Phillies fire Joe Girardi: Manager to be replaced by Rob Thomson after Philadelphia loses 12 of last 17 games


Phillies fire Joe Girardi: Manager to be replaced by Rob Thomson after Philadelphia loses 12 of last 17 games

At 22-29, the Philadelphia Phillies had their worst start since 2017, and it cost manager Joe Girardi his job. The Phillies announced on Friday that they had relieved Girardi of his duties. Assistant coach Bobby Meacham was also fired. Bench coach Rob Thomson will act as interim manager and quality assurance coach Mike Calitri has been appointed bench coach.

“It has been a frustrating season for us up to this point as we feel our club has not lived up to its capabilities,” Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, said in a statement. “While we all share responsibility for the shortcomings, I felt a change was needed and that a new voice in the clubhouse would give us the best chance of turning things around. I believe we have a talented group with the potential to get back on track and I’m confident that Rob, with his experience and familiarity with our club, is the right man to lead us into the future.”

Earlier this week Girardi, who led the Phillies to a 132-141 record in two seasons plus two months as manager, told reporters he wasn’t worried about his job security despite the team’s poor play. The Phillies have lost 12 of their last 17 games, including multiple heartthrobs in the late innings. They are 12 games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

“I’m not worried about my job” Said Girardi. “I’ve never worried about my job. I’m not worried about my job. I have to do my job. It’s a manager’s business. I’m not worried.”

The Phillies haven’t been in the postseason since 2011 — they have the longest postseason drought in the National League — and they’re currently 5 1/2 games behind in third and final wildcard spot, despite having five teams ahead of them in the season’s standings . The Phillies have a worse record than the Pittsburgh Pirates (22-27) and the same record as the Chicago Cubs (22-29).

Philadelphia’s roster is a hodgepodge of disparate parts, including several players whose best position is DH (Nick Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins, Kyle Schwarber), a weak center infield, no true midfielder, and a shaky bullpen. Girardi did not compile this list, although neither did he maximize what he was given. He was particularly scrutinized for his recent bullpen use.

Girardi, 57, owns a career record of 1,120-935 (.545), which also includes stints with then-Florida Marlins (2006) and New York Yankees (2008-17). If Dombrowski’s phrase about the need for a “new voice in the clubhouse” sounds familiar, it’s because Yankees GM Brian Cashman gave a similar reason when explaining his decision to part ways with Girardi in 2017.

That “new voice” will, of course, be Thomson, one of Girardi’s longtime confidants and a member of his coaching staff throughout his tenure with the Yankees. Thomson is a baseball lifer who has held a variety of coaching and front office roles. The Phillies say he will serve as the team’s interim manager through the end of the 2022 season.

“I am very excited about this opportunity and appreciate the trust Dave has shown in me,” Thomson said in a statement. “Nevertheless, this is an emotional day for me after working so closely with Joe for so many years. This has been my home for five years now and I care deeply about this franchise, this city, our players, our coaches, our staff and our fans. I am ready to lead this team and look forward to getting to work and turning things around.”

The Phillies had a rest day on Thursday. They open a three-game home series Friday night against Mike Trout, who grew up near Philadelphia, and the rest of the Los Angeles Angels.

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