Canadian Rob Thomson to remain manager of Phillies after leading team to playoffs

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After guiding the Philadelphia Phillies to their first playoff berth in additional than a decade, manager Rob Thomson had the interim faraway from his title Monday.

The solely challenge?

Thomson had to sit by means of a information convention to talk about his new two-year contract to remain as Phillies manager by means of 2024.

He would like to speak about something however himself.

“Completely,” Thomson stated after his new deal was introduced on the eve of the NL Division Series in opposition to the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves. “I actually need the highlight on the gamers and the collection. And baseball is what I need to get to.”

The Phillies made the plain alternative to preserve the manager who guided an inconceivable turnaround, one which propelled the membership to its first playoff berth since 2011.

The 59-year-old Thomson took over on June 3 when Joe Girardi was fired with the Phillies mired at 22-29.

Philadelphia went 65-46 the remainder of the common season, ending a distant third within the NL East behind Atlanta and the New York Mets however nonetheless ok to land a wild card.

In the opening spherical of the playoffs, Philadelphia swept the NL Central champion Cardinals in two video games at St. Louis for its first postseason collection victory in a dozen years.

The best-of-five collection in opposition to the Braves begins Tuesday at Truist Park.

‘He allow us to be ourselves’

Thomson, a local of Sarnia, Ont., is the primary Canadian-born manager to lead a team to the postseason. But it was the best way he dealt with his gamers that actually stood out, permitting them to categorical their personalities and play a lot looser than they did below Girardi.

“He’s very deserving of this,” Game 1 starter Ranger Suarez stated by means of a translator. “He allow us to be ourselves. There’s so much of freedom that we really feel after we’re round him. And a very powerful factor is that we’re comfy as a result of we may be ourselves.”

President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski stated a number of gamers got here to him throughout the season, urging him to preserve Thomson on as manager past 2022.

Dombrowski stated his thoughts has been made up for fairly some time to retain Thomson, however baseball guidelines designed to promote extra alternatives for minority candidates prevented any announcement till after the common season.

“I believe simply the general change of environment and communication and simply the best way the clubhouse felt whenever you’re round,” Dombrowski stated, explaining his reasoning. “It’s not being adverse in the direction of the previous, nevertheless it was simply completely different, and you can inform we have been enjoying with a relaxed however targeted strategy.”

Thomson had been the Phillies’ bench coach since 2018 earlier than he was promoted to interim manager.

He turned solely the fourth manager in main league historical past to take over a team no less than seven video games below .500 and lead it to the postseason. The others have been Dick Howser (1981 with the Royals), Cito Gaston (1989 with the Blue Jays) and Jim Tracy (2009 with the Rockies).

The Phillies received their first eight video games with Thomson on the helm. A rash of accidents saved the team from maintaining tempo with the surging Braves or chasing down the Mets, however there have been no complaints after Philadelphia ended the National League’s longest playoff drought.

Thomson instantly clicked with the gamers in his new position.

“He simply feels relatable. I do not know if that is simply his manner, the best way that he speaks to you as an individual and genuinely listens,” first baseman Rhys Hoskins stated. “There’s only a lot of real feeling there whenever you’re round him, and it is unbelievable to have within the manager’s workplace, for certain.”

‘It’s humorous how life is usually’

After the Phillies arrived in Atlanta from their wild-card victory over the Cardinals, Dombrowski summoned Thomson to his lodge room to ship the information formally.

It was a touching moment for the baseball lifer, who prior to becoming a member of the Phillies had spent 28 years within the New York Yankees group.

Thomson had reached the age the place it appeared unlikely he would ever get the decision to turn out to be a giant league manager.

Now, he is managing on the largest time of the season, with a contract to do it for 2 extra years.

“It’s been within the again of my thoughts for lots of years. But the final three, 4, 5 years, I actually have by no means thought of it,” he stated. “And then it simply occurred.

“It’s humorous how life is usually.”

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