PHILADELPHIA -- Larry Bowa was fired as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, a day before the end of yet another disappointing year.
The Phillies failed to reach the playoffs for the 11th straight season after coming in as favorites to win the NL East. They were 85-75 when Bowa was
dismissed before the night's game against Florida.
"When I got to the ballpark this afternoon, I got a call from Larry Bowa asking me to come see him," general manager Ed Wade said at a news
conference. "He said he's been getting inundated with questions about his job status and wanted to know sooner or later."
"After a lengthy discussion, I decided the fairest thing to do was make a move at this time," he said.
Bench coach Gary Varsho will manage the last two games for the Phillies.
Earlier in the day, Bowa met with the media while speculation swirled that he would be fired at the end of the season and that pitching coach Joe
Kerrigan would resign.
"I'm not talking about it," Bowa said then. "You guys have all speculated. You all have your unidentified sources. You probably know more than I do,
which is pretty good."
Bowa led the Phillies to consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 21 years, but it wasn't enough.
A popular figure in Philadelphia who helped the Phillies win their only World Series championship as a shortstop on the 1980 team, Bowa wasn't
well-liked among his players.
Bowa's fiery personality and win-at-all-cost mentality clashed with a few of the laid-back players, who also didn't appreciate some of the manager's
facial expressions in the dugout when things went wrong.
Bowa toned his act down during the pennant race last season, but the Phillies collapsed down the stretch, losing six in a row with eight games left to
waste a half-game lead over eventual World Series champion Florida in the NL wild-card race.
He didn't have any publicized run-ins with players this season, but management decided to make the much-anticipated change.