The Philadelphia Phillies held a press conference this afternoon to announce the firing of manager Charlie Manuel, and the takeover of third base coach Ryne Sandberg as interim manager. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was present at the press conference, and he and Manuel spoke and answered questions about the transfer of power, and about the team going forward. A number of internal coaching changes were announced as well.
Ruben Amaro began the presser, which began at 2:30 PM eastern time, by giving his opinion about Charlie Manuel, and what he’s done for the past nine seasons.
“Charlie has clearly been a very, very important part of our success here. He’s won a World Series, 5 consecutive league championships, and he’s clearly one of the most decorated managers in the history of our franchise.”
Amaro got quite emotional towards the end of his opening statements, his voice choking up with sadness as he turned the microphone over to Manuel. The two have been known to have a close professional relationship as well as somewhat of a friendship behind the scenes.
Manuel spoke in a very stoic manner, expressing that he knew his time was up. He mentioned about how the Phillies’ recent struggles were not acceptable, and “not good enough”, and gave the following statement regarding the city of Philadelphia, the fans, and the media:
“I enjoyed everything about (Philadelphia), and the fans…the media people…I pull for you. That’s who I am.”
With third base coach Ryne Sandberg being promoted to interim manager, Amaro also announced some internal management changes. Current first base coach Juan Samuel will take over as the new third base coach. Assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner will take over for Samuel as the new first base coach.
Amaro went on to say in the press conference that the Phillies still have plenty of talent, especially in the younger players, and that the future holds hope for the team.
“Bringing a contending team to Philadelphia – that’s my job, and that has always been my job…I think there is a very bright future for our organization.”
Amaro also stated that Manuel was offered a new position within the team, and that he’d like Manuel to remain with the team in some capacity. Charlie responded by stating that he needs some time off to clear his head before anything is made. Amaro also made it clear that the decision to replace Manuel was NOT made today:
“We made the decision probably a day and a half ago, two days ago.”
As stated, Ryne Sandberg will be taking over as the Phillies’ interim manager, at least for the rest of the season. Sandberg managed Triple-A Lehigh Valley last year, and directly managed a number of players who are currently on the Phils’ roster.
Stay with Phillies 101 for any further updates.
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