It appears the search for the new St. Louis Cardinals manager has begun as the Cards have already asked permission to talk to the Phillies Triple-A manager and former Chicago Cubs great, Ryne Sandberg.
Sandberg was thought to be a possible replacement for the recently fired Mike Quade, but Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein has already told Sandberg it won't happen.
Ryno was already passed up for the job when Lou Piniella retired before last season.
The Cardinals are looking to replace Tony LaRussa who retired following the Cardinals 2011 World Series victory.
Sandberg has been looked at as a top managerial candidate for a few years now, having won the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year award in the Cubs minor-league system.
The Cardinals have to make sure they bring in the right person because this is a tricky spot for a team with a free-agent superstar to re-sign Albert Pujols. The choice of manager can sometimes sway a player from staying or going in any sport.
Needless to say, if the Cardinals don't bring Pujols back, Sandberg may have a much tougher job than he expected. We'll see if St. Louis will wait until a deal is done to bring in a manager, or fill their vacancy right away.
Ryno would be a good fit for the Cardinals, having had success at almost every level in his minor league managerial career. He's a former player, which can make it easier for him to get along and understand players.
Not to mention he was a great player as well, and has proven even as a manager, he knows how to be successful.
With some success and loyalty, Sandberg's age could help him be a fixture in the dug out for many years. He'll have tough shoes to fill, but I believe he can do it.