Update 3:20 PM
According to ESPN, the Phillies made the decision not to renew Manuel’s contract, so the decision to part ways now was made to see what Sandberg can do. Manuel, to his credit, pulled no punches. He made it clear he did not resign, saying “”I’m mad because they took the best seat in the house from me.”
Manuel has been offered a spot in the organization, but is considering all options. “What I need to do is get some time off to sit and think,” he said. “I think I can manage for a few more years, two or three more years.”
Several outlets, including CBS Sports, are reporting that the Philadelphia Phillies will officially make a managerial change any minute now. Charlie Manuel, at the helm since 2005, will be replaced by current third base coach Ryne Sandberg.
Manuel won five division titles with the Phillies, two National League Championships and the 2008 World Series, but the team has struggled the last season and a half and has finished progressively worse since the 2008 season. In 2009, the Phillies lost the World Series.
In 2010, they lost in the NLCS. In 2011, they lost in the NLDS and in 2011, and in 2012 they didn’t make the postseason for the first time since the 2006 season, the same year they last finished without a winning record.
Ryne Sandberg’s post-playing career includes managerial positions in the Cubs system from 2007-2010, but left the organization he played the bulk of his Hall of Fame career with after being passed over the major league gig in favor of Mike Quade.
The Phillies, with whom Sandberg was drafted and began his career, snapped him up to manage their AAA affiliate, and this season was his first on a big league field, as the third base coach.
The Phillies are currently fourth in the NL East at 53-67 and the .442 winning percentage would be the worst the Phillies have seen since their 97-loss season in 2000.
More on this story as it develops.