Not the time to fire Charlie Manuel

Not the time to fire Charlie Manuel

Not the time to fire Charlie Manuel

Theory of Relativity.  Skinny jeans on guys.  Nicholas Cage getting paid to do movies. Here’s another thing that makes no sense: fire Charlie Manuel.

The Phillies' number 3 and 4 hitters were injured for the first three months, Roy Halladay joined the DL for over a month, they have a minor league bullpen, and you want to blame…Charlie Manuel?

The manager needs some scrutiny on a team that is eleven games under .500, but one clunker season for a team decimated by injuries following seven straight winning seasons and five straight division titles is not the time to fire the manager.

Even if Charlie Manuel has been a bad manager this season (which I don’t feel he has), the manager is far down the list of 2012 problems.  Now that you mention it, here is a list of eleven areas (in no particular order) to place blame before blaming the manager.

Reasons for Phillies terrible 2012 season

1. Ryan Howard's injury 2. Chase Utley's injury 3. Roy Halladay's injury 4. Placido Polanco's injury 5. A bullpen that featured as many as five minor leaguers
6. John Mayberry
7. Shane Victorino’s struggles
8. Cliff Lee
9. Chad Qualls
10. Antonio Bastardo
11. Ruben Amaro

Is Charlie Manuel to blame for any of those eleven problems?  Do you think Ryne Sandberg could have done any better?

Ryne Sandberg is not the solution

Which brings us to the more baffling part of the whole let’s fire Charlie thing.  Truly puzzling is all the Ryne Sandberg love.  Sandberg is like the backup quarterback who everyone loves until he actually plays.  Sometimes change is a good thing, but if you are starting Mike Kafka you are probably in big trouble.  It’s the typical fan response (which I’m guilty of all the time) to want any kind of change when things go bad.

Try to answer the question, “Why should Ryne Sandberg be the Phillies manager in 2013?” The answers probably have more to do with why Charlie Manuel should not be the manager and not an endorsement of Sandberg himself.  All we really know about Ryne Sandberg is that the Cubs didn’t want him, he has only managed for four years, and he has no major league managing experience.  That doesn’t mean he can’t be a terrific manager. Maybe he is the second coming, but there is not enough evidence to suggest he is a better option than Charlie Manuel.

Possibly most important is that Ryne Sandberg is considered to be a “player’s manager” just like Charlie.  If they both are player’s managers and Charlie Manuel, with a World Championship, thirty years of coaching experience, and twelve years of managing experience under his belt can’t get it done, I certainly don’t like my chances with the unproven guy.

It’s only a small minority who wants the hook for big Chuck and hopefully it stays that way.  Charlie has done a terrific job of negotiating 25 personalities throughout his managerial career and it is because of his faith in his players that the Phillies teams have posted a .603 winning percentage (353-232) since the all-star break under Manuel.

There's one more reason to keep Charlie Manuel as the skipper. We watched all but five members of the 2008 World Series team leave, including Pat Burrell, Brett Myers, Brad Lidge, Jamie Moyer, Jayson Werth, JC Romero, and most recently Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton.  With the string of NL East titles finished and the same with the sellout streak, the last thing the Phillies need is for the manager of the 2008 team to walk away?

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By The Baseball Page
Wednesday, 8 Aug 2012

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