Charlie Manuel has been fired by the Phillies, after what must have been several awkward meetings with Ruben Amaro about the direction of the franchise.
Tonight, they were supposed to celebrate with 1,000th win as manager. Things would be… a little weird, since it will also be the night of Ryne Sandberg’s first managerial loss.
Amaro was brutally emotional, openly crying as he explained that they would be not renewing Manuel’s contract. It was weird. A little uncomfortable. Charlie said he’d known while managing the game two nights ago that it was his lost. People… people did not like that.
Meanwhile, Twitter exploded into a cloud of memories, memes, and hashtags, celebrating Charlie, despite the many, many calls for his head over the course of the season. Manuel described how he would have worn his uniform over to the press conference if they’d let him, describing his love of the game and desire to be here, which is different from a lot of Philadelphia citizens and players, probably at the moment.
Charlie’s stoic demeanor made things a little sadder. He has been offered a position within the Phillies organization, though it can be totally understood if he wants to go home, catch some fish, and the gut the christ out of them.
Ryne Sandberg is to be the interim manager, with Ruben stressing the “interim” portion. He made it clear that the permanent job could be Sandberg’s, but it could also be someone else’s, jumping right back into quoteless ambiguity mode.
Sandberg expressed sorrow for Manuel’s departure, and also expressed a desire to kick the Phillies in the ass hard enough to get out of this season with maybe a little dignity but probably just, like 30/42 losses. He said he would want to “get the most” out of them, which is not any sort of guarantee for wins. At all. He then called today “Charlie Manuel Day.”
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly revealed in an interview that this is not a team that he believes likes each other very much. He blamed all the losing, but still.
Surely, this will lead to a dense slodge through a syrupy final month of the season.
Sandberg expressed distaste for the team’s “lackadaisical play.”
“I like action,” Sandberg said. Sweet.