Monday, April 22, 2024

Phillies manager Rob Thomson has interim tag removed, gets two-year extension after leading team to playoffs

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In advance of their National League Division Series matchup with the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday announced that manager Rob Thomson has been signed to a two-year contract extension that will cover the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

Thomson, 59, took over on an interim basis after Joe Girardi was fired on June 2, and the Phillies surged on his watch and made the postseason for the first time since 2011. At the time of Thomson’s elevation to interim manager, the Phillies were 22-29 with a plus-one run differential. Under Thomson, they finished the season with a 65-46 record — that’s a 95-win pace across the full 162 — and a plus-61 run differential. 

They did all that despite losing star slugger Bryce Harper to a thumb fracture that cost him two months starting in late June. The Phillies flirted with one of their infamous stretch-drive swoons, as they went 14-17 from Sept. 1 onward. However, they were still able to secure the third and final NL wild-card berth. That plus the ensuing upset sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card Series secured Thomson’s long-term future. No doubt also helping his cause were the frequent public comments from players about how much Thomson’s patient and steadying influence helped the clubhouse and dugout atmosphere in Philly. 

“I could not be prouder of the group of players, coaches and staff that have made this all possible,” Thomson said in a statement released by the team. “This is a great group, one that has shown resiliency and overcome adversity all season to get us where we are today. I am honored and humbled to continue as manager of this club.”

“As time progressed, it became apparent that Rob was the right person to lead this team and our club’s on-field performance over the course of the season certainly reinforced that,” team president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in that same statement.  “His calm demeanor and ability to communicate with players and staff has greatly benefitted the Phillies and we are excited to formally name him our manager going forward. While a great deal of credit for the turnaround of our season goes to the players, Rob’s leadership style has also made a significant impact.”

The Phillies’ best-of-five series with the Braves gets started on Tuesday. 

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