In a move that was likely to come at some point with the team entering the day’s action with a 53-67 record, the Philadelphia Phillies fired manager Charlie Manuel on Friday and replaced him with third base coach Ryne Sandberg on an interim basis. Manuel had a largely successful run as Phillies’ manager, including five division titles, two National League pennants and a World Series title, but a .500 record (81-81) in 2012 and this year’s disappointing results meant a move was likely necessary.
Over in the American League the Minnesota Twins look to be headed for a third straight dismal season, with a 54-65 record heading into Friday’s games. There has been a lot of speculation over the status of manager Ron Gardenhire, due in equal parts to the teams’s poor run of late and the fact he is without a contract after the end of the season.
If the Twins don’t bring Gardenhire back, could Manuel be Minnesota’s new manager next season?
Manuel has 1,000 regular season managerial wins, counting his time as manager of the Cleveland Indians from 2000-2002, but he will also be 70 years old in January and may not have any interest in taking another managerial job. Regardless, any team that seeks a new manager this offseason will surely have interest in Manuel.
Manuel played the first four seasons of his major league career with the Twins from 1969-1972, before spending the majority of his career after that point in Japan, but returned to the organization after his playing career was over, first as a scout and then as a minor league manager from 1983-1987.
If the Twins do choose to replace Gardenhire after this season, which still remains to be seen, they may seek a younger manager that can help cultivate the young talent that is on the horizon in the minor leagues. That said, Manuel’s experience as a minor league manager and acumen as a successful hitting coach for the Indians should not be discounted.
I think the Twins, assuming Gardenhire is not retained, should have more than a passing interest in having Manuel as their manager in 2014. But if they seek a long-term solution he is not a good fit, and it’s unclear until further notice if Manuel would even have interest in the job.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.