General manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. allowed Ryne Sandberg to take over as the Philadelphia Phillies manager in August because he didn't have much to lose by doing so. This short-term experiment, that is likely to turn into a permanent managerial job for 'Ryno', makes sense on many levels and might also be offering a hopeful glimpse at the immediate future.
Amaro previously said that the Phillies weren't going to rebuild, but instead were going to retool. Splicing the syntax reveals that the team's top front office boss knows that his Citizens Bank Park corporate overlords aren't in favor of a mid-1980s' style malaise enveloping South Philadelphia in these modern times.
Sandberg's can-do attitude has even apparently earned the respect of Cliff Lee, who was singled out by his new dugout boss last week as needing to be more of a team guy. That alone stands as early evidence that Amaro's dugout decision was timed right.
Charlie Manuel took over for Larry Bowa, who was seen as too caustic. Manuel then led his home run hitters to a 2008 World Series championship. Every one of 'Cholly's' detractors can forever claim that American League-style manager had nothing to do with the Phillies winning ways. But, logic and a parade dictates that he was the right man.
Sandberg's Hall of Fame credentials gives him an impenetrable cache. Even though every game he leads his team through this season has no 2013 Phillies' playoff relevance, the atmosphere he's establishing counts.
Yes, longtime loyalists are right to feel that better baseball days might not be years away.