Ryne Sandberg was obviously prepared to manage a major league team. Even though he's only led the Philadelphia Phillies for slightly more than a week, this returned baseball son is exhibiting qualities that offer hope for the short- and long-term future of the team.
The Phillies' newest skipper has tactfully made public comments regarding Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard and Jonathan Papelbon. His skillful use of the media sent a message to those players, his bosses and to the fans. What remains to be seen is how his style and available talent will mesh over a period of time.
Retrospective commentary about days gone by are easily offered. So, all who want to believe that they know how the Phillies were run under Charlie Manuel, or what has gone 'wrong' since the glorious 2008 World Series season, often can't be swayed. The truth often is what people want it to be, but some facts can't be reasonably denied.
'Ryno' hasn't been with the organization for eight days, he was hired by general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. in mid-November 2010 to head the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs' Triple-A squad. After two seasons, Sandberg's managerial forefather (Manuel), along with the top brass, added him to the staff as a third base coach and infield instructor.
All retro fans recall how the infamous Chicago Cubs' trade played out. Larry Bowa and a 'prospect' were dealt for Ivan De Jesus. According to Dallas Green (in his autobiography), he originally asked for Luis Aguayo to be included as a 'throw-in' with Bowa. The Phillies rejected the Cubs then-GM's request and offered him a list of minor league players to choose from. He saw Sandberg's name and an agreement was reached.
It's not the early 1980s, or the fall of 2008. As for the 2013 season, it has proven to be a harsh ride that created forced transition.
The next change seems highly likely to occur shortly after the Phillies' baseball year has ended. That's when logic dictates that Sandberg's interim title will be adjusted to a more permanent moniker.