I’m baffled as to why a major league club hasn’t plucked Ryne Sandberg away from the minor leagues with an opportunity to manage in the bigs?
You look at what Sandberg’s accomplished from his first season managing in Peoria (2007) to his latest season skippering the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and it’s hard to find any reason not to hire the guy.
Everything from his drawing power at the gate, which is largely responsible for Peoria’s single-season attendance record (2007), to his two Manager of the Year Awards (2010, 2011) screams to how ready Sandberg is to manage at the highest level.
Yet, Ryne sits in waiting, much like he did behind Lou Piniella in Chicago, supposedly next-in-line to take over for Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia following the 2013 season.
But having been in this position before, Ryno knows there are no guarantees, no gentlemen’s agreement, that insures he’s the next man writing out the lineup card at Citizen Bank Park.
However, what I don’t understand is why major league teams in need of a manager let the Phillies keep Sandberg on lay-a-way?
How bad of a manger could Sandberg possibly be given all his successes managing from Single-A to Triple-A? What’s not to like about a guy who’s been a winner every step of the way?
Why not take a chance on Sandberg, pluck him up from Lehigh Valley and watch him turn a losing organization into a winning one?
Keep in mind, Sandberg’s HOF career as a player was grounds enough for Ryno to bypass the entire minor league system altogether.
Instead, Sandberg chose to pay his managerial ‘dues’, succeeded in doing so, and yet, still hasn’t received the big promotion. What gives?
Is Sandberg no better than Robin Ventura, the likely American League Manager of the Year, who’s guided the White Sox to a first place standing in the AL Central despite zero time managing in the minor leagues? I think not.
No team, of course, was more foolish than the Cubs to pass on Ryno; not once, but twice, even though the aspiring manager was groomed from within their very own system. How’s that worked out?
I can’t say I’ll be shocked if Sandberg is passed over again this offseason–and that’s because I’m already shocked it’s taken this long. And that might not be the worst of it.
What’s really going to hurt is watching Sandberg succeed in the major’s once he does get his opportunity, and heaven help us if the Cubs are no better off than they are now when Sandberg’s time comes.
Either way, there’s no way of knowing what might have been with Ryne managing on the North Side. But chances are, it would’ve been special, just like his time spent in the minor leagues.