November 25, 2013 |
PHOENIX - Ryne Sandberg needs a ride. His wife, Margaret, reserved the light blue SUV, the couple's lone vehicle at this moment - for errands on a serene autumn afternoon in the desert. Sandberg examines the 19 olive trees that line his property. They are blooming. Their pilfered seeds blacken the grass because, wouldn't you know it, the Sandbergs have a quail problem. Errant golf balls sometimes litter the immaculate backyard. The 13th hole sits a short wedge beyond Sandberg's fence.
June 19, 2015 |
WE'D REACHED the part of the process where we were supposed to ask the manager solemn questions about his future, and Ryne Sandberg seemed to understand that as he sat in the dugout at Citizens Bank Park yesterday. The Phillies were coming off an embarrassment that had been brewing for months, a 19-3 loss in which a starting pitcher strained a hamstring covering home, a reliever gave up five home runs, a rightfielder threw 48 pitches, and a pitching coach was forced to wave the white towel - literally - because the bullpen phone was off the hook.
August 17, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - There will come a point, Ryne Sandberg said, when the Phillies manager can discuss a playing-time strategy with his boss, Ruben Amaro Jr. At least, that is what Sandberg expects. The Phillies entered Friday on pace for 71 wins; their odds at a postseason berth were calculated at 0.2 percent, according to FanGraphs.com, but not small enough to force Amaro into a conversation about the future. "Not yet," Sandberg said. He laughed. "So the challenge continues. " The manager's position is not an enviable one. He must balance expensive contracts with sensitive personalities and executives' wishes.
October 21, 2012 |
Ryne Sandberg will make his second big-league debut with the Phillies in April and it will be fascinating to see where this career path leads him. The last time Sandberg debuted in a Phillies uniform, he was a 21-year-old infielder launching what became a Hall of Fame career. It became a painful experience for the Phillies and their fans to witness. Sandberg's resumé was crafted in Chicago after Cubs general manager Dallas Green persuaded his former team to "throw in" the young infielder as part of a deal that shipped shortstop Larry Bowa out of Philadelphia.
June 28, 2015 |
FIVE WEEKS AGO, the Phillies began a Memorial Day weekend series in Washington. After taking batting practice at Nationals Park on the first day, they complained about the slow jams - slow, sappy music - their National League East opponents had played through the stadium's speakers during visiting batting practice. So, yesterday, when Washington came to South Philly for the first time since the two teams last met, the Phillies returned the favor. Bluegrass music during Nationals batting practice.
July 29, 2015 |
THE NARRATIVE surrounding Ryne Sandberg since his resignation as Phillies manager a month ago seems to lack the appropriate outrage. After all, how could a man walk away from a once-in-a-lifetime job? Perhaps there was an underlying family issue. Perhaps Sandberg has a personality disorder, or some ingrained shortcoming, that made the daily grind of major league leadership too much to bear. The Phillies visited the Cubs this weekend, the organization with which Sandberg became a Hall of Fame second baseman . . . and the organization that, after four years of watching him do splendid work in the minors, refused to give him a chance at managing in the major leagues.
August 6, 2015 |
LOS ANGELES Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins arrived at Philadelphia International Airport early Monday morning, less than 72 hours after Texas Rangers lefthander Cole Hamels flew out to Dallas. Rehabbing second baseman Chase Utley could become the next longtime Phillie on his way to a new team if he passes through waivers and a contending team trades for him later this month. As Bob Dylan said, the times, they are a-changin'. "They have [changed] . . . it's crazy," Rollins said yesterday afternoon, before his first game at Citizens Bank Park as a member of a team other than the Phillies.
February 18, 2011 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - There is a Hall of Fame second baseman in camp with the Phillies, and Chase Utley is well aware of the man's presence. "I'd be dumb not to pick his brain," Utley said. So Utley and Ryne Sandberg will talk often, Utley promised. Outside observers would say there are plenty of similarities between the players. They hadn't met before this spring, but Sandberg's hiring as the franchise's triple-A manager created an opportunity. During spring training, Sandberg will work with the major-leaguers in camp before heading off to Allentown.
March 17, 2013 |
TAMPA, Fla. - Concerns come and go in spring training. One day you're worried about Michael Young's defense at third base and the next your focus is on Roy Halladay's velocity and command. We'll get a better idea about Halladay's issues Sunday when he pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Bright House Field. As for Young's defense, it's officially OK to stop worrying about it. Young, acquired in a trade from the Texas Rangers in December, had started just 64 games at third base the last two seasons and made 19 errors in his last full season at the position, 2010.
October 23, 2012
WHEN I WAS hired at this place, way back in 1992, the sports editor painted me a rosy picture. I could write features for a while, cover baseball for a while, and when the columnist nearing retirement age got there, why I could slip right into that spot if I showed the right stuff. I wound up earning the position, which is the way you want get a job anyway. Last month, I got a call from the local sportstalk station, WIP, which said it had lost its pooh-bah, or at least it thought it had, and would I like to try the gig. I said sure, what the hey, but after a few weeks someone asked (begged?