Apr 22, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies managerRyne Sandberg
before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
5. Ryne Sandberg (Philadelphia Phillies)
This hurts me deep down in my soul to put Ryne Sandberg last on this list of NL East managers.
I grew up a Cubs fan (yes, I know) and Ryne Sandberg was one of my favorite players. But being a great player doesn’t always translate into being a great manager and Sandberg is a perfect example of that maxim.
Ryno started his managerial career in the Chicago Cubs farm system in December of 2006, working his way up from the Class-A Peoria Chiefs to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. He even earned Pacific Coast League’s Manager of the Year Award in 2010. In November of 2010, Ryno started his managerial career with the Phillies Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. In 2011, Baseball America named him the Minor League Manager of the Year.
Sandberg got his call up the following season, when he was the third base coach and infield instructor for the Philadelphia Phillies. He would later be promoted to manager after the Phillies fired Charlie Manuel. Sandberg was named full manager and given a three-year contract shortly thereafter.
Unfortunately, it seems the major league level may be a bit too much for Ryno, or perhaps his team is just that bad.
His record from 2013 on is a not so respectable 93-111 and he is probably not going to fare too well next season with the firesale Phillies emptying their veteran roster in exchange for a brighter future.
Sandberg also seems to have lost the clubhouse.
He came into Philly and attempted to change the culture by instilling discipline and attention to detail in day-to-day operations. His style conflicted with the veteran leadership on the team, which lead to some heartache with the likes of Jimmy Rollins to say the least. He seems to bungle the lineup on occasion, mismanage his relievers, and push his starters to the breaking point.
The combination of little club talent, manager with an abrasive, erratic approach, and a win-now mentality spells disaster for Ryno and earns him last place on our list.
Next: NL East Manager: Number 4