they didnt give it to ryno would have been to make him bench coach, but yeah the cubs made a dumb move in my opinion

  • art

    I’m not so sure it was a shot at the cubs. maybe he feels they really want him. it wasn’t like someone felt sorry for him and said “hey, work for us”. not like Hendry and Ricketts did after the mini uproar in Chicago.

  • BT

    The Cubs should have hired Singletary.

  • Steve

    Tired of all the Sandberg talk. It’s over. Let it rest. HOF? So what? That status doesn’t usually translate into managerial success. What do you want? Hire a Cubs icon, then fire him five years down the road, because he doesn’t work miracles? That would be your bigger “uproar”. Ryno thought he could fast-track through the minors, then snag the job. It was.destined for failure from the beginning. The logical assumption when he was hired was that he was Lou’s eventual replacement. That pressure wasn’t fair to him, OR the Cubs management. How long did Quade toil in the minors? I say, give him a shot.