The Philadelphia Phillies have replaced Charlie Manuel as manager with third base coach and Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, the team announced Friday.
Manuel, 69, was in the final season his contract. He made it clear that he had been relieved of his duties, telling reporters "I did not resign, and I did not quit."
Ruben Amaro Jr. informed Manuel that he would not be returning in 2014, so the team decided to make the change now. Amaro Jr. discussed his decision to remove Manuel during the press conference:
"I didn't see any reason to have him go through the last 40 games knowing he wasn't going to be back. That wouldn't have been fair."
The Phillies won five straight division titles under Manuel and captured the 2008 World Series championship. Manuel was the winningest manager in franchise history, and had won his 1,000th game as a big league manager Monday.
The club declined sharply after winning 102 games in 2011. The Phillies went 81-81 last season and entered Friday with a 53-67 record and has lost 19 out of their past 23 games.
Sandberg has accepted the manager's position on an interim role. The former Chicago Cubs star will head to Wrigley Field on Aug. 30 for his first time as a manager.