Interim no more: Phillies sign Sandberg to 3-year deal

PHILADELPHIA – Ryne Sandberg’s tenure as the Philadelphia Phillies’ interim manager ended after 37 days on Sunday when the club signed him to a three-year contract.

The graduate of Spokane’s North Central High School achieved baseball immortality in Cooperstown eight years ago, but this was a moment forged on minor league bus rides and major league rejections. The 54-year-old Hall of Famer commenced his regime with seven words.

“Well,” he said, “I’m ecstatic to say the least.

“I think there’s been a very large weight lifted off me.”

There is a club option in his contract for a fourth season in 2017.

Everyone spoke with limitless enthusiasm.

“Easy to play for,” Cliff Lee said. “You couldn’t ask for anything more out of a manager.”

Sandberg replaced Charlie Manuel, the Phillies’ winningest manager, who was fired in August.

Sandberg is 18-17 as manager.

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