First, the comments.
“I just want to [manage] at the major league level so wherever that comes I would listen,” Sandberg said earlier today on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” when asked about the possibility of returning to the Cubs.
“I had my fingers crossed last year,” Sandberg said about his hopes to land the Cubs’ managerial job in the offseason. “I feel like I’m doing what I need to do for an opportunity, and that’s basically what I’m doing. I like what I’m doing now, it’s very gratifying to me, but I’m also gaining experience to hopefully coach or manage at the major league level. Now it’s really coming down to getting that opportunity and being ready for it.”
Now, the reaction.
Yes, Sandberg is saying he’d be open to coming back to the Cubs’ organization if it meant he was the manager. But he is also saying he’d go anywhere that would make him the manager. That, of course, includes the Phillies – his parent club – whose current manager, Charlie Manuel, is 67.
Things may line up for a Sandberg return in 2012 or 2013, depending on what happens with Mike Quade, whose job cannot possibly be considered “safe,” whatever votes of confidence he might receive. And, if he does come back, the team will probably be in a better position to win than it was in 2011 – which probably makes his departure from the organization a good thing. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to levy appropriate criticism at a legend like Sandberg while a crappy team flounders?
Sandberg added a dig at the Cubs, which goes to many stories we’ve heard since his departure – namely, that the communication up and down the chain in the Cubs’ organization is crappy, and played a part in Sandberg’s decision to bolt for a lateral position with the Phillies.
“It’s been a great experience to see a different side of things,” Sandberg said. “What I can say about the Phillies is it’s very family-oriented and it’s also an organization from top to bottom. They get everybody included. Everybody feels important. There’s tremendous communication up and down the lines and really everybody is on the same page and has the same goals and that is to win a World Series at the major league level. That’s the goal. That’s what everybody talks about.”