After an extremely disappointing 53-67 record through the first three-quarters of the season, the Philadelphia Phillies are expected to announce the relief of duty of manager Charlie Manuel at a 2:30 EDT (Friday) press conference. The story was tweeted by Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia:
Phillies to make manager change, sources say. Press at 230.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) August 16, 2013
Manuel is the winningest manager in Phillies franchise history in his nine seasons beginning with the 2005 campaign. The highlight of his tenure was a World Series championship in 2008, followed by an NL Pennant in 2009.
There’s been no immediate speculation who would replace Manuel for the remainder of the year, but an intriguing candidate would be Hall of Fame 2B (and current Phillies 3B coach) Ryne Sandberg. “Ryno” has been a candidate for a number of managerial positions in the past few seasons after three successful seasons at the Iowa (Cubs) and Lehigh Valley (Phillies) AAA teams from 2010 – 2012. He was the Baseball America minor league manager of the year in 2011.
** Post-press conference update, Sandberg was named interim manager **
The 69-year-old Manuel has always been popular with fans, media, and his baseball colleagues, but the Phillies are in a position where the winds of change will be sweeping through the City of Brotherly Love, and this is probably the first gust.