Thursday, June 15, 2006

Time To End The Charlie Manuel Experiment

Don't let the door hit you on the way out of Philly, Charlie

After the Phillies embarrassing three game sweep at the hands of the division-leading Mets, the Phillies are 33-33, a .500 team, some 9 1/2 games out of first. After 66 games in the 2004 season the Phillies, at 35-31, weren't much better.

I distinctly remember thinking that was the precise time to fire Larry Bowa and bring in a new direction/philosophy to help revitalize the team and salvage the season. Of course, the Phillies, guided by former GM Ed Wade missed that opportunity and ended up firing Bowa two days before the season ended while the Phillies won 11 of their last 14 games for close but no post-season 2nd place finish. The 2006 Phillies are at a very similar fork in the road and fans can only hope that today's GM can recognize what yesterday's GM could not. It's time for Pat Gillick to fire Charlie Manuel and end this mindless experiment with "Manuel-ball"--futile, painfully mediocre baseball.

Burrel; Inexplicably missing from the lineup in game 2

Here are the most compelling and recent reasons Manuel should be terminated: Prior to the sweep Manuel said that a bad series against the Mets "wouldn't kill" the team. How can a guy with as much baseball experience be so ignorant. That series was effectively the season and Manuel not only didn't have the vision to recognize the gravity of the series, but didn't have the Phillies prepared for the series on any level. Game two of the series saw Manuel bench Pat Burrel--after they'd already lost on Tuesday! Why is a player that has 33 career homeruns against the Mets (who hit two more in Thursday's 5-4 loss, to make it 35) and is one of the team's top all-around power threats NOT in the lineup in a crucial game of the most crucial series so far this year?

The Phillies' defense and pitching is despicable and that is a direct result of poor managing/preparation. And, of course, Manuel's continued use of David Bell, who committed two errors in the two games that he played in this series.

If Charlie Manuel isn't fired, then clearly Pat Gillick is asleep at the wheel while this runaway train of a season careens out of control toward disaster. Anything less than Manuel getting the axe is UNACCEPTABLE. The time is NOW if the Phillies have any desire to play post-season baseball.

1 comment:

Matt Tavani said...


While I wholeheartedly agree that Charlie Manuel should be relieved of his duties (in fact, should never have been given the job in the first place- Jim Leyland was our guy), I don't think it matters any more this year.

It is simply a matter of mathematics. The Phils are currently 35-37. For the sake of argument, I believe it is fair to say that a team must win 95 games in a season in order to make the playoffs. Obviously, that is an average, as many teams have made the playoffs with both more and fewer victories. But given that they are 35-37, they would have to go 60-30 the rest of the way. The team has given no indication that they can win 2 out of every 3 for an extended period of time. Their starting pitching most definitely won't allow that to happen. Manuel costs them at least 1 out of every 5.

Thus, fire him because they need to do so, but nobody can help this team make a serious run at the post season this year.