Sandberg not as mild-mannered as he seems

Sandberg not as mild-mannered as he seems

Sandberg not as mild-mannered as he seems

PHILADELPHIA -- One of the greatest misconceptions about second baseman Chase Utley is that he is perpetually quiet, a leader only by example.

But those around the team know that Utley can be very vocal behind the scenes, getting on a teammate when the situation requires. He just does not feel the need to gesticulate and scream, either on the field or in the dugout. It is not his style.

The same seems to hold true for interim manager Ryne Sandberg, who replaced Charlie Manuel on Friday. Immediately upon his promotion from third-base coach, such words as quiet and mild-mannered were used to describe him.

But even though Sandberg is not an extrovert, he is quite capable of mixing it up, getting on a player or making his point to an umpire.

Sandberg on Saturday estimated that he averaged eight to nine ejections a season during his first four years managing in the Minor Leagues.

"It got to the point that at my last year at [Triple-A] Lehigh Valley [in 2012], I actually took note to stay on the field and manage but to stand up for my players without getting tossed," Sandberg said.

And the key to that?

"Verbiage," he said with a smile. "And knowing when to stop.

"I act accordingly. I do raise my voice, and I do show emotion, and I do what has to be done. No doubt about it. Whether it is supporting the players and sticking up for the players or getting more out of the players. I think that was one of the biggest things I learned in the Minor Leagues coming up -- putting that out there and really being able to practice that. The Minor Leagues are a breeding ground [for] the Major Leagues, and I got to practice that and have a style that I developed.

"I was only ejected once in 17 years as a player. As a player I was able to communicate, be upset and not get tossed. As a manager that's part of the job."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.