Phillies fire hitting coach and World Series legend returns to the dugout

Phillies name ex-skipper Manuel hitting coach

Phillies fire hitting coach and World Series legend returns to the dugout

During that time, Manuel posted a record of 780-636, leading Philadelphia to a World Series title in 2008 and another World Series appearance in 2009, losing to the New York Yankees in the latter year.

The timing was merely coincidence, but former Cubs hitting coach John Mallee has been relieved of those same duties with the Phillies just as the Cubs come to town.

Of course, Manuel is most known for his tenure as manager of the Phillies, as he managed the club from 2005 through August 2013 before being fired. Bernstein called it a "power move" by Maddon given Phillies manager Gabe Kapler's shaky status.

The club has lost five of its last six games to fall to fourth place in the National League East, nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves. They led the division by three games at the end of May. They are two games out of the second NL wild-card spot.

The Phillies spent over $400 million this offseason on free agents, including $330 million on Bryce Harper, and gave up their top pitching prospect in a trade for catcher J.T. Realmuto. Expectations were huge coming into the season but the results have brought mostly underachievement.

Previously, Manuel, 75, served as hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians from 1988-89 and 1994-99. The Phillies entered Tuesday with a team batting average of.245, which ranks 24th in Major League Baseball. This season, the Phillies rank ninth in runs and 12th in OPS.

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