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Charlie Manuel is getting testy

Jun 13, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT

Charlie Manuel

From Matt Gelb’s article in the Philly Inquirer, here’s Charlie Manuel’s response to a totally reasonable question about, perhaps, moving Ryan Howard and his one homer in the past 111 at bats out of the cleanup spot:

“What the [expletive] are you getting at?” Manuel said. “Who’s going to hit there? Let me ask you a question. Let me turn that around some. Write what you want to write.”

It was suggested that Domonic Brown could bat there.

“I could put anybody in there, OK?” Manuel said. “Really, if you think about it. I’ll do the managing. Whoever hits there, hits there.”

It’s not Manuel’s fault that he’s got one legitimate power threat these days and so much aging, expensive and often injured baggage filling out the roster. But it is his obligation to keep his cool, isn’t it? To be the guy who keeps his players’ spirits up even as the team’s winning-percentage goes down?

Sounds like that’s becoming increasingly difficult. It also sounds like a manager who is slowly starting to realize that there does not appear to be a resurgence in sight for the Phillies as we’ve known them for the past several years.

  1. specialkindofstupid - Jun 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Was there anything leading up to this outburst? Was the question before this one something like, “Charlie, you look fat in those pants. Thoughts?”

    I guess I just always thought of Manual as laid-back. This seems like something Ozzie Guillen would have said, not Charlie Manual.

    • paperlions - Jun 13, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      I would guess that it is just the barrage of daily questions he is probably getting about the lineup or particular players. To some degree, he is right…moving Brown up won’t have much effect besides getting him about 3 more PAs/month. There isn’t anything magical about batting “clean up”.

      • bleedgreen - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Especially when no one in front of you is getting on base. Cleanup is only a thing if you have 1 or more guys on base in front of you.

      • paperlions - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        Yep, and they’ve smartly got their only 2 guys with decent OBP hitting 1st and 3rd most days, but when only 1 guy in your lineup has an OBP > .330 (and that is just .352), you don’t exactly have guys on base all day.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        Also adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Charlie is destroyed on a regular basis by the Philly media for mismanagement of the bullpen, as well as bench players. The Philly media is much like NY and Boston. They will pester you until you give them something like this to feed their desire for crap. The Phillies are a mess and Charlie has been at least a part of the problem, and he knows it.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 13, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      why can’t Charlie ask the smarty pants reporter the same question, he’s a man to ask
      a manager who won a WS series a question about his lineup, take the heat now.

  2. commonsenseisnotcmonman - Jun 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    For the life of me I still can’t figure out why Brown is batting 5th. The only spots that are moving constantly are pretty much every spot except 4/5.

    At least give us some reasonable answers instead of getting flippant about it…

    • specialkindofstupid - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      The only theory I have is Manual realizes if he swapped Brown and Howard in the lineup, Howard wouldn’t be very good protection for Brown. However, Brown IS good protection for Howard, and Manual is hoping Howard bounces back. And giving Howard protection in the lineup helps make that bounce back more possible (though unrealistic).

      • flamethrower101 - Jun 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        That actually makes sense. But then, when was the last time the Phillies did anything that made sense?

  3. chadjones27 - Jun 13, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Did he follow that up with, “hey you kids, get off my yard!”
    argle bargle

  4. mdpickles - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    It’s a desperate attempt to light a fire under his team and his freaking GM! Charlie is well aware that this is his last year if this team doesn’t perform. Does he deserve the blame? No, that falls on RAJ.

  5. mybrunoblog - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Your attention please, ladies and gentleman. Now warming up in the bullpen, number 23 Ryne Sandberg.

    • paperlions - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      Poor Sandberg. Always sucks when your first, long-awaited managerial job is for a team for which expectations don’t match the talent.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        A) So your suppostion is that this team had a lot of “expectations” for 2013?
        B) Plenty of managers started with teams well below .500
        C) he was ticked he did not take over the 75-87 Cubs

      • paperlions - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        A) I think the Philly fan base expects to win every year
        B) Yes, and most of those guys don’t get a chance with a decent club if their first experience as manager isn’t with a winning club
        C) No, he wasn’t, which is why he left, they weren’t even interested in interviewing him for the job.

      • ryanrockzzz - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        mmhmm…Although any 1st time manager will have a hardly ideal situation. Funny thing is though, I don’t think the Phillies will turn to Sandberg if Charlie gets let go, mainly because RAJ may be let go if this continues as well.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 13, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        Terry Francona….whitey Herzog….

        Sandburg left the Cubs because he passed over for managing them. And if he is passed over for the Phillues, he will leave here too

  6. buddysguys - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    im ready to move on from Charlie

    • greymares - Jun 13, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      I’m for keeping Charlie and moving on from Rollins, Howard, Young,Young, Mayberry, Revere, Ruiz, Nix, Martinez, and Kratz. notice there is no Utley on my list I’m the 1 guy in the world that thinks he is still the catalyst of the offense. Plus i’m not ready to get rid of any pitchers yet because i haven’t finished my evaluations of them.

  7. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Ohhh, Charlie’s sacred lineup. He’s been defending it for years! If it’s not Rollins leading off, it’s Utley hitting 2nd, Howard hitting behind Burrell, Ruiz batting 4th, Revere leading off. Maybe it’s an old-school thing that us lawn-steppers can’t comprehend, but I will never understand why moving certain guys around in a lineup is such a big deal. Is a poor 100 AB’s not enough of a trend to move a guy out of the top 4?? If he starts hitting, then move him back up. No big deal.

    They talked about this on the TV broadcast. Sarge’s answer, holy shit, it was something like “well, you want him there because if he starts hitting…” There seems to be a lot of belief, especially around the front office and coaches, that Howard will return to 2009 form. Between his ankle, his knee, and just his overall approach at the plate the last 2 seasons, if you think he’ll return to hitting 40 HR’s anytime soon then you’re insane. He digressed way faster than anyone expected. Accept it and deal with it. But putting him out there everyday and batting him 4th like there’s nothing wrong is stupid and insane.

  8. mungman69 - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Phillies aren’t going anywhere and with all of the contracts the Phillies can’t change much.

    • ryanrockzzz - Jun 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      Halladay, Utley, Ruiz, and Young are all coming off the books after this season. If they find any sort of takers for Rollins/Papelbon in the offseason, they’d have a decent amount of financial flexibility. Howard/Hamels/Lee have the big deals, but two out of those three are still productive, and Howard has obviously been playing on one good leg this year. He should of been DL’d a month ago. So I think it’s a a common theme to think the Phillies will be hamstrung, but with a tv deal on the horizon, and some money coming off the books, they may be able to retool over time.

  9. dluxxx - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    It doesn’t matter who they put in the cleanup spot against that potent Twins pitching attack!

  10. kevinbnyc - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    “‘What the [expletive] are you getting at?’ Manuel said.”

    That Ryan Howard isn’t good enough to bat cleanup?

  11. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Just an FYI, as to why a higher OBP is more important:

  12. jimmywho14 - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    You’d be testy to if you had to keep putting Revere out there, and having to go to the slop he has in the bullpen

    • paperlions - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Remember when the Phillies got Revere and fans were all excited because they thought for some reason that he was going to hit? Good times.

      • drunkenhooliganism - Jun 13, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        No. No one remembers any Phillies’ fan, ever, being excited about a giving up Worley and a prospect for a guy with a career 320 OBP and 320 slugging and zero career homers.

        It wasn’t even about giving up Worley and May (was it May?), it was that Ruben dedicated a starting spot to a guy who can’t hit and therefore would stop looking for offense.

        No one liked this move. not then. not now.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        Umm, no?…

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/06/phillies-acquire-center-fielder-ben-revere-from-twins/comment-page-1/

        Mostly negative… My words were “zero offense.”

      • paperlions - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        There were a lot of positive comments in there, and any time I pointed out that Revere couldn’t hit, there was vehement disagreement from some….though, yes, not all.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        2 good comments from Phillies fans.

      • paperlions - Jun 13, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        Did you look at both pages of comments?

      • greymares - Jun 13, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        I was happy about the Revere trade. why would i think he couldn’t hit when he hit .294 last year in the supposed harder league to hit in. why would you(paperlions) think he couldn’t hit.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        “fans were all excited because they thought for some reason that he was going to hit?”

        This is what you said. Most anything good said about Revere was from a Twins fan or someone saying he’s an asset in the field or on the bases. If you read all the comments, with the numerous ones hating the trade or saying Revere provides no offense, and you still support your first comment, then, you fucking win, dude.

  13. scotttheskeptic - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Some general replies:
    1) Charlie’s comments included concern about, “every one of our guys.” Which speaks to
    2) md’s comment about this roster being Amaro’s fault. That is correct. And if anyone can decipher any hints of a plan in building the roster these last 2 seasons, please explain. Finally,
    3) paperlions, those fans who expect the Phils to win every year have a Date if Fan Birth c. 2008. The rest of us have been scratching our heads about the future since the 2010 NLCS.

    • paperlions - Jun 13, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      3 is a good point.

  14. Marty McKee - Jun 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Charlie Manuel is an idiot who thought Joey Votto was not good enough to play in the All-Star Game the year Votto won the NL MVP award.

  15. natslady - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    As long as Craig is trolling, don’t some people measure the manager by whether the team outperforms it’s Pythagorean?

    Nats 32-32. By Pythagorean, should be 29-35. Davey says, “Let blowouts be blowouts.” I mean, he didn’t actually say that, but…

    Barves 39-27 should be 40-26. So who needs Fredi?
    Also, a great hitting approach.
    as per David O’Brien,
    With runners in scoring pos., Freeman is 24-for-53, Laird 5-for-9, and rest of #Braves are 78-for-408 (.191) with 126 strikeouts.
    Also, since April 16, Barves are 27-26. The Nats haven’t had a hot streak yet, but they will. (I hope!)

  16. natslady - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    its. I hate myself. ;)

    • natslady - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Oh, the heck with it. This showed up the the Cholly thread, should have been in the All-Star manager thread. WordPress, what the???????

  17. zemongoose - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    The problem isn’t Charlie. Given the garbage roster he’s had to deal with, he’s actually gotten this team to overachieve.

    The problem is the Phillies let nepotism get in the way of proven competence when they gave the GM job to Amaro instead of Mike Arbuckle (the guy who drafted the core of the Championship roster). All Amaro, Scott Proefrock and Benny Looper bring to the table is smug incompetence.

  18. kbmichaluk - Jun 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Charlie is about as competent as Ozzie Osbourne. I think it’s time to hang up the lineup card and XXXL jersey come offseason time.

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