Sandberg resigns as Phillies manager
PHILADELPHIA — Ryne Sandberg left on his terms.
An emotional Sandberg resigned as Phillies manager on Friday in his third season as Philadelphia struggles with the worst record in the major leagues.
"In a lot of ways I'm old school, and I'm very much dissatisfied with the record and not pleased at all with that," Sandberg said. "I think that goes hand in hand with being a manager. So it's been a difficult thing to swallow, but I have thought about it for some time, and we've come to this day. The accumulation of losses was something that I take responsibility for and something that really took a toll on me."
Sandberg quits with a 119-159 career record over parts of three seasons leading Philadelphia. His only full season was in 2014, when the Phillies finished with a 73-89 record.
Third base coach Pete Mackanin will take over as interim manager at least through a six-game homestand. He's 53-53 in parts of two seasons with Pittsburgh in 2005 and Cincinnati in 2007.
"This is my third time as an interim manager and it's not fun," Mackanin said. "It's not a pleasant thing to do because you have to make sure you keep the guys pointed in the right direction and at the same time, everybody's feeling a little bit funny. You've got to try to put it behind you as quick as possible and that's not an easy thing to do. A lot of guys really enjoyed playing for Ryno and we enjoyed working for him. It's not a fun day."
The Phillies are expected to hire a new president soon. Signs point toward Andy MacPhail, who led the Minnesota Twins to a pair of World Series titles as general manager in 1987 and 1991. Pat Gillick replaced David Montgomery as team president last August, but the 77-year-old Hall of Fame executive wants to return to a consulting position.
Sandberg sounded like a guy who knew he wasn't going to be part of the future so he departs after the Phillies won two of three at Yankee Stadium this week.
"With some changes at the top looming, I did not want to be in the way of anything happening and progress going forward," Sandberg said. "When it really hit me home, I felt it was better now than later — for myself, for my family, for the organization going forward."
Sandberg choked up while thanking fans for their support. The 55-year-old Sandberg was drafted by the Phillies in 1978, but was traded to the Chicago Cubs where he became a Hall of Fame second baseman.