In today’s Cart-Before-the-Horse Department, one of the most intriguing rumors surrounding the Philadelphia Phillies is that a former manager will return.
The horse, interim manager Ryne Sandberg, will have to be hitched by the organization to a deal first though, and that’s expected to be done either before the end of the season next week or just after — maybe as soon as the post-game press conference after the final game of the season. The strong rumor is Sandberg will name former Phillies’ manager Larry Bowa to his new staff, either as third-base coach or bench coach.
Bowa managed the Phillies from 2001 through 160 of the 162 games in the 2004 season, compiling a 337-308 mark during that time. He left on his own terms, quitting rather than waiting to get fired. That left the door open for Manuel to take charge. The two were seen together in the dugout earlier this week unrelated to Bowa’s current duties as an ESPN analyst. They could have been discussing baseball, or they could have been discussing a job.
When asked about it, Bowa was coy, telling the press, “that’s up to Ryne, (GM) Ruben Amaro and (team president) Dave Montgomery.” That does sound indeed like something is happening.
If Bowa gets hired, this would be great news for two reasons: Bowa was an outstanding third base coach for the Phillies before he was named manager prior to the Charlie Manuel era, and his fiery style would serve as a complement to the laid-back but firm style of Sandberg.
Another reason is that the two were former teammates with the Chicago Cubs and they know the baseball philosophy of the other. That synergy should serve the organization well going forward.