Charlie Manuel, Still Dancin’ With Who Brung ‘Im

I’m not one to unjustly criticize Charlie Manuel for sticking by his guys – Ryno, Chasey, Cole, J-Roll™, Brad Lidge… – because after all, his guys turned his career as a journeyman MLB man and hitting guru into greatest Phillies manager ever(!). He should keep dancing with them, because they brung him. But at a point, one has to wonder if Charlie is just totally blinded by, ah, whatever it is that blinds Ryan Howard from picking up a breaking ball.

Here’s an exchange between Manuel and reporters, who suggested that maybe – just maybe! – the guy leading the National League in home runs could bat cleanup, as detailed by Matt Gelb of The Inquirer, which is free to read this week without a subscription, promo code or secret handshake:

Manuel was testy before the game. His rant commenced when asked whether it was time to consider dropping Ryan Howard from the cleanup spot. Howard has hit one homer in his last 111 plate appearances. He is on pace for 17 home runs and 76 RBIs. He went 0 for 3 Wednesday.

“What the [expletive] are you getting at?” Manuel said. “Who’s going to hit there? Let me ask you a question. Let me turn that around some. Write what you want to write.”

It was suggested that Domonic Brown could bat there.

“I could put anybody in there, OK?” Manuel said. “Really, if you think about it. I’ll do the managing. Whoever hits there, hits there.”

Well, he’s got a point. It is what it is. Whomever hits there does, I suppose, hit there. But what if who hits there doesn’t actually hit there? Mind, blown:

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 11.55.28 AM

So yes, Charlie, you do do the managing, and many managers who also do said managing may manage to figure out that the guy with the fourth highest slugging percentage in the league should, at the very least, be considered for the four hole. Because it’s probably something he could manage.


  1. Someone should ask Sandburg who he would put in the 4 spot since he’ll be the manager next year..

  2. I heard Charlie Manuel has a big dick

  3. Excellent! And mind boggling at the same time.

  4. Hitting Guru ?

  5. The Original that guy

    June 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Trade Howard, eat his Salary and bring up Darin Ruf to play First, and I will create the new Phillies player fan group, the Ruf Riders.

    just fucking get rid of Howard.

    • You won’t get anyone to take Howard’s contract off your hands unless you get lucky and cut a deal with a team that’s brain dead like the Marlins.
      You’d probably have to pay at least 75% is his contract if you want to unload him. The rest of the league has also noticed that he can’t play anymore.

    • Kyle is the meat in a Carter/Richards sandwich

      June 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Seriously, Ruf sucks worse than Howard.

      • The Original that guy

        June 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

        Are you slow or something? He’s been killing it in AAA again. His defense in Left sucks, but who cares? he should be playing First.

        • Ruf has 5 homers and is hitting 262 with 30 rbi’s and 61 K’s in triple A and has to make the leap to the majors, Howard is 7,252, 31,71 in the majors. Ruf cant hit right handed pitching or a breaking ball. He’s not the answer.

  6. The Original that guy

    June 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Also, I think its time we start booing howard everytime he strikes out, relentlessly.

  7. My guess is that Sandberg is the new manager before the all-star break.

    Hopefully they find a way to save face for Charlie (i.e. some kind of VP position), but he has said that he wants to continue managing.

  8. labeled a hitting guru yet he’s “managed” some of the worst hitting discipline ever seen at the plate over these last 5 years. when sandberg was brought up last year, it was clear that the clock was ticking for chuck. whether its a quiet termination or resignation, his reign will come to an end in late september.

    • I think this is a good point

      If the Phils had some fucking plate discipline they probably could have won another WS.

  9. Who's on first?

    June 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Yea it would be great if the guy who hits there…. Actually fucking hit something there.

    Howard sucks… He looks like he has a 200lb sled behind him when he is base running. When and if he is ever completely healthy again I’m sure we will have paid him more then 90% of his contract already.

  10. Let’s all just agree to peg his incompetence on the fact that Charlie is getting old and he was not always a bad manager who got lucky.

    Alternatively, we can pretend that he’s worried that Ryan Howard’s batting average might fall below .100 without Dom Brown protecting him, and that’s a reasonable fear.

    As a credit to Charlie, he was among the first to point out, back in mid 2009, that the Phillies were not an offensive juggernaut anymore and were, in fact, offensively starting to suck. RAJ is the architect of the “spend that gate money on enormous contracts for old guys that are almost certain to backfire” strategy.

  11. ThePhillyFlash

    June 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Well, there is a sliver of logic behind what Uncle Charlie says. I mean, who else can he turn to? Laynce Nix? Kevin Frandsen? John Mayberry Jr.? Mini-Mart? Clearly, Manuel is going to go down fighting with his “boys”, and both Ruben and the suits upstairs won’t stop him. If the Phils start unloading contracts now, the crowds will follow Chase, Ryan, J-Roll, Chooch, Clifton and whoever else is sent packing out the door with them. It’s inevitable that when this team is finally dismantled, it’s going to stink, I mean Miami Marlins/Houston Astros/Kansas City Royals STINK for years to come, and the front office wants to put off that horror for as long as they can. So, yeah, keep on dancing, Charlie, but when the season ends, the music will stop, and you gotta leave.

  12. I’m not exactly sure what Sandberg’s responsibilities have been this year, but has he done anything which would instill confidence in him as our next manager?
    Plate approach has been awful, base running a mess, fielding erratic at best. Certainly he’s had some responsibilities in these areas, and if so, it’s hard to give him a glowing report.

  13. Pistol Peter Pizza Man

    June 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Bring the white guy up from aaa

  14. PhillyFlash — it all comes down to RAJ. He gave Charlie this old, decrepit deck of cards. Where I possibly (big if) disagree on is how long they suck. We’re due for a multi-billion dollar TV deal with Comcast in 2015. With that kind of money we should be competitive most seasons, but that depends on a competent GM. Bring back Gillick & Arbuckle.

  15. Shit, you gotta get rid of Charlie sometime. Why not now when most of the Phils offensive stat rankings are hovering around 20th-24th in the league? Howard should be taken out behind the barn, given a nice ice cream cone and then mercifully shot in the back of his huge round head as he’s enjoying it. Dude is, sadly, fuckin’ toast.

  16. Does anyone realize the Ruin Tomorrow always gets who he wanted too late?
    Ty Wigginton
    Michael Young
    Mike Adams
    Laynce Nix
    Juan Pierre
    Delmon Young

    5 Years ago maybe these guys would help but theyre mostly old and washed up now.

    Furthermore, isn’t Ryne Sandberg coaching with the phils now? I don’t see anything special about him other than once again, years ago the Phillies messed up with him.

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