The Phillies front office chose their words carefully in the press conference on Friday announcing a managerial change. This press conference wasn’t the normal press conference where the GM says that the manager is fired and the manager says his final words. The Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. fought back tears while Charlie joked saying he almost wore his uniform. Ruben Amaro Jr. danced around the word fired and said that they were simply having a managerial change. Then Charlie took the stand and announced: “I never quit nothin’. And I didn’t resign.”
Charlie Manuel knew he wasn’t going to manage the 2014 Phillies on opening day. Most assumed that he would be fired after the season, But why this week? The Phillies lost 19 of 23 games including a 1-13 stretch of road games. Coming home from Atlanta on Wednesday he knew he wouldn’t come out of this week in a Phillies uniform.
He may have agreed to do it calmly but that doesn’t mean he thinks he deserved to be fired. He was given a team that no manager could win with. A pitching rotation that had the worst ERA in its league and a bullpen that has allowed more runs than any other in the NL.
A old line up that has lost discipline who had seen the second-fewest pitches in baseball, almost 2,700 less then the Red Sox. And not nearly enough depth to fill injury holes.
The 69 year old ex-manager was the winningest manager in Phillies history. He understood the position he was in and couldn’t end his gig with a angry storm-off the stage. He agreed to participate in a press conference on Friday to announce his firing.
Phillies third-base coach Ryne Sandberg has been named the interim manager. He had been viewed as the organization the last few months as a suitable successor to Manuel so they gave him 42 games to prove it. He has to find the way to work with aged talent, the way Manuel couldn’t.
Charlie Manuel’s historic career as the Philadelphia Phillies’ manager comes to close. A career decorated with 5 NL East pennants, 2 NL pennants, and a World Series ring. On a week of carefully selected words, the most suiting would he goodbye.