Ryne Sandberg Resigns as Phillies Manager
Friday afternoon signaled what may turn out to be major managerial changes in the Phillies regime.
Just hours before Friday night’s game against the Washington Nationals, Ryne Sandberg announced that he was resigning as the Phillies’ manager.
Sandberg took over as the Phillies interim manager on August 13, 2013 when the Phillies were having a rough season under Charlie Manuel. Sandberg was then brought on to be the full-time manager later in the year. Since Sandberg took over, the team has gone 119-159.
Despite the Phillies’ dismal 26-49 record following Friday night’s 5-2 loss at the hands of the Nationals and Max Scherzer, the fact that Sandberg resigned may come as surprising to some after GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. announced two weeks ago that Sandberg wouldn’t be reevaluated until after the completion of the season.
“In a lot of ways I’m old school, and I’m very much dissatisfied with the record and not pleased at all with that,” said Sandberg. “…The accumulation of losses was something that I take responsibility for and something that really took a toll on me.”
In sports it is always easy to blame the head coach. But when the general manager announces that the team is in a rebuilding state but refuses to get rid of some veteran players, your hands are tied as a manager. The Phillies roster is full of under-performing veteran players who are past their prime, and yet Amaro has been reluctant to trade those players by asking other teams for too much in return.
Amaro had plenty of time between last September and February to trade these veterans, and he did trade all-star shortstop Jimmy Rollins, but he then proceeded to bring on veteran (and aging) pitchers Chad Billingsley and Aaron Harang who fell to 4-10 Friday night.
With talk of the Phillies potentially hiring Andy MacPhail, Sandberg may have felt pressure from others within the organization other than Amaro to resign prior to the end of the season. But one thing is for certain, Amaro is most likely on his way out the door in Philadelphia. The team has underperformed for four straight years now, and Amaro has been unwilling to get rid of many of the older veterans who were key to the Phillies World Series runs in 2008 and 2009. It is as if he is hoping that those players remaining on the roster who haven’t retired still have enough gas left in the tank, but it is obvious that they don’t.
Pete Mackanin has taken over as the interim manager of the Phillies.
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