Charlie Manuel frequently makes poor strategic decisions. The 11-million dollar scoreboard in left field would probably do a similar job. We guarantee a post analyzing Manuel's decisions for every Phillies game. Please click on our aliases below to email us.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

If Charlie Manuel was in the AL so long, why can't he maximize the luxury of the DH?

This situation is why this blog exists. Charlie Manuel makes a dumb decision, and an even dumber rationalization: In Oakland, the first series of the year for the Phils with the DH available, Pat Burrell got all 3 starts in left field. For games 1 and 3, Jenkins (a faster outfielder than Burrell who can no doubt cover more ground) was the DH. The Phillies radio broadcast explained that Manuel did not want to DH Burrell because "Burrell isn't used to it." Not used to it??? A DH doesn't have any responsibilities besides batting 3-5 times per game. I'm pretty sure Burrell has played in games with 3-5 PAs before. Even if experience were a necessary ingredient to be a successful DH, Manuel's rationalization seems even dumber: Before the Oakland series, Patrick the Batrick had 22 starts as a DH. Jenkins? 3. And one was an all-star game. Nice, Charlie. Nice.

The decision to put Burrell in left led to the following situations.

In Game 1, Moyer allowed a single to start the 3-run seventh that cost the Phils the game. The single fell right in front of Burrell's glove. Had Jenkins been out there, he catches it. If Werth is out there, he catches it. Instead our worst outfielder allowed the ball to fall in, leading to the big inning.

In Game 2, Howard was the DH, despite the fact that first base is, by far, the least important position to upgrade defensively. Bruntlett, a fast player who has played left field this year, played first while Burrell remained in left. The Phils won the game but Kendrick lost his no-hitter in the fifth inning on a double over Burrell's head that Bruntlett could have run down. Kendrick won the game himself with no help from Manuel.

In Game 3, Jenkins again was the DH with Burrell in left field. It took only 2 batters for this move to hurt the Phils. Mike Sweeney drove in a run with a double over Burrell's head that Werth probably would have caught. Sweeney later scored in the inning. Granted, the Phils scored zero runs against Harden that day, but who knows what happens if Eaton got through the inning unscathed with Werth running down that ball.

As I write this post, Burrell is in left field at Texas, while Dobbs, a faster outfielder, is the DH. It's absolutely unbelievable that Charlie continues to get away with this extreme ineptitude. Oh wait, hes the cheapest manager in the league. Now it makes sense.

***Remember, Pat Burrell is the man who Manuel frequently removes from games in the 7th and 8th innings for defensive purposes.