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Should the Phillies fire Charlie Manuel now?

Aug 11, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer suggests that the Phillies should do right by Charlie Manuel and remove the uncertainty about his future by letting him go before the season is over.

Brookover writes:

Anything other than a harmonious conclusion would be sad and shameful, because the Phillies have meant so much to Manuel and vice-versa.

If the Phillies plan on keeping Manuel around for another year, which I do not think is the case, then they should get it done.

If they’re hoping for a smooth transition from Manuel to Sandberg and the current manager knows it, then why not get that message out to the public as soon as possible?

Manuel joined the Phillies after the 2004 season. Under his leadership, the Phillies have won 779 and lost 634 (.551). The Phillies won the NL East five years in a row from 2007-11, won the World Series in 2008, and tried unsuccessfully to repeat in 2009. This season portends to be the first losing season for the Phillies since Manuel took over.

The belief is that, after the Phillies move on from Manuel, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg — currently the third base coach and formerly the manager of the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs — will be installed as the new manager as the team begins a transitional period of sorts.

  1. zstark94 - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:47 PM


    • proudlycanadian - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Fire the GM first and let the new GM hire his own manager.

      • zstark94 - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:49 PM


      • scotttheskeptic - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:14 PM

        Could not agree more, and I hope that next manager is NOT Sandberg. He has left me thoroughly unimpressed.

  2. grissom103 - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    He shouldn’t be fired because you don’t want to tag Sandberg with the rest of this awful season. Let Sandberg start fresh next season.

  3. toodrunktotastethischicken - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Is Sandberg even the best option for the potential job?

    • scotttheskeptic - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      Absolutely not!

      • tuberippin - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:36 PM

        ^said the skeptic

      • scotttheskeptic - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:50 PM

        tube, my observations regarding Sandberg have been listed on multiple occasions. While the roster will probably not have much turnover, alas, I believe due diligence in a search for the manager is in order.

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        @scotttheskeptic I must have missed those, can you provide an overview? Personally I have not been impressed by his work as 3B Coach, if there were WAR for Coaches I think he’d be negative considering the number of times he’s sent a runner to get nailed at home plate, with the run being a difference maker in at least two occasions. By my subjective computation that amounts to -2 WAR, worse than Delmon Young.

      • scotttheskeptic - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        FC, 1) horrible decisions at third base (as you cite) tell me that he is either not paying attention to the scouting reports, or simply making very poor decisions; 2) it was stated in print that one of his functions when hired to the Major League staff was to improve the fundamental play of this team, and this team has regressed this year, and; 3) he clearly has had no effect on the behavior/character of this team, as it appears the players still do what they want, when they want. (Unfortunately it does not appear that they have even wanted to play.)

        And thanks for answering me directly last week. Sorry, I didn’t get back.

    • greymares - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      No and that’s not uncommon. name the last GREAT player that became a good manager.

      • caliphornian - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:49 PM

        Joe Torre?
        Kirk Gibson?
        Don Mattingly?

      • dondada10 - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        Frank Robinson.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 11, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        Red Schoendienst

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 11, 2013 at 11:25 PM

        Lou Piniella wasn’t a half bad player. Same with Don Baylor and Dusty Baker.

  4. natslady - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Wait, I thought we were busy firing Davey. And before that I thought we were busy firing Don Mattingly.

    Wait, are the Rays that bad? Or the Dodgers that good? Seems like just yesterday the Rays were on top of the pundits power rankings. I’m so confooooooooooooosed.

  5. sjhaack - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    No, the Phillies should not fire Charlie Manuel. He’s already a lame duck without a contract as it is. He should be treated with some dignity and respect from a franchise that had its best stretch in history with him as manager.

    • greymares - Aug 12, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      I don’t disagree but at this point and time a change is needed how long can you let the Jimmy Rollins lazy play or the John Mayberry head in the ass play or the many other things we all hate while watching this team. Please don’t give the job to Sandberg.

      • azvikefan - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:06 AM

        Let him go Philly! Then the Twins can finally get rid of Gardenhire and hire Charlie. He played for them in the 70’s

  6. misterj167 - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    It’s not his fault they signed those ridiculous contracts. I like Charlie, he’s a class guy and his Phillies have been a class act. I don’t think a new manager will make much of a difference, personally…

  7. cohnjusack - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    He should absolutely be fired. Any good manager would have found a way to make Howard, Halladay, Rollins and Utley 5 years younger. This is totally all his fault and their aging problem with be automatically solved by this move.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      I agree with you but they should wait for the end of the season. Why pay him to rock on a rocking chair at home and why saddle any interim manager with this crew, right?

      Also how hard does Benny the Jet work you? Like crazy hard?

  8. tcclark - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    You don’t fire him. He’s meant too much to this organization and he doesn’t deserve to be fired. With that being said, you do ask him to resign. Give him the opportunity to go out on his own terms and if he doesn’t you let him finish out the season. If he does, you put Sandberg in as the interim and you see how the team reacts. It could spark some energy and they could perform well. If that is the case, you remove the interim tag and next year he already has a good standing in the clubhouse and they have no excuses for starting out slowly. If they don’t perform well, then he wasn’t the right coach for this team, and you make an outside hire. Like it or not, next years team will look almost identical to this years team. Brown Revere and Ruf are penciled in the outfield and Howard, Utley, and Rollins are immovable. The only wiggle room is third base and catcher. The pitching staff with have some changes, primarily in the bullpen, but again. It will basically be the same team. The biggest change the team can make to change this roster is to hire a new coach. When the Phillies are having fun, they win. This team has gotten stale. They need some excitement, some change. I think Sandberg can be that guy, but we should give him a trial run.

  9. dondada10 - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    It isn’t hard to bait the HBT crowd. I can already see Craig’s first article tomorrow after ATH:

    “Would the Phillies Consider Hiring A-Rod to Manage Michael Young after Firing Charlie Manuel who is Pro-Gun Rights?”

  10. Kevin Gillman - Aug 11, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Charlie Manuel was in the same situation with the Indians in 2002. He asked then GM Mark Shapiro if they could discuss contract talks during the All-Star break, Mark denied that request, and Charlie then resigned, saying he can’t work under these conditions. Why hasn’t he done the same thing here? If they do fire Charlie, they should also fire Reuben, because he has done nothing the last two seasons, and the farm doesn’t have any help either right now.

  11. dsertnative59 - Aug 11, 2013 at 11:36 PM


  12. proudliberal85392 - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Don Mattingly.

  13. jimw81 - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    The problem with the phillies is the front office. it has gotten too stubborn. they learned it from their occupants across the street called the Philadelphia Flyers.

  14. rcali - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    If he was involved in signing Utley to a $27 million dollar extension, then yes.

  15. artfulme - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Blaming Cholly for the lousy personnel making up this roster is crazy. No manager could resurrect this group of aging has-beens. Jettisoning him now is saying the team’s play is his fault and he must pay the price.

    Even though he has been supplied with some star players and pitchers from 2007 forward, they are now overthehill…the fault of time and medical conditions, not his managing. No reason to spit in the face of the Phils possible winningness manager ever.

    The proper way to treat this man is to allow him to play out his contract , then move him upstairs and have Sandberg begin his managing after this season ends.

    THAT would be the classy way to do it. The reputation of this franchise during the last several years has been excellent no small part of which being the better way they treat ALL their people, on the field or off. Acting precipitously by firing Cholly would be of no benefit to the team or to its reputation among MLB players, coaches, scouts. and administrative people. There is no benefit to the W/L column. Sandberg will get his fresh slate without any bad feelings. That augers well for the franchise’s future.

    • greymares - Aug 12, 2013 at 8:30 AM

      move him upstairs ? to do what ? that would certainly be promoting the man to a level of incompetence. No if he can’t manage or coach the porch in Virginia is his next spot.

      • artfulme - Aug 13, 2013 at 10:59 PM

        The move upstairs to a golden age mini job would be a recognition of the FACT that his teams won more games while he was manager than any other manager of theirs. Like his managing or not, that is a fact.

        To ignore that would impress other members of MLB that this is NOT a class organization–a public relations disaster.

  16. moogro - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    “Under his leadership,” the Phillies…blah blah.

    I think it’s weak and misleading to use a tendentious phrase like that unless you also go on the record saying that manager’s leadership matters to a team’s record. If you don’t want to do that, “While managing” is better writing.

  17. sdelmonte - Aug 12, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    If the Phils aren’t really rebuilding, firing the manager doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

  18. dcfan999 - Aug 12, 2013 at 4:31 AM

    If Manuel gets the boot the nats could make a run at him with davey retiring think about it him and jayson werth reunited

    • chadjones27 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      What would that do? If he’s such a great hitting coach then what has he done for the Phillies hitting thus far? Why hasn’t he taught Howard how to get back his swing and lay off the crap? Why isn’t Mayberry the hitter everyone thought he was going to be?

  19. dsertnative59 - Aug 12, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    Earlier I put Yogi as a great player who went on to manage. Good is good, but it’s not great. So after reading other submissions I stick with Berra, and I can’t believe I’m putting in him in, but like Yogi Pete Rose was a great player who went on to manage. I’m a d’backs fan, love Gibson as our manager. He was a really good player, not great.

  20. 12strikes - Aug 12, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    The problem is that the coach and GM are not a good fit. The GM seems to make a lot of mistakes and the Coach is not the type of person that would tell the GM that.

    IF RAJ is going to stick around, the Phillies need a coach that can RAJ that a potential move is bad.

  21. joejaws75 - Aug 12, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Fire Amaro. Period. He put this dreck together

  22. deathmonkey41 - Aug 12, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Ruben Amaro is going to decree a koon-ut-kal-if-fee, at which point, Manuel and Sandberg will be given Lirpas and forced to fight to the death in the infield of Citizen’s Bank Ballpark. The victor shall hold the title of manager for the rest of the season. Sarge and Wheels will call the action.


    I really don’t know that much about Star Trek, but Wikipedia does.

  23. chadjones27 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    If the general concensus is that Sandberg is going to be the next manager, then I see merit in letting Charlie go. It’d be a pretty good tryout. If he doesn’t have the chops for it, then ownership can choose to look elsewhere.
    Plus, it’ll give hope to the fan base, false hope. I don’t think a manager change will do anything at all though. They’re dreadful to watch lately.

  24. chalkruz1989 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Charlie Manuel was a great manager with the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s a players-coach, but at the end of the day a coach is only as good as his players. Manuel has to manage a roster with overaged and overpaid players. Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley were responsible for bringing the Phillies to the World Series and competitive seasons.

    But, that time has come and gone, it’s time to move the said three along with Manuel and Rueben Amaro Jr. Bring in a new manager with a fresh, young team that’s hungry.

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