Charlie Manuel, the winningest manager in franchise history, is out after eight-plus seasons, a teary-eyed Ruben Amaro Jr. announced at a press conference Friday at Citizens Bank Park. Ryne Sandberg will take over on an interim basis.
Manuel won 780 games with the Phillies and had a .551 winning percentage. He led the team to two World Series, winning one, and to five consecutive NL East titles. He led the Phils to an 102-win season in 2011, a franchise record. But the Phils were eliminated in the NLDS that year and took drastic steps back in 2012 and 2013.
"As we talked a little bit further, it became evident the best course of action would be to make this change immediately as we begin to transition by offering the managerial position to Ryne Sandberg on an interim basis," Amaro said.
Sandberg, a 2005 Hall of Fame inductee, was the Phillies' third base coach this season. He previously managed the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs for two seasons, leading the team to its first playoff berth.
Sandberg will manage immediately, beginning tonight against the Dodgers. First-base coach Juan Samuel will shift to third and assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner will assume first-base coaching duties.
The decision wasn't easy for Amaro, who choked up when discussing his relationship with Manuel.
"Charlie has been clearly a very, very important part of our Phillies history, our success here," Amaro said. "He’s won a World Series. He's won five consecutive league championships. He’s clearly one of the most decorative managers in the history of our franchise.
"Charlie understood this decision. Making this change is not easy for me. Not easy for me personally, not easy for the organization. But it’s a change that the Phillies need to make as we look toward the future."