Results tagged ‘ Ryne Sandberg ’
But organized infield and outfield work during the season had become so sporadic that any structured pregame practice at all stood out like a sore thumb. The Phillies picked up those sessions a bit following last season’s July 31 Trade Deadline, but they typically were limited to the first game of every home series.
That is changing. They already had practices Friday and yesterday and have another scheduled tomorrow as Phillies third base coach and infield instructor Ryne Sandberg makes them part of the team’s routine. He said they will be 20-minute sessions as needed and as he sees fit before home games.
“That’s what I do,” Sandberg said. “That’s what I like to see happen. It’s a stress on defense. It allows us to have time to work on things. It’ll be something that will be stressed throughout the whole year.”
The Phillies took ground balls regularly in the past, but it typically occurred during batting practice. Charlie Manuel calls this a more structured, more hands-on setup that allows for more discussion and teaching. The sessions are mandatory.
He likes it.
“The fact it is more organized, it gives you time to talk to get your points across as far as mistakes we’ve made or things we want to improve on,” Manuel said. “It’s a little bit stricter coaching and I like that. I like everything about that.”
But structured practices do seem to be a rare occurrence in baseball these days, not only with the Phillies, but every team.
“I don’t think getting away from it is a good thing,” Sandberg said. “Having it is a very positive thing. In my day we took infield every day, except for day games. I think it’s something that’s necessary to stay sharp and stay on top of things. We’ll also have the outfielders join us and throw to the bases, probably twice a homestand or something like that. It’s for everybody to stay sharp on defense. It’s a big part of the game. To work on it and stress it becomes important.”
It took him six years of managing in the minors before the Phillies hired him as third base coach. That seemed like a long time to a lot of people: Hall of Fame second baseman can’t get a job in the big leagues? What’s up with that? But Sandberg sounded like a patient guy who had no trouble paying his dues. He is well aware there are plenty more coaches in the minor leagues that have been coaching a lot longer than six years before getting the call.
Case in point: new Phillies bullpen coach Rod Nichols spent the previous 13 seasons in the minors.
Everybody considers Sandberg the heir apparent to Charlie Manuel, whose contract expires after next season. Manuel said he is not worried about any questions that might pop up next season about his future, which could happen if the Phillies start slowly.
Asked if he felt he needed to have a conversation with Manuel about any of those potential questions from pesky reporters, Sandberg said, “We’ll both be fine. I’ve been around him long enough. I feel like he has a trust in all of his coaches. I don’t think I’d be on his coaching staff if there wasn’t a trust level and a comfort level. I think we’ve developed a trust these last two years, both in Spring Training and in September as a call up. We’re very comfortable with each other. I enjoy being around him, and I think he feels the same way about me. And now we’ll work together. We have a common goal: winning as many games as we can and get to a World Series.”
A few notes today regarding the Phillies:
- The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Tyson Brummett off waivers. Brummett spent most of the season with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley before making his big-league debut with the Phillies on Oct. 3.
- The Phillies outrighted infielder Pete Orr and catcher Steve Lerud from the 40-man roster. The Phillies have 37 players on the roster, plus four players on the 60-day disabled list.
- Phillies third base prospect Cody Asche is hitting .360 with four doubles and three RBIs in six games in the Arizona Fall League. Infielder Freddy Galvis is hitting .460 with one double, one triple, three home runs and five RBIs in Winter Ball in Venezuela. Outfield prospect Tyson Gillies has hit .467 with one double, one triple and two RBIs in four games in Venezuela. Darin Ruf is hitting .133 in four games in Venezuela.
- Phillies hitting coach Steve Henderson will wear No. 5 next season. Assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner will wear No. 21. Bullpen coach Rod Nichols will wear No. 54. And third base coach Ryne Sandberg will wear No. 23, assuming catcher Brian Schneider does not return next season.
More news on the coaching front today:
Ryne Sandberg has been hired as the team’s third base coach and infield instructor. Steve Henderson has been hired as hitting coach and Rod Nichols has been hired as bullpen coach. Mick Billmeyer, Rich Dubee and Juan Samuel have been retained after yesterday’s dismissals of Pete Mackanin, Greg Gross and Sam Perlozzo.
Dubee, who is Charlie Manuel‘s right-hand man and controls everything pitching related, will return as pitching coach. Billmeyer moves from bullpen coach to catching coach. Samuel has been offered a move to first base/outfield/baserunning instructor.
The Phillies announced their first changes following today’s season finale at Nationals Park, where they informed bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross and first base coach Sam Perlozzo they will not be back in 2013.
“I think when you want to do some things, people on your staff, most of the time they’re the ones that have to be let go or moved or whatever,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel explained. “I think that’s just the position it’s in.”
Mackanin replaced Jimy Williams as bench coach following the 2008 season. Perlozzo replaced third base coach Steve Smith following the 2008 season before moving to first base in 2011. Gross, who served two tours as Phillies hitting coach, rejoined the team in July 2010, when the Phillies fired Milt Thompson.
It is expected Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Ryne Sandberg will join the coaching staff in 2013, unless he takes a big-league managing job elsewhere.
The coaching staff changes will only lead to more significant changes on the 25-man roster.
“We’re definitely going to have some changes on our roster,” Manuel said. “How many or what, I really don’t know. From talking to Ruben (Amaro Jr.), we’re going to try to get better and get back to compete, win our division and have a chance at the World Series.”
It was photo day at Bright House Field, which had players running from station to station for photographs for various publications and uses. Mike Schmidt happened to be taking his photos, when Jim Thome passed by and asked if he could take a photo with the Hall of Fame third baseman. At about that moment Ryne Sandberg walked past and hopped in for a shot.
That’s two Hall of Famers and one future Hall of Famer.
Unfortunately, I can’t find that photo, but I’ll look for it. Here’s Schmidt and Thome, though.
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
So we learned today Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock will interview for Baltimore’s GM vacancy and Ryne Sandberg will interview for St. Louis’ managerial vacancy.
They’re not the only Phillies personnel teams are interested in.
Bench coach Pete Mackanin just interviewed for Boston’s managerial vacancy. Big league scout Jim Fregosi Jr. left to become special assistant to the general manager in Kansas City, and Double-A manager Mark Parent left to become the bench coach with the Chicago White Sox.
It is worth noting the Cubs have told Sandberg he will not be a candidate for their managerial vacancy. I believe if Mackanin gets hired somewhere, the Phillies would promote Sandberg as his replacement. The Phillies love Sandberg. In fact, I think if Sandberg somehow remains with the organization he would be a front runner to replace Charlie Manuel once his contract expires and he decides he has had enough of managing.
The Phillies announced their Minor League player development staff today:
We already knew Ryne Sandberg will manage Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Mickey Morandini will manage Class A Williamsport.
Les Lancaster joins the organization as the rookie-level Gulf Coast Phillies pitching coach. Mark Parent will manager Double-A Reading after managing Class A Lakewood last season. Chris Truby will manager Lakewood after managing Williamsport last season. Here is a look at the rest of the staffs:
- Lehigh Valley: Sandberg (manager), Sal Rende (coach) and Rod Nichols (pitching coach).
- Reading: Parent (manager), Frank Cacciatore (coach) and Bob Milacki (pitching coach).
- Clearwater: Dusty Wathan (manager), TBA (coach), Dave Lundquist (pitching coach).
- Lakewood: Truby (manager), Gregg Legg (coach), Steve Schrenk (pitching coach).
- Williamsport: Morandini (manager), Jorge Valandia (coach) and Lance Carter (pitching coach).
- Gulf Coast Phillies: Roly deArmas (manager), Kevin Jordan (coach), Carlos Arroyo (pitching coach) and Lancaster (pitching coach).
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I’m sure you know the Phillies traded Sandberg and Larry Bowa to the Cubs in January 1982 for Ivan DeJesus. It’s considered one of the worst trades in franchise history, but it might not even be the worst trade the Phillies made with the Cubs. They also sent Grover Cleveland Alexander and Ferguson Jenkins to the Cubs in regrettable trades.
I wrote about the Sandberg fiasco in my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.”
Here’s an excerpt:
We have to have Sandberg to make this trade.
You have to have him?
Yeah, we have to have him.
Well, OK then.
The Phillies traded Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs on January 27, 1982, not because they wanted to trade him, but because they wanted to trade Larry Bowa. They just needed to include Sandberg to make it happen. It turned out to be one of the worst trades in history. The Phillies got Ivan DeJesus. The Cubs got Bowa and Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman.
Bowa had become embroiled in a bitter contract dispute with the new Phillies president Bill Giles. Bowa, who had just turned 36, wanted the three-year contract extension that owner Ruly Carpenter had promised him before he had sold the team. Giles had no plans to sign an aging shortstop to a contract extension, especially because the Phillies had top prospect Julio Franco coming through their farm system. So Bowa called Giles a liar. He said the organization had no class.
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.