(Updated at 3:03 p.m.) PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies fired Charlie Manuel Friday afternoon and replaced him with third base coach Ryne Sandberg.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made the news official with a 2:30 p.m. press conference Friday at Citizens Bank Park.
“I’m mad because they took the best seat in the house from me,” Manuel said. “I did not resign. I did not quit.
“Philadelphia has been the highlight of my career. I talk Phillie baseball wherever I go.”
Manuel directed the Phillies to a 1,000-826 record since 2005, his first season with the club. In that time, he led them to five NL East division titles, two National League pennants and, the ultimate prize, the 2008 World Series crown.
Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman whose career began with the Phillies, has been a highly coveted managerial candidate in recent years. Allowing Sandberg to direct the Phillies for the final six weeks of the regular season gives the 53-year-old Sandberg a sense of commitment to the organization moving forward.
The Phillies, whose NL East reign ended in 2012, sputtered this season. They entered Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 53-67 record, as the team was decimated by stays on the disabled list by Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, among others.
EARLIER VERSION OF THIS STORY
(Updated at 2:51 p.m.) PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Charlie Manuel has been fired as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, with his team out of the pennant race and in a tailspin since the All-Star break.
Manuel was replaced by Hall of Famer and former Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, the Phillies’ third base coach.
The team says Sandberg will take over beginning with Friday night’s game against the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Phillies have lost 19 of 24 since last month’s All-Star break and are 20½ games out of first in the NL East.
The 69-year-old Manuel has been the Phillies’ manager since the beginning of the 2005 season. He led Philadelphia to a World Series title in 2008 and brought the Phillies back to the series in 2009, where they lost to the Yankees.
EARLIER VERSION OF THIS STORY
Charlie Manuel, who led the Phillies to a World Series title in 2008, is out as the team’s manager, sources say.
Columnist Jack McCaffery is at Citizens Bank Park for 2:30 p.m. press conference and indicates several sources have told him the Phillies will announce they are making a managerial change. Ryne Sandberg is likely to take over the helm. Sandberg, long believed to be the heir apparent, joined Manuel’s staff this year as a third base coach.
Manuel recently celebrated his 1,000th win as a baseball manager but the team returned home after a miserable 1-5 road trip that left them at 53-67, 20½ games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. The Braves knocked the Phillies around in a three-game set in Atlanta earlier in the week.
Things don’t get any easier for the Phils, with the hottest team in baseball in town for the weekend. The Los Angeles Dodgers are 70-50, including a 40-8 streak since June 22.