The Philadelphia Phillies announced their minor league staff appointees on Monday afternoon and its likely with a big sigh of relief that they welcomed Ryne Sandberg back. Hell return to Lehigh Valley for a second season and if he accomplishes half of what he did in this year, the folks in Philadelphia will be thrilled.
Sandberg, who came to the Phils after a successful run in the Chicago Cubs system, seemed to be the missing piece in what had long been an incomplete Triple-A puzzle for the Phils. He was the 2010 Manager of the year in the Pacific Coast League after leading Iowa to an 82-win season and brought that same success to Lehigh Valley.
Sandberg guided the IronPigs to the International League post-season for the first time in club history and finished two wins shy of capturing the first league championship. It would have been the first title by a Phillies Triple-A affiliate since 1983.
I enjoyed Sandberg a lot, said infielder Cody Overbeck, who played half of the 2011 season with Lehigh Valley. He connects with the players and doesnt say much in the way of the criticism. Hes pretty positive.
Sandberg was also knocked out of the early running for the Cubs managerial opening -- the second time his former team has spurned him -- and was a candidate in St. Louis before Mike Matheny was hired.
Ultimately, it could all work out very well for Sandberg in the end. Who knows how much longer Charlie Manuel will be managing in Philadelphia? When and if Manuel does retire or is not retained, Sandberg could easily slide right into that role with the parent club.