Brace Yourself: Ryne Sandberg Willing to Return to the Chicago Cubs

I say “brace yourself” not because it’s necessarily going to happen any time soon, but instead because Sandberg’s comments today are certain to generate a firestorm of gum-flapping.

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.”

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

36 responses to “Brace Yourself: Ryne Sandberg Willing to Return to the Chicago Cubs”

  1. Fishin Phil

    “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.”

    My what a novel approach. Maybe we should try that sometime.

  2. 1060Ivy

    Just can’t see Ryno returning as long as JH is still with the Cubs organization.

    1. willis

      Yep. As long as there is a JH, there will be no Ryno. I will say, I thought this wouldn’t be the best situation for him when he was in contention last year. After spending some time with a real organization and getting the feel for how to run things the right way…I would love to have him back.

  3. Caleb

    The Phillies are really good and stuff anyway.

    How about Ricketts does a lateral swap? Take 90% of the Phillies organization and bring them straight over to Chicago. Keep the few good men left in the Cubs organization.

    Or, let’s hire Tony Robbins to come in and pep talk the entire organization. Probably cheaper.

    1. Toosh

      It’s been done. Dallas Green did it. When he was Cubs’ GM he brought in a lot of Philly people. He tried to change the way the Cubs did things. The Tribune Company didn’t like it. Green resigned and here we are.

      1. Caleb

        Round 2?

        There’s no Tribune to stop our world-domination plans now!

        Oh, and while we’re at it, we should probably grab a few of the Phillies players, too.

        Like, most of them.

      2. awesome

        what was Greens record in the 6-7 years he was here?

        1. Toosh

          463-504.

  4. Kurt

    Dallas Green also gave away 1984 by bowing to TV and giving away home field advantage against the Padres (and Detroit if they’d advanced).

    The Pads got some hometown love by the umps and then went on to to be mauled by the Tigers….and deservedly so.

    The Cubs may not have beaten Detroit, but it would have between a much better W.S.

    But thanks to Dallas Green we got to see Garvey mincing around the bases with his effeminate little balled up fist waving in the air.

    1. EQ

      “The Cubs may not have beaten Detroit, but it would have between a much better W.S.”…. dude, it would have been A WORLD SERIES!!!! right now I’d be happy just seeing the Cubs play in one in my lifetime!

  5. die hard

    Now for sure Ricketts will not invite him over…last bridge burnt..besides, Ricketts long term plan is to populate orginization with Latin players (where all talent is)…thus, he is scouting for long term Latino mgr….eg Ozzie

  6. Jeff

    More reasons for Sandberg to be the manager of this team. He sees it’s faults and seems to know the direction the team needs to go in. He teaches fundamentals and has patience with younger players. If I owned the Cubs he would be choices 1 and 1A. I also don’t buy the line about Sandberg dodging a bullet by not managing this team, this season. This would be a different team with a different attitude if the manager was someone like Sandberg who holds both accountability and respect, things Quade doesn’t seem to care about other than in interviews.

    1. awesome

      agree, he (Sandberg), Joe, Casey, Torre, etc would have their own hand picked players coming out of ST, their 25 wouldn’t be the 25 Quade picked. that’s why i feel their record would be better today.

      1. jstraw

        Uhhh…who would your 25 have been?

  7. Cheryl

    Sandburg won’t be back. He was smart taking the Philly job. Hope he does get to manage somewhere. What about Brenly? Heard anything about him?

  8. RY34

    Brenly’s head and heart would blow up managing this fundamentally inept bad new bears team. He is far too honest and doesn’t sugarcoat things enough to be a cubs manager.

    1. Cheryl

      I suppose you’re right, but i’d sure prefer someone like Brenley in control as GM or manager.

  9. RoughRiider

    I’ve been a fan of Sandberg since he came over from the Phillies all those years ago. I didn’t think he would be a good a manger because I thought he was too laid back. Now, I’m pretty sure I was wrong. Unfortunately, I don’t think Hendry would admit he was wrong in not hiring Girardi and or Sandberg when he could have. As for Dallas Green. He did a lot more things right than wrong. His abrasive style and candid approach was more than the Tribune could handle.

  10. RY34

    Sandberg is a GOD and a very smart man as well; Jim Hendry is a moron and nowhere near a big enough man to admit he made a mistake with Sandberg, so the theory that as long as moron is here, ryno will not be is probably correct. All the more reason for the ricketts to wake up, clean house, and bring Ryno back to where he belongs. It is time for the Ricketts to take the bull by the horns, stop sugarcoating things, bring in people that will stop putting up with mediocrity that will crack some skulls when this team isnt playing up to potential or it will be another 100 years of mockery! The next 6 months will speak volumes of whether or not our new owners care more about the bottom line or producing a winner, which with the really great organizations, both go hand in hand!

  11. CUB5

    I agree with the above about him not getting a shot under JH. But Ryno belongs with the Cubs and I want him to get his chance. Even if he’s a bust, at least we will have given him his shot. But I think he has what it takes to be a manager in the bigs. He’s a hard working former player like Girardi. He’s also done well in AAA.

    So let’s fire Quade and the management and get some new blood in here blah blah blah…

  12. chris margetis

    This season is exactly why I never wanted Ryno hired in the first place. It was a terrible spot to put a HOF player in with very little chance of success.

    1. Michigan Goat

      Exactly! We might be better but not by much.

      1. Jeff

        Even if the record wasn’t much better(which I agree with you, it probably wouldn’t be), things would be different and the outlook on the team would be different. Sandberg wouldn’t be tied to Hendry’s job, and would be able to speak honestly about his team and maybe actually admit that this team needs to rebuild. The guys in place still seem to think that this team can win with a little more luck and a few less injuries. I don’t think Sandberg would have come in with that attitude and would have been building toward the future from day one, instead of trying to fool everyone into thinking this team was a contender. I can also almost guarantee that a Sandberg managed team wouldn’t lead the majors in errors. His teams have been built on pitching and defense in his stint as a manager and I tend to think that would continue to be his strategy in the majors.

  13. awesome

    can’t think of his name at the moment but, recently this HOF writer that i don’t respect said, when asked about Sandberg, Quade is a leader, Sandberg is not, he’s quiet. some of these so called experts are out of touch.

    Sandberg the player was quiet, Sandberg the HOF guy who made that great speech is different, Sandberg the minor league manager is different. those are facts.

    quiet managers don’t get thrown out as many times as Sandberg has if they are quiet. he’s also a good teacher. Quade is not, i say that from his comments last year after the so called “teaching” thing with Castro. repeat, after the teaching comment with the media about Castro.

  14. awesome

    i’m saying i think Sandberg would be a good manager, not with this Quade hand picked team, his own.

  15. jstraw

    Brenly please.

  16. LouCub

    I would love to see Ryno work with Castro and Barney…Quade is a douchebag!!!

  17. Steve

    Oh, B.S.. The umps? Really? The Cubs blew the ’84 NLCS. They were up, and couldn’t finish it out. Wait…that sounds oddly familiar.

  18. Andy

    I don’t know exactly where the myth started, stating the lack of lighting was the reason the Padres received the final 3 games of the NLCS back in 1984. The truth of the matter is the East and West division switched annually, at that point, with who hosted the last 3 games of the 5 game series. The even years were for the NL West. So they had the final 3 games regardless.

    I remember being so excited when the Cubs were up 3-0 through 5 1/2 innings in game 5. Sutty was cruising along. He had only given up a couple hits. Then it all fell apart.

  19. muskratwilly

    I think Ryno could teach these young players the work ethic it takes to be a great player.

  20. ricosanto

    When his contract is over, approx Sept 8 or so. Sign Him as manager.Have Hendry say how they made mistake and we are lucky to get Ryno in the Fold. Then reassign hendry in the off-season and hire a new baseball exec that would be pleased with Ryno as the manager and rebuild.

  21. jim

    As long as JH is around, the cubs WILL flounder!
    They are LAST in PITCHING, LAST in FIELDING,
    & LAST in STOLEN BASES! They have NO speed.
    They have NO Leader! RICKETTS had better stop
    being a rah rah CUBS FAN & wake up to (HELLO!)
    REALITY! I am NOW pulling for the CUBS to LOSE
    most of their remaining games so they will be FORCED
    to make changes! ( unless they’re that stupid!)
    p.s. I cannot wait for College Football!

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