Ryne Sandberg has announced that he is stepping down as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
At 26-48, the Phillies have the worst record in MLB. This was expected to be the case on a team of over the hill veterans and not ready for prime time players. There is a glimmer of hope in young Makiel Franco. But I suspect that while Franco will put up some good numbers, it will be a while before the Phillies start winning again.
Perhaps the prospect of being on the wrong end of a no-hitter or a perfect game by Max Scherzer put Ryno over the edge. Scherzer went 5 1/3 innings before he allowed a Phillie to reach base.
Sandberg took over the club late in the 2013 season succeeding Charlie Manuel who led the Phillies to a World Series title in 2008. But the Phillies are in limbo until GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. moves the likes of Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and frees up some salary. In part of three seasons, the Phillies went 119-159 under Sandberg.
The Phillies have named Pete Mackanin as the interim manager for the rest of the season. This is a familiar position for Mackanin. He served as the interim manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates late in the 2005 season and the interim manager for the Cincinnati Reds during the second half of the 2007 season.
Mackanin is a baseball lifer and deserves a chance to be a full time manager. I recall the Red Sox interviewing him after Terry Francona stepped aside in 2011. Of course, the Red Sox chose Bobby Valentine to their everlasting regret.
If Mackanin can somehow get the Phillies to lose fewer than 100 games then I think Amaro has to remove the interim label.