October 17, 2014 |
LAST DECEMBER, 3 days after Roy Halladay announced his retirement, the Phillies signed veteran righthander Roberto Hernandez in an effort to fill the gap and solidify the bottom of their starting rotation. Two months later, not content with the final makeup of that rotation on the eve of the first official workout in Clearwater, the Phils signed another free-agent pitcher. A.J. Burnett joined the starting staff, effectively taking Halladay's place as the older, established righthander with playoff pedigree to plop between lefthanders Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. The Phillies ended up paying just under $21 million for Hernandez and Burnett in 2014.
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.
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.
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.
October 5, 2012 |
The first step toward Ryne Sandberg's becoming the next manager of the Philadelphia Phillies was put into motion Thursday when the Hall of Fame second baseman was named the team's third-base coach and infield instructor. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. denied that was the intent after he recited the myriad changes to the coaching staff following the .500 season that ended the Phillies' run of five straight National League East titles. "We've made no promises to Ryne Sandberg," Amaro said.
August 22, 2013 |
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Chace Numata rose from his crouch and approached the mound at FirstEnergy Park. There is little a 21-year-old catcher can say to one of the best pitchers of this generation, yet Numata tried. He patted Roy Halladay on the lower back. Halladay threw eight straight balls in the fourth inning of a dull rehab start with single-A Lakewood. He resembled the drained pitcher seen earlier in 2013, before a surgeon cut into his right shoulder. That was three months ago. Halladay could not command his arsenal.