Sandberg to manage Phils’ Triple-A club
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs tab Hall of Fame second baseman
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Hmm, first Juan, and now Ryne. So far so good, especially with
reports of them trying to sign up fan favorite Mickey Morandini as
PHILADELPHIA — Nearly 29 years after the Phillies traded Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs, he is rejoining the organization.
The Phillies announced on Monday morning that they’ve hired Sandberg
as the manager for their Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron
Pigs. Sandberg managed the previous four seasons in the Cubs’ Minor
League system, including last season with Triple-A Iowa. He had been a
candidate to become the Cubs’ manager following Lou Piniella’s
midseason retirement, but Chicago retained Mike Quade instead.
Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman and Cubs icon, subsequently
informed the Cubs he would seek employment elsewhere.
The Phillies had an opening and landed Sandberg.
Dallas Green said last week that Sandberg would make a great manager.
Green has a storied history with Sandberg. Green was the Cubs’
general manager when he fleeced the Phillies in one of the worst trades
in franchise history. The Jan. 27, 1982, deal sent Larry Bowa and
Sandberg to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus. The Phillies felt they did not
have a position to play Sandberg, and because they felt compelled to
trade Bowa following a bitter contract dispute, Green astutely demanded
the Phillies include Sandberg in the trade.
Sandberg invited Green to his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2005.
“I would think he would make a great fit for us,” Green said last
week. “We raised him. He’s been let down by Chicago a good bit. He’s a
little bit bitter about that. … When he didn’t get the job, I called
him and commiserated with him. I knew he was disappointed. I still
personally think he should be a big league guy if that’s what he really
wants to do.
“I love the guy. He’s got a great work ethic. I haven’t watched him, but I think he’s going to be a good teacher.”
Sandberg earned Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year honors this
past season, when he led the Iowa Cubs (82-62) to a tie for the best
record in the Northern Division.
Sandberg was a 10-time National League All-Star. He also won nine
Gold Glove Awards and seven Silver Slugger Awards during his 16-year
career. The Phillies drafted Sandberg in 1978, and he played 13 games
for the club in ’81 before being traded.
The Phillies said the remainder of their 2011 player development
staff will be announced at a later date, but Mickey Morandini is
expected to be named to the staff in some capacity.
Welcome back, Ryne. Hope you’ll do well managing over in Lehigh Valley.