Ryne Sandberg had been outspoken about his desire to manage in the big leagues and willingly bounced through the lowest levels of the minor leagues to get the reps he thought he needed to be taken seriously. Until he was offered the Philadelphia Phillies' job, however, his reputation among club officials was for flat-lining interviews. Multiple officials thought he didn't come off very well, too benign in his knowledge and passion, and so they passed.
What didn't come across, apparently, is how competitive Sandberg is, a trait that has quickly become abundantly clear in his time as the Phillies' manager, because he seems ready to tackle just about any challenge -- like how to handle aging stars.
The window for contending for the group of Phillies' stars who won the World Series in 2008 is either closed or almost closed.