Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg was promoted to manage the Philadelphia Phillies, ending an eight-plus season tenure for Charlie Manuel that included a World Series victory and five straight division titles.
The Phillies were held to three hits in a 4-0 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers last night in the Major League Baseball managerial debut for Sandberg, 53, who had been the team’s third-base coach.
Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said at a news conference earlier yesterday that he told Manuel the team would not be renewing his contract for the 2014 season.
“As we talked a little further it became evident that the best course of action was to make this change immediately, as we begin the transition, by offering the managerial position to Ryne Sandberg on an interim basis,” Amaro said.
Manuel has been offered a position within the organization.
“He’s a special person,” Amaro said. “I hope he stays.”
Manuel, 69, said he appreciated the offer and that he needed to take some time off to “sit down and think.”
“I think I can manage for a couple more years, maybe two or three years,” he said.
Manuel, who won the most games as manager in team history, five days ago notched his 1,000th major league victory, becoming the 59th manager to do so. His record this season was 53-67, leaving the Phillies 20 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East when the managerial change was made. Philadelphia has been slowed by injuries to pitcher Roy Halladay and first baseman Ryan Howard, and went 4-19 in Manuel’s final 23 games.
The Phillies under Manuel won their first World Series in 28 years in 2008, and reached the championship round again the following season before being beaten in six games by the New York Yankees. The club won five straight division titles from 2007-11, including setting a franchise record with 102 wins two seasons ago.
“Philadelphia has been the highlight of my career,” Manuel said. “I love everything about the fans, I love the city, I talk Philly baseball everywhere I go, and I want to go out on a very positive attitude and note.”
Having also managed the Cleveland Indians from 2000-02, Manuel’s major league record is 1,000-826. He was 780-636 with Philadelphia.
His tenure was the third longest among active managers -- trailing Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels and the Minnesota Twins’ Ron Gardenhire.