The Phillies announced Ryne Sandberg as their new manager Friday afternoon, though it is on an interim basis.
[CSNPhilly: Manuel out, Sandberg in as Phillies manager]
Sandberg had been acting as the Phillies' third-base coach all season and was seen as the heir apparent to Charlie Manuel, who was fired after nearly nine seasons and 780 wins in Philadelphia.
Sandberg started his managerial quest in 2007 in the Cubs system and worked his way up to Triple-A Iowa before being passed over for the job Mike Quade landed in 2011. When Theo Epstein took over the Cubs front office prior to the 2012 season, they went again went another route, hiring Dale Sveum as manager.
“I had a fair shake,” Sandberg told CSNChicago.com Insider Patrick Mooney earlier this month. “They gave me a job for four years to lead me down the path of where I am today in the big leagues. There’s no unfairness in baseball. I’ve been around long enough to know that things aren’t handed to anybody, whether you’re a player, whether you’re a batboy or a clubhouse guy.
“What I wanted to do after going to the Hall of Fame in 2005 was to get back into the game of baseball full-time. The Cubs gave me that opportunity and I was able to do it up to Triple-A. There’s no substituting that experience that I gained in the four years.”
After losing out on the Cubs managerial gig, Sandberg went back to the Phillies -- the organization that drafted him -- and managed their Triple-A club in Lehigh for two seasons, earning Minor League Manager of the Year in 2011.
The 53-year-old Hall of Famer's resume includes 10 All-Star game nods, nine Gold Gloves, one NL MVP, 282 homers and 344 stolen bases.
"I like Ryne Sandberg. I've liked him since the first day I met him," Manuel said in his farewell press conference Friday afternoon. "He's a Hall of Famer. He definitely deserves a chance to manage in the Major Leagues. He'll be a real good manager. I love talking baseball with him."
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. praised Sandberg's ability to get players to play hard and "with life" throughout his time with the organization.
"We realized he should be a candidate for a major-league manager," Amaro said during the presser. "Charlie and I talked and we were kind of surprised he had not gotten that opportunity yet. I think he has the qualities to be a good MLB manager, but time will tell."
Amaro said there is a real possibility Sandberg retains the job beyond the 2013 season, but the Phillies are keeping an open mind right now.
The Phillies come to town to take on the Cubs Aug. 30 for a three-game set, giving Sandberg his first chance at managing a big-league club in Wrigley Field.