(If you remember the title of this post from my first article, than thank you. It got so much positive feedback that it just seemed fitting to use it in this context as well!)
Do I believe Charlie Manuel is a genius? No
Do I think I could have an intelligent conversation with him? Who could?
*Insert question I use to insult the general intelligence of Charlie Manuel here*
With that said…
Do I think Charlie Manuel is more suited to be the manager of this Phillies franchise than anyone who speculates about his managerial decisions? You bet your ass I do.
I wanted to make it a point to write this article before the Phillies play Game 6 of the NLCS here in Philadelphia on Saturday night. No matter what happens, Charlie Manuel already is, and should continue to be, a hero in this town. Does that buy him a pass for every mistake that he makes? No. Should Rollins have bunted Werth over in the 8th inning of Game 5? Probably. Are you sick of me asking and then answering my own questions? I’m not sure yet.
I believe Rollins should have bunted Werth over, but that’s easy to say in retrospect (even though me and thousands of fans were screaming it at our televisions at the time i’m sure). Is it a proven fact that if he did, Werth scores? No. Werth doesn’t score on a bunt, he does score on a ball pulled to right that lands or splits 1st and 2nd. Charlie had faith in Rollins to do that, which gets him in trouble sometimes, but can pay off just as often. I also don’t think Oswalt should’ve been used, but I know that Charlie and Dubee weighed the options, and Oswalt seemed like the best choice.
There aren’t many foolproof strategies in baseball. Charlie Manuel is a guy who loves to play matchups in regards to lefty VS righty and vice versa. Just because it seems strategic, and probability says the strategy should work, it doesn’t always work. That’s why they play the game. That’s why we watch the game. That’s why Charlie manages the game.
These numbers probably won’t shock you, but maybe it can be a reality check to how good we’ve had it the past 6 years with Charlie as the manager. It’s hard to look at the big picture when we’re caught up in the moment.
Under Charlie Manuel:
Phillies Regular Season Record: 544-428 (.560)
Phillies Postseason Record: 25-15 (.625)
4 straight NL East Division Winners (2nd place his first 2 years)
2 straight (and still alive this year) NL Pennants
2 World Series Appearances (and still alive this year)
1 World Series Win (and still alive this year)
2 All-Star Games Managed
1 All-Star Game Win (1st for NL since 1996)
Total wins have increased every year the past 4 years.
Now as someone who has criticized Andy Reid for years now, I take the same things into consideration when I get upset with him. However, Charlie Manuel loves baseball, loves this team, and loves this city. I love his personality and feel he is the perfect fit for this city. As a Philadelphia fan, championships mean everything, and not only has Charlie gotten us one, he keeps fighting for more. I don’t see many of those qualities in Andy Reid, as he seems to love nothing more than a “wiz-wit”.
Andy Reid is for another day though, as what I want Phillies fans to understand is: Win or lose, we are fans of a franchise that already has over 10,000 losses. We should never be too “up in arms” over any single loss, as we know all to well what it feels like to lose. Instead, we need to bask in the glow that is this potential dynasty we’ve been given the opportunity to watch dominate.
As fans who are so used to losing, we need to enjoy all the wins we can get. We have a chance to get two more, and then four more. If we get those, you can make sure to thank Charlie Manuel. And if we don’t, you should thank him anyway. Not only for the past and the present, but for the future, which is still bright even if this year isn’t our year.
So I just wanna say, before the outcome of Game 6, and this postseason as a whole: