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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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Charlie's.... onto us?

It's extremely ironic how quickly Charlie Manuel managed to read these posts (let alone find this blog). How else could you explain his doing the exact opposite of everything that we've suggested over the course of 3 days?
1. Geoff Jenkins was never to be started again.
2. Pat Burrell was to remain in a useful spot in the lineup (in front of people with power).
3. Institute a take sign.
4. Stop using Jansas CityRomero against righties/ switch hitters.
5. Save Lidge for high-leverage situations.

Coincidence? Probably not, Manuel's just that dumb.

To expand on number 5, I was listening to 610 WIP on Saturday while Mitch Williams fielded callers' questions. An intelligent caller inquired as to why Manuel wouldn't use Lidge in the 8th inning of Friday night's game while the Phils were up by one run, with runners on 2nd and 3rd and Josh Hamilton (MLB leader in RBIs) up to bat. This stituation would have been a great time to bring in the closer (best reliever) to give the team the best chance to shut down the Rangers. We all know what happened after that. Mitch answered this question by saying, "closers should not be used in a non-save situation when he hasn't pitched in a while, so as not to waste him for the next day." He also sounded astonished at the thought that Lidge could pitch the 8th and 9th.

Upon hearing this, I became ecstatic. It only makes sense to win games that you have a chance of winning, and not to save players for future days (when you might be down even more, or up by an absurd amount). Also, since when can't closers go more than one inning, especially when being used VERY sparingly in recent games? After the call ended, Mitch went on to tell how he came in one game (as a closer), and pitched 6 innings. I was baffled at the sequence of the conversation. I wonder if Mitch would approve of the usage of Lidge tonight in a 5-run game (non save!!!!!!!!!!!) while being used sparingly in recent games.

This usage of Lidge also brings to mind how the closer last year (may he rest in peace) was led to injury by being used in ridiculous situations by Uncle Charlie. Leading up to the May 23rd injury when Myers came into the game with a 7-3 lead, he had been used for 5 multiple inning games in his previous 13 outings. At least if Lidge gets hurt, it'll probably be in a useless game.

In more positive news, Brett Myers was sent to AAA today. Who did the Phils bring up for him? JA Happ? Carlos Carrasco? A player they could bring in off the bench to pinch hit tonight? No one, that's who. This doesn't rest solely on Charlie Manuel, but why would the Phillies not want as many people as possible on their bench, when it is common knowledge how Manuel empties the bench at the drop of a hat.

Hey, they won despite all these problems!!! Those are some steep odds.