The Philadelphia Phillies have solved their managerial situation, naming current interim manager Ryne Sandberg as their leader for the 2014 season, the club has announced.
Ryno is here to stay! Sandberg named #Phils 52nd manager thru 2016 w/ club option for 2017 today. pic.twitter.com/rek5wQT5Wd— Phillies (@Phillies) September 22, 2013
In addition to handing Sandberg the managing position for 2014, they have also locked him up through at least 2016, giving him a three year contract with a team option for 2017.
After ousting longtime skipper Charlie Manuel, the Phillies named Sandberg their interim manager for the remainder of the 2013 season in mid-August. Since his promotion, Sandberg has led the Phillies to a 18-16 record, an impressive feat considering the Phillies had just finished up an appalling 3-19 stretch at the time of Manuel's firing.
The former Cubs great and 2005 Hall of Fame inductee accrued a 67.6 WAR in 2,164 games, all but 13 of which were spent as a Chicago Cub. He had originally debuted with the Phillies in 1981, but the club traded him to Chicago (along with Larry Bowa) in an ill-fated deal for Ivan de Jesus in January of 1982.
Sandberg began his managerial career in 2007, where he served as the skipper for the Cubs' Midwest League affiliate in Peoria, Illinois. After taking the Peoria Chiefs to the Midwest League Championship in his first season, the Cubs promoted Sandberg to manage their Double-A affiliate for the 2009 season. One year later, the club again promoted him to Triple-A, where he took over the reigns of the Iowa Cubs. In his first year with Iowa, the Pacific Coast League named him its Manager of the Year.
With the impending retirement of Cubs manager Lou Piniella following the 2010 season, it was suspected that Sandberg was a strong candidate to fulfill the vacancy; however, the Cubs went in a different direction, naming Mike Quade their manager for the 2011 season.
After failing to land the Cubs' managerial gig, Sandberg left Chicago's organization to become the manager of the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. He enjoyed immediate success, leading the Iron Pigs to the International League championship series, and earning Baseball America's 2011 Minor League Manager of the Year award.
Following the 2012 season, Sandberg was finally promoted to the big leagues, being named Philadelphia's third base coach for the 2013 season. He is currently the only active Hall of Famer managing in the majors.