Charlie Manuel (WDEL/File)Charlie Manuel's days of managing the Phillies are over.
Manuel has been replaced by third base coach Ryne Sandberg, who's also a baseball Hall of Famer and former Cubs second baseman.
Manuel says he wants to go out on a positive note.
"I cannot explain to you what the last nine years, or eight-and-a-half years or whatever has meant to me. I've had some of the greatest times I've ever had in my life. Philadelphia has been the highlight of my career. I love everything about the fans; I love the city. I've talked Philly baseball everywhere I go," says Manuel.
The move is effective immediately. Sandberg will serve as interim manager for the Phillies Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"A new face, a new voice, a new look or anything like that might help us. Our team hasn't been playing too good," Manuel says.
The Phillies have lost 19 of 24 since last month's All-Star break and are 201/2 games out of first in the NL East.
Manuel, whose managed the most victories in Phillies franchise history, says he knew he was managing his final Phillies game Wednesday night when the team lost to Atlanta.
"No, I did not resign, and I did not quit. I never quit nothing, and I didn't resign. I think it was an understanding, and the decision, it definitely came from our organization, but at the same time too, I definitely wanted to put my team and also the Philadelphia Phillies above myself," Manuel says.
Manuel led them to the 2008 World Series, the Phillies' first in 28 years and the city's first major sports title in a quarter century.
Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro says the decision wasn't easy, and he'd like to keep working with Manuel.
"You people may not know the relationship I've had with Charlie. He's a special person. This is difficult for me. I hope he stays in our organization," says Amaro.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report).
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