By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A lot of fans were surprised Sunday, as they arrived for the Phillies final home game, to learn Ryne Sandberg officially got the manager’s job.
The fans overwhelmingly approved of making Sandberg permanent manager, particularly those from the Lehigh Valley.
“I’m an Iron Pigs fan and I have season tickets so it should have happened,” this fan said. “He did a fantastic job down there, he’ll do a great job here.
Fans were hopeful too:
I sort of knew he’d get the job, I’m glad he got the job,” this fan added. “Hopefully — I’ll be optimistic — they’ll do something in 2014, see how it goes.”
Ron Siggs took a personal interest in the news — he went to high school with Sandberg.
“We played basketball together at North Central High School in Spokane,” he said.
Siggs hadn’t seen Sandberg since their 20th reunion in 1998, until he took over some of Charlie Manuel’s duties, like visiting patients at McGee rehab, where Siggs works.
“He came in with his wife Margaret a couple weeks ago and he’s a great guy, he’s a winner and he’ll do well,” Siggs said.
Players approved too. For fan appreciation day, reliever B.J. Rosenberg was handing out Bobbleheads at the gate and endorsed the choice:
“Oh, he’s great. I had him in Lehigh for a little while I think he’s a great mix of the personal, good player coach but he’s also got a strict side to him that keeps everybody in line, but I think he’s going to be a really good fit.”
“I’m excited about it, I really am,” reliever Justin DeFratus added. “I think he’s going to get a lot out of us.”
Sandberg’s first day as Phillies permanent manager didn’t go so well howver, as the Phils lost to the New York Mets 4-3.