On Friday afternoon, Ruben Amaro Jr. made the announcement that very few fans could have possibly seen coming- the Phillies had fired Charlie Manuel, before the end of the season when his contract was up. No matter how bad the Phillies have played the second half of this season, many people were not prepared for an early firing, as many assumed the Phillies would wait until the end of the year to announce that they would no longer be with their most successful manager in club history.
While it was Amaro that made the decision and announcement Friday, he was extremely emotional telling the public that this was the end of the Charlie Manuel era, crying during the press conference. According to Amaro and various other sources, the general manager had a very close relationship with the great Charlie Manuel, making the decision one that was extremely “hard” to make. Sure, it may have been a hard emotional decision for Ruben, but it was really the easy one, deflecting the blame of this season’s woes onto the shoulders of Charlie Manuel, even though Charlie had a subpar lineup to work with.
Manuel also clarified during the press conference that he did not quit, but actually was fired stating, “I never quit nothing and I didn’t resign”, leaving no room for doubt from onlookers. Even though he most likely knew this would be the last season he coached for the Phillies, Manuel was probably right along with a lot of fans, shocked that his time had come so early.
The future is still undecided, which Ruben Amaro Jr. made blatantly clear. Third base coach Ryne Sandberg will be the manager going forward this year, but there is no guarantee that he will continue as manager next season and beyond. The Phillies are basically giving Sandberg a trial run, to see how well he is able to manage the current Phillies roster, which really is not one that helps a manager look qualified for years to come.
Amaro also responded poorly to questions about a plan for the future, as he made extremely broad, vague comments when asked about the path the Phillies were interested in taking. Most likely, Amaro will be the next big piece to leave Philadelphia, but still, the Phillies future does not look promising in the slightest.
By Matt Balick
Insight Mag Correspondent