May 15, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Charlie Manuel will never be known as baseball’s supreme tactician, but at 21-15, his team is playing confident, winning baseball...

Few believe Manuel is anything more than a lame duck, as the loudest voices are still drumming for his head. With new GM Pat Gillick in charge, considered the polar opposite of the jolly, charming Manuel, most are waiting for Manuel to work himself out of a job and for Gillick to hand-select his replacement. The only problem: the Phillies are getting better, not worse. Frankly, they look like a playoff team.

Philadelphia’s small-town bias continues to be a total joke for a city that prides itself on progressive thinking. Isn't it about time to finally realize that a guy with a career record of 328-280 (.540) is not the disgraceful goon everyone thinks he is? No. He wasn't part of the 1980 championship team. Yes. He's from North Fork, W.Va. Yes. He listens to George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Yes. It's time to get over it."

- Blogger J. Weitzel, of Beerleaguer, pointing out the astonishing disrespect shown to Charlie Manuel, before and during their current hot streak. True, Charlie makes the occasional boneheaded move. But last year he led the Phils to more wins than any manager in over a decade, and now he's skippering the hottest team in baseball. Phillies fans' opinion of Manuel, after all, has always had a lot more to do with the way he looks and talks than his actual aptitude as a manager.

It never ends, really. Sunday night I was listening to WIP and a caller decided to berate Manuel for, on Friday night, pinch-hitting for rookie starter Cole Hamels in the top of the sixth with a 2-0 lead and the bases loaded (Hamels, a top pitching prospect, had a one-hit shutout going through 5 innings).

The pinch hitter failed to knock any runs in and two homers off reliever Ryan Madsen tied the score in the next inning and took the victory away from Hamels. The Phils, however, came back to win the game. And they won Saturday's game, and Sunday's. Yet this caller was still irate enough on Sunday night to berate Manuel on the air, despite his having managed three victories in the intervening three days. But it's not like Philly fans are overly negative, or anything like that.

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 15, 2006 02:29 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?