Phils Ax Three Coaches

The Phillies did a little adjusting of their coaching staff Tuesday, announcing that three of their coaches would not have their contracts renewed.

Three well tenured organizational coaches were let go by the Phillies Tuesday when it was announced that bench coach Gary Varsho, first base coach Marc Bombard and third base coach Bill Dancy would not have their contracts renewed for 2007. All three had been in the Phillies' organization for some time.

Bombard had been in the organization since 1997 when he took over as manager of the AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, a position that he held until becoming the Phillies' first base coach prior to the 2005 season. He led the Barons to the post-season four times and was named the Minor League Manager of the Year by USA Today when Scranton won 91 games under his leadership.

Dancy ended his playing career in 1978 and had spent all but two seasnos since then as a minor league manager, coach or coordinator in the Phillies' organization. He spent the past two seasons as the Phillies' third base coach and has been offered another job within the organization.

Varsho spent five seasons as the Phillies' bench coach, working under both Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel. Prior to that, he was best known in the organization for having compiled a .551 winning percentage in three seasons as the manager of the AA Reading Phillies, including leading them to a share of the Eastern League Championship in 2001. He had been voted the Eastern League Manager of the Year in 2000 and the Best Managing Prospect in the Eastern League in both 2000 and 2001.

No replacements were named for the newly opened positions, but Juan Samuel's name has popped up as a possible bench coach. Samuel was one of the more popular Phillies during his playing career and managed the Mets' AA Binghamton team in 2006. Samuel could also be in a position to rejoin the organization with a thought of him taking over as manager at some point down the road. Dick Pole - a longtime friend of Manuel's - will be looking for work after being informed by the Cubs that his contract would not be renewed. He would be another possibility to join Manuel's staff.


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