Ryne Sandberg Now Officially Back on Phillies Payroll; Jose Contreras Not

You can’t help but feel like we’re watching baseball’s longest running joke chug along for a bit further.

Accompanied by Harry Caray’s blunt force trauma, the selection of Mike Quade over Ryne Sandberg for the Cubs managerial position sounds like the next chapter in the supernaturally despondent history of the Chicago Cubs.

Very easily, we could be reading about firsthand accounts of the franchise over the next decade, still floating somewhere between the hopeful rise of Cincy and spiritless shrug of Pittsburgh.  Stuff like the statue and Quade-over-Sandberg feel like they’d summon enough bad mojo to fuel the superstitious baseball anecdotes of the next generation of bummed out Cubs fans, parking their hover bikes outside of The Sierra Mist Center at Wrigley Park 3.0 in a state of futuristic melancholy.

Anyways.  Ryne’s a ‘Pig farmer now.

Yes, in the irony that will lead-in every story that will be written about this hiring. Ryne Sandberg, drafted by the Phillies, but a career Cub who had a Philadelphia-shattering career, is officially the manager of our triple-A Ironpigs in Lehigh, taking over where Dave Huppert left off and ran away.

Ryne was the Pacific Coast League 2010 Manager of the Year, despite the fact that he was coaching in Iowa, where coasts are long forgotten in the landlocked grip of corn-infested highways.

As the Phillies inch closer to deals in every department, it only makes sense that one or two would reach a conclusion one of these days.  Ryne’s deal is one.  The next appears to be Jose Contreras, whom the Phils seem to really want to sink their claws into.

$5 million and two years are the magic numbers for the reliever, who Charlie Manuel pointed at more with more and more gusto throughout the season.  His value comes through his consistency, his elder statesman status within a bullpen that will see a lot of new faces outside of Contreras, Lidge, Madson, and possibly Chad Durbin, and the fact that he was straight up able to get dudes out.

This is a quality that is not always a given when you’re trotting out of the Phillies’ pen.  Sometimes your name is Danys Baez and you just can’t help but give up six doubles in a row or something.

With getting Sandberg “back,” the Phillies are clearly trying to avoid their own superstitious batch of historic shit-kickery by letting him get away as a player.  As we sew the rips in the past back together, let’s hope we put equal attention to the future.

I am terrified of curses.

Tags: Charlie Manuel Cubs Harry Caray IronPigs Jose Contreras Off Season Phillies Ryne Sandberg

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