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Bombard, Dancy, Varsho fired

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Fall cleaning began this afternoon, with the Phils dismissing their first base, third base, and bench coaches.

First base coach Marc Bombard, third base coach Bill Dancy and bench coach Gary Varsho will not have their contracts renewed by the Phillies, manager Charlie Manuel announced today.

"I really appreciate what Marc, Bill and Gary did for the organization, but at this time, we felt it was necessary to make some changes," said Manuel.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Milt Thompson, bullpen coach Ramon Henderson and catching instructor Mick Billmeyer had their contracts extended for one year.
Dancy, who has been with the Phillies as a minor league player, coach, manager, coordinator and major league coach for 32 of the last 34 years, was offered a position in the Phillies' organization.

If you're confused too, raise your hand.

Nobody is going to shed a tear over Dancy's dismi--um, reassingment. He was a horrific third-base coach whose decisions tended to kill rallies at a more prolific rate than any of his contemporaries around MLB. But Bombard was a superb minor-league manager whose presence, I believe, helped the development of many of the young players who have contributed to the Phillies' runs at contention the last two seasons. And Varsho, who also thrived as a minor-league manager, seemed like a manager-in-waiting (though, as bench coach, his advice to Manuel presumably wasn't so great).

I guess they were deficient in other areas where instruction was needed--bunting, baserunning, what have you. But there's a void now, and I don't have tremendous confidence that it will be filled effectively.

Also, this probably puts to rest thoughts of a managerial change. Year Three in the Cholly Era likely will begin next April.