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ryne sandberg philliesThree years ago, the Chicago Cubs needed a manager. Lou Piniella had long moved on – either before or after he stepped down and handed over the late-season reins to interim manager Mike Quade – and the Cubs’ decision appeared to come down to Quade, or the rising managerial star in the minor leagues.

That star just happened to also be a star in the hearts and minds of the fans as a former player. It was Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, who had just come off a Manager of the Year campaign at AAA, having worked his way up the ladder from the low minors.

Sandberg did not get the job – it went instead to Quade, and the Cubs underperformed in 2011. Quade was dismissed thereafter when the new front office took over, and, once again, the Cubs were looking for a manager. Sandberg had, in the meantime, taken the AAA managerial job in the Phillies’ organization.

Perfect fit, right? The front office didn’t see it that way, immediately ruling out candidates that didn’t have any Major League coaching experience. Sandberg would not be returning, and there was much gnashing and wailing.

Sandberg wound up becoming a third base coach with the Phillies, and, today he wasย named the team’s interim manager after long-timer Charlie Manuel was let go.

I wish Sandberg nothing but success, and I’m happy to see him get the opportunity.

I’m also very happy he didn’t get that opportunity with the Cubs for 2011 or 2012. Those teams were, by design and poor construction, absolutely terrible. Sandberg would have been no fix, and – inevitably – the meatball contingent of the fanbase would have turned on their former hero much in the way Dale Sveum still catches flak from fans who don’t appreciate the finer points of a deep rebuild. I didn’t want to see that happen to Sandberg, and I’m glad the front office instead brought in a guy they felt was the best bet to steward a team very much in transition.

Good luck to Sandberg. Kudos to the Phillies. Hopefully Sandberg does well, and gets that interim tag taken off after the season just as Mike Quade did the first time Sandberg missed out on a managerial job. And hopefully things go better for Sandberg thereafter than they went for Quade.

  • Spoda17

    Well said

    • Myles

      Agreed. Good stuff here.

      • terencemann

        Well said. I’m glad the Cubs elected not to drag Sandberg through this. He’s a great guy and I’m sure he would say that he would be proud to be the manager who got the Cubs through this rebuild but I’d rather have the option for the Cubs to bring him back than see a falling out worse than this.

        • Eternal pessemist

          Happy for Ryan Sanderson, but wish he wouldn’t have pouted about it. No one is entitled, and even if the FO made a mistake, you should congratulate the new guy and realize they did what they thought best for the team…not just an attempt to F him over.

          • UCF

            Who is Ryan Sanderson?

            • DarthHater

              [img]http://weknowmemes.com/generator/uploads/generated/g1376693410715995689.jpg[/img]

            • Eternal pessemist

              You must be too young to remember Harry Caray pronouncing Ryno’s name.

          • Bobby

            Sandberg did congratulate Dale upon being the hitting coach for the MVP Braun. Sveum is so modest he did not tell the press.

    • Jim

      And we have Quade Sveum-way to set us back Theo

  • Jon

    Holy crap read the comments on the Bleacher Nation FB page. Just awful. Are fans really this dumb?

    • TWC

      Just the ones on Facebook.

      • Jon

        I remember reading some of Sandberg’s theories, (when he managed in the minors) on subjects like “bunting” and “small ball” and was just terrified of him becoming manager.

        • jayrig5

          Sveum bunts a lot too. But it won’t bother me until they have a potentially competent offense.

          • Jon

            I haven’t been paying attention the big league club alot, but I’ve never got that impression. I’ve only seen pitchers and really horrible offensive players bunt, and Junior Lake (but I think he’s gone rouge)

            I could be wrong though.

      • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

        I knew there was a reason I never went to the facebook page…sorry Bert.

        • DarthHater

          Just think how great @facebookcubs is going to be in a few days. :-D

    • college_of_coaches

      Don’t you feel like you’ve just been slapped in the face?

      • TWC

        Slapped in the face? Maybe if you still engage in Sandberg hero worship.

        The second Sandberg utters the acronyms xFIP, wOBA, or the phrase “defensive shifts”, my ears perk up a bit. But all anyone’s heard from him (or about him) over the last 6/7 years during his MiLB stints have been things like “hustle”, “small ball”, “moving the runners over” and outdated concepts like that. No thanks.

        • Spencer

          It was a comment on the facebook page….

          • TWC

            I’m sure the sentiment isn’t limited to the poster on Facebook.

            • Spencer

              Okay. But the fact that he may not bring up sabermetrics as much as other managers doesn’t make him incompetent.

              These last 45 or whatever games are meaningless to gauge his value and pedigree as a manager anyway. Unless the Phillies want to be one of those inept franchises that makes decisions for the following season based on a really small sample size from their interim manager. But you’d have to be a really, really dumb organization to do something like that…

              • TWC

                The fact that he’s a vocal adherent to “small ball” suggests that he may, indeed, be incompetent.

                • DarthHater

                  [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8521/8673808256_0ef7149b21_o.jpg[/img]

                  • Die hard

                    You and Goat and all other naysayers can kiss my golden age ass for doubting me when I predicted Ryno would be mgr before season over heh heh ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŽ“

                    • DarthHater

                      Hey, I’m happy to give you credit for the substance of the prediction, but not the timing. You said he would be manager not by the end of the season, but by the end of the WEEK. Please don’t mar your great moment of triumph with an unnecessary baldfaced lie.

                    • Larry

                      But, they love their Sveum, Mgr. of the yr.

                    • DarthHater

                      I other surprising news, an infinite number of monkeys today announced that their new play, Hamlet, has finally been completed and will be published this fall.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  [img]https://www.dropbox.com/s/u1pdlqr0kswczen/Stop%20Bunting%20Super-Kenny.png[/img]

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    Ugh, help, I’m on my iPad.

                    • DarthHater

                      [img]http://cdn.fangraphs.com/not/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Super-Kenny.png[/img]

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Thanks

                • Kevin

                  Ryno excelled at every level in the minors. That’s far from being incompetent.

                  • Cyranojoe

                    Bingo. I’m not thrilled that he doesn’t buy in to modern strats as much as he could, but the dude’s been a winner almost every year. Some of that is from receiving quality talent with which to work, but it’s clear that’s not always the case. Not to mention, every player who works their way up from his teams seems to rave about his mature, wise direction — not too much, not too little, etc.

              • Cubbie Blues

                Oh, like Sanberg would …

        • jay

          The triple A clubs he managed were far from being small ball players. Take a look at the home run count for Iowa when he won there.

          • hansman1982

            Psst…check out the leaders in Sac Bunts. Top-10 has A LOT of positional players in it.

  • Rob

    Facebook is still a thing?

    It would have been disappointing to see some of the fans turn on Ryno as manager when he would not have been given much to work with. Best of luck to him in Philadelphia.

  • JoeyCollins

    What is it about Facebook that attracts such idiots? Is it just that everyone has Facebook, but the only people who use it for news are the least informed?

    • MichiganGoat

      Facebook is MySpace but with more fools.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I refer to it as MyFace.

        • MichiganGoat

          You mean Taco’s Ofline Social Networking site
          [img]http://crackbillionair.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/images-17.jpeg[/img]

          • Jp3

            Yes! Awesome the league reference

        • Internet Random

          Heh. I’ve been saying “MyFace” for years. Every once in awhile, I’m lucky enough for someone to correct me.

  • Idaho Razorback

    My all-time favorite Cub. Does anyone have a link to “The Sandberg Game”?

    • Brunsmk

      Nope but I was there for it as a little kid and got to meet him that day as well at an autograph and ball signing event. Tough to fully remember as I was probably six at the time.

      • Idaho Razorback

        I remember in the summer of 1985, Ryno and Bob Dernier came to my hometown of Camarillo, CA (60 miles north of Los Angeles) to sign autographs at a jewely store. They were one dollar a signature. Sandbergs line was a mile long, nobody was in Derniers line.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Summer Of ’69 I got my first real six-string bought it at the five-and-dime Played it ’til my fingers bled.

          • On The Farm

            Ah, those were the best days of my life!

            • Internet Random

              Fun fact: Bryan Adams was nine years old during the summer of 1969.

        • another JP

          Doesn’t surprise me any- Dernier was a bit of a d-bag.

  • MichiganGoat

    Ryno has a similar challenge with Philly he’d face with the Cubs, that team needs a rebuild and has many bad contracts to deal with in the upcoming years. Best of luck to Ryno.

    • On The Farm

      That’s what I was thinking. While their MLB and farm may not be in as rough shape as the 2011 Cubs, its still not the greatest. You can say this next part about any divsion really, but the Braves and Nationals seem to be really strong right now, so coming into that team will be a challenge. Best of luck to Ryno as he is probably my favorite all-time poistional Cub.

    • Kramden

      My thoughts exactly. Ryno’s being set up to fail…. But that’s okay since he’ll be getting the MLB experience.

      About the time when the Phillies dump him, the Cubs should have their new core in place at the ML level and it would be a perfect time for a new team and a relatively young manager to grow together.

      • Cyranojoe

        That’ll be interesting if it pans out that way. If so, I suspect it’ll be without Theo/Jed at the helm…

  • Chef Brian

    Oh well, cue the violins and the tears. Its going to be a long night of what ifs. For the record I agree with Brett. There was never a good opportunity to bring Sandberg aboard without making him a sacrificial lamb to the rebuild.

    • Cyranojoe

      I don’t know. I think Sandberg could have been pretty good at the helm amid a rebuild. He’s gotten a lot of kudos for working with “the kids” in the minors, and I think with him in the dugout, the meatballs that Brett refers to would *not* go apeshit as quickly as they do with a Quade or a Sveum in charge. They’d almost certainly cut the great Ryno some slack… that said, if Ryno were the one complaining that he wasn’t being given the talent/etc in order to win, they would turn like a fury against the front office, which I believe is the primary reason they didn’t want him. Can’t blame the FO for that.

  • TWC

    … and ticket sales for the 8/30-9/1 Phillies @ Cubs series suddenly sell out.

    Ricketts was probably in cahoots with the Phillies’ FO. It’s just a way for them to line their pockets with our hard-earned money.

    • Jon

      Social Media will be unbearable that day. The meatballs are going to be out like a convention.

  • Jon

    On the subject of the Philies, would you take on the Jayson Weurth contract, if the Phillies paid 30-40% of it?

    • On The Farm

      That would be pretty incredible if we could find a way to get a player from the Phillies who plays for the Nationals..

      • Jon

        Nationals I meant :) Weurth is an interesting case…he’s rebounded pretty good this year, and the contract is still pretty awful, but only has 4 more years after this one.

  • Edwin

    At least he’s got some talent on the team, though. Lee, Utley, Hamels, and Halladay are all paid quite high, but they could all still be worth their contracts the next two years or so. If the front office makes some ok moves, the Phillies at least have a shot of rebuilding on the fly. They just really need this last year and this year’s drafts to come through big time. It’s gonna take some great output by their farm system, and they probably won’t be major players in the FA market the next couple years, but it’s not the worst position to be in.

  • Grant

    Well, since we’re talking about Facebook comments, I guess I’ll defend mine.

    I still think it was a mistake picking Sveum over Sandburg.

    Yes, Ryno would have inherited a deeply flawed team with no real chance of contending for 2+ years. Instead we gave that team to Sveum who had all of 12 games of experience as a manager for the Brewers in 2008. I’d argue that’s almost the best situation to put someone with minimal experience in, as it gives them a year or two to get used to the job without any real expectations for success (as measured in wins and losses).

    There were concerns that giving him the job with such a flawed team would be setting him up for failure, but I think the fans understand that more than you give them credit for (as evidenced by the relatively few cries for Sveum’s head, except when related to the (frankly warranted) criticism about his bullpen management). Also, you’d think the HOFer who played most of his career for the Cubs might get a little more slack in that regard than Sveum has.

    And though Sandberg did not have any major league coaching experience, he’d worked his way up through the Cubs farm system (thereby getting to know and coach a lot of the younger players who are now starters for the Cubs) and earned Minor League Manager of the Year honors in 2011 (albeit for the IronPigs). Is Sveum’s 12 games of major league managing experience really that much better a qualification?

    Lastly, this comes down to a question of availability. He was available in 2012 and we needed a manager. If we didn’t choose him then, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion he wouldn’t be available the next time we went looking, which is proving itself true today.

    What I think it really comes down to is that Theo and Jed didn’t want to put themselves in a situation where they might have to fire Ryno and risk pissing off legions of Cubs fans.

    • DarthHater

      What I think it really comes down to is that Theo and Jed didnโ€™t want to hire Sandberg, so they didn’t, without regard to whether it pissed off some Cubs fans.

      • Jon

        Theo/Jed knew Svuem from their Boston days. They were comfortable about his philosophies on the most important aspects such as:

        1) OBP
        2) Pitch counts
        3) Giving away outs

        It was the perfect blend of experience, but not too much experience that would result in ego clashes, especially with a young/rebuilding team.

        To suggest they didn’t hire Sandberg for fan reasons is just dumb.

        • DarthHater

          I didn’t suggest that. I suggested that they didn’t hire him for their own reasons–on which you have elaborated further–without regard to what fans might think.

          • Grant

            I think he meant to reply to me, not you. You didn’t suggest anything of the like.

            • Cyranojoe

              I think Jon and Grant are both right, actually. If Ryno had been more clearly comfortable with OBP, etc., it would have been a much, much more difficult decision than it was for the FO.

          • Die hard

            It’s day 432 and you still have said nothing to criticize the Cubs– has anyone seen you and Theo in same room at same time? Doubt it as you are Theo!! ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ‘ป๐ŸŽƒ๐ŸŽƒ

            • DarthHater

              Flattery will get you nowhere.

              And if you ever paid any actual attention to anything outside your own imagination, you would know that I frequently agree with Kyle about the preferability of a two-front approach to rebuilding over the more exclusively farm-first approach that this FO has taken.

  • Kevin

    I’m happy Ryno FINALLY gets his chance to manage in the major league. Hopefully he gets a fair shake in Philly.

  • Jon

    Theo/Jed didn’t hire Sandberg because their philosophies on the game of baseball and Sandberg’s don’t intersect, at all.

  • Headscratchin

    Wonder how long it will take for Theo’s phone to ring from Philly with Sandburg looking to pick up some of his favorites from his minor league days with the Cubs. Would that increase their interest in Barney? Anyone else left that Ryno high on??

    • DarthHater

      You mean they made Sandberg the GM, too?

      • Headscratchin

        Ha! Obviously not, but I would hope a competent GM would listen to his coach.

        • Cyranojoe

          Oh, I could see them going for Barney as a backup to Utley/Rollins, yeah.

  • Kevin

    Here’s how I imagine the Ryne Sandberg managerial interview played out:

    (Theo/Jed)
    Ryne, we are impressed with your minor league managerial record, you excelled at every level.

    (Ryno)
    Thank you, I appreciate the compliment.

    (Theo/Jed)
    We are considering you as a candidate to manage the Chicago Cubs.

    (Ryno)
    Thank you for considering me, this has been my focus the past 5 years.

    (Theo/Jed)
    We will be in a rebuilding mode over the next few years and that will require you to throw a number of games so we can get a better draft pick. Will you be our “little bitch” and go along with “our plan”?

    (Ryno)
    With all due respect, I can only bring my “A Game” to the park each and every day. I’m sorry but I can’t be bought.

    (Theo/Jed)
    Ok, we will let you know of our decision.

    (Ryno)
    Thank you for the interview.

    (Ryno leaves)

    (Theo/Jed)
    Let’s call Dale Sveum

    • frank

      Interesting–but it’s much more likely to have been what Jon mentioned above. Sandberg’s philosophies about OBP and pitch counts and the like just didn’t mesh with what the front office was looking for.

      • jay

        Sandberg small ball myth—Iowa Triple A where he won–Brad Snyder 25 H.R., Bryan LaHair 25 H.R., Micah Hoffpauir 22, Jason DuBois 20, Marquez Smith 17, W.Castillo 17 H.R. and none of these guys played more than 120 games. After season ended I joked with Sandberg at Instructs about him owning the local glass/windshield business. Sandberg coached later in 6 week Arizona Fall League and was in championship game–I think Phillip Hughes beat us in Scotsdale in final game.

        • hansman1982

          and a bunch of positional players in the top-10 of sac bunts.

          • jay

            Wrong Kemo Sabe. Only 3 positional players left in that lineup counting the pitcher.

            • Eternal pessemist

              Never realized kemo sabe was two words. Thank you!

              • Eternal pessemist

                And Kevin, the dialogue format is both educational and entertaining!

                • DarthHater

                  Dude, you need to fix the spelling of “pessimist” in your name. You usually have it right. ;-)

                  • Eternal pessemist

                    Crap, depends on what computer/phone i’m using…will call the work IT dept and have it fixed in 2-3 weeks.

            • Hansman1982

              A. Kemo Sabe isn’t my name.
              B. there are 6 positional players in the top-10 for the 2010 Cubs
              C. The leader of the team was a positional player.
              D. Managers have no say in HRs
              E. My name isn’t Kemo.

        • arkema15

          Those numbers are scewed due to the fact of the offensive power house known as the pacific coast league…how many of those guys are in the majors?…

          • Larry

            He won with what he had on roster. Comments about he only plays small ball.

        • frank

          I don’t know that you can say it’s a myth just because he had home run hitters in his lineup–if you have players who can hit home runs, and they do it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t subscribe to a small ball philosophy.

    • cubmig

      ….one last entry to yours……

      (Theo/Jed)
      Oh……and get that guy Kevin on the horn too.

    • DarthHater

      Here’s how I imagine you overheard that interview:

      [img]http://cs412829.vk.me/v412829236/535/-UU9Pc_MVPM.jpg[/img]

    • Chef Brian

      I’m pretty sure it went nothing like that. Sandberg doesn’t have the market cornered on competitiveness. So unless Sandberg ssplanned on jumping in his hot tub time machine with Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe, and Bob Dernier the Cubs were not going to compete the way the team was constructed. It wouldn’t have mattered if Ryno brought his A -Z game the Cubd were going to lose and rebuild.

    • cubzfan23

      Lmao… Funny.

    • Reality Check

      i would say you hit it on the head 100%.
      and after 2014 thoyer will announce the dale quade experiement has ended.
      and no one will hire him.

      go Ryno!

      congrats!

      • Larry

        Sandberg worshipers. After all Sveum was MVP Braun’s hitting coach.. Respect for Dale please.

        • Scotti

          “…MVP Braunโ€™s hitting coach.”

          I’m thinking that little tidbit has been dropped from Sveum’s resume.

    • Cyranojoe

      *smh*

      • Larry

        Theo wanted Sveum because he was a superior hitting coach esp. with MVP Braun whereas Sandberg had less credentials.

        • Scotti

          And fewer roided players…

          • Larry

            Cub brass in back room of Stadium Club. Today is Aug 16th 2013. Theo being his transparent fixture in the Second City. He comments to Laura, “darn glad we chose Dale Sveum to lead us through the next five years. No second guessing my decision although Jed made that final nod.” Laura stares out window as a pigeon craps on sidewalk.

            • Cyranojoe

              Wow, Sveum has a five-year contract? Awesome!

  • cubsfanforever

    Think its interesting for those haters of FB. My guess is some people actually don’t have all day to sit and write on blogs. And yes of course I do

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

      It’s not that I hate FB, it’s just that it’s a place where you can post a whole lot of ignorant opinionated drivel on a whole lot of different subjects in a short amount of time. That appeals to some people, just not me. I actually enjoy reading the comments on BN, because they tend to be more factually based.

      • Todd

        Concussion symptoms still acute, huh.

      • Eternal pessemist

        Hmmm…you haven’t met die hard have you?

  • RWakild

    Have always been a Ryne Sandberg fan. Although the Cubs will always be number one in my heart, I am now a Phillie fan also. Go Ryno!!!

    • TigerCub

      Amen! Go Cubbies for sure, but now I have a second favorite team.

  • Scotti

    Dude who was involved in the Boston clubhouse PED scandal arrested for stabbing his girlfriend to death:

    http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/son-of-red-sox-broadcaster-faces-murder-charge

    “Jared Remy is a former Red Sox security staffer who was fired by the team in 2008 during a steroid investigation.”

  • another JP

    Ryno did nothing but his best for the Cubs in every position he had with the organization. A manager’s tactics are always under scrutiny but Ryno was always fair in dealing with the Cubs. It’s ironic that he’d receive his promo when we’re playing the Cards, because I’ll never forget being at “The Ryno Game” in 1984 when he hit homers in the ninth & tenth innings off fellow HOFer Bruce Sutter to help beat St. Louis. An MVP season for a great baseball man, best of luck to Ryno.

  • Cindy

    RYNE SANDBERG IS A LOUSY MANAGER AND A LOUSY HUSBAND TOO!

    • DarthHater

      Thanks for playing. Please collect your lovely door prize on your way out.

    • another JP

      Proof, please.

    • kmr1453

      **link**

    • Chef Brian

      Capitol letters reaaaally get your point across.

  • kmr1453

    Speaking of Quade, where has the big galoot been hiding?

  • Bobby

    No Fair. Scottie leaves just when I wanted to line item veto everything he wrote.

  • Kramden

    Rumor has it that Mike Scoscia will be the next Phillie manager no matter how well Sandburg does.

  • caryatid62

    What’s killing baseball is not steroids. It’s nostalgia.

  • Joycedaddy

    I hope he does well, but that the Phillies choose someone else next year. If love to see Ryno manage the Cubs when they’re actually good. I’m beyond thrilled if Theo brings us a championship, but to see Ryno manage us to win it all would be great. Homegrown talent is one thing, but after the pains we’ve all suffered it’d be nice to see one of our greats lead the way. Go Cubs.

  • Lokanna

    I’d take Ryne over Sveum any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. Regardless of what you claim Dale knows about deep rebuilding, Sandberg got the most out of our young players, regardless of sabremetrics. Not only that, he proved he could manage youth to wins, and did it through leadership. Go ahead and look up leadership in your spreadsheet, you won’t find it. But I can show you time and time again how terrible leaders provide terrible results. Ever heard the expression “They looked great on paper?” I wonder why they failed.

    You win by managing people, not numbers. Talents means nothing if the guy doesn’t want to play for you.

    I’m happy for Ryne and wish him all the best. The memories he gave me during my youth are something I won’t forget. It’s unfortunate he wasn’t able to have the opportunity to lead our club to something great, and if he turns the Phillies around, well, I guess you’ll find some numbers to prove why and not attribute a damn thing to his ‘small ball’ ways.

    • Jon

      Thanks for that thought Hawk Harrelson

  • Chef Brian

    I always base my preference of manager on how many giggle-snort moments they gave me in my youth.

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  • http://www.draftday.com udbrky

    Is this the first time that 2 players were traded in the same trade, from the same team, and later went on to manage that team?

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