Sandberg in Line to Succeed Manuel

AP Photo

The first step toward Ryne Sandberg's becoming the next manager of the Philadelphia Phillies was put into motion Thursday when the Hall of Fame second baseman was named the team's third-base coach and infield instructor.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. denied that was the intent after he recited the myriad changes to the coaching staff following the .500 season that ended the Phillies' run of five straight National League East titles.

"We've made no promises to Ryne Sandberg," Amaro said.

Actually, it is almost inevitable that Sandberg will be the next manager and it was current manager Charlie Manuel who made that loud and clear during a 43-minute question-and-answer session at Citizens Bank Park.

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