The Philadelphia Phillies have fired manager Charlie Manuel and will name third base coach Ryne Sandberg as his replacement on an interim basis, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
Manuel, 69, ends his nine-year tenure as Phillies manager with a 1,416-780 record, two National League pennants, and the 2008 World Series title.
He is the first victim of a disappointing season for the Phillies, in which injuries and widespread underperformance have led to a 53-67 record so far.
Although many teams looking for a manager will likely show interest in Manuel this offseason, it is unclear if the firing will end his managerial career.
Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman who spent sixteen seasons in the major leagues with the Phillies (1981) and Cubs (1982-1994, 1996-1997), was serving as Manuel's third base coach before being promoted to manager. The 53-year old has shown success as a manager in the minor leagues, and spent four seasons in the Cubs' organization before moving to the Phillies' organization after the 2010 season. He spent 2011 and 2012 as the manager of Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and was named by Baseball America as the 2011 Minor League Manager of the Year after leading Lehigh Valley to the International League championship series. Following the 2012 season, he was promoted to third base coach of the major league squad.
While Sandberg's title has the "interim" tag attached at the moment, he will be considered the favorite to become Manuel's long-term replacement.