Some Thoughts on Charlie Manuel’s Ouster

Most of the immediate reactions I’ve seen from Phillies fans to the end Charlie Manuel‘s tenure have been emotional. And rightly so–Manuel is the most decorated manager in Phillies history and one of the most beloved figures in local sports. The man who orchestrated his removal, Ruben Amaro, is…well, not universally reviled, but not the most popular person either. It’s a sports story with an easy good guy and a bad guy, where the good guy shuffles off into the sunset with his Wawa bag.

I don’t want to look at it that way. Rationally, was this the right thing to do?

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Crash Bag, Vol. 67: It’s Important to Score Runs

I’m currently eating a salad. Not the kind of salad I like best, which is so much meat and cheese and starchy crap it’s really a taco or a buffalo chicken sandwich but with so many vegetables you can’t avoid them, but a real salad: spinach and a little feta cheese and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It’s delicious, but I can’t enjoy it fully because I know in two hours I’m going to be hungry again and I’ll wind up eating an entire block of cheddar cheese and an entire box of crackers because I have no self control.

But seriously: spinach, some sort of berry and some sort of stinky cheese. It’s outstanding.

And I know y’all hunger too. For your questions to be answered. Away we go.

@FelskeFiles: “If there was one Phillies player you would suspect could go all Heisenberg on everyone, who would it be?”

I am uncertain.

@ethan_witte: “handicap the odds of people becoming next Phils manager. I hope Dave Martinez is 3-1″

It’s tough to put numbers on this question, because not only do we not know who the next crop of candidates is, we’re not even certain that Charlie Manuel‘s in his last season. (I think he is. He seems to want to keep going, but I imagine Ruben Amaro‘s going to sit him down at some point and either make him a special assistant to the GM or put him on an ice floe.)

Anyway, not knowing much about the personalities or tendencies of potential managers, Martinez (currently the bench coach for the Rays) makes sense. The assumption is that a manager will train coaches who think and operate like him. In football, this is why just about every current head coach either worked for (or worked for someone who worked for) Bill Walsh or Bill Parcells. So if you assume that Martinez is to Joe Maddon as Maddon was to Mike Scioscia, then of course you’d want him. The same with John Farrell getting hired by the Blue Jays a few years ago–they couldn’t get Terry Francona, so they picked one of his top assistants. Or Bo Porter and Davey Johnson. Having no inside information at all, here’s how I think things shake out, and I don’t give a crap if the numbers don’t add up:

  • Ryne Sandberg (5-to-4)
  • Dave Martinez (5-to-1)
  • Manny Acta (10-to-1)
  • Brian Butterfield, Red Sox third base coach and defensive shift guru (10-to-1)
  • Mike Scioscia, after being fired by the Angels (15-to-1)
  • John McLaren (15-to-1)
  • DeMarlo Hale, Blue Jays bench coach (2o-to-1)
  • Tim Bogar (50-to-1)
  • Hensley Meulens, San Francisco Giants hitting coach, manager of the Dutch national team, and the guy I’ve just now, for no reason, decided I want if they can’t get Acta (150-to-1)
  • Jim Fregosi (200-to-1)

So yeah, that’s an arbitrary list of former managers and current assistant coaches with equally arbitrary numbers next to their names. Remind me to revisit this when the names of potential interviewees start getting leaked.

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