Phillies fire Joe Girardi, name Rob Thomson interim manager

Phillies have also relieved coaching assistant Bobby Meacham of his duties.

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Saturday, June 4, 2022
Phillies fans react to firing of Joe Girardi
Phillies fans react to firing of Joe Girardi. Bryanna Gallagher reports for Action News on June 3, 2022.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Phillies have fired manager Joe Girardi and named bench coach Rob Thomson as the interim replacement.

The Phillies have also relieved coaching assistant Bobby Meacham of his duties.

The team made the announcement on Friday morning, hours before the Phillies took on Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels at Citizens Bank Park.

The matchup was a big game for the Phillies who shut out the Angels 10-0, with homers from Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Maton, and Bryson Stott.

Girardi spoke about his departure during his weekly scheduled appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.

"I think there's a number of reasons we didn't win. I think we gave too many extra outs that probably cost us four or five games, maybe even more. I think at times our bullpen struggled. We had some guys that I think have much better stuff than the potential that they pitched too," Girardi said.

"And I think some guys got off to some slow starts offensively. And that happens, right? I think you can overcome sometimes one thing, maybe even two, but sometimes when it's more than that I think it's somewhat difficult. I can look back on this last week when we were 3-7 and I think realistically we probably should have been 7-3. Well, that's going to fall on me because we weren't. I understand that. I just pray that they get better and they get to the playoffs."

Girardi said Phillies President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski told him this morning that the team was "going to make a change."

The Phillies currently have a 23-29 record and are in third place in the National League East, 11.5 games behind the first-place New York Mets.

Girardi said he hopes the Phillies can turn it around, and spoke highly of the team's ownership.

"The Middleton and the Buck family have been fantastic. They were fantastic to me. I truly love them. They are great owners. (The franchise) deserves better," Girardi said.

Dombrowski released the following statement:

"It has been a frustrating season for us up until this point, as we feel that our club has not played up to its capabilities. While all of us share the responsibility for the shortcomings, I felt that a change was needed and that a new voice in the clubhouse would give us the best chance to turn things around. I believe we have a talented group that can get back on track, and I am confident that Rob, with his experience and familiarity with our club, is the right man to lead us going forward."

Thomson becomes the 56th manager in franchise history. He has served as the team's bench coach while also coordinating spring training for the last five seasons after being originally hired on Dec. 5, 2017.

In regards to Thomson, Girardi said, "I would argue, he's the best coach I've ever been around."

"I think he deserved a chance a long time ago," Girardi said.

This year marks Thomson's 38th season in professional baseball.

This is a Thursday, March 17, 2022 photo of coach Rob Thomson of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team in Clearwater, Fla.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

"I am extremely excited for this opportunity and I appreciate the confidence Dave has shown in me," Thomson said in a statement. "Having said that, this is an emotional day for me, having worked so closely with Joe for so many years. This has been my home now for the last five years and I care deeply about this franchise, this city, our players, our coaches, our staff and our fans. I am ready to lead this team and look forward to getting to work and turning this around."

Girardi managed the Phillies for two-plus years and went 132-141. Over his 14 seasons as a major league manager with the Florida Marlins (2006), New York Yankees (2008-17) and Phillies (2020-22), Girardi is 1120-935.

He told SiriusXM he's looking forward to attending his daughter's basketball games and throwing batting practice for his son.

Philadelphia Phillies' Joe Girardi walks to the dugout during a baseball game, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Quality assurance coach Mike Calitri, who has been with the organization since the 2018 season, has been promoted to bench coach.

Dombrowski still has high hopes for the team this season.

"Oh, I think we can make the playoffs. I think we're in a position where we can battle back to do that. I do believe that," he said during an afternoon press conference.

Thomson added, "I've been studying championship clubs for a long time and I truly believe there are pieces here to be a very good club."