Sandberg still a Cub with a bright future

October, 22, 2010
10/22/10
12:21
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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Ryne SandbergAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhRyne Sandberg may get interviews with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.
The story circulating that the Chicago Cubs somehow disrespected Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg by bypassing him to name Mike Quade the manager doesn't have any legs. Sandberg remains a Cubs employee and is listed as the manager of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.

"Our contracts for the minor-league employees all run through Dec. 31," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "If we make any changes and decide not to have someone back, they are told at the latest a few days after the minor-league season ends."

Sandberg, who has done a solid job managing in the minor leagues, really only needs a year or two of big-league coaching experience to enhance what has started as a terrific resume.

The 51-year-old Sandberg is youthful and resourceful enough to take a coaching job and do what he needs to do at the next level. Keep in mind Sandberg is 13 years removed from a major-league clubhouse. The experience with modern superstars, and the way they control the environment, would be a valuable piece of the puzzle for the already polished former Cubs star.

Maybe more important than the baseball stuff is that Sandberg needs a couple years of networking to increase the familiarity of the friendly, outgoing personality he possesses now, compared to the withdrawn, reclusive image that was Sandberg before he met his second wife Margaret in the mid-1990s.

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are considering talking to Sandberg about opportunities in their organizations, according to a major-league source, however don't rule out Sandberg staying in some capacity with the Cubs.

Patience has been a virtue for Sandberg in his four years as a minor-league manager, all he needs is a little more.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
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OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 30
RBIA. Rizzo 71
RA. Rizzo 81
OPSA. Rizzo .889
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAT. Wood 4.72
SOT. Wood 131