Ryne Sandberg was named the manager of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, for the 2011 season Monday … so much for Sandberg not wanting to manage again in the minors.
Shortly after Sandberg severed ties with the Cubs organization, Jim Hendry said, “I don’t think that was ever in his plans to be in the minor leagues after this year.”
After the Cubs removed the interim tag from Mike Quade, Sandberg took “four days” to contemplate his future before deciding he wanted to stay in the game. Sandberg interviewed for the same position in the Red Sox organization before deciding the Phillies organization was the best fit for him.
According to Barry Rozner, “all Ryne Sandberg ever wanted from the Cubs was a fair shake … and that never happened.”
“When I heard the Phillies talking about family and team concept and respect, I knew this was a perfect fit for me. I knew this was the right time for me to join the Phillies.
I really look forward to communicating with the parent club and doing everything I can to help (Phillies manager) Charlie Manuel with any needs they have at Triple-A, and helping his staff with anything they need.”
As Rozner pointed out, “Sandberg apparently did not have that communication in Chicago.”
“The interview process in Philly was top-notch. Very professional, very thorough and it had a real family feel to it, like we’re all in this together. I noticed that part of it right away.”
Sandberg took the right approach in discussing the Cubs job … but he did not mention Jim Hendry.
“I didn’t think it would be fair to everyone involved, from the fans to the new manager. I wish Mike Quade and the ownership of the Cubs and Cubs fans the best of luck.”
Chuck LaMar, the Phillies scouting and development director, said the following:
“We gathered an extremely good field of candidates, but Ryne impressed us in so many different ways. I told him he had paid his dues, and he stopped me and said he hadn’t paid his dues at all, that it’s been four years and people have spent a lot longer than that in the minors.
He said he’s still learning and wants to learn. He’s a perfect fit for us. His communication skills are excellent and he’s got a real humble approach.
For someone who’s done what he’s done, accomplished what he’s accomplished, he doesn’t come off as though he feels he’s owed something.
He always reminds you of all the people who helped him get to the big leagues, and he wants to be that kind of teacher.
His work ethic stands out, watching him the last four years. He demands a lot from his players but they respect him and play hard for him.
Some guys have a knack for getting players to play hard and that was the thing we heard about him.
We were looking for the best baseball man we could find, not just for Triple-A, but to add to the organization.”
When asked about Ryne Sandberg being named the manger of the Phillies’ Triple-A farm team, Jim Hendry said, “I’m happy for him and applaud him for wanting to pursue that goal.”