Phillies: Throw out Charlie Manuel, and move on

Charlie Manuel.
GREG FIUME/GETTY IMAGES

How many ill-conceived, pre-programmed decisions will it take before the love affair ends between Charlie Manuel and the fans? Can blind affection survive a horrific season? What will it take for the smartest fans in sports to see he is killing this team?

People who blame injuries or bad luck or dumb acquisitions have something in common this season. They are not watching every inning of every game, the way I am — like it or not — because of my convalescence from a major operation. And the way Manuel has managed is making me sick to my surgically-repaired stomach.

In fact, he isn’t really managing at all. He is deciding what to do long before games, when the pressure of actual thought is not required. Let me say this one more time: Charlie Manuel is the worst strategist in baseball, and the worst I have ever seen in a half-century of watching the game.

T he latest example was the critical loss last Friday night, when Kyle Kendrick had the best change-up of his career and had shut out Atlanta for seven innings on 89 pitches. Nevertheless, when the Braves sent up left-handed pinch-hitter Juan

Francisco and his .226 batting average, Manuel summoned a slumping Antonio Bastardo, who promptly gave up five runs.

After the game, Manuel revealed the manner behind his mindless managing style. He said he had already decided that he didn’t want Kendrick to face the top of the Atlanta order again. Instead, he got to hear the fans boo Bastardo off the mound after a grand slam by Brian McCann.

My only complaint is that the fans didn’t boo Manuel just as hard. Bastardo should have never gotten into the game. Kendrick was having a brilliant night; Bastardo has been awful. Hello?

Finally, the spotlight seemed to move closer to Manuel when president Dave Montgomery had a closed-door meeting with the overmatched manager just before Sunday’s loss. Witnesses said the skipper looked puzzled by the session — or exactly the way he has looked when required to think during any game this season.

A ll we know right now is that Montgomery asked Manuel to communicate better with his oblivious, underachieving players, though the manager admitted after the game that he had already tried everything to awaken his comatose team. Manuel even asked the reporters if they had any ideas.

Well, I have one. After watching Michael Martinez bat with a game on the line, after watching Chase Utley not bat in a similar spot last week, and after watching Jonathan Papelbon wasted repeatedly because Manuel uses his closer only in the ninth inning, my suggestion is for Manuel to find a new team to ruin.

Eventually, even his adoring fans will see the truth. It’s time for him to go.

Sad reality is divorces are messy

The first instinct after news so stunning is to minimize it. Ah, nothing will change. Everything will be fine. Life goes on. But if you have ever endured the emotional upheaval of a divorce, you know better.
Jeff and Christina Lurie acknowledged on the Fourth of July that they are splitting up after 20 years of marriage. Jeff is the richest owner in Philadelphia history, a billionaire because of the
Eagles. Christina is the most active wife of a sports owner in Philadelphia history, leader of the Eagles Youth Partnership and the brains behind the new look of the team in the mid-1990s.

In their joint statement, they assured everyone that they would continue to work together in overseeing the Eagles. If their situation is like mine and countless others, that goal will be a far greater challenge than they could ever imagine.

Because Jeff and Christina were married during their entire 17-year tenure as owners, they will probably have to split the team 50-50. In other words, Christina will either agree to equal say on running the team, or Jeff will have to come up with more than half a billion dollars to buy her out. Good luck.

And once Christina has equal say, what happens when the front office wants the next Mike Vick and she is appalled by that idea? Who wins that battle?

The truth is, no one wins when there is a divorce. And in the case of Jeff and Christina Lurie, that includes the fans of the Eagles.

- Angelo Cataldi is the host of 94 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30 to 10 a.m.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.
Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send submissions to letters@metro.us.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

The Word

Lupita Nyong'o is People's Most Beautiful

Congratulations to Lupita Nyong'o, officially the most beautiful human on the face of planet Earth (2014 season).

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

NHL

Lundqvist, Rangers take control as Flyers falter in…

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist turned away 31 Flyers shots to give the Blueshirts the series edge with a 4-1 victory Tuesday nigh

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.