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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Monday, July 2, 2012

Game 80: Phils terrible record in 1-run games continues (36-44)

The Phils lost Saturday afternoon when they decided to run wild against one of the best pickoff moves in the game from Mark Buehrle. This resulted in two pickoffs for Buehrle, both in innings where the Phillies did not score after the baserunning mistakes.

I said to my brother in the middle of the 2nd inning, "they just should not try to steal against this guy." This was during Ty Wigginton's at-bat with Hunter Pence on first base. Pence, who steals bases at a 63% rate for his career (an unacceptable number to be running against a LHP with one of the best moves in the game) decided to take off for second base on a 3-2 count. Due to the count, I suspect this came from the dugout (run to avoid the double play). Wigginton has a decent walk rate this year, and since Buehrle is smarter than Manuel, he simply threw to first base to get Pence (who inexplicably was running on first movement). Pence caught stealing for the second out of the inning. The next pitch to Wigginton? Ball four. More terrible managing from Manuel, and more hideous baserunning from Pence, acquired from the Astros to replace a cost-controlled 23-year-old because Dom Brown didn't have good fundamentals. 

Somehow, with two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Cole Hamels got picked off with 2 outs as the only baserunner. He was on first base, and the count to Rollins was 2-1. Incredibly, Hamels broke for second base and was nabbed easily by Buehrle. If they are hitting-and-running in this situation, someone needs to be fired. If not, then someone needs to be held accountable for this insane strategy of not-giving-Hamels-the-hold-sign. If Hamels missed the hold sign, then it's unacceptable that he doesn't know he should SELDOM try to steal bases, especially against Buehrle, and especially that the Phillies are trying to trade him for value.

Monday would be the ideal day to fire Manuel. They are coming home for an off-day Monday before heading to Shea Stadium on Tuesday. Fire him now, at the exact halfway point of the season, and bring someone -- anyone -- else to manage this team. If nothing else, the games will be shorter because the strolls to the mound will be quicker.


Robby Bonfire said...

Yes, this is absolutely the time to fire this klutz. The team has quit on him. This season is beyond "damage control." And this "wizard" keeps pushing the lowest percentage "strategic" buttons on the planet.

And while they are at it, they should throw out the pansified GM, unless it is Phillies ownership which is restraining him from doing his job, for some convoluted reason.

Damn, the inside story on this epic farce would be fascinating to get in on. Who the hell does Charlie The Butcher know that he is never held accountable for gross incompetance?

hk said...


I agree with everything you say, especially the part about the GM also getting canned. Also, there's no way that ownership is restraining him unless you consider them (possibly) telling him that he cannot exceed the luxury tax as restraining him. When I consider that RAJ took over the defending World Champions who, at the time, had a sub-$100M payroll, a number of All Stars in their prime years (or in the case of Hamels, not quite there yet) and an open checkbook when the rest of the industry was cutting costs due to the financial crisis*, I cannot qualify making him adhere to the luxury tax limit as restraining him. He is just as inept as the man about whom this blog is written. In fact, I would argue that he has been more inept, after all, he's the one who extended Charlie's contract.

* According to payroll figures that I got from Cot's, in the three full years under RAJ's leadership, the Phils payroll jumped by 67% while the average payroll of the other 29 teams grew by less than 3%.

Robby Bonfire said...

Only the Yankees can get away with runaway payroll stupidity. Yet even the Yankees have done poorly, by their remarkably high standards, winning their most recent two championships three years ago, and 12 years ago.

From this we can see there is a steep price to pay for reckless spending, and how the strategy of trying to buy championships is ludicrous in an era where we now have 10 (going on 16) playoff teams. You can dominate from April through early October and still come up empty.

I pity the Phillies, they are old, over-priced, uninspired, default managed on the field at the present time, and pitifully administered at the top. Some really lean years coming right up on the horizon.

Football will definitely be king in Philadelphia again if the Eagles show anything, this coming season. At least with the Eagles the striving for excellence and the making of wholesale, mandated changes, from year to year, is pro-active.

Francisco said...

Baseball cycles are longer than football cycles simply because it takes more time to develop talent. Most NFL Drafts can be impact players the same year they are drafted, Baseball, not so much, though if you're lucky you'll get a guy who gets the nod in two years.

Robby Bonfire said...

Good point, Francisco, and in fact the longer development cycle in baseball is exactly why teams should not tread water when major changes are mandated. It is going to take the Phillies five years to recover from the RAJ - Manuel devastating damage, and RAJ will probably be retained for another 15years, as this organization has no standards of performance it applies to anyone, on the field on in management.