Ryne Sandberg, 53 received a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth year to manage the Philadelphia Phillies. The move was widely expected as Sandberg has restored some discipline and fire to a team that appeared to have little of either. Sandberg took over a team in free fall, having lost 19 of it’s previous 23 when he was named interim manager. He was able to stop the bleeding with the Phils going 18-16 since Ryno took the reins. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Sandberg comes with the requisite resume to manage in the big leagues. Aside from his hall of fame career as a player he managed four years in the Cubs minor league system, two years in the Phillies organization and most recently as the Phils third base coach. He’s the only hall of fame player currently managing in the major leagues. It’s the opinion here that Sandberg is the right man for the job, as we called for Phils management to lift the interim tag back on September 3rd.
In the pre-game show baseball hall of fame writer Paul Hagen noted the obvious, “A manager is only as good as the players he has.” Without the team making significant personnel improvements this winter it’s unrealistic to expect Ryno to lead the Phils back to the playoff. This winter it’s time for Ruben Amaro Jr. to step up and acquire the talent Sandberg needs to bring a winner back to South Philly. That’s a discussion for another day. Today we recognize the Phils hired a good man, a baseball lifer – and to wish him the best in guiding the team back to October baseball.