Larry Bowa: Players disrespected ex-Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg
Was being disrespected by his players part of the reason Ryne Sandberg resigned as Phillies manager? Sounds like it might have played a role.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg resigned from his post as Phillies manager last month. Among the possible speculative reasons were that the Phillies were terrible and that Andy McPhail had recently been hired -- the summation of those two leading many to believe Ryno simply saw the writing on the wall.
It seems, however, that there might be more to it than that. Friend and former co-worker of Sandberg's, Larry Bowa, says that Phillies players often disrespected the Hall of Famer.
Bowa said Sandberg addressed that with the pitchers in spring training.
"That was one issue that bothered him," Bowa said.
There were issues this season, as well. Cameras caught Chase Utley chastising pitching coach Bob McClure during a relief appearance by Jeff Francoeur last month in Baltimore, and Ken Giles showed up the manager and got an earful in return in Pittsburgh.
"Ryno knows Utley is intense and all that," Bowa said. "But what made him mad was Frenchy said, 'Hey, I can pitch two innings.' I'm sure if Chase could do that over again he wouldn't do that. He was looking out for Frenchy. But Ryno couldn't believe it after talking with Frenchy and him saying he could go two innings."
Here's the Giles incident:
In this particular case, yes, I side with Sandberg.
Overall, though, it seems that if Sandberg were to manage again it would behoove him to loosen up a little. Here's a segment from that Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia story:
Those who got to know Sandberg during his time as Phillies skipper have privately theorized that there was more to his decision than he let on. In his autobiography, written more than 20 years ago, Sandberg talked about how he'd become fed up with the modern player. They lacked his work ethic, accepted losing too easily and had a general sense of entitlement that didn't sit well with the old-school, grind-it-out Hall of Fame second baseman.
Also, remember Sandberg's Hall of Fame speech? He must have said "respect" 20 times.
If you can't get along with respected veterans like Utley, Hamels, Burnett or Jimmy Rollins (remember this?), at some point we have to start looking at the common denominator. It's not like he had a locker room full of pampered children. On some level, if a person believes all of today's players are disrespectful, that person is probably going to start actively looking for disrespect; somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Put simply: It's apparent that Sandberg just has a problem with today's players that he can't get past. That's fine if you want to sit around with the "get off my lawn" attitude of a curmudgeon, but that would also mean a return to managing is a bad idea.
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