UPDATE: It is official. Charlie Manuel is no longer manager of the Phillies, and Ryne Sandberg has been named interim manager. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. informed Manuel that he will not renew his contract at the end of the season.
The Phillies called a surprise press conference for today at 2:30 PM, and were very tight-lipped about the details. Jim Salisbury then broke the news via his source that Charlie Manuel will no longer be manager of the Phillies. Logical speculation would say that Ryne Sandberg will take over Manuel’s duties as manager, but nothing is official.
The press conference will be shown on CSN at 2:30 PM and live streamed below. The Phillies official website will also carry the press conference.
Charlie coached the team to a 780-636 record in Philadelphia, including five NL East titles, two NL titles, and one World Series Championship. It took Phillies fans a little while to warm up to him, but once he began winning, they couldn’t get enough of him. Whether or not you believe this is the correct baseball move is one thing–but you have to be feeling a little bit of sadness to see him go.
The good news, however, is that the “scapegoat”, so to speak, will be scapegoated. Therefore, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. will have no one to take the fall for his failures (NOTE: not everything he’s done has been a failure) but himself. Which could lead to an eventual GM change, or even something as simple as improvised team management by Amaro. Either way, I think this is a positive for the Phillies as a ball club.