Would Phillies Really Make This Rumored Managerial Switch?

The Philadelphia Phillies have great leadership in Rob Thomson, but one writer believes a change could be coming.
May 11, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA;  Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson (59) waits for his team to exit the field after beating the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park.
May 11, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson (59) waits for his team to exit the field after beating the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. / Michael Laughlin-USA TODAY Sports
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The Philadelphia Phillies have the best record in the National League and look like a team that could win the World Series this season after getting close each of the past two years.

Rob Thomson waited a long time to get his shot as a manager, and he’s made the most of it since he took over in 2022. But could the Phillies make a change in the dugout after the season? At least one writer believes it’s possible.

Chris Cotillo, who covers the Boston Red Sox for Mass Live, told Foul Territory recently that Red Sox manager Alex Cora is talking like a manager that won’t be there next year. He is in the final year of his contract and while Boston is in the playoff race, it’s well out of the AL West race.

Cotillo said that if Cora left the Red Sox, the primary destinations would be the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. Both are off to great starts and have long-standing managers in Dave Roberts and Aaron Boone, respectively. But, if either under-achieve in the postseason they could be out.

But he believes there is a third potential destination for Cora, should he leave Boston.

That would be Philadelphia. Why?

“The Phillies are another interesting one to watch just because he (Cora) is so incredibly close with (Phillies general manager) Dave Dombrowski,” Cotillo said. “I know Thomson’s done an excellent job, he probably has no desire to go anywhere and they probably don’t want to fire him.”

Dombrowski was the general manager that hired Cora in Boston.

It all seems odd except for one thing — like Cora, Thomson’s contract expires after the season.

Still, letting Thomson walk would be a wild scenario for a team that has been incredibly successful since he took over.

Plus, Thomson waited a long time to get his shot as a manager. He played college baseball at Kansas, was drafted by Detroit in 1985 but never made it to the Majors. The Sarnia, Ontario, native was good enough to play for the 1984 Canadian Olympic team and is in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

He coached with Detroit and the New York Yankees before he came to Philadelphia in 2018 as bench coach under manager Gabe Kapler. He stuck around under Joe Girardi, whom he worked for in New York, and took over as interim manager when the Phillies fired Girardi in May of 2022.

The Phillies responded with a turnaround that led them to the 2022 World Series and got Thomson the job permanently. He guided the Phillies to the NL Championship Series last season.

Meanwhile, Cora played more than 10 years in the Majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland, Boston, the New York Mets, Texas and Washington before he retired in 2011.

He went into coaching after his playing career ended, including a stint as the bench coach for the Houston Astros when they won the 2017 World Series. That got him the managerial job with the Red Sox, where he led them to the World Series title in his first season in 2018.

Cora and the Red Sox parted ways after the 2019 season when he became embroiled in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal from the 2017 season. Cora was found to be significantly involved.

The Red Sox re-hired Cora in 2021 after he served a suspension in 2020. He led the Red Sox to the ALCS that season, which led to a loss to the Astros. But, since then the Red Sox have missed the playoffs each of the last two seasons.


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Matthew Postins

MATTHEW POSTINS

Matthew Postins is an award-winning sports journalist who covers the Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros for Sports Illustrated/FanNation. He also covers he Big 12 for Heartland College Sports.