The St. Louis Cardinals will interview Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg for their vacant manager’s position, following the retirement of Tony La Russa.
The Cardinals on Wednesday asked the Phillies for permission to talk to Sandberg and it was granted, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported.
Sandberg, who is still under contract with the Phillies as their Triple-A manager, confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times he had been approached.
"I’ll be interviewing with the Cardinals," Sandberg said. "It’s on the calendar in the near future, so that’s the next thing for me."
The former Cubs great had been linked with the Chicago job, but new Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein ended any speculation by saying the team’s new manager "must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level" following Mike Quade’s firing on Wednesday. Sandberg has neither.
Sandberg said Epstein called to inform he was out of the running.
"Moments after the release went out, Theo called me just to let me know I wouldn’t be considered for the major-league job," Sandberg said. "That was classy of him. I wished him well and said the Cubs were in good hands with him."
Asked whether he was disappointed not to be going back to the club where he had his No. 23 retired, Sandberg said all he wanted now was a major-league opportunity.
"I’ve always said I hoped to manage in the big leagues. It’s baseball. I’m still hopeful of another opportunity. I don’t know what else I need to do, but I still hope there will be opportunities."
Former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, longtime Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo, Memphis manager Chris Maloney, former Gold Glove catcher Mike Matheny and Chicago White Sox coach Joe McEwing are also among the "less than 10" candidates expected to be interviewed beginning Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, citing sources.
Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and general manager John Mozeliak will head the search committee, with the World Series champions hopeful a 10-day process will identify their new manager.
Francona, who won the World Series with Boston in 2004 and 2007, is the only one of the known candidates with major league experience as a manager.
Sandberg, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, managed in the Cubs’ minor-league system from 2007 to 2010 and was beaten to the major-league manager’s spot by Quade, before joining the Phillies as manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.