The Philadelphia Phillies fired manager Charlie Manuel today, replacing him with third-base coach Ryne Sandberg, at least on an interim basis.
Both men got their managerial starts in the Midwest League.
Manuel is the winningest manager in Phillies history, with 780 regular-season victories. He won his 1,000th game as a manager earlier this week. (He won 220 games as manager of the Cleveland Indians.)
During Manuel’s tenure, the Phillies won the NL East every year from 2007 to 2011. They won the World Series in 2008 and returned in 2009, losing to the New York Yankees in six games.
Manuel’s Midwest League roots run through Wisconsin Rapids, where he played and managed for the Minnesota Twins organization. He hit .313 in 111 games with the 1967 team and managed the 1983 team to a 71-67 record.
Tonight will be Sandberg’s first game as a major-league skipper. His managerial career began with a two-year stint helming the Peoria Chiefs in 2007 and 2008. He managed two more seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization before managing Philadelphia’s Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, for two years.
His nephew, Jared Sandberg, is the current manager of the Bowling Green Hot Rods.