Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/21/11

Woe is Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who just announced that he'll be spending another season managing the Phillies Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley IronPigs in 2012.

Sandberg, coming off a season in which he reached the postseason as a minor league manager for the second time in five seasons, was passed over for every available managerial vacancy in an offseason which saw two guys who had minimal coaching experience of any kind anywhere (Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura) get hired to manage the Cardinals and White Sox respectively and another guy who has only managed 12 more regular season games at the big league level than Sandberg has (Dale Sveum) land Sandberg's dream job as manager of the Cubs. Many cited his lack of big league experience as being one of the things holding him back, something that's frustrating to any job seeker out there who will tell you that it's impossible to gain experience if nobody's giving you a shot.

So what exactly is this guy going to have to do to get a shot at the big league level?

Sandberg has proven himself as a smart and effective manager, a guy who knows how to deal with players and get the most out of them throughout the course of a season. He owns a career managerial record of 364-341, not spectacular but then again in the minors, the focus is more on player development and less on winning games. He was named Manager of the Year while at Triple-A Iowa last year and lead Lehigh Valley to their first ever playoff appearance in 2011.

As a player, Sandberg's accomplishments have been well documented. He was arguably the best second baseman to play the game in the 1980s, hitting .285 with 282 HR and 1,061 RBIs over the course of a storied playing career spanning 16 seasons. He is a man who knows the game and commands respect. And yet he keeps getting passed over, by the Cubs, the Cardinals and about anyone else with an opening. The White Sox themselves could have done wonders to take away some of the Cubs' offseason PR mojo by hiring Sandberg to replace Ozzie Guillen. Instead, GM Kenny Williams chose to go with Robin Ventura instead. Ventura for his part had no coaching experience of ANY kind. At the very least Sandberg has been paying his dues at the minor league level, learning the ins and outs of managing a game while biding his time for the right big league opening. It's hard to believe that someone couldn't find at least a bench coach spot for a man who clearly knows the game about as well as anyone. 

For his part, Sandberg seems to be handling the disappointment much better than Cubs fans, many of whom thought he should have gotten the Cubs job after Lou Piniella stepped down with about two months left in the 2010 season. The irony is that he may well find himself managing against the guy who wound up getting that job, Mike Quade, at Triple-A this season.

The IronPigs are understandably thrilled to get a second season out of Sandberg. Earlier this month the team launched an "Occupy Ryno" campaign designed to convince Sandberg to stick around. The team successfully leveraged social media to get fans to speak out about their desire to see No. 23 back in the dugout managing their beloved nine in 2012. It's understandable why the team would want him back -- he's been a huge hit with fans and the front office alike. Fans line up before games to try and get his autograph and the team store sells Sandberg shirseys at $20 a pop.

Charlie Manuel is going to have to retire eventually, so perhaps if Sandberg can hold on just a little bit longer he'll eventually take over the Phillies. Until then he'll have to be content managing prospects and has-beens at Triple-A, paying his dues and waiting for his big break at the big league level.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Former NFL LB Armstrong, wife reportedly killed by 16-year-old son

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again


Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Is it time to start taking West Ham seriously?

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker