The “Sandberg Effect” Beginning to be Felt

A few minutes ago I saw a note concerning Jimmy Rollins not being on the Phillies’ lineup for the 3rd straight day.

3 days without Jimmy Rollins in the Phillies’ lineup. That’s right, no Jimmy Rollins.

It’s been well covered over the past few days that when Phillies’ Manager Ryne Sandberg was asked why, he replied simply, “No Comment.” No comments can speak volumes and we are left to our own imaginations to figure it out.

As an IronPig fan who observed Sandberg as the Pig’s manager for two years, let me translate.

  • Sandberg is not going to publically humiliate a ball player or air dirty laundry. He’s got class.
  • Rollins has a history of not hustling when things aren’t going great. He’s been benched by Charlie Manuel as well.
  • Rollins is 35 years old. He hasn’t been an All Star since 2005 and is 6 years removed from being the National League MVP in 2007.
  • Sandberg is going to play the players who want to be there and work hard to get/stay there. He doesn’t apply legacy rules or make decisions based on reputation or past performance. It’s about what you can do not what you have done.
  • Sandberg can envision the future, not just today. Freddy Galvis may not be well seasoned, but as in anything, if he doesn’t get daily playing time he will be left in the fridge for weeks to stay cold and grow mold.
  • I’ve seen Galvis play here in the Lehigh Valley. He’s good. He’s real good.
  • Sandberg will stand up to any player, any attitude, any big name. All he has to do is ask, “Can you show me your plaque in Cooperstown?” I doubt he would ask that, but in the back of every players mind is.. “This guy is in the Hall of Fame.. how can I question him?”
  • Sandberg will play aggressively. If you’re sitting back waiting for something to happen he’ll replace you with someone who will go out and make something happen.

That folks, is what we call the “Sandberg Effect.”

There’s a term to describe this… it’s called a Force Multiplier.

Force Multiplier – A capability that, when added to and employed by a team, significantly increases the potential of that team and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.

Ryne Sandberg is a Force Multiplier.

I like Jimmy Rollins. He was an MVP. He helped win the World Series in 2008. He was one of three Phillies who were willing to sign autographs for fans at the Phillies vs. IronPig’s exhibition game in 2008 AND stayed for almost 20 minutes to make sure he got to all the kids. I have lost some of my hustle over the years and it’s beginning to look like Rollins has as well. Hopefully all of this turns into motivation for him to achieve, rather than sit back and wonder “what if?”

Categories: Lehigh Valley IronPigs

3 replies

  1. Just wanted to add a couple things:

    Following yesterday’s game, Mr. Sandberg cleared the air: He revealed that he did have a chance to speak with Jimmy Rollings about his “Who Cares?” comment, regretted the “no comment” usage, and said that the three-game “benching” was not for disciplinary reasons.

    Of course, the Philly Media jumped all over it. In 2014 there is no such thing as a “reaction” without an “over-reaction.” In fact, “Kram’s Postulate for Public Opinion” of 2014 states that: “The only appropriate reaction is an over-reaction. Every over-reaction will be met with a greater over-reaction in the opposite direction. Truth and facts have no bearing on either.”

    As for Rollins: He’s stated publicly that he won’t waive his “no trade” provisions without first holding all of the Phillies’ significant batting titles. Also, he needs a certain amount of playing time in order for his contract to vest for next season. My translation of the message sent: “Who cares?!? You should care. If you don’t care, then you don’t play. If you don’t play hard, you don’t play. Good luck meeting those goals if you’re not playing. Think I’m afraid to bench you? I just did. Put that in your contract and smoke it. Now get on the bus; you’re starting tomorrow.”

    So is this a case of a “rookie coach” Sandberg over-stepping against a veteran super-star player? Is this because it’s “Sandberg’s first Major League camp?” (I read those things yesterday and today.)

    Nope. Sandberg’s been to more MLB camps than most people. Sandberg’s been around superstar players before. This is a case of Sandberg beginning to shape the team in his image. If he made any mistake, it’s in dealing with the starving hyenas of the Philly Press. No disrespect to anyone, but that’s one thing we didn’t exactly prepare him for here in the Lehigh Valley.

    How will it play out? We’ll see. The future is unknown, and if this season goes down the toilet, a complete house-cleaning including Amaro Jr could be forthcoming. Sandberg could get caught up in the wake.

    I doubt it though. I think they’ll win. At least some. And everything gets better when you win. Just look at yesterday. The air is supposedly clear now. The hyenas are off to find other topics to write about. And a win over the Evil Yankees made it all go down so much more smoothly.

    • ‘he won’t waive his “no trade” provisions without first holding all of the Phillies’ significant batting titles.’ – A statement like that should be an instant demotion to the Rookie Leagues. Putting the team’s success behind your personal goals is sad.

      • That’s his well-known position. He was asked last season about waiving the no-trade provisions of his contract under the 10/5 or whatever. That’s when he made that position known. He hasn’t backed off it, and the Phillies were so bad at the time no one really cared much. It has to make you wonder about his motivation out on the field, right? For the team or for his precious records.

        He’s on the borderline for the Hall of Fame, and on the precipice of some very significant Phillies records. A little extra motivation from his manager to make him appreciate the game and his significant role in it. Actions speak louder than words, right?

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