Former Smokies' skipper Sandberg named Phillies interim manager

PHILADELPHIA (AP/WVLT) -- Charlie Manuel has been fired as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, with his team out of the pennant race and in a tailspin since the All-Star break.

Manuel was replaced by Hall of Famer and former Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, the Phillies' third base coach.

The team says Sandberg will take over beginning with Friday night's game against the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sandberg managed the Tennessee Smokies, a double-A affiliate of the Cubs, in 2009.

The Phillies have lost 19 of 24 since last month's All-Star break and are 20 1/2 games out of first in the NL East.

The 69-year-old Manuel has been the Phillies' manager since the beginning of the 2005 season. He led Philadelphia to a World Series title in 2008 and brought the Phillies back to the series in 2009, where they lost to the Yankees.

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