The Chicago Cubs brought in Hall-of-Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg in 2007 to manage in their minor league system. He was promoted a class for the next two seasons and was on track to eventually become the major league manager. Sandberg thought he was going to be named the next manager of the Chicago Cubs in the 2010 offseason. Instead, the job went to Mike Quade. At the time, the decision for then-general manager Jim Hendry was a “safe” choice, but it ended up costing his job during the 2011 campaign, and Quade was fired at the end of the 2011 season.
After decision to hire Quade, Sandberg looked to manage in the organization he entered Major League Baseball with: the Philadelphia Phillies. He was hired to manage their AAA team. He would manage the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs for two seasons before joining the Phillies at the start of this season as their third base coach.
That leads us to today. The Philadelphia Phillies fired Manager Charlie Manuel. Manuel has been at the helm since 2004 and won a world series in 2008. The team has played mediocre baseball over the last two seasons. It was a matter of time before he was let go. Sandberg knew he was the next in line. He will replace Manuel with the title of interim manager. But that interim tag will likely be taken off during this upcoming offseason. He has had success everywhere he has managed. It would not be surprising if the Phillies win the 2014 National League East division and go far in the postseason.
The Cubs managerial decision in the 2010 offseason changed the course of two franchises for the last three years, and likely years to come. The Chicago Cubs are in the middle of a rebuilding process that does not seem to be ending anytime soon, while the Phillies should see instant success from their hiring of a true winner. That move will define Jim Hendry’s legacy as a Cubs executive forever.