Phillies add Ryne Sandberg to coaching staff

Associated Press Modified: October 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm •  Published: October 4, 2012
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"I'm looking forward to this year because I think it's a great challenge, a great challenge for me and a great challenge for our team."

Sandberg began his career with the Phillies, getting one hit in six at-bats in 1981. He then was traded to the Chicago Cubs when general manager Dallas Green, who managed the Phillies to the 1980 World Series title, convinced his former team to throw Sandberg into a trade along with shortstop Larry Bowa for shortstop Ivan DeJesus.

Sandberg was the 1984 NL MVP, made 10 All-Star teams and was enshrined in Cooperstown in 2005. He managed four seasons in Chicago's minor league system before coming back to the Phillies. Sandberg interviewed with the St. Louis Cardinals last winter and was rebuffed by the Cubs. He could get more opportunities this offseason, or he could just wait it out in Philadelphia.

The Phillies retained three other coaches. Pitching coach Rich Dubee will return. Mick Billmeyer goes from bullpen coach to catching coach. Juan Samuel, the former third-base coach, was offered the role of first-base coach and outfield and baserunning instructor.

Amaro said he'll begin interviewing for an assistant hitting coach to join Henderson, who had spent the past two seasons as the Phillies' minor league hitting coordinator. Henderson hit .280 in played 12 seasons in the majors and previously was Tampa Bay's hitting coach from 2006-09.

"Saying the same thing in a different way will help spark or create a situation where a hitter can get what we're trying to get across to him," Amaro said about adding an assistant. "This is a good way to do that. That's going to change that dynamic a little bit; it's something we wanted to address. It's something that's worked out for other clubs."