Phillies Interested in Sandberg, Samuel

sandberg.jpgRyne Sandberg and Juan Samuel could be returning to Philadelphia.

Sandberg is a candidate to fill their managerial vacancy in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, according to sources, although it was unclear today if they have formally interviewed him. Sandberg had been a candidate for the Cubs’ managerial job, but once they hired Mike Quade instead he informed the Cubs he would not return as their Triple-A Iowa manager.

The Cubs said Sandberg is free to explore other opportunities.

“I can tell you that we have started the process of interviewing candidates for the Triple-A job,” Chuck LaMar said this morning. “But I’m not going to comment on candidates or a timetable or how many candidates until we get done.”

Sandberg still has connections in Philadelphia.

Dallas Green, who is senior advisor to the general manager, remains close with Sandberg. Green was the Cubs’ general manager when he fleeced the Phillies in one of the worst trades in franchise history. The trade sent Larry Bowa and Sandberg to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus. The Phillies felt they did not have a position to play Sandberg and because they felt compelled to trade Bowa following a bitter contract dispute, Green astutely demanded the Phillies include Sandberg in the trade.

Sandberg invited Green to his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2005.

“I would think he would make a great fit for us,” Green said. “We raised him. He’s been let down by Chicago a good bit. He’s a little bit bitter about that. … When he didn’t get the job I called him and commiserated with him. I knew he was disappointed. I still personally think he should be a big-league guy if that’s what he really wants to do. I love the guy. He’s got a great work ethic. I haven’t watched him, but I think he’s going to be a good teacher.”

Pat Gillick, who also is a senior advisor to the general manager, recommended to Sandberg recently that he should interview for big-league coaching jobs. But if Sandberg cannot find a big-league managerial or coaching vacancy – only the Pirates and Mets are without managers – the IronPigs might make sense for him. The Phillies also are looking for a first base coach since Davey Lopes left the organization, but the Phillies could be getting close to hiring Juan Samuel.

It had been expected Samuel would rejoin the Baltimore Orioles next season as their third base coach, but sources feel Samuel is headed to Philadelphia.

“We’ve been in touch with the Phillies, just very recently,” said Samuel’s agent, Rex Gary. “I don’t know where it’s going to go, but there’s obviously a position and Juan Samuel is still available. We’ll see. We’ve been in touch with other teams, too. But I will acknowledge that we have spoken with the Phillies.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

4 Comments

Sandberg got screwed by the Cubs. He did everything they asked for years with the expectation that he was next in line for the manager job.

I read something after Quade got the job that the Cubs didn’t want to automatically give Sandberg the job merely because he was next in line, so to speak. They said they were happy with what Quade did, blah blah blah. It sounded as if there was a tacit agreement that the Cubs didn’t want to follow through on. They’ll never win anything. They’re a mixed-up bunch out there.

You want screwed, welcome to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where they promote long-time Dodger (ahem…) Don Mattingley over former Dodger player, former southland college player, and Dodgers AAA Manager of the Year, Tim Wallach. And I would urge all Philly fans to bid adieu to Werth because dealing with Boras is just not worth the hassle. Boras will milk you dry and you’ll end up with a player who is above average at best but commanding a king’s ransom in salary. I mean, Werth is NOT the difference between a championship or mediocrity.

A couple points worth making:

1. There was no “tacit agreement”, and giving a guy a job and 4 years to learn the ropes does not a screwing make. Sandberg certainly did well as a minor league manager, but there were definite concerns about his overall preparedness. I suspect he’ll make a good manager someday, but it’s worth noting that he ended up with another AAA job, not a MLB job, so clearly the Cubs weren’t alone in their thinking. In fact, the Phils passed him over for the 3B coach job, so even that organization wasn’t prepared to put him on a MLB staff.

2. Dallas Green is a bridge-burning, self-important, loud-mouthed and wrong dillhole. Even if Sandberg expressed bitterness, etc., it’s pretty classless to go blabbing that around.

3. The Cubs have done well by Sandberg. Gave him a job. Taught him to hit for power and moved him to a position he was defensively and offensively better suited for. Made him the highest paid player in MLB as a 2B! Paid him when he walked away from the game for personal reasons. Took him back a year and a half later and let him play past his prime. Gave him a job in the system again at the expense of another loyal soldier in the system. To criticize the Cubs career treatment of Sandberg is lacking in perspective (whether it’s a Phils fan who says it, Dallas Green, or Sandberg himself).

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