Time May Be Up for Charlie Manuel
Changes, they are a coming my friends, like it or not. And it usually starts with the manager, deserved or undeserved. For a team that started the 2012 season with playoff aspirations, nine games under .500 at the midway point of the season is simply unacceptable.
The 2012 Philadelphia Phillies can spread the blame anywhere from GM Ruben Amaro and the seeming lack of urgency and preparation leading into this season, to the injury bug that has hit the phillies with its biggest stars. But at the end of the day, with all the different elements that make up a major league baseball season, it's the managers job to manage them all and Charlie Manuel has failed to do so.
Viable sources have told 97.3 that Charlie Manuel's job could be in jeopardy due to bad managing decisions and a disconnected clubhouse. With every game, there seems to be yet another game changing decision that we question from Manuel. Has this year exposed Charlie's managing weaknesses, or has the new collection of players simply tuned him out? Not to use age as an excuse, but sadly I'm going to use age as an excuse! He's getting older and I don't see a hunger or urgency in him that was once there. Sometimes it's hard to get it back once you've tasted success as much as he has here in Philadelphia. He's been a successful manager and the right manager for the phillies teams of the past, no one can question that. He's won a world series here and his laid back approach has always allowed players the freedom to work through their problems at the plate or in the field. But this year is different, with different challenges, and different players. And Charlie's best attribute in the past, his ability to connect with his players and build relationships, doesn't seem to be the answer for the many questions this team has.
Now on a five game losing streak with no answers in sight, it seems it's time for a new voice, a new culture, and a new energy in the clubhouse if this season is to be salvaged. This team has lost it's way and the captain at the wheel doesn't have a compass. There's still a lot of baseball to be played and this team doesn't lack in talent, they lack in leadership. Yes, everyone in the Phillies organization should be accountable for the poor play on the field this season, but at the end of the day, this team has talent and has been in numerous close games with a chance to win that the blame has to be put on the manager's late game decisions. Charlie, thank you for the memories, it's been a fun ride.
Moving forward, I think I heard about this pretty good manager in the minors that was also a pretty good major leaguer in his day too. He might be interested if a managing vacancy came available in Philadelphia. Anyone have Ryne Sandberg's number??...