Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/16/14
I pondered both in June and at the beginning of September as to whether or not the Phillies 2012 season would cost manager Charlie Manuel his job. Well, after a restructuring of the Phillies coaching staff after Wednesday's season finale against the Nationals, it appears Manuel will stay for 2013, but not beyond. Long-time Phillies coach Greg Gross, serving as the hitting coach this season, was fired along with Manuel confidants Sam Perlozzo and Pete Mackanin. Replacing Gross as hitting coach is Steve Henderson, a Phillies minor league coach and the Rays' former hitting coach. The new bullpen coach will be Rod Nichols, replacing Mick Billmeyer who was promoted to catching coach. And the new first base coach? Well, it's Juan Samuel, who was the Phillies third base coach last season. Replacing Samuel at third base will be one of the hottest managerial candidates on the market, former Phillies AAA manager and Baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. Manuel is under contract through next season, and he'll turn 69 before the 2013 season. That compares similarly to former Braves manager Bobby Cox (who retired after the 2010 season at 69), former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (who retired after the 2011 season at age 67), and former Hall of Fame Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda (who retired midway through 1996 at 68). Logic seems to indicate that Manuel won't be managing past next season, and it would be wise for the Phillies to start prepping his successor, especialy when said successor is a guy who could be in play this offseason for many teams looking for a new manager. Sandberg has been bandied about as a managerial candidate for years, and he left the Cubs organization after the 2010 season when he wasn't given an interview for their managerial position after Lou Piniella retired mid-season. That job eventually went to interim manager Mike Quade, who was fired after his one full season by the new Epstein/Hoyer regime in the Second City. He's spent the last two years managing the Phillies AAA affiliate in Lehigh Valley, leading the team to a playoff berth in 2011 and a third place finish in 2012, finishing above .500 in both seasons despite having largely veteran, prospect-barren clubs. Now, is that a testament to Sandberg's managerial ability, or does it say more about other factors, such as the composition of the club or the lack of impact players in the league? At any rate, the Phillies have gone to great lengths to protect what is essentially an investment in their future in Sandberg. I'm not complaining either, I think it's a very smart move from their front office to have a successor in place that knows when he's taking over. This isn't a situation like in several college football programs, where a "coach in waiting" is named, only for them to bolt when it appears the current coach doesn't want to hang it up. We only know of two managerial vacancies thusfar this offseason (Boston and Cleveland), but I'd expect more to start rolling out in the next week or so. And the Phillies have essentially taken one of the most popular names off the market. It's a shrewd move by them, and ensures that next fall (or perhaps earlier), they won't have to conduct an exhaustive search in looking for Manuel's replacement. [follow]
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jon Jones wanted for questioning in hit and run

Pitcher throws perfect game with 23 strikeouts, still loses

Will LaMarcus Aldridge leave the Portland Trailblazers?

Wizards sweep listless Raptors

Clippers defeat Spurs, even series at 2-2


JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

WATCH: Former NBA’er Darko Milicic is enjoying life

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.