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Members of the Cubs thrilled for Ryne Sandberg

PhiladelphiPhillies v Colorado Rockies

Philadelphia Phillies v Colorado Rockies

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Updated: September 18, 2013 6:08AM

Keith Moreland played with Ryne Sandberg. Darwin Barney and Welington Castillo played for him.

All were excited for the Hall of Fame ex-Cub and minor-league manager who on Friday was named to his first major-league managing job, replacing Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia.

‘‘I’m excited for him. I think he’ll do a great job,’’ said Moreland, the Cubs broadcaster who was Sandberg’s teammate in the early 1980s and on the 1984 Cubs playoff team. ‘‘I admire him being willing to pay a price [going to the minors first]. I’ll root for him except when he’s playing the Cubs.’’

Barney and Castillo played for Sandberg through his stops at Class A Peoria, Class  AA Tennessee and Class AAA Iowa.

‘‘I’m really happy for him,’’ said Barney, whom Sandberg tutored as a second baseman. ‘‘He’s done every step of the way to get there. He wanted to be a manager, so he started in the minors. There’s ‘interim’ in front of his name, but I think he’ll do a good job.

‘‘I learned a lot of things from him, but one thing was his competitive nature and the way he prepared for every game, even as a manager. He didn’t say too much, but when he did, you listened because it was important and to the point. He made you want to go to battle with him.

‘‘When he left the Cubs organization [in 2011], I thought it might help him because he wouldn’t be Ryne Sandberg the Hall of Fame Cub anymore. He would be Ryne Sandberg the manager. It paid dividends, and here we are.’’

Castillo didn’t realize Sandberg was a Hall of Famer when he first played under him.

“They said, ‘Listen to him. Play hard,’ ’’ Castillo said. ‘‘He’s a great guy, and I think he’s a player’s guy. He likes having a personal relationship with his players. I’m happy for him, and I hope he stays for a long time.’’


Twitter: @toniginnetti

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