Earlier today, the Phillies fired longtime manager Charlie Manuel and promoted third base coach and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg to interim manager. Manuel has exactly 1,000 wins in his storied career and is beloved by the players he has guided. He led the Phillies to five straight division titles and captured a World Series championship in 2008. Here's more on Manuel and the rest of the Phils for some Friday reading...
- ESPN's Jayson Stark breaks down the behind-the-scenes details that led up to Manuel's firing, though Stark notes that that Phillies went out of their way to not use the word "fired" despite the fact that Manuel himself said he didn't quit or resign as manager.
- At today's press conference, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. revealed that the Phillies have asked Manuel to remain with the organization in a different role, but Manuel told reporters, including Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, that he needs to take some time away from the club to decide if he wants to remain with the Phils in a different capacity (Twitter link).
- Former Phillie and current Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth spoke with Manuel earlier this season, and Manuel guaranteed that he would be managing somewhere in 2014, Werth told reporters (including Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com). Werth did note that time could impact that thinking. Werth also called Manuel the best manager he's ever had (via Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington on Twitter).
- In addition to catchers, the bullpen will be a prime area of focus this offseason, Amaro told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Amaro feels that the Phillies have been unfortunate to get some bad years from good relievers in recent years, pointing to Chad Qualls as an example of someone who excelled before and after his time with Philadelphia.
- Asked by Zolecki about Jonathan Papelbon's contract, Amaro said he would make the signing again: "Oh, yeah, I think so," Amaro said. "The choices that we had out there with the people that were available, I'm happy with the decision. I'm not happy with the way we've played."
- Scott Miller of CBS Sports questions the Phillies' lack of direction in light of the team's inactivity at the trade deadline and Amaro's inability to give a hard answer as to what the team was looking for in a permanent managerial replacement. The spotlight is now on Amaro, opines Miller, who notes that while Sandberg could help the club, its real problem is that is simply needs better players.