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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Game 162: Phils fire 3 coaches, none named Manuel (81-81)

Of course the Phillies begin the offseason today by firing coaches Pete Mackanin, Greg Gross, and Sam Perlozzo, as if they were more important to this team's failure than Charlie Manuel (or even Juan Samuel). This means that Ryne Sandberg will likely become the bench coach for 2013 and, since it is the last year of Manuel's contract, the manager for 2014. Hopefully, Sandberg is okay with that plan, because I sure as hell wouldn't be happy to have to wait around another full year while Manuel continues to kill the Phillies' playoff-chances.


Robby Bonfire said...

See, if Manuel does come back, it serves as confirmation that he has no professional pride, no conscience, and no leadership instincts - starting with his not having the integrity to accept full responsibility for his major role in this and past season's travesty's and the top-to-bottom organization failure he is one of the two major catalysts for, apart from the default, somnambulistic, pansified ownership of this team.

Charlie Manuel is the most ruthlessly opportunistic and disgustingly selfish human being I have come to be aware of in my lifetime, outside of politics, where blaming others for your crass failures is routinely par for the course.

This man's first failure is his utter lack of any baseball knowlege or sophistication, beyond the grade school playground level.

And secondly, never in any domain of public life have I witnessed such awkward, abysmally poor communication capability with his players who obviously have zero input as regards the process of his systematically grinding them down to powder as though they are machines, not flesh and blood human beings with mental, physical, and emotional ups and downs related to their professional careers and private lives.

If there were not bigger problems we all have to deal with in the real world, this man's retention, for yet another season of his homespun stumbling and fumbling around like a drunk in a stupor, and banal, sophomoric, media-accomodating platitudes would be depressing, beyond belief. Guess we just have to keep reminding ourselves that sports is just the toy department of life and suffer interminably for our addiction to it.

Robby Bonfire said...

The "significance" of the N.L. "Wild Card Game"...

If the Cardinals win they are merely five games inferior to the Braves over 163 games, instead of six games inferior over 162 games.

Thanks for all this sitcomm canned laughter level mentality, trumped-up "excitement" Bud and you hot shot ratings wizards down at the network. Where would baseball be without you plastic, tisle-waving superficial sob's, anyway? Real pennant races? - damn, we can't afford to just have those, any more.

Thanks for "saving" the season and the economic viability of the sport, in the process. Can we just have 16 teams in the playoffs next year so that the regular season can mean 60 per cent less than it did, this year, and get it over with?

You guys don't have any daughters who are street hookers, by any chance, or are you the only whores in your respective families?

Henry Rowengartner said...

Even better, it looks like we are not going to have a bench coach at all (I read that Ryne will be the third base coach). Let's just let Charlie do whatever the hell he wants. I'm sure that will go swimmingly.

Robby Bonfire said...

I have a sterling idea. Hire a good bench coach and tell The Human Mule to just take a nap on the bench the entire game - every game, the bench coach will make all the in-game decisions. That way you can pay your de facto manager a coach's salary, you don't have to hurt The Human Mule's feelings by giving him "The Boston Treatment," and you vastly improve your team's chances of having a half-decent season, in 2013.

You can also schedule a parade down Broad Street for The Human Mule, soon as the Phillies finish at .500 and just miss the playoffs, next year. So that everyone fixated upon a mediocre outcome in Philadelphia goes home happy.

Then, of course we can - for the price of a grilled cheese sandwich on rye, and a flat, warm beer in a styrofoam cup, bribe the Philadelphia media to start lobbying for The Human Mule's election to the HOF, where he rightly belongs. Works for me.

Robby Bonfire said...

Who says The Human Mule will NOT be extended beyond the 2013 season? He ain't quitting, and he will never be fired, so why the rash presumption that he will be gone any time between now and his 95th birthday?

The Human Mule IS Philadelphia baseball. Those guys from Mack to Schmidt were just holding down the fort, a little bit.

Robby Bonfire said...

Here are the odds to win the WS, as listed at, just one hour prior to the first game of the post-season, St. Louis vs. Atlanta...

Washington 5-1
NYY 5-1
Cincinnati 11/2
A's 6-1
Detroit 6-1

San Fran 7-1
Texas 8-1
Atl 12-1
Balt 15-1
St.Louis 15-1

I am going to hedge a bit by "dutching" eight units on the A's to win it all; and by "dutching" seven units on the Giants to do the same, so that if either one wins out, my profit is the same.

I also like Baltimore and Atlanta quite a bit, but can't take them due to the fact that they need to survive four rounds to get to the winners circle, not that it won't happen, especially if Atlanta beats St.Louis today, but before the fact that is a big "if" that can backfire. Just as with the horses and with stocks, I look for value not for the most likely winner. The name of the game is making money, not picking a high percentage of winners and losing money over the long run.

Texas looks like the worst odds proposition on the board, at 8-1 and needing to win four rounds to win it all. If you assign them a 1/2 chance of winning each round their chances of success would be 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/16, or 15-1 odds, so that the 8-1 odds being offered on them are a joke and represent a big house edge.

Some other observations...

Washington is cold and at low odds.

Cincinnati is hot but also at short odds.

Detroit is the "dark horse" just rounding out the field.

And, as always, who the hell knows how to handicap the New York Yankees in the post-season? They either bomb early or stay for a big late run, depending on whether their perpetual old age and injury factors offset their incredible "pride" and confidence factor. I wouldn't bet on them or against them, directly, in any given series. Too bad Mike Scioscia and the Angels are not around to kick their little asses in the post-season, yet again

Robby Bonfire said...

Can "Fumbles" Vick be The Human Mule's third baseman, next year? All he does is cost his team games, which is not a problem for professional sports teams based in Philadelphia, so long as the player has a big fat-long-term contract he never should have been tendered.

Foles will be 28 before they give him the Kevin Kolb -
"You get to age on the bench with us for a few years before we dump you for a nickel on our investment dollar in you."

Hey, come on, all he did was fumble twice and cost us the game. It's not like he threw three INT's and coughed it up three times, and we still won, you know. Hey, HE'S MY GUY, come on, Andy, you can say it!

He's My Guy translation: "He can't do the job, but I'm sticking with him because he buys my lunch and the boss will never fire me, either. We don't need to win anything to hold our job in Philadelphia, that's New York big-town stuff. Let them live on sirloin, we can live on cheese steak around here - where's the dip?

Robby Bonfire said...

Makes you laugh to think of how roundly criticized Tony LaRussa was for his "over-managing." Last night, even after the Cardinals took the lead, you couldn't get the Washington manager, with the season on the line, to even pop out of the dugout. This has to go down as one of the 10 worst default mananaging fiascos in the history of the sport. I swear I kept thinking, "Is 'The Human Mule' phoning this napping on the bench reticense in?"

Also, this game demonstates why both network and local baseball announcers are absolute crap, these days.

Not once did the network radio guys suggest that perhaps the manager should make a move. All they suggested was that "This pitcher is gassed." Freakin' lackeys, never critical of any aspect of the game, on or off the field.

And of course all local announcers are syrup-dispensing "homers" now, if they want to keep their job. If their is a worst broadcasting/homer team than that of the New York Mets, that would be interesting to know.

Bad game, travesty managing, "In the tank for MLB" announcing = disgraceful all around. Plus a team which finished way up the track in the regular season, advances, yet again, in a short series. Whoop-de-doo, Bud, you Communist. They think everybody and everything is equal, too, starting with horse manure being equal to the Hope Diamond.

hk said...

The biggest "Mule"-like managing travesty of the series was that Davey Johnson used his closer to finish the 8-0 loss in Game 3, which seemingly left Storen gassed in Game 5 after he also pitched in Game 4. The funny thing is that I haven't read anywhere that Johnson was even questioned about this move in the media. I am very interested to hear why he did this. It could not - or at least should not - have been "to get Storen some work" as Storen had already saved Game 1. With his team about to go down 2 games to 1, how did he not realize that Storen would almost certainly be needed in Games 4 and 5 if the Nats were going to win the series?

Robby Bonfire said...

Yes, and why any manager, with the season on the line, would borrow one of the worst pages from The Human Mule's "playbook" goes beyond The Twilight Zone for lunacy.

And what is with the media which is in the tank for wretched managing, these days? Or is it MLB they are in the tank for, same as the disgusting, used car salesmen broadcasters?

Robby Bonfire said...

As regards the Eagles, damn shame Vick makes one or two good plays per game to save his lame ass for starting yet another game, the following week.

But the one I really want to dump on, right now, is Reid, and I am not a Reid basher, at least not before this year. But not giving either back-up QB a single snap in these games is short-sighted as hell. When (not "if") Vick becomes injured, again, as all scrambling/roll-out QB's do, neither back-up will be ready. This is as short-sighted and self-defeating as it gets.

Eagles desperately need to move on beyond the Reid-Vick connection. They are the clowns in a three-ring circus.

Jeffrie Lurie better keep his word that at 8-8 for the season, Reid is gone. But he won't, is my guess. Why the Eagles season has to become an extension of the Phillies disastrous, ever- disintegrating season is beyond me?

hk said...

The more time that passes, the more that Andy Reid reminds me of Charlie Manuel. The Juan Castillo firing is right out of Charlie's manual if you will. It's in the chapter titled, "When things go sour, find a scapegoat." Meet Juan Castillo, the Milt Thompson of the NFL.

Robby Bonfire said...

Yes, HK, and it may be coming too late to save Reid's bacon, but, damn, a Philadelphia sports team actually addressing a major problem area with a change! Plus it sounds like Foles will at least be getting some playing time.

If Foles steps in and does a good, solid job, the Eagles are contenders again. Right now they are not there.

Robby Bonfire said...

Really dismayed re the 76ers trading Vucevik. The damaged goods they got, to go with far too much roster turnover for one off-season, could make for some out-of-sync embarrassment, early.

I just don't like this team's playground, pick-up team lack of chemistry. At least Allen is getting some significant playing time.

Collins is a puke when it comes to treating kids like garbage. Allen is lucky, Vucevik and Brackins got shafted by Collins. This season looks like three steps forward, last year, and 5-7 steps backward, this year.

Robby Bonfire said...

Just think, if A-Rod have hit on a man, instead of a hot babe, the media would be "celebrating" his "coming out." Go A-Rod!

Anyway, it's great listening to whining Yankee fans, today, the most obnoxious sports fans on the planet when things are going their way. NOTHING would be better for baseball than the Yankees not making it to the WS for the next 30years.

By the way, if the Cardinals do get to the WS, (and no reason for anyone to quit on the Giants, just yet, they are the better team given regular season results), do you realize that this expanded playoff joke will have TWO 88-win teams in the WS? This is a travesty and a joke that is an absolute nightmare to the two of us out here who are still "purists" - my cat "Panther" and me. He hates "Trailer Trash" Selig almost as much as I do. I trained him well.

Andy Musser said...

Bonfire, I know you hate Reid, but I know you love futures. The Eagles are currently +300 to win the division. The Giants are -120. Since the Eagles have the tiebreaker (and Andy Reid never loses after the bye OR at home vs. Atlanta), +300 is incredible value. I only wish I knew someone in Las Vegas currently.

hk said...


I don't think the Eagles will win the division and I would lay 3:1 to the Eagles don't win the division. However, I do think there's a pretty good chance they'll beat Atlanta, so I would make a small bet against them now at 3:1 and, if they beat Atlanta, bet more against them, probably at ~2.5:1.

You mention that the Eagles have the tie-breaker over the Giants. While this is true right now, it is also misleading since the Eagles still have to play the Giants on the road, a game in which the Giants will surely be favored.

Robby Bonfire said...

Well, if the Eagles beat Atlanta, currently my pick to win the Super Bowl, that will be as big a statement as the Monday night loss we pinned on the NY Grunts - quite impressive.

Andy your handicapping logic makes great sense, so that you could open an offshore account and get down on the propositions and the futures you like, without going to Las Vegas.

It is still legal for individuals to do that, what is illegal is banks making the transfers. My understanding from a long-time media and gaming industry friend in Las Vegas is that "They" will not bother you so long as your bets are of modest proportion.

I don't hate Andy Reid. I just don't rank him among the top echelon of NFL coaches. His conservatism, including his refusal to even test other QB's under game conditions is maddening, given how hot and cold the starting QB alternately is.

Unproductive, washed-up veterans have dragged down many a manager in baseball and coach in football -those lacking the guts to make the change before they too, get swept out with the tide. Inflexible Andy Reid is on that fast track to oblivion. Who, other than Andy Reid, would be willing to stake his career and his future on the ragged, sloppy, and panicky play of Michael Vick? It's nuts!

This team will emerge as a solid contender again when it goes to an NFL pocket passer type, and gets the hell away from the roll-out/scrambling college-style QB mentallity. The Philadelphia Eagles game plan approach makes them look more like the Boston College Eagles on any given Sunday.

Robby Bonfire said...

hk - good technical betting point re the Eagles having to play at New York, before this season is over. In fact, home NFL teams in a revenge game are one of the most solid bets in all of football.

The Giants will be ready for the Eagles, no doubt. But will the Eagles be ready for the Giants? Lots of doubt if Vick is still the QB, and unless he gets hurt it looks like he will be, amazingly enough.

I would not take the Giants and lay the points, but will never squander a dime betting on a Michael Vick-led team, so that game, for me, is a pass, understanding the Giants could cover by 14+ points.

Scott Graham said...

While I like Andy Reid, and think he IS in the top tier of coaches (the Eagles winning % over his tenure is pretty damned good), it drives me absolutely crazy that he doesn't establish the run more.

He has pretty much always had very reliable RBs. He has either had a beastly offensive line (a good portion of the Runyan era), or an offensive line that has trouble pass blocking (currently). Add that to the fact that Michael Vick probably should not be relied upon to through the ball 50 times a game, and it is very annoying watching the Eagles play football.

Give the ball to your elite back, help the QB by not asking him to do everything, and help the offensive line by allowing them to run block.

Scott Graham said...


hk said...

If we only look at a coach's winning % during his tenure, we would conclude that Charlie Manuel is a pretty darn good manager. After all, Charlie is tied with the 26th best winning % of all time. However, we both know that there is more to assessing a coach or manager than winning %. In Reid's case, I think he rode the coattails of a great defensive coordinator and the franchise's best QB ever for many years. He also benefited from a weak division, putting his team in position to thrive in the regular season, but lose games that they should have won in the post-season. In the post-Jim Johnson era during which the Giants have had a real QB, Reid's record has fallen off, especially if you discount it for the 7 combined wins the Eagles had after being eliminated in 2007 and last year.

As I told you last year, my now 11-year old would be your research assistant if you ever wanted to start a blog called, "Andy's Mis-Reid" or something to that effect. I think you could make it as compelling of a read as this blog.

Scott Graham said...

Your statement might be fair, hk, but the phillies were also a team loaded with top talent for a few years. I don't think the Eagles have had the bet team in the league for more than maybe one year.

Reid hires the coaches, and his record vs. the NFC East is pretty good even during the post-Johnson/post-mcnabb/Eli era

hk said...

I do agree that Reid > Manuel, but as you know, that is pretty faint praise coming from me. I think Reidis advantage is that he's been very good from 4PM on Sunday until 1PM on the following Sunday whereas I think Charlie is probably asleep from 11PM after a game until 7PM the next day. I think the similarity between the two is that they are both brutal in-game managers.

Robby Bonfire said...

I give Reid a "B" for career performance. I give Manuel an "F" as in the worst travesty of a major league manager in the history of the game. He couldn't manage my home town Little League team, if I were the Mayor.

Robby Bonfire said...

Other Eagles QB's deserving all-time recognition include:

1. TOMMY THOMPSON: Blind in one eye, he led the Eagles to three consecutive NFL title games, winning it all in 1948 and 1949, and leading the NFL in TD passes with 25 in the short season (by today's standard) of 1948.

2. NORM VAN BROCKLIN: Delivered on the reason he was acquired in his third and final season here, before retirement, with the NFL Title Game victory over Lombardi and Co. in 1960.

3. SONNY JURGENSEN was the Eagles starter for three years, 1961-1963but as a result of being traded to Washington for journeyman Norm Snead, posted most of his HOF numbers with the Redskins.

4. RANDALL CUNNINGHAM: Had a great career as a two-way threat which was marred with his season-ending injury in 1991 which cost what was probably the Eagles best all-time team all chance at winning the Super Bowl.

I place McNabb a respectful and impressive fifth all-time at QB for the Eagles, after the four mentioned above, who are really hard to separate on quality and career accomplishments.

Those steadfastly maintaining that McNabb ranks #1 in Eagles history at the QB position will change their mind quickly, once we get a man in here who brings home a couple Super Bowl rings.

hk said...


I can't speak to whether or not Tommy Thompson was a better Eagles QB than Donovan McNabb as the eras in which they each played were so different, but there's no way that Van Brocklin or Jurgensen were better Eagles QB's than Donovan. They both may have had better careers, but what they accomplished for the Eagles does not compare to what McNabb did. And, I would take McNabb's Eagles career over Randall's.

Robby Bonfire said...

Van Brocklin, with lots of help from Concrete Charlie and company, led the Eagles to an NFL championship. McNabb did not, officially, although we know we were cheated out of one when he was here.

Van definitely had a better career, given two NFL titles in his 10 years in the league, the other coming with the Rams in 1951 when he teamed up with Tom Fears to beat Cleveland on a 70+ yard winning TD toss with time winding down. That is light years more than Donovan accomplished.

Don't get me wrong, I like Donovan, and will always bring his having a "career day" in that game where he played three quarters on a broken ankle vs. the Cardinals. That game won me over to his side and to my mind represents one of the most courageous athletic performances I have ever witnessed.

Jurgensen led the Eagles to a 10-4 record in 1961, missing by half a game (Giants were 10-3-1) of getting back to the championship game, which they would have done had not Tom Brookshier been injured and the Giants been able to exploit his position as a weakness, instead of as an all-pro strength, being the difference in the conference title deciding game.

That was a fascinating game in that all the Eagles did was pass in that game, basically Jurgensen to McDonald, with no running attact whatsoever. And it almost worked as the Eagles ran out of time on their final drive to fall four points short.

Jurgensen ranks as a top-10 all-time NHL QB, we screwed up royally dealing him for chopped liver (look at Snead's intercetion rate - just awful, he was a turnover machine).

I think we can agree all five QB's we mention brought a lot of glory to Philadelphia and to themselves.

Andy Musser said...

The reason I mentioned the tiebreaker is because I am anticipating the week 17 game deciding the division. Betting on the Eagles at +300 now will provide better value than betting the Eagles money line wk17. I also figured the Skins-Giants game on Sunday was a coinflip (note the line, at least where I'm looking, is still at +300 after the NYG victory over DC).

Coughlin's teams usually fade second half, and Reid's teams do the opposite. The reason for my timing is that if they beat Atlanta, all the value will get sucked out of this bet (especially so if Dallas wins at home Sunday) to the point where it will no longer be worth it.

I'm essentially parlaying Eagles vs. Atlanta, after the bye week and after a loss (yes Atlanta is off a bye week, but theyre off a lucky win vs Oakland, and let's not forget how brutal Mike Smith is during games), and Eagles @ NYG.

If each game is a coinflip, you would expect exactly 3:1 odds to come out even. Since Andy Reid is awesome after the bye, Atlanta is usually bad on the road, and since I think every NFC East game is ostensibly a coin flip, I think it's good value.

Robby Bonfire said...

We will also find out in the Eagles- Atlanta game if the Falcons have the NFC inside track to the Super Bowl. They lose to the Eagles I have to say "no."

On the other hand, if Vick has his typical pig on greased skids game, it will prove nothing.