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Charlie Manuel is not particularly interested in hearing you second guess him

Jun 25, 2012, 8:22 AM EDT

Charlie Manuel Getty Images

The Phillies had a rough day yesterday. So you can understand that Charlie Manuel was not particularly interested in answering questions about his crappy bullpen. Specifically the bullpen that gave up the 1-0 lead when Antonio Bastardo walked two dudes and gave up a three-run bomb to Carlos Pena.

Someone asked Manuel why Bastardo came in the game in the eighth inning. Manuel explained that Hamels had already thrown 111 pitches, it was hot, it was the eighth inning and how the fates and Ruben Amaro had aligned the world in such a way that Bastardo is the Phillies’ eighth inning guy.  Then he said

“You guys ought to sit in the dugout with me during the game and give me all the scenarios because I don’t think we know them,” Manuel said sarcastically. “We don’t know how to manage a game. Really, you guys ought to sit down there with us or tweet or something and float the information down there to me because I’m not smart enough to get it.”

I’d love to see a Twitter-sourced baseball game in which the manager does whatever his tweeps tell him to do. Maybe some of the matchups would work out better. And maybe Manuel would know who’s having a bad day at work, who can’t get some pop song out of their head, who’s watching that week’s “Mad Men” and what everybody’s beer status was.

  1. cleverbob - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    But if Hamels stayed in and got shelled, the media and fans would have totally backed him up anyway.

    • ajcardsfan - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      That’s just cause he’s “old school” and has earned it

  2. heyblueyoustink - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Not even Lou Brown could coach this team to a significant number of more wins over Charlie at this point.

    • stex52 - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      I got this from Jim Deshaies, former MLB pitcher and presently Astros color man, but I have really taken it to heart.

      When a manager puts a player in the game to do a job and the player doesn’t do it, how is that the manager’s fault? These guys are pro’s, and they get paid a lot of money to play baseball.
      (Example) If I saw a sudden need, for some other strategic or injury-related considerations, to put my left-handed specialist in to face the heart of a right-handed order, he’d still better go get those outs for me.

      I’ve seen managers who needed to be replaced because their temperaments or motivational skills were wrong for the job. Or sometimes you team changes (e.g. rebuilding) and you need someone who is in a different place with teaching skills.

      But the strategic aspects are overrated. The players should be covering those with their own skills.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    I think that Charlie was calling his critics “Bastardos” or something similar.

  4. atworkident - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Is that supposed to be odd that someone doesn’t like someone else second guessing them?

  5. timasahh - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    I love this comment and I’m glad Charlie has been sticking it to the critics. He’s had his share of bad decisions over the years, but I don’t see the point in second-guessing his every move, especially this season. If Bastardo doesn’t give up a run it’s a good decision. If Hamels stays in and gives up a run it’s a bad decision. If Mayberry puts a ball in play with a runner on third and less than two outs maybe there’s a different feel coming out of the game. If he puts Juan Pierre up to bat with two outs and he doesn’t get a hit then he should have kept Martinez in.

    My point – that this is just not a good ball club, and that’s the real underlying issue. The problem isn’t that Charlie pulled Hamels for Bastardo; the problem is that Bastardo is Manuel’s best option for the 8th inning. The problem isn’t that he let Martinez stay in the game. The problem is that his best options other than Jim Thome to save the game, after his players couldn’t get a guy in from third by simply putting a ball in play, are Juan Pierre, Mike Fontenot, both lefties against a lefty, or the lowly Martinez who is just as good at hitting from the right side of the plate as the Phanatic.

    Charlie gets frustrated because as the Manager he can’t say what everyone already knows – that this is a bad club with bad players and few underachieving good players. He hints at it every week, but he’s in a position where he needs to answer all of these questions after a game and can’t be honest or else risk losing the player’s trust. I think it’s absurd that so many people in Philly are calling for him to be fired. No one could make this team a good team at this point.

    • cleverbob - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      The Phanatic has a massive hole in his swing.

      • CJ - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        even so, the hole in Martinez swing is about 5x the size as the Phanatic himself.

    • mJankiewicz - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      Very well said. This team is just not that good. Leave Chuck alone already. He’s doing the best he can with the crappy hand he’s been dealt.

    • Joe - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      Nope, if he puts Juan Pierre up to bat and he doesn’t get a hit, you say, “Well, at least he tried to get the tying run in.” Leaving Martinez up there, a guy who’s hitting well under .200 and who, honestly, doesn’t belong anywhere near a major league batter’s box, in any situation, let alone one in which the game is on the line, was basically conceding the out. Anybody would have been a better option than Martinez, including the ball girl or a hot dog vendor.

      I agree that this isn’t a very good team, but that doesn’t mean that Cholly should get a free pass for making boneheaded decisions.

      • mJankiewicz - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        Charlie’s decisions are the least of this team’s problems. Every manager is going to make mistakes. There just aren’t that many good players on this team and that’s what you should be worried about.

        True, Martinez doesn’t belong on a big league roster… so why is he? It’s because Ruben has made poor personal decisions over the years. I really hope they trade a player or two for some talented prospects and attempt to get this team back on track for the playoffs next year.

      • timasahh - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        You make a good point, but we’re going to have to just agree to disagree. I’ll admit again that Charlie makes some questionable decisions at times, but the Phillies had nine innings to score more than two runs, and had the lead going into the eighth inning. All Bastardo has to do is get three outs to hold the lead, or all Mayberry has to do is put the ball in play and it’s a tied game. It’s easy to pick a scapegoat like Charlie to take all the blame, and its easy to boil down a loss to one play, but there’s more to it than that.

        In your own statement you say leaving Martinez in is conceding a loss. If their only right handed hitter in that situation against a hard throwing lefty is basically a guaranteed out, then that’s a personnel problem not a managerial problem. That to me is their main issue. Micro-managing can help win one game, but that stuff is negligent over the course of a season. Just look at the Phillies for the past four years under the exact same manager with the exact same philosophy.

        This reason that this team has consistently played poorly is because they’re a poor team. That’s what’s different this year. That’s why they’re losing. There’s nothing else to it, in my opinion.

      • Joe - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        mJankiewicz:

        I agree with everything you say here. My only point is that leaving Martinez in in that situation is a move (or non-move) that’s actually worthy of criticism. (Leaving Bastardo in after he walked two batters and it was obvious he had no control is another bad move, imo–though, yes, it’s a total crapshoot with that bullpen and it’s hard to really fault any choices there.)

        timasahh:

        I’m not trying to scapegoat Charlie. There’s plenty of blame to go around. But given the situation, and given the Phillies’ perfect 0-fer when trailing in the 8th inning, you gotta do better than leave in the worst hitter (by far) on the team just because he bats right handed and there’s a lefty on the mound. Yes, Martinez being on the team is a personnel problem, but he did have better options and he didn’t use them. And yes, it’s the same manager as the previous four years, but those teams were offensive powerhouses and/or had totally dominant starting pitching. It doesn’t take much managing skill to sit back and watch your offense score 10 runs or your starting pitcher throw a complete game shut-out.

  6. chadjones27 - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    “Tweeps?” Is that real? I guess it’s short for Twitter peeps? Which ‘peeps’ is obviously short for ‘people.’

    • Francisco (FC) - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      I read a blog that discusses Charlie Manuals decisions (or lack thereof) in all of the games. Yes, he’s made quite a few bad ones, but what Manager in MLB has NOT made mistakes? I think it would be neat to have that kind of analysis all season for every manager and then compare.

      • chadjones27 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        I think it’s getting to the point that no matter what decisions he makes, they’re the wrong ones. Leave Bastardo in, he gives a 3 run homer. Take him out, the next guys walks then a bases clearing double. You can’t fault the guy for a really bad bull pen. The whole team is playing bad right now.

  7. ditto65 - Jun 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    That wasn’t sarcasm. Cholly is lost and needs help.

    • CJ - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      I think he intended it to be sarcasm, but there’s definitely truth to it. Cholly is a great manager, players’ coach and ‘hitting guru’ with a lineup full of mashers and a rotation full of innings eaters. But with that said, being forced to play small-ball and manage bullpen matchups and such, well, that’s never been his strong suit, and that’s not about to change.

      He was the perfect hire at the time and got this team to a WS championship, and he’ll always be beloved in Philly for that (and for his priceless post game PCs and interviews, of course). However, his skills aren’t conducive to winning with this team as currently constructed, and Ryne Sandberg will be the coach of this team next year. I just hope they show Cholly some respect and let him finish out the year. He’s earned that much. I’m not saying Sandberg’s the answer and that he’ll turn things around, and I’m not saying he won’t. He’s done well enough in Lehigh to earn a lot of interviews elsewhere and they’ll move him into the big league manager’s spot so they don’t lose him to someone else.

  8. jmcnick - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    “Bomb”? First row home runs are not bombs.

    • CJ - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      did you actually see it? bounced off the guy’s hands in the first row and nailed a guy in the face in the second row and bringing him down in a heap. for a ball to do that from that distance on a deflection? I don’t care what row it is, that’s a bomb.

      notwithstanding that many announcers call all home runs “bombs”.

      • jmcnick - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        Yes CJ I did see it. It actually was hit into the second row, bounced forward to the front row and the fan made a one hande grab and threw it back onto the field in the same motion. Not a bomb, a CBP pop up homer. Still counts as 3 runs, just not a bomb.

    • firedude7160 - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      OK, maybe rocket would be a better term

      • firedude7160 - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        That was NOT a “CBP pop up homer”

  9. deepstblu - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    If Bill Veeck were still around, we probably would have already seen a game managed by Twitter (or maybe text messages).

  10. schmedley69 - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Most of the criticism from the media wasn’t for lifting Hamels. It was for a sequence in the bottom of the 8th where he pinch hit Jim Thome with runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs and Michael Martinez on deck. Joe Maddon naturally walked Thome to pitch to Martinez, who was 0 for his last 22. Inning over. Everyone in the ballpark knew that Maddon would walk Thome, except for Charlie. Then he lets Martinez bat. He could have batted Pierre in Thome’s place, then if he got on bring Thome up with the bases loaded to bad for Martinez. It was horrible managing, and he should be called out for it. Charlie has never been a great tactician, and never will be. The Phils can’t afford his blunders this year.

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