Thursday, June 29, 2006

In Defense of Manuel / Distraction

Pay close attention, the next screwed up double-switch Charlie Manuel does, it could be his last. That along with other great Manuel-isms, such as the bewildered stare from the dugout, the "air-batting" that occurs between he and Milt Thompson when somebody hits a homerun, and the always eloquent dialogue with Wheels during "The Charlie Manuel Show," could be gone very soon.

I have been a harsh critic of Manuel starting about mid-season '05, but as I watched him run to centerfield to check on an injured Shane Victorino during last nights loss to the Orioles, I felt sorry for the old hick. He's too old and probably too nice of guy to have to endure the crap-storm that is heading his way. Sure, I still think he's a horrible manager and will not relinquish that view, but I don't think he deserves the garbage that is going to fall on him in the aftermath of this disgusting season. He's not the reason this team is 7 games under .500. The real reason is this mismatched group of position players and inexperienced, minimally-talented pitching staff. To paraphrase that turkey-necked jackass Dick Jerardi: "Everyone keeps saying this team continues to underperform. Well, they aren't. This is how good they are."

Two months ago, fans raved about Manuel's attributes as a motivator and "player's manager" and discounted his lack of in-game managerial skill. Now, many of those people are placing a lot of blame on him for the continued losing. Manuel should be fired, but he should not be a martyr or a scapegoat. He has a role in the losing, but his piece in the great pie chart of misery is a lot smaller than most believe.
At this point, there is nothing positve to write about the Phils or the Buccos. Instead, we have to think of things that distract us from the losing. Today's distraction: the theme to Mr Belvedere. Enjoy.

I wonder how Mr. Belvedere would do managing this team? A fruity, effeminate British nanny couldn't do any worse...



GM-Carson said...

The Phillies during the next month or so will resemble the lyrics to the song Dani California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Phillies rest in peace,
simultaneous release,
Phillies show your teeth,
You're so dead, you need a priest!

The Rev said...

That was the first time you guys made rational sense about Charlie Manuel.

I never thought it was his fault totally. I always put more of the blame for this season on the players themselves. Many of them are disappointing me.

But I think he might have to go just so he can retain what is left of his sanity. No one should be subjected to this much torture managing a team.

Fat Ted said...

definately the players, just like when bowa got fired

GM-Carson said...

smokin steve, we've only been so critical of manuel because others have tossed so much praise his way (from last season and early this season). we've never liked him, and have always questioned- "what the hell is he doing?". it is partially his fault, but he does not deserve all the blame. it's the phillies organization's fault in the first place for hiring him. manuel is who he is, which is just that that great of a manager...he's not going to change.

GM-Carson said...

i'm going to second what carson said above, our stance on manuel was always exagerated and sensationalized for three reasons 1)it is more interesting 2)we do think he is a bad manager 3)to counter the extreme opinion of credit and blame, which he deserves little of both...

and personally as a fourth reason, i have have a total man-crush on larry bowa, who is sometimes remembered only for that last horrid season and doesn't get the credit he deserves for what he did here


BenJah said...

i think if charlie had been the bench coach this whole time, a la don zimmer, we'd probably love him, but he's totally overmatched as the #1. he should be fired, but as we know, there are at least half a dozen players who should be shipped out too.

anyone know who the best managerial candidates are right now if they were to replace charlie??

GM-Carson said...

i've always though "hitting coach" but you are probably right on, bench coach would suit him perfectly...

everybody mentions sweet lou piniella as a replacement(because bowa's red-ass approach worked so well?), but i don't think there is a real good replacement out there, which might be a reason he (manuel) is still around


The Rev said...

I don't think Bowa was that great. He practically ruined the Padres in his stint there. He did some good things with the Phillies, but he was victimized by the players on the field too, much like I believe Manuel is now.

Bowa was one of my favorite players. But I never thought he was a great manager. He wasn't bad. But he was far from great.

Just remember... this Phillies organization had the opportunity to hire Jim Leyland. Leyland actually wanted the job. But they made a different choice. That's where it went wrong.

And that's nothing against Manuel. Leyland was simply the best candidate at the time over everyone available. That's just the truth.

Manuel may know the game of baseball, and is probably very good at teaching that game to players as a coach, but I think as a manager he was thrust into a bad situation. And only certain managers have the ability to make something out of situations like that. Leyland in my mind is one of the few who can. Just look at Detroit this year.

I don't know if Leyland would have had the same problems as Manuel, but the organization might have been built a little differently with his input. And he has a track record of getting more out of lesser teams, and has a ring on his finger to boot. He's done it his whole career.

Perhaps having a manager with a track record of winning might have made a difference here. We will never know.

I know Manuel is a good coach. I would hope that if they take him out of the manager's job, they keep him around to teach young players. I think that is where he belongs, and that is where he excels.

GM-Carson said...

Of course Leyland was the better choice, but as we all know, the Phillies brass are a bunch of dumbasses! I don't hate Charlie Manuel as a person, don't know him, but I do hate him as the manager of the Phillies. His strategies are poor, he can't speak, and his overall demeanor annoys the hell outta me. Bench coach or hitting instructor would be fine and dandy, but bad news is that he is heading the team...yuck!