After taking over for Charlie Manuel as interim manager of the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 16, Ryne Sandberg has been named the team's manager on a full-time basis.
From Mandy Housenick of The Morning Call:
Phillies officially name Ryne Sandberg manager. It's a 3 year deal with a club option for 2017.— Mandy Housenick (@inthephilshouse) September 22, 2013
Since Sandberg took over as manager, the Phillies have gone 18-16. Before Manuel was fired, the team had dropped 19 of 22 games.
While the team remains 71-83 on the season, third in the National League East, Sandberg has clearly impressed the front office in what has essentially been a managerial audition. He joined the Phillies in 2010 from the Cubs, and he began by managing the team's top minor league affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Via Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, second baseman Chase Utley said:
Ryno is positive. He's always talking during the game. He's definitely into the game, and guys respect him for that. He's given a lot of guys an opportunity to play, which is nice. So far, he's done a great job.
Pitcher Roy Halladay added:
There's definitely a way he wants to do things. He's set a tone early, and my guess would be that's going to continue. He may even have more changes come Spring Training that he wants to see and that he wants to do. I think sometimes that can be a good thing, just to shake things up and make things different to where it's not the same everyday routine.
There was some consternation in Philadelphia after Manuel was fired midseason, as he led the Phillies to their first World Series title since 1980 during the 2008 season. Some felt that Manuel had earned the right to finish the season and leave on his own terms.
In all, Manuel led the Phillies to five postseason berths and took them to the World Series twice. In other words, Sandberg has big shoes to fill.
And Philadelphia has some big questions to answer in the offseason.
While the Phillies have already signed Utley to a contract extension, Halladay and Carlos Ruiz will be free agents this winter. The Phillies have battled with injuries all season long and have an older lineup; will the team look to add a few missing pieces in free agency, or will they be sellers and look to rebuild?
One question has already been answered, however, and that is at manager.