Who is Rob Thomson? Phillies name bench coach as Joe Girardi's replacement at manager

Who is Rob Thomson? Phillies name bench coach as Joe Girardi's replacement at manager

The Phillies have a new manager, as Rob Thomson was named the replacement for Joe Girardi after he was fired by the team Friday. 

Thomson, 58, is in his fifth season as the Phillies’ bench coach and had spent a multitude of years with Girardi during his time with both the Yankees and Phillies. However, this is his first run as an MLB skipper. 

“It has been a frustrating season for us up until this point, as we feel that our club has not played up to its capabilities,” said Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in a statement. “While all of us share the responsibility for the shortcomings, I felt that a change was needed and that a new voice in the clubhouse would give us the best chance to turn things around. I believe we have a talented group that can get back on track, and I am confident that Rob, with his experience and familiarity with our club, is the right man to lead us going forward.”

In his 38th season of professional baseball, Thomson, who hails from Corunna, Ont., takes over a team with one the worst bullpens in the league. 

The Phillies sit at 22-29 on the year, and currently in third place in the NL East. 

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Here are four things to know about Thomson as he takes over the Philadelphia bench. 

1. Thomson’s the first Canadian MLB manager since 1934

While the country has been represented recently by players such as Freddie Freeman, Nick Pivetta, Joey Votto and James Paxton, there have not been many Canadians to man an MLB bench. 

In fact, Thomson is the first Canadian manager to be hired by an MLB team since George Gibson in 1934 and only the third ever to hold the position. In addition to Thomson and Gibson, Arthur Irwin was a manager during the late 1890s for multiple teams. 

2. He represented Canada at the 1984 Olympics

Baseball was introduced as a demonstration sport on the Olympic stage in 1984, and Gibson was a part of the Canadian team that participated.  

Thomson played catcher for Canada. The team went 1-2 in group play and did not make it to the knockout rounds. 

3. Thomson has five World Series rings

You want to talk about being a part of a winning culture, Thomson has plenty of experience in that category.

The coach held a position in the Yankees organization from 1990 to 2017. Thomson worked his way up from minor league coach to director of player development to bench coach to third-base coach. 

During his time in the Bronx, Thomson was a part of five World Series-winning teams, earning himself a literal handful of rings. 

4. Thomson was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

For his efforts as a player and coach, Thomson was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as a part of its class of 2019. 

“I am humbled and honoured to be inducted into Canada’s Baseball Hall of Fame!” Thomson said at the time. “Growing up in Corunna Ontario, I would have never dreamt that such an honour would be bestowed onto me. Congratulations to Gord, Ryan and Jason! My Canadian pride will be shining at its brightest as I get inducted on the same day with three fellow Canadians who have achieved so many fantastic things in our great sport.”