2013 has been quite a disappointing season for the Philadelphia Phillies. Injuries have weakened an already aging roster and the team failed to make any significant moves at the trading deadline, neither to improve the roster or to dismantle it. There’s likely plenty of blame to be thrown around in Philadelphia, but the team made the first efforts to lay that blame on someone with a press conference early Friday afternoon. Manuel received word that he’d been fired, just hours after winning the 1,000th game of his career.
Third base coach Ryne Sandberg will take over Manuel’s duties for the remainder of the season.
Manuel had been the leader of the Phillies ever since being first hired by the team in time for the 2005 season. He led the team to a 780-636 record in that span, winning five division titles and the World Series Championship in 2008. Manuel had previously seen time managing the Cleveland Indians. He’d been the third longest tenured manager in all of baseball prior to the move.
Sandberg’s time was coming, be it with the Phillies or elsewhere. The Hall of Fame second baseman has been discussed as a candidate for multiple positions in the past few years, with plenty of speculation as to when he’d see his first opportunity. This past winter he reportedly had opportunities, but elected to remain with the Phillies on the promise that he’d been given a chance when Manuel’s contract ultimately ran out. He’s been given an interim title for the remainder of the season, but it’s hard to believe that the team will go in another direction with a permanent hire this winter unless Sandberg develops a sudden inability to command respect among the team’s players.