"“The St. Louis Cardinals have received permission from the Philadelphia Phillies to interview Ryne Sandberg for their vacant managerial job.”—ESPN"
And therein lies the problem. We keep giving these people permission to seduce people in our organization, then they leave, and we’re left to pick up the pieces. If Ruben Amaro would just scream into the phone and slam it down on the receiver when people ask to talk to our minor league coaches, then we wouldn’t have as many holes to fill.
But sadly, our knowledge of the Phillies’ endgame often times leaves us wondering. Of course, they may just realize that it would be somewhat “unprofessional” to forbid their employees to talk to other people. Or maybe the word is “illegal.” “Disturbing.” “Cult-like.”
Still though. The Cardinals use us to get into the playoffs, then use baseball magic to knock us out and win it all, and we seek vengeance by allowing them to have one of our coaches? Something’s not right here.
I thought we were out of the woods when Theo Epstein called Sandberg to debunk everything I said a few days ago. Then, Tony La Russa retires after winning the World Series like a coward and not sticking around for ten or twelve more years to retire during a furious downward spiral like a real man. Suddenly, everybody thinks they know best for our Triple-A manager. Including me. Except I clearly do.
Well maybe Ryne doesn’t want to manage in the Major Leagues. Maybe he wants to stay here, with us, cultivating our farm system into something people will respect, and then taking the reins himself somewhere down the line to coach the developed talent he’s spent the past few years smiling and nodding at. Next thing we know, “World Series champion Eddie Bonine” isn’t the laughable phrase it was today.
Yes, that plan ends with him managing in the Major Leagues; the very thing I’m theorizing he doesn’t want to do. But in this case, he’d be doing so for us, and that’s way better. Can you imagine trying to take over Tony La Russa’s role? Walking into his office and seeing a one trillion-step plan to winning each and every conceivable and unfathomable baseball situation? A web of string connecting theories, stats, and history to concoct the haunted library of the game that was La Russa’s strategy? Of which he himself was the demented, senile librarian?
So if Sandberg wants to embrace that situation as his future, good for him. I just picture taking over Charlie Manuel’s office–in which there’s merely a bottle of celebratory whiskey and the number to a solid wings joint–would be a lot easier.