Great story via Matt Gelb at The Athletic (with ads) on Rob Thomson and how 2022 was going to be his last season:
There are two other items that have since lost significance. Before he became the interim manager who steered the Phillies to an improbable National League pennant, Thomson was the dutiful bench coach who oversaw spring training. He left his apartment at 2:30 every morning and used the hours before dawn to prepare for that day’s workout. So, when spring training ended in April, Thomson kept a printed copy of the final workout schedule. He asked then-manager Joe Girardi for the lineup card from the final exhibition game. They were mementos for Thomson, who had a secret.
It was going to be his final year in baseball. He would be the Phillies bench coach in 2022, and then that was it.
He told Girardi at the end of the 2021 season. Then he called Phillies assistant general manager Ned Rice and informed him it would be the last contract he’d ever sign. Everyone understood. “He had a good run,” Rice said. Thomson did not want to broadcast his impending retirement, but enough people within the organization knew about it.
Wild. Thomson’s reasoning for retiring this season was because he thought he may be getting stale and it was time to let a younger guy with fresh ideas get in the mix. Instead he was exactly what the Phillies needed. Now you could argue maybe a younger guy switches up the World Series lineup or keeps Zack Wheeler in during Game 6. You could also argue maybe a younger guy can’t handle the pressure of a World Series or manage the bullpen or subs like Topper did in the postseason. All I know is I can’t even imagine a life without Rob Thomson in it right now.
Here’s the full story from Gelb:
There is one more story to tell about the wild ride of the 2022 Phillies.
When 2021 ended, Rob Thomson told the team he’d retire after one more year as bench coach. He was content. He collected mementos from his final spring training.
Then … https://t.co/PZ8X8tY2c7
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) November 22, 2022