Sandberg Is Making Changes

Ryne Sandberg, Chase UtleyRoy Halladay yesterday tried to clarify his comments from Tuesday in Class A Lakewood, where he made waves when he discussed the Phillies’ managerial change.

Halladay has said both publicly and privately how much he has enjoyed playing for Charlie Manuel. I don’t think that was BS. I think he genuinely respected the former Phillies manager. But I think Halladay also hasn’t liked what he has seen in the clubhouse lately, and he tried to express those feelings to reporters. But he perhaps garbled his intended message and instead of saying the poor attitude, work ethic, etc., in the clubhouse needed to change, it sounded like he was reburying Manuel and blaming him for everything. That isn’t Halladay’s style, at least not in my experiences with him. He will speak his mind, but he’s not the type of guy to blast a manager, especially a few days after he has been fired.

But Halladay said what he said. So what about “guys being at places on time, being on the field on time, taking ground balls and taking extra BP and all those little thing that nobody thinks make a difference?”

Ryne Sandberg said yesterday, “All I can say on that is being the third-base coach and infield instructor up to last week or five days ago, players came to the ballpark, they reported, they got their work in with the coaches and all of the players were ready to play every single game.”

Now, keep in mind, if Sandberg felt differently he certainly was not going to say, “Oh, yes. I completely agree with everything Halladay said. He’s right.” But that’s OK. Sandberg already has talked about lackadaisical play and things needing to change. My very early impressions of Sandberg are he is a man with a plan and a very good sense of how he wants to do things.

I saw evidence of that early this season. He instituted infield practice at home. That is something I have not seen since I started covering the team in 2003. Every once in a blue moon you’d see the team holding infield and outfield practice before a game, but typically only after a run or sloppy games. But Sandberg wanted this to happen, whether or not the team was playing well or poorly. These 20-minute sessions typically began before 4 p.m. for a night game, so I remember asking him if everybody needed to be there. I asked because at the time players didn’t need to be in uniform and on the field until the official team stretch, which is a little after 4 p.m. Sandberg seemed completely baffled by my question. He looked stunned.

“These are mandatory,” he said sternly.

That leads me to one small, but noteworthy change he has made since he took over Friday.

Sandberg has a 3 p.m. report time to the ballpark for 7 p.m. games.

That is new.

Like I said, in the past players needed to be on the field in time for their group stretch. But Sandberg is making sure everybody is at the ballpark no later than 3 p.m. Again, it’s a small, but noteworthy change. But for me, the biggest thing for Sandberg is changing attitudes in the clubhouse. The clubhouse has not been a positive place this season. Players are unhappy (examples here, here and here). Maybe that’s just how clubhouse are when teams are losing. But things certainly haven’t been helped by the negative energy and attitudes.

If Sandberg can get everybody in the clubhouse to focus their energies on what matters on the field instead of what happens off it, then I think Sandberg will have earned his keep and deserves the full-time job. So far the early returns are good.

27 Comments

Oh no more watching CNBC business channel right up till BP to see how all of those multi-million dollar investments are going for these players? What a shame…..

I am being facetious, but maybe this team has lost sight of that they are actually being paid really great money to play at the top of their game but yet we’ve seen clownish performances from a lot of them this year.

If fans want to see real change, stop supporting this debacle with your ticket purchases and send a real message to Ruben and the front office that the fans aren’t happy with what they see on the field.

I concur with you completey. I have received a “Six Pack” the last several years as a Christmas present. This year I made it to the first four games but that is it for me. Have put the word out to donate the money to a worthy cause instead. As long as Ruin is in charge I do not see the point.

The long and short of it is that Charlie did nothing to change the club house culture. But, Todd, why are you only reporting on this now, after the fact, in a manner of speaking? I can understand that there is a difference between reporting and opining but it seems you come up short in both areas

Pherrisphan, you are a fool. I first reported on Sandberg initiating mandatory infield practice (I provided the link to the original story above). I was the only reporter to write about Lee being upset at Charlie’s and Ruben’s team meeting. I wrote the original story where Papelbon came down hard on the organization. (Again, I provided the links above.) Also, throughout my stories in recent weeks, I’ve written about how it’s an unhappy clubhouse. And today I was the first reporter to write about Sandberg’s early report time. So, what the heck are you talking about?

This reply to that guys nonsense made my day. Youre awesome Todd, keep up the good work, we all appreciate being kept up to date.

Who knows, Pherrisphan always has some BS he wants to spew trying to tear somebody down. I stopped trying to argue with him due to his inability to see things from a rational point of view. Now that he is even going after the way in which you perform your job – which I see absolutely nothing wrong with – you gotta wonder if he just has too much time on his hands, and too little actual talent at anything to succeed at anything but insulting other people.

Don’t worry, though, Todd, all the rational Phils fans know you do a good job reporting “the beat” of the team, and appreciate it. Hell, even Pherrisphan knows that somewhere inside his delusional mind, or else he would not continue to read your articles.

yo todd, the next time you talk to amaro, ask him why he only signs players who hit below the mendozza line, mcdonald, wells, and now bernadinha (sic)

Yay Todd!!!!!

Todd, Pherris has been upset at you since you called him a while ago. You were right then……and you are right now!! Most of us love your writing and look forward to reading it every day, whether we post here or not! Keep up the great work!

Todd, you really need to familiarize yourself with that great Phillies fan, Billy Shakepeare, who would respond “I doth think you protest too much”.

pherris, the irony of your Billy Shakes quote is stunning.

I know, right? Pherris… Foot———->Mouth. He really doesn’t think before speaking/typing, does he?

Great piece. Keep up the good work Todd!

Lots of acrimony coming out of the Phillies’ clubhouse these days. Maybe that’s a good thing, instead of letting it fester all winter. If players are that unhappy (Cliff Lee just wants to “win”), then Amaro should trade them, but get some real value this time. And I still think “I didn’t come here for this,” sounds a lot like “For what? For who?”

Kinda feel like everyone – teammates, management, and the press – is tip-toeing around the lack of production and leadership from Rollins. His ‘late’ responses to the Manuel firing is a good case in point: Utley and Hamels both had immediate and thoughtfully respectful answers that were shared. But it was 36 hours later that Jimmy gave a non-chalant answer of, “now I’ve got a fishing buddy when I go to Florida.” Why aren’t his lack of contributions to the team being discussed by anyone?

A little side note…..re, the above pic. Are we looking at the current, and future, Phillies managers? Ryno, himself, said how well Chase manages the team, on the field. Start grooming him, now, Ryno!

I do love how he picks and chooses times to talk to umps as to not draw attention. He gets his point across while still keeping the respect of the umps. I don’t think Chase’s personality would work as a manager, but hitting instructor or something of that nature? Hell yeah. He has one of the best swings I have ever seen. If he could be here to help guys move toward that swing path and short, quick approach, phillies’ hitters for years could only benefit.

I always saw Chase’s future, as a hitting coach, also. Hopefully for the Phillies! His personality is a lot like Ryno’s. So let see how Ryno does, as manager. And then speculate some more. LOL!

One of the things I’ve said about Chase’s contract extension……I don’t care if he hits below the Mendozza line. We need his leadership, on the team! AND to be a mentor, to all the young guys!

I don’t think that you can “teach” bat speed. It’s like any speed skill: either you have it or you don’t.

To a certain degree that is correct due to physical limitations/differences from player to player, but you can be taught the correct swing path, which, in turn, speeds up your bat. Utley’s swing is so perfect because his hands lead the bat all the way through the zone in pretty damn close to a straight line (point A to point B). Once the hands are out front, then the wrists whip the bat head through the zone.

When a player “casts the bat head out” before his hands/wrists break that plane, then the swing is undoubtedly going to be slower.

Utley may not be able to help the young guys match his bat speed, but if they can match the way in which he swings, their bats will almost certainly gain bat speed.

the best thing that could happen to the phillies would be that CASPER WELL would DIE. and take john mcdonald with him.

Yesterday’s post game show on PHL-17 was interesting. Larry Bowa opined that Halladay would be in line for a contract in the $12-$15 million range at which time they cut away to Marty Bystrom who was off-site and was presented with the same question. Bystrom opined that Halladay should receive an incentive laden contract in the $5-$10 million range.

Phils will sign him to a 5 year $200m contract. (LOL)

We are winning it all next year! Thanks to a pathetic D-Back pitching staff we are again “contenders” after this weekend………..(eye-roll)

That is why they are called OPINIONS.

casper wells was just put on the dl. WHAT A MAJOR LOSS. there goes our only chance of making a last ditch run for the pennant.

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