Immediately after the Philadelphia Phillies' game with the Washington Nationals ended, general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. announced the first part of his 2013 rebound plans. Today's terminations of bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross and first base coach Sam Perlozzo obviously create space on the staff for Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs' manager Ryne Sandberg.
While all fans know that these coaches had little to do with the team's won-loss record this season, moves of this type are commonly made by teams that are in transition.
We could learn if 'Ryno' has been offered (or accepted) a position on the coaching staff as soon as tomorrow, because a news conference with Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel is schedule to take place.
If this one-time Phillies' prospect is willing to become part of a likely managerial transition strategy, he would probably work with Manuel in the dugout next season and then takeover the club by 2014 at the latest. Assuming that Sandberg is going to be offered a coaching spot is speculation, but surely seems logical and likely to occur.
Then and now
All long-time fans clearly recall every excruciating detail of the infamous January 1982 Larry Bowa trade.
Bowa was dealt to the Chicago Cubs and Sandberg was included as a throw-in, per the request of new Cubs' general manager Dallas Green. The Phillies received shortstop Ivan De Jesus in return. While De Jesus proved to be a mediocre shortstop during his three seasons in Philadelphia, Sandberg went on to play 15 years in Chicago (mostly at second base) and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Fans often pointed to that particular trade, as well as the Von Hayes "five-for-one" deal with the Cleveland Indians in December 1982, whenever they woefully referred to the Phillies' non-playoff seasons that lasted from 1984 to 1992. Interestingly, when the Phillies traded Hayes to the California Angels in December 1991, they received Kyle Abbott and Amaro in return.
Another Sandberg transaction?
Sanberg's homecoming was never expected, but was fully embraced when he agreed to become the Iron Pigs' manager in November 2010. It would only be fitting that this outstanding player, humble man and good soldier be allowed to wear his red pinstripes on a more permanent basis.
While 'Ryno' has received September coaching call-ups during the past two seasons, all seasoned fans want him to become a full-time member of the Phillies' staff this week. This transaction wouldn't change the past, but would serve to renew hope for the future.
Sean O'Brien's professional writing career began in 1990, when he first began working in the Philadelphia Phillies' farm system. He was a freelance sports writer for five years and is currently a Featured Contributor in Sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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