The Phillies had a press conference at 3:30 this afternoon. Most people, I think, assumed that it would be to announce Andy MacPhail as the new president of the club. What actually happened was even better.
That's right, Ryne Sandberg resigned as the manager of the Phillies as succinctly tweeted by Jim Salisbury:
Ryno resigns.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) June 26, 2015
In his resignation, Sandberg cited impending changes in the front office as his motivation. He said that he did not want to get in the way of any changes that new group, i.e. Andy MacPhail, wanted to make.
Fortunately for everyone's sanity, Larry Bowa will not take his place:
Pete Mackanin has been asked to be interim manager. He's accepted, Amaro said.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) June 26, 2015
Here at The Good Phight, we have long been of the opinion--though not quite as an Official Editorial Stance--that Ryne Sandberg was not only a not good baseball manager but that his presence was actively harming the team. From leaving starters in meaningless, already-decided games for 110+ pitches to bunting all the time to having relievers routinely throw 30+ pitches to publicly calling out individual players, it was clear that Sandberg was a poor fit.
Also of note here is that Sandberg did not meet with the team prior to announcing his resignation, a decision that fits well with the narrative that he had lost the clubhouse and was generally disliked by his players.
Replacing Sandberg, at least for now, will be now-former-third-base coach Pete Mackanin. For Mackanin, the interim coach label is nothing new. Back in 2005, he took over for the Pirates and led them to a 12-14 record over the final month of the season. Then again, two years later, he took over as interim manager for the Cincinnati Reds and led them to a 41-39 record.
It is incredibly unlikely that Mackanin will remain the Phillies manager beyond 2015 and, in the coming days, weeks, and months, we will explore other potential options for the team going forward. For now, it seems appropriate to note that the Padres recently fired Bud Black who, despite a sub-.500 career managerial record, is highly regarded throughout the game. The Phillies are often loath to take big chances, so Black strikes me as a potential candidate to take over either at some point this season or going into 2016.
Stay tuned as additional information about Sandberg's resignation and the team's intended path forward comes to light.