Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Charlie Manuel: How Dumb Can You Be? [J. Mark English]

I need to throw out a disclaimer. I'm a die hard New York Met fan. I wish nothing but ill will towards the Philadelphia Phillies franchise. But even as a Met fan, I am compelled to express my dismay at the lunacy that is Charlie Manuel.

How does that man continue to have a job? He reminds me of someone who works at a movie theater. Your trying to make your movie on time, and you did everything right to get there for the start of the film. But the one thing that is delaying you is some schmuck behind the food stand that is taking their sweet time getting you a bag of popcorn and soda. I mean they're just so pathetically slow, and you're on the verge of jumping over the candy barrier, and do the job yourself. Manuel is the guy behind the counter. He is the guy who makes a simple task so difficult.

Charlie Manuel please take notice: I could coach the Phillies better then you. I don't know any of the nuances of the game, but I'm pretty sure I can handle simple things such as the double switch. Don't know what a double switch is Charlie? Well here is the exact definition:

(from Wikipedia)

A double switch consists of two discrete switches made simultaneously: 1) a pitcher replaces a defensive player who will not be at bat soon, and 2) a defensive player replaces the former pitcher. The advantage is that the short-term batting lineup is strengthened because a poor-hitting pitcher will not soon make a plate appearance. The disadvantage is that a defensive player (often referred to as the
victim of a double switch) must be removed from play and replaced by another, often inferior, defensive player.

Are ya with me so far Charlie? Last week you had a perfect opportunity to put this favorable rule into effect. See you coach a National League team, which means there is a pitcher spot in the lineup. Typically a pitcher is an easy out. A relief pitcher is even more of an easy out because he gets like maybe one, or two at bats per season.

I really don't believe that you understand this simple rule. Take last week, when your team was up 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh against the Mets. You brought in pitcher Geoff Geary to get the last out of the inning. In the top of 8th, instead of pulling a double switch you left Geary in, which resulted in him being the lead off hitter in the top of the eighth. As a result, you gave the Mets an automatic out in an inning where you could have used insurance runs.

Geary was a worthless pitcher to leave in since in the bottom of the eighth the Mets scored seven runs. Not only that but you left him in there to hang with bases loaded.

Charlie, you lost your team the game because you do not seem to grasp simple rules of the game.

Two games later I saw you walk Jose Reyes in the seventh inning...intentionally. You walked him! You had a runner on third and that was it with two outs. I understand you wanted to get the force out, but with Jose Reyes? He is the fastest player in baseball. What if LoDuca had hit the ball into the gap. Reyes could easily get from first to home on a play. Why walk him? I mean hell, he could advance himself by just stealing second. Do you remember that he led the majors in stolen bases last year?

You sir, are a moron. Your like an old granny that is lallygagging in the club house while your team is well on their way to losing their 10,000th loss this season. When they reach that watermark, the franchise will be the only team in professional sports...from football, hockey, basketball et have that many losses. Even the Chicago Cubs have won more World Series then the Phillies...and they have been to more. Think about that...the Phillies are among the oldest teams in baseball...well over a hundred years of existence, and they have had only one trip to the World Series. How sad is that?

Perhaps misery loves company. The Phillies are miserable, and you are their prefect company. But if I could be general manager for a day, I would fire you so quickly that you wouldn't know what just happened. Mr. Met would make a better manager then you. At least his head is smaller then yours.

I'm sure you can take some time off, and take a sabbatical with another buffoon, Art Howe.

I never thought I'd say this, but I feel really bad for Phillie fans. I feel bad for baseball, that a man like this represents a team. Something has to be done about this, and soon.

Yesterday Manuel almost made the situation a violent one. Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes:

Charlie Manuel knows he does not translate well on camera. And the advent of the postgame press conference has presented both a challenge for this baseball man of 45 seasons, and an opportunity for his harshest critics to provoke him.

Most of the time he answers those critics amiably and with little animosity, but last night was not one of those times. On the heels of a lifeless, 8-1 loss to the Mets, with his most incessant critic prodding him to throw a clubhouse tirade, Manuel instead unleashed a profanity-filled 10-minute tongue-lashing toward the critic inside his office, adding an extra dose when their eyes met in the clubhouse minutes later...

...Manuel's eruption seemed to have little to do with either the results of the day or the questions asked afterward. It was much more about the questioner, and what Manuel believes has been unfair criticism over his entire tenure as Phillies manager.

It's a constant theme with him these days, that the perception of him is a reflection of his current team more than his history. Whether the Phillies are being thrown out at third stealing with their cleanup hitter at the plate, failing to move runners or just swinging at bad pitches in good counts, squandering gift-wrapped chances via bad baseball is a trait of this team that precedes this manager...

...Manuel was also not on the field in the sixth inning when the Phillies recorded three outs on the Mets - and needed to be waved into the dugout by the umpires. This offseason, coaches were hired ostensibly to firm up the fundamentals this team is so often lacking. Nothing has changed. They still stall going uphill.

An inning after their little problem with the outs, after another unproductive inning, what remained of the announced crowd of 27,058 broke into an E-A-G-L-E-S chant. Indeed, with the wind blowing and people wrapped in parkas, it looked like football weather out there.

I'm taking bets now folks. The over/under before this sad excuse for a manager is fired. I'm giving him 60 days top. The clock is ticking...

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