By Mary Cunningham
This wasn’t Sam Donnellon, who depends on body language and Ouija boards to make his judgments.
And it wasn’t Jimmy Kempski, whose sources are suspect or non-existent.
This was Bob Ford, the Inky sports columnist who is often the Voice of Reason in the world of Philly Fun and Games.
In a column for tomorrow, here’s was what Ford wrote:
Ryne Sandberg’s tortured tenure as manager of the Phillies during one of their most woeful times – which is really saying something – ended Tuesday in Baltimore when Chase Utley openly berated the pitching coach, and by extension Sandberg, for a clumsy bit of strategy that was failing badly.
What currency Sandberg still held in the clubhouse and within the organization was spent in those moments, not necessarily because Utley was right, but because his crime against the most hallowed tenet of the game, not showing up the manager, went entirely unpunished and ignored. Outside the walls, it might have been just another blip on a downward arc. Within them, it was a sea change that not a player, coach, nor management official failed to recognize.
Fair or not, Sandberg lost his job right then. He may keep it for the rest of this miserable season, or until the Phillies bring in a new executive who will act as a deus ex machina to do the sort of unpleasant business of which the current front office seems incapable, but ultimately Sandberg is finished.