In a hastily called press conference before the Philadelphia Phillies were scheduled to start a three-game series against the Washington Nationals, Ryne Sandberg resigned as manager of the team.
Sandberg leaves in the midst of his second full season as manager after taking over for Charlie Manuel in 2013. He finished with a overall record of 119-159 and with the Phillies 26-48 this season, the worst record the majors.
Third base coach Pete Mackanin has been named interim manager.
Sandberg’s departure is hardly unexpected, but few saw him resigning in the middle of the season like this. Most figured that once Andy MacPhail was named team president that sweeping changes would have been made to the Phillies organization, including the firing of both Sandberg and GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
But Sandberg apparently saw the writing on the wall and decided to take matters into his own hands, saying during the press conference:
“It was a dream opportunity for me to put on a Phillies major league uniform, and that’s where it really hits hard today as far as making it a difficult decision. But with some leadership roles coming up, I think it was important for me not to be in the way with the way things have gone this year, but allow the organization to go forward and really get this thing going.”
Looking back, you can’t help but feel that Sandberg was handed a raw deal when he took the team over in 2013. He inherited a ball club filled with overpaid players well past their primes and a GM who clearly had no clue what he was doing. Sure, Sandberg may have been too laid back in his managing style and he made some questionable decisions during games, but I think most will agree that no one really had a chance to see what Sandberg could do as the manager of a major league ball club.
With Sandberg’s resignation, it is safe to say that the clock is ticking on Amaro’s time as GM. The only question at this point is if he will make it to the end of the season or follow Sandberg out the door in a few short weeks.
It has been obvious for a while that change was needed in the Phillies organization, that much has been crystal clear. Sandberg’s departure should be only the first of many changes fans are going to see over the rest of the 2015 season and into the upcoming offseason.
Every manager has their breaking point where all the losing just becomes too much. Ryne Sandberg finally hit that point today. As one fan posted on Twitter shortly after the announcement:
The Phils are so bad, a guy who spent 20 years as a Cub couldn't take it anymore
— jsaquella (@jsaquella) June 26, 2015
Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?