The happy throng in D.C. was still celebrating their Nationals regular season-ending victory over the Phillies as general manager, Ruben Amaro Jr., got an early start at reshaping the Phillies for 2013.
As the Nationals head to the playoffs for the first time since relocating to our nation’s capital, the Phillies find themselves out of the post season for the first time since 2006. After losing 5-1 to finish a very disappointing 81-81, Amaro jettisoned bench coach, Pete Mackanin, hitting coach, Greg Gross and first base coach, Sam Perlozzo. So far third base coach, Juan Samuel, is still on board but like a lot of things surrounding the team, that is subject to change.
Speculation is that these moves make room to add Ryne Sandberg, manager of Triple-A Lehigh Valley, to the staff. Sandberg who many think is the heir apparent to Charlie Manuel, may have other offers on the table to consider. Manual has 1 more year left on his current contract and he’ll have to get off to a fast start next season if he wants an extension. But he’ll turn 69 before the start of spring training and may not have much left to want one.
Firing 3 coaches just minutes after the final out of their season, is actually a great sign for Phillies fans. These moves shows that Amaro will not except underachievement no matter the circumstances; even if the club was without their 2 most productive run producers.
He must also do some self-evaluation as he is responsible for the roster he assembled. The bullpen was horrid most of the season and he did a poor job acquiring adequate power hitters to circumvent the losses of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Amaro also relied on aging, often injured veterans, who fell short of his expectations.
So expect a much different looking Phillies team next season in the dugout and on the field because with a $170 million dollar payroll, Ruben can’t afford another subpar season or he’ll be seeing pink.