Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson appeared on the Foul Territory podcast on Monday and spoke with Scott Braun, Erik Kratz, and A.J. Pierzynski about a range of topics, including his time in Philadelphia and how he views his future with the team.
It's no secret that the 60-year-old Thomson, who has been with the Phillies since taking over as bench coach in 2018, had planned on retiring from baseball at the end of the 2022 season. But after getting his first shot at managing a big league team following the firing of Joe Girardi partway through the 2022 season, "Topper" says he now doesn't plan on retiring any time soon.
When asked by Braun about how long he wants to manage, even if he wins a World Series in the next few years, the Phillies bench boss couldn't put a number on it.
"I don't know, because it all depends on how I'm feeling and how much fun I'm having," Thomson said. "I was going to retire from baseball a few years ago, basically because I felt like I was getting stale.
"And then once this job came about, and with the people we have and the coaches we have, and you know learning a new job really and learning every day from it you know it it's really energized me, and it's brought me back to loving the game and wanting to go to work and getting up in the morning and being excited."
It sounds like Thomson plans on staying in the Phillies dugout until the front office kicks him out.
"So, as long as that [excitement] is still in my life," Thomson continued. "Then I'll keep doing it as long as the Phillies want me to."
Does Thomson want a longer commitment from the Phillies?
Earlier this offseason, Thomson received a one-year contract extension from president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and general manager Sam Fuld during the Winter Meetings. Thomson now has the reins through the 2025 season.
Some might have thought he deserved longer after guiding the Phillies to a World Series appearance in 2022 and within a couple of wins from the Fall Classic in 2023.
Former Phillie Erik Kratz asked the Phillies skipper if he feels like congratulations are in order with his extension or if he feels the team's performance has earned him more than a one-year extension.
"I'll put it this way, I feel like since I've been in Philadelphia, I've been treated more than fairly, Thomson replied. "I have a great relationship with Dave and Sam and John Middleton, and I trust them as much as I trust anybody else, and so I've been treated fairly."
The length of his deal doesn't worry Thomson. He was more concerned about whether the move was made to avoid questions and distractions about his future during the 2024 season or if the team really wanted him.
"The one-year deal was good for me," Thomson said. "I told Dave, 'You know, if we're doing this just to eliminate questions, you don't have to. All I want to know is that you want me here,' and he [Dombrowski] said, 'Oh yeah, we want you here,' so I was good with it."
So, they want him ... for now. With the star-studded Phillies seemingly in a win-now mode, Thomson's two remaining years might signal the front office's window for winning a World Series with this core. After that, all bets are off.
Thomson doesn't think an Ohtani-esque clause will work for him
In what turned into a light-hearted moment, Thomson, in jest, turned down the notion that he might ask his stars to push for him to get an extension or a "safety net" clause in their contracts like Shohei Ohtani has in his new deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"If I'm Topper, I'm going to Trea, I'm going to Nola, I'm going to Wheeler, I'm going to Harper," Pierzynski joked. "And saying listen boys, if you guys want to be in the lineup, Wheeler, if you want to pitch Opening Day, Nola, you want to pitch the second game of the year, you guys all need to come out and say you're not playing unless I get a five-year extension put the pressure on them."
In his usual good humor, Thomson ran with the joke but made it clear it's not an option for him.
"If I was extended out by Turner and Harp's contracts, I'd be about 90 years old by the time I'm done," he said. "So I think it might be a little bit old."