The promotion of Ryne Sandberg from manager of Phillies Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley IronPigs to third base coach for the Philadelphia Phillies was seen by many as a precursor for changes to come. Current manager Charlie Manuel, now 69 years old, is in the final year of his contract. Quite a few Phillies could go after the season as well, including Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, Roy Halladay, and Michael Young. With a changing of the guard on the horizon, many think 2013 is Manuel’s last year in Philly, but he isn’t ready to hang up the spikes yet and doesn’t understand why the Phillies have yet to extend his contract.
Via the AP’s Rob Maaddi:
Manuel isn’t one to make demands, but it seems he’s a bit peeved.
“I’m not disappointed in it at all. I don’t know if I get it or not,” Manuel said. “I think they can do whatever they want to do. That’s how I look at it. Actually, when you get right down to it, it doesn’t bother me a whole lot because I have nothing to do with it. If you stop and think about it, I don’t have nothing to do with it. I mean that in a good way.”
Manuel led the Phillies to their second championship in the franchise’s 130-year history and five consecutive NL East titles. He has also set franchise-bests leading his 2011 squad to 102 wins, and surpassing Gene Mauch with the most managerial wins (currently 727) as a Phillie. The Phillies overall have a .561 winning percentage under his stewardship.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central
Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?
As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East
The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.
There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.
Here’s how each team breaks down:
New York Mets