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Charlie Manuel will be back, but Ryne Sandberg waits in the wings

Sep 11, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

Ruben Amaro, Jr Ryne Sandberg

Jon Heyman has a news nugget in his latest column — Charlie Manuel will, in fact, be back at the helm in Philly next year — but I don’t think anyone ever doubted that.  If they did, the recent run has put any such thoughts to rest, or should have.  Say what you want about the 2012 Phillies, but if they fall short of the playoffs, it’s not Charlie Manuel’s fault.

The article is more interesting for the Ryne Sandberg talk.  It comes up each year, but this year it’s earlier than usual: when is Ryne Sandberg going to get his shot at managing?

Heyman says that Sandberg is so well-liked in the Phillies front office that some people even thought that, rather than extend Manuel’s contract into 2013, they should have just given the job to Sandberg.  Ruben Amaro shoots that down hard, but it’s no secret that Heyman knows people in the Philly front office. He tends to get scoops there.

In any event, yeah, it would seem that Sandberg is up next in Philly.  I’d just not expect to hear anything more about it than what Heyman has to say, because baseball has a really bad history with heir apparent managers.  Ray Knight in Cincinnati is one. The Yankees naming Billy Martin Bob Lemon’s successor mere days after Martin was fired in 1978 was another.

Baseball is a lot like the late night talk show business. You just can’t have a well-run operation with the next guy obviously and officially waiting in the wings to take over.

UPDATE: People are telling Will Carroll this too, by the way. From his Monday column:

Word out of Philly is that Charlie Manuel will retire after next season. Ryne Sandberg may shift to bench coach in order to make an easy transition …


  1. phillysoulfan - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Jon Heymen’s insider is Leslie Guedel. She reported this for CSN last week only she took it a step further saying that Charlie is not sure if he wants to manage past next season and if he does it will only be 1 years deals. Her source? Charlie Manuel. So look for Ryne to be on Phillies coaching staff next year.

  2. gerryb323 - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    “if they fall short of the playoffs”

    Good one Craig.

    I hear Bobby V may be fired if the Red Sox fall short of the playoffs

    • sgtr0c - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      As of this a.m., the Phils are only 5 games out of the last spot. Considering the rest of September is all division/conference games, they have a legit chance to make the post-season. Maybe not great, but a chance to get in this year……. Think how funny that would be……

  3. ncphilliesguy - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Next year is the last year of Charlie’s contract. So, one of 3 things have to happen, or he is lame duck and I really doubt he would manage under those circumstances. One, he could decide to retire after next year, and say that publically, with the plan for Sandberg in 2013. Of course I think there is a good chance Sandberg would be hired somewhere else by then. Two, they could extend him (please God no, I don’t think anyone, even Charlie, really wants that). Three, he could “step down” and move to special assistant to RAJ in November, with Sandberg taking over. I respect Charlie, and think he should go out on his own terms, but please let it be option 3.

    • ncphilliesguy - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      I meant plan for Sandberg in 2014, sorry.

  4. mrdry14 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    The Phillies continue to be the only team that thinks Manual is a major league manager. They got away with it the year the Phils won the World Series because it was a down year in the National league and they had Tampa Bay in the Series. The National league is much stronger now, the Phils need an actual manager.

  5. natstowngreg - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    IMHO, the problem with hiring successors is when they’re not clearly identified as successors. They’re on the team, but are waiting for the manager to fail and get fired. Meanwhile, the media and fans (at least, some of them) call for the successor to take over whenever the team loses 3 games in a row (maybe fewer).

    If Cholly really wants to retire,after 2013, and they want Sandberg as the successor, the Phillies need to make it crystal clear, before the 2013 season starts.

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