Ryne Sandberg Named Lehigh Valley Manager

The Phillies have hired Hall of Fame Second Baseman Ryne Sandberg as the Manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, their AAA affiliate.  Sandberg who decided not to return to the Cubs organization after losing out on the Cubs job managed AAA Iowa City to a 82-62 record last season and was named Manager of the Year in the Pacific Coast League. 

For a team that has struggled mightily in each season of their existance, this is a move that you can’t help but like.  Comments that Sandberg made during his induction into the Hall of Fame on July 31, 2005 tell the story about what he will expect from his players..”It was all about doing things right.  If you played the game the right way, good things would happen.  That is what I loved most about the game, how a ground out to second with a man on second and nobody out was a great thing.  Respect….When did it become ok for someone to hit homeruns and forget how to play the rest of the game?…These guys sitting up here did not pave the way for the rest of us so that players could swing for the fences every time up and forget how to move a runner over to third. It is disrespectful to them, to you and to the game of baseball, that we all played growing up…Alot of people say that this honor validates my career, but I didn’t work hard for validation.  I didn’t play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel.  I played the game right because that is what you are supposed to do, play it right and with respect…If this validates anything, it is that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera.”

“The feeling that I have had since I got the call is a feeling I suspect will not go away…This is my last big game, my last big at bat. This is my last time catching the final out.  I dreamed of this as a child but had too much respect for the game to think this was ever possible.  I believe it is because I had so much respect for the game and respect for getting the most out of my ability that I stand here today.  I hope others in the future will know this feeling for the same reason.  Respect for the game of baseball.  When we all played, it was mandatory.  It is something I hope we will one day see again”.

What was written above, is exactly what was missing in Allentown last year. The fundamentals.

39 thoughts on “Ryne Sandberg Named Lehigh Valley Manager

  1. Fundamentals and talent. And power. And capable starting pitching. The Ironpigs might not have fundamentals, but its really hard to win games when your double play combo slugs .300.

  2. I agree with you there…however, their pitching was actually fairly decent. Watching them game in and game out, it was unbelievable on how many occasions not getting a runner over, failing to lay down a bunt, throwing to the wrong base and not putting the ball in play cost them. They had an exorbinant amount of mental mistakes.

  3. An emphasis on fundamentals is always helpful but its not a good sign if guys in AAA don’t have those down a bit already.

    On a positive note (I guess) is that fact that most of the players in Allentown didn’t come through the system so its not necessarily an indication of the state of the lower levels of the organization.

  4. Well that was something that Huppert railed about while he was there. I believe he was quoted as saying the problem with having a lot of minor league free agents is that they are playing for their next contract not for baseball fundamentals. Instead of just making good contact and putting it in play they are trying to hit it deep to protect their livelyhood. (which you can’t necessarily blame them for) But i remember him complaining about this, I don’t remember the paper it was in though.

  5. Great move, great move. I would imagine the Phillies make him the bench coach in 2012 or stay at AAA to manage some of the upcoming prospects currently in A+, with eventual succession in 2013 as manager. By that time, the team will be considerably younger and may require a younger manager. Not sure he would stay in AAA longer than two years.

  6. This is great news. Now this franchise has a legit Major League Ready Manager in their system and he will make the Ironpigs, something to watch. We can actually send talent to LHV and not worry that it will be a waste of time

  7. Don’t get me wrong folks, I am not ready to get rid of Charlie by any means. Clearly his record and respect within the clubhouse speaks for itself. Too many times, we are looking for an easy answer or solution when more patience is required. Charlie would work wonders with the younger players with regard to hitting. History shows that most continual winning teams maintain the same managing staff.

  8. Huppert, Sandberg, Stengel whoever manages needs players. I was driving by Allentown on night and picked up the game. By the third inning I was sick of the defensive play. The announcers did even try to hide it.
    Good luck HOF guy (who was also a throw in)

    BTW I never understood why they sent Huppert to AAA anyway. Reading should of been his stop where there were actual players.

  9. I’m glad to see Ryno back in the organization. I love what he said about the fundamentals. The big club could use some of that. When the Phils were going through those long stretches where they couldn’t hit, I would be screaming “small ball”. When you can’t score runs then you have to manufactor them. Moving the guy up a base. Sac Fly to score the runner from 3rd. Do something good every at bat. Polanco is a guy who does it right but most everyone else just didn’t get it. I know Cholly loves the “big ball” approach but it’s all about scoring runs and a couple of “small ball” runs count as much as that 2 R HR. Remember baseball is the only sport I know that you can’t score while on defense. Use your offense every way possible.

  10. We are now a big market big money organization… and we need quality coaching at the lower levels. We do still need to build up the farm some more from all the bg trades that brought our big guys here

  11. I think this is a great move for our farm system and LV in particular, but I wouldn’t get too caught up in the “Sandberg replacing Charlie” talk. I don’t have data that says how many times an MLB manager is replaced by that team’s AAA manager but it seems to be very rare, probably less than 5% of the time for sure. Sounds like Sandberg was looking for a major league coaching job and could not find one so I think the move next year to a major league coaching position would be a logical step but to say a guy who didn’t get the Cubs job and couldn’t find an MLB coaching job is being groomed to replace Charlie is a little aggressive in my mind. If the Phils managing vacancy was open this off season, it would probably be considered one of the top 3 managing jobs to have in all of MLB based on recent success, payroll, etc so when the time comes to replace Charlie the Phils should have a pretty good list to choose from. Independent of all that, based on what I hear everyone say about the way LV played the last few years and the way Sandberg’s teams played, this can only be a positive move for 2011 and the system’s development.

  12. By the way, don’t look for Rizz to try LF, zero chance. Think of Jim Thome playing left. It just can’t work.

  13. It never seems that succession plans work when you have the replacement waiting in the wings. It gives the current manager a lame duck situation and the successor the a sense of entitlement. All while leaving the players in limbo.

  14. Maybe Charlie has privately told the Phils brass that he only has a few years left in him before he calls it quit. Seems like the logical progression is as follows –

    2011 – Sandberg in AAA
    2012 – Sandberg as the bench coach
    2013 – Possible MLB manager?

    I know, I’m getting ahead of myself, but at that point, Sandberg will have paid his dues.

  15. The sensible thing is for Sandberg to bide his time managing the Ironpigs until either A. Manuel retires or B. Another organization offers him their own big league managerial job. The only thing the Phillies owe Sandberg is an interview for the big league job if and when it opens. I doubt the Phillies are making any promises, and I wouldn’t expect any until we really see how Sandberg operates.

  16. Gregg: Thanks for including Sandberg’s remarks from his HOF induction speech in your report. If I can draw a comparison to another sport, he reminds me of Larry Brown. If he has a managerial career that is close to LB’s he’ll add another plaque to his HOF wall. The only question is when does he arrive as a ML manager. And where?

  17. Also, I might add that it’s pretty rare for a recent HOF player (at least one during the big money era of baseball) pay his dues through the minors. Good for him.

  18. Arizona is listening to offers for Justin Upton according to MLBTR

    Anyone else think we should trade Dom Brown for him?

    He’s only a month older than Brown, is already an All Star, and bats right.

    Seems like a fair trade to me if we kick in some pitching (which we have to spare.)

  19. Some guys love to teach and some love the game. Good for Sandberg to be willing to manage in the minors. Hopefully he sticks with it unlike Michael Jack.

    Brown for Upton? Not a chance in hell.

  20. The problem with these trade proposals is that we end up acquiring yet another $10MM plus player. With Howard lock in at an extraordinary price and so much money locked up elsewhere, the Phillies desperately need stud pre-arb players to contribute.

  21. Didn’t both Victorino and Rollins have the same type of incident with not hustling? Do they have attitude problems too?

  22. I say yes on Dom plus others for Braun, a proven major leaguer with a good contract, but Upton is really none of those things. He is much less of a player than Braun, with a bigger contract. No way I would trade Dom for him.

  23. I would take that deal in a heartbeat. Brown is full of potential while Upton is already a proven player at the same age.

    The $$$ situation isn’t a major concern moving forward with Ibanez’s contract expiring after 2011.

  24. would note that Justin Upton’s contract isn’t much different than Braun’s. Braun is certainly the better hitter but Upton is a better athlete/defensive player and is 4 years younger.

  25. Upton love to have him. fast , righthanded bat, great defense, why not and if I read his conract right its about 8 million a year.Hopefully someone would be ready to take ibanez place next year,

  26. Now , back to the assigned topic.

    Prediction for the upcoming season (2011) vis-a-vis this board, here. Most of the people on here singing the praises of the dribbling of a weak grounder to the right side to move the runner to 3rd as Sandberg teaches, if any good little student at AAA does enough of that to diminish player’s all important OBP, or to reduce the total number of their only method of player evaluation- who has the highest OPS, will be the first to holler that said player is a bum.

    Note – to paraphrase Ruben Amaro Jr. in today’s philly.com; Looking to add a second infielder for bench to replace Greg Dobbs, position may have to be filled from within, perhaps with a 6 year minor league free agent who wows them in Spring Training.
    6 Year minor league free agent Infielders signed to date: Pete Orr. So my current guess is they are considering Pete Orr for an MLB bench position. How about that?

  27. Marfis, your statement about moving the runner up and then people on this board (me I assume) calling him a bum is partly true. When all someone looks at is a box score, it’s nearly impossible to glean how important those ABs were. A guy going 0 -4 but moving runners into a better position to score, had a good game. I like to look at the recaps, at least once in a while, to see how a game progressed. It’s then possible to determine if the guy made an impact.

    I see quite a few Major League games where I can see what happened. I love it when there’s a leadoff walk against a very good pitcher. The guy steals 2nd. The guy at the plate “dribbles” a ground ball to the 2nd baseman, moving the runner to 3rd. followed by a Sac Fly. That’s a manufactored run. It counts just as much as as a guy pounding a 500 foot HR. All I’m saying, is the game has to be played between the white lines. Take what the other team will give you. If a guys hot, let him pound away. When the team goes cold, BBs, HBPs, SB, SF become very important.

    For years, I watched Jason Giambi with the Yankees. He has a very high OBP but he also hits .220. They use a shift on him and he acts like the field only has one side. He could hit 1.000 if he learned to go the other way or even bunt the ball down the 3rd base line. He’d only have to do it for a couple of games before teams would have to play him straight up.

  28. I’ve seen the Howard shift and when things are going badly, I’d suggest tapping the ball down the leftfield line for him too.

    Interesting that the 1st guy who had the shift applied –that anyone remembers– was probably the greatest hitter who ever lived. That would be Ted Williams. Ted said that they could put everyone on the right field side and throw some additional guys out there too and he’d still get a hit. Yes, the man was arrogant but I’ll bet all great hitters have some of that in them.

  29. Bellman, it’s been documented that teams started employing the Williams shift back in the 1920s. Not for Ted Williams, but Cy Williams.

Comments are closed.