After nearly nine seasons as manager of the Phillies, Charlie Manuel has been let go by the team, paving the way for Ryne Sandberg to become the interm leader.
Here are a few of my thoughts on the firing.
I disagree on the timing. Putting Sandberg in charge now does nothing to change any outcome. You’ll get 42 games to see what kind of manager he is with a club that will look somewhat different in 2014.
If anything, they should have said let Charlie out at the end of the year and given him a farewell tour of sorts. Everyone pretty much knew he wasn’t coming back, but there was no way he was going quietly into the night. Doing it this way just angers the common fan even more, which is something Ruben should have tried to stop from happening. This fuels the Ruben hate more.
I feel like he should have been out at the end of the season. Not as they were about to celebrate his 1,000th win at the park, which they will postpone. I said even prior to the 2013 season that this would have been Charlie’s last, even if they had won the World Series. A change was in store for the franchise. We got that earlier than I thought necessary.
Below are some excerpts from the Manuel press conference (thank you Jay Floyd).
Parting words: “I can not explain to you what the last nine year, or eight and a half or whatever’s, meant to me. I’ve had some of the greatest times I’ve ever had in my life. Philadelphia has been the highlight of my career. I love everything about the fans, the city. I talk Phillie baseball everywhere I go. And I want everything to go out on a very positive attitude and note.”
On how Manuel and Amaro came to an agreement to make the change: “It wasn’t arguing…it was relating and communication. And that’s what happened.”
On if his removal as manager was his own call: “I did not resign and I did not quit. I want to tell you something, I never quit nothin’ and I didn’t resign.”
On Sandberg: “I think he definitely deserves a chance to manage in the major leagues. I think he’ll be a real good manager. I love everything about him. I love talking baseball with him.”
On his message to the fans: “Keep coming to the yard, watching the game, loving the game. And support the Phillies, because I think the Phillies are going to get back to where we were a couple of years ago. And I think that our fans will definitely stay behind us.”
Also, Amaro on the decision and notifying Manuel: “I wanted to make sure that when the decision was made that Charlie would not be back, that (Charlie) would know. I didn’t see any reason why we should drag it out and let him sit for the next 40 games, knowing that he wasn’t going to be the manager beyond this year. I don’t think that was fair to him.”
More Amaro: “My job is to try to think of what we need to do to get better in the future and this is one of those steps to try to move this thing forward.”