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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Friday, September 28, 2012

Game 153: Blown call dooms Phils, Manuel doesn't argue (77-76)

The Phillies' comeback ended Sunday afternoon, when they fell to the Braves 2-1 and the Cardinals extended their wild-card lead to 5 games over Philadelphia. There were no in-game mistakes from Manuel in this one; however, his reaction to a horribly missed call from home plate umpire Scott Barry, who should be this team's most hated umpire, underscores the mediocrity that has defined the 2012 Phillies.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning, John Mayberry led off with a base hit. Kevin Frandsen then tried to bunt his way on base, but the ball bounced up and hit his left knee. When the ball contacted his leg, both of Frandsen's feet were in the batter's box. The part of his leg contacted by the ball was over the batter's box, as well. In other words, it was an obvious foul ball. Scott Barry saw this as an opportunity to make the game about himself, and called Frandsen out for interference, which is a less-than-seldom used call on a bunt that bounces up and hits the batter. The reason why it is seldom called: it is nearly impossible to vacate the batter's box quickly enough while still getting hit by your own bunt.

This turned a potential rally into a man on first base with one out and the pitcher coming to the plate. Manuel emerged from the dugout for about 4 seconds, presumably to ask Barry what-the-hell-just-happened. There was no arguing from the manager, even though Frandsen was obviously angered by the call. This man is billed as a hitting guru and a player's manager; he is neither.

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