Phillies part owner, John Middleton, at the announcement of MacPhail's hiring along with Pat Gillick (current Phillies President) was indeed rare, until now Phillies ownership has been silent on what has happened to this team
Last Sunday, Bob Ford writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News characterized Ryne Sandberg as a bad misfit for the Phillies as manager. It's easy to kick a guy when he's not around anymore like Ford did but is this Ryne Sandberg's mess in the first place?
Ryne's been gone for a week or better now and things are still the same status quo with this team, if not worse. Of course the reason the Phillies have been doing so poorly are primarily resting with the players themselves. Mostly all of this can be placed squarely on their shoulders. The decline in this team has been happening for a long time, even stretching into Charlie Manuel's last season with the ballclub.
How could all of this blame be placed on Ryne Sandberg then?
Let's backup a few weeks in the season to the time in Baltimore when the Phillies bullpen decided to go on strike. The bullpen phone was taken off the hook, you had a position player on the mound that was about ready to throw his arm out, and a bullpen that was oblivious to it all. I'll almost guarantee that Jonathan Papelbon was responsible for that prank.
Chase Utley lashed out at pitching coach Bob McClure, he publicly cursed his own coach during a trip to the mound. Chase knew the reason why McClure couldn't get anyone to come in, why didn't he sprint out to the bullpen himself and give them an earful? Utley has been a big reason that this team has played so badly this year, he really should have been benched himself having a BA under .200 all year. Utley may not have agreed with what was going on, but to go out and publicly embarrass a coach in a bad spot is even worse.
The Phillies won a World Championship in 2008 as a team, they didn't have a bunch or free agent names that were put together to 'win' a championship. They were a bunch of players that played well together and together they won a championship. In the last several years that's the way teams have been winning World Championships in baseball. It's not always the team loaded with free agent superstars. Just look at all of the money that the Phillies and the Yankees have spent since 2010 and add it up, it's over $2B in salaries - and they have nothing to show for it when it comes to winning a championship.
Andy MacPhail was hired to become the next Phillies president in 2016, he's been known for making a few good deals, but he's also not a miracle worker. After resigning from the Cubs in a 12-year tenure in October of 2006, MacPhail had agreed that he had failed to bring the Cubs to the World Series which was his goal, it was sited as the reason he resigned.
The Phillies need a new course for sure, the rebuilding hasn't been much of a rebuild and the primary players that needed to be moved for this rebuilding to continue hasn't happened either, Ruben Amaro Jr. is squarely responsible for that as well. Maybe it's not in Ruben's DNA to resign, but with all of the mess that has happened with this team, he too should consider it. He seems attached like crazy glue to Phillies ownership though, even with all that the team has been though.