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.
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.
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.
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?
August 18, 2012 |
Ryne Sandberg is ready to return to the big leagues. "Oh, I'm ready," the Hall of Fame second baseman said last week as he sat in the dugout at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. "In my mind, I'm ready for a major-league opportunity. " Good luck trying to find somebody who does not agree. Sandberg has spent six seasons as a minor-league manager, including the last two with the Phillies' triple-A Lehigh Valley affiliate, and the time has come for him to take the next step. You won't hear Sandberg say that.
June 22, 2015 |
Ryne Sandberg's tortured tenure as manager of the Phillies during one of their most woeful times - which is really saying something - ended Tuesday in Baltimore when Chase Utley openly berated the pitching coach, and by extension Sandberg, for a clumsy bit of strategy that was failing badly. What currency Sandberg still held in the clubhouse and within the organization was spent in those moments, not necessarily because Utley was right, but because his crime against the most hallowed tenet of the game, not showing up the manager, went entirely unpunished and ignored.
June 11, 2015 |
SOON AFTER he was hired to run the Chicago Cubs in the fall of 2011, Theo Epstein named Dale Sveum to be his manager. As the Brewers' hitting coach, Sveum had a reputation not just for developing young hitters, but for being a tough, no-nonsense type and requiring accountability from those who played for him. The Cubs needed that discipline as their organizational philosophy veered toward perennial restocking and patience, much as the Phillies have...