Manuel steps down as Phillies manager

Charlie Manuel, the most successful manager in Philadelphia franchise history, was forced to step down as the boss of the Phillies, the Major League Baseball team announced.

Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel watches play at Nationals Park on August 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. Manuel, the most successful manager in Philadelphia franchise history, was forced to step down as the boss of the Phillies, the Major League Baseball team announced.

The 69-year-old Manuel led the Phillies to their second World Series championship in 2008. He has been in charge of the National League team since 2005 and compiled a 780-636 record over his eight-plus years.

"I did not resign and I did not quit," Manuel said, acknowledging that he was fired. "I think it was an understanding."

Manuel was replaced by interim manager Ryne Sandberg, who lost 4-0 in his debut as the dugout boss.

General manager Ruben Amaro made the announcement before the Phillies opened a three-game set against the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers. Amaro said it was a difficult move but one the club "needed to make as we look towards the future."

Manuel also guided the franchise to five straight division titles from 2007 through 2011.

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