Sure, there are seven games to go with three in Miami beginning tonight, but that's part of the bigger off-season process. Manager Ryne Sandberg and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. have been gathering information during the past month in regard to the players on the current roster as well as the coaching staff.
In fact, Amaro said yesterday that putting together the 2014 coaching staff is at the top of the off-season priority list.
“Putting together a quality coaching staff that can support Ryne and support the organization, I think that will be a priority for us,” Amaro said.
It's also the easy part of the off-season to-do list. Generally, big league and minor league coaches work on one-year contracts and with that in mind it seems likely that the Phillies will not renew the contract for pitching coach Rich Dubee.
Dubee has been with the Phillies for nine years and was Charlie Manuel's right-hand man. Though he has a few success stories from his work with the team and a powerful ally in Roy Halladay, he also has a few detractors. Over the years it wasn't uncommon for some pitchers to reach out to former minor league pitching coach and current bullpen coach Rod Nichols for some insight they might not have been getting from Dubee.
This is no knock on Dubee, but with a changing administration it's not uncommon for the holdovers to move on.
As for possible replacements for Dubee (if he is allowed to walk away), the names bandied about are Nichols and well-known pitching coach, Dick Pole.
Pole, incidentally, was Charlie Manuel's first choice to be the pitching coach when he was hired in before the 2005 season, however, it wasn't enough to get Pole to leave the bench-coaching job with the Cubs.
Oh yes, the Cubs. Pole was the pitching coach under Don Zimmer for the Cubs when Sandberg helped lead the team to the NLCS in 1989. His won't be the only person with ties to the Cubs talked about when the Phillies put together their staff. Names we've heard talked about as possible coaching candidates with Cubs ties are Pole, Bob Dernier, Doug Dascenzo and, of course, Larry Bowa.
According to a source, Sandberg is quite serious about bringing Bowa back to the Phillies as a part of his coaching staff. Call it one of those full circle things. Bowa took Sandberg under his wing when the Hall of Famer was coming up in the Phillies' system and showed him the ropes when both were traded to the Cubs for the 1982 season for Ivan DeJesus.
"We both go to Chicago, he takes me under his wing and teaches me everything about the game," Sandberg said about Bowa. "Having lunch with him every day pregame, talking about the pitcher that day, talking about at-bats the day before, for the four years that I was with him really learned a lot about the game.
"Just being with him and spending the time after the game having a beer and going to pregame lunch talking about the game. How to play catch right. Working hand in hand pregame at shortstop, double play combinations, all that. That went a long way.”
Bowa can work as a bench coach as well as at first and third bases, too.
As for the holdovers, expect Juan Samuel to return. Sammy and Sandberg go back to their playing days in the minors. Expect Mick Billmeyer to return, too. He is one of those guys with a knack and the uncanny ability to get along with everyone. He's also like a human cockroach in that he just keeps surviving and moving forward. He was hired when Bowa was the manager and has remained ever since.
Perhaps Billmeyer will be that long-time Phillies coach like Irish Mike Ryan and John Vukovich were.