Manuel Deserved Better

Charlie Manuel earned his 1000th win as a big league manager earlier this week. Being one of the most successful managers in Phillies history, the team was scheduled to honor Manuel prior to Friday’s game against the Dodgers.

Friday came along and a news conference was called. Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced the team was firing Manuel immediately. Instead of staying around to celebrate 1000 victories, Manuel opted to leave the ballpark and the ceremony was scrapped.

The Phillies have been struggling in the standings this season and Manuel’s firing shows management was going to point the blame his direction. Despite being one of the best managers in Phillies history, Amaro Jr. decided it was time to move in a different direction on the same day his organization was going to honor Manuel for earning 1000 career wins.

No one can blame Manuel for not sticking around. Who would want to stick around after being told you were fired after several years of turning a franchise around? The Phillies have had their struggles this season but Manuel had achieved quite a bit for that team.

Prior to Manuel taking over in 2005, the Phillies had struggled. The team had not been a dominant force since the early 1990s and the signing of Jim Thome in 2003 did not turn the team’s fortunes around overnight. Players and managers were turned over and it seemed as if the team was going to be far away from getting to the World Series.

Manuel was hired to replace Larry Bowa in 2005 and not considered to be a popular choice. Many thought Manuel was okay in his previous managerial stint with the Cleveland Indians but nothing special. Manuel was fired from the Tribe in 2002 over a contract issue.

Within three years, Manuel took an improved roster to the 2008 World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Manuel, who was considered to be a bogus choice to manage in 2005, helped the Phillies win their first World Series title since 1980. A manager who was considered by the Indians in 2002 to not be worthy enough of guiding a team far into the playoffs hoisted a World Series for a team that had only won the title once before.

One year later, Manuel achieved something no Phillies manager had ever done before; going to the World Series in consecutive years. The end was result was a loss to the New York Yankees but Manuel continued to be one of the most successful managers in Phillies history.

Manuel has managed the Phillies to NL East titles since 2009 and the wins started to decline in 2012. The team finished 2012 and with his contract expiring at the end of 2013, there was a question as to whether or not Manuel would be back for 2014.

That question was answered by Amaro Jr. on Friday and the team will go in a new direction. Amaro Jr. fought back tears during the press conference and he seemed saddened that he had to let one of the best managers in team history go.

Amaro Jr. cried for the best manager the Phillies have had on the day the team was supposed to honor him publicly.



~ by jeffrsabo on August 18, 2013.

One Response to “Manuel Deserved Better”

  1. Great assessment!

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