will be the next manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, replacing the fired Larry Bowa, baseball officials told the Associated
Press on Wednesday night.
Manuel will be introduced at a news conference Thursday or Friday, one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Two other sources also said
Manuel was the team's choice.
The 60-year-old Manuel managed the Cleveland Indians
from 2000-02. He takes over a talented but underachieving club that hasn't reached the
playoffs since 1993
Manuel spent the last two seasons working as a special assistant to Wade. He was the second of eight candidates interviewed by the Phillies after Bowa
was fired with two games remaining in a disappointing season in which the Phillies finished 10 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Manuel, Jim Leyland and Jim Fregosi were the three finalists for the job, according to one of the sources. Fregosi managed the Phillies to the NL
pennant 11 years ago. Leyland led Florida to its first World Series championship and guided Pittsburgh to three division titles in the '90s.
Manuel had a 220-190 record with the Indians and led them to the AL Central championship in 2001, but was fired after a 39-47 start in 2002.
Known as a player's manager, Manuel is close with Phillies first baseman Jim Thome
, who thrived in Cleveland when Manuel was the Indians'
Manuel's affable personality and folksy nature make him the anti-Bowa. Though he was popular among fans in Philadelphia, Bowa wasn't well-liked by
some of his players because of his fiery demeanor.
Manuel also beat out former major league managers Grady Little, Don Baylor, Buddy Bell, and Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton and Pirates
third-base coach John Russell.
[Edited on 11-3-2004 by ProudAmerican]