No team should ever hire a manager simply because he "deserves it." No team should ever hire a manager simply because he's the guy the fans want. It's too important a job. It's too important to hire the right guy and not just the most popular guy. All that said you still wonder why Ryne Sandberg isn't managing the Cubs instead of preparing to manage against them this weekend. You still wonder if the Cubs made a mistake that will haunt them for year when they (twice) passed him over or whether they avoided the public relations nightmare of watching such a popular figure fail in such a key job. There's no way to know that yet not with Sandberg just 14 games into his first big-league managing job with the Phillies. There are some positive early signs some nice words from his players and some decent results but nothing even close to definitive. "Ryno's going to be a very good major-league manager" Phillies third baseman Michael Young predicted. It could haunt the Cubs for years if he is especially if he achieves his goal of winning a World Series before the Cubs achieve theirs. For now though the story is just of a popular legend returning to Wrigley in an unfamiliar uniform (even if Sandberg did get his first big-league hit at Wrigley as a Phillie in 1981). Sandberg comes in without even a guarantee that he'll manage the Phillies beyond this season. The team stuck an "interim" label on him when he replaced Charlie Manuel two weeks back and there have been hints that they might want to see whether someone more experienced (or more exciting) becomes available after the season. There are plenty of people in the Phillies clubhouse who would like to see Sandberg stay and succeed and plenty of people around baseball who would like to see the same thing.
As Sandberg comes back, will the Cubs regret letting him leave?
CBS Sports | Aug 29