Phillies Notebook: Sandberg's edict: Be prepared

Posted: September 25, 2013

FOLLOWING SUNDAY'S promotion, from interim to full-time manager, Ryne Sandberg can officially move into the office space at One Citizens Bank Way.

Although not much is expected to change from how Sandberg handled the job in the last 5 weeks to how he'll move forward in the next 3 years, there is one aspect of his managerial style that is likely to be a constant.

Sandberg, a Hall of Fame player in part to his intense commitment to pregame work throughout his career, has preached preparation since his arrival on the big-league staff this spring. It will continue to be a constant in running the Phillies in 2014, too.

"I do like to prepare for a game," said Sandberg, who would ritualistically run through every game scenario in pregame infield work as a player, taking ground balls and throws in every manner possible.

"It all starts in spring training for me, and I think the tone is set in spring training, whether it's drills or defensive sessions or outfield sessions," Sandberg continued. "I think the work needs to be done and I think it needs to be done that's quality and game speed. It's actually work and not going through the motions. I think we can work on things more."

Sandberg mentioned infield and outfield work, baserunning and the ability of his pitchers to hold runners.

Cole Hamels, for example, has allowed 25 stolen bases in 35 attempts this season. Only two pitchers in baseball have yielded more stolen bases.

"No question . . . it opens the door for a possible run," Sandberg said of whether Hamels had to be more mindful of baserunners. "For as good of a pitcher as he is, if a guy gets on first base, steals second, a bloop single scores him. He's a top-notch pitcher He needs to keep the guy on first base."

Sandberg was also asked about Ryan Howard's reluctance to embrace watching video regularly.

"From what I've gathered, I think that's something he can be better prepared to face somebody to start a baseball game," Sandberg said. "Whether it's through the hitting coaches, having conversations, going over scouting reports, we have plenty of video . . . I think he can utilize that."

After spending the last two seasons managing at Triple A Lehigh Valley, Sandberg joined the major league coaching staff this season as third-base coach and infield instructor. As part of his new duties, Sandberg implemented mandatory extra infield work before batting practice.

The extra work became a team-wide agenda when Sandberg took over as manager last month. Players had to arrive at the ballpark at 3 p.m for a 7:05 game.

Since Sandberg can attest to the importance of practice through his own career, he expects his players to do the same under his watch.

"I think it's all for the players' benefit to get better, and I think ultimately that's what you see," Sandberg said. "When wins come with that, it works hand in hand. That's what's preached, it's a team strategy and this is how we're going to do it. You can have a nice session in 12 to 15 minutes and then they go stretch. It's not a big-time thing."

During the current road trip, both Sandberg and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. are expected to tackle the chore of putting together the rest of the 2014 coaching staff.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

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