Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Can We Manage?

If there is one thing the Wriz hates to do, it is to admit he made a mistake.

I remember sitting in my normal Sunday Plan seats at Citizen's Bank Park in the unforgiving summer sun, cursing Charlie Manuel. I said there is no way he should be a National League manager. Not then. Not EVER. The country bumpkin didn't know how to double switch, a necessity for an NL manager. But it got even worse. I actually considered giving up my seats after a particular game against the Houston Astros in 2005. The Phillies and Astros were in the battle for the wildcard. Entering the bottom of the 9th, the Phillies trailed 4-2 and this is what happened:

right; LOFTON BATTED FOR LIEBERTHAL; Lofton singled to shortstop
[Lofton to second (error by Everett)]; Victorino grounded out
(first unassisted) [Lofton to third]; Lidge threw a wild pitch
[Lofton scored]; Howard walked; KATA RAN FOR HOWARD;
What the play-by-play from doesn't  tell you is how inept Manuel managing was in that inning. As Dan Baker announced that Matt Kata was running for Ryan Howard, I figured he was the fastest bench player available. That Endy Chavez was unavailable due to some type of nagging injury.
  Rollins doubled to right [Kata to third];
As I watched the ball roll down the right field line I'm yelling, "Send him, send him!" Kata strolled into third standing up, the crowd was going nuts, the Phillies had the tying run on third and I was like, "FUCK Chavez would scored easy."  For those of you who had yet to catch Phillies Fever, Endy Chavez was the fastest Phillie I had seen since Jeff Stone. He had a lousy bat and was mediocre in the field, but my man could run like a degenerate gambler with an underpaid bookie on his tail.

Chavez struck out; 1 R, 2 H, 1 E, 2 LOB. Astros 4, Phillies 3.

And there is was Chavez and all his speed stranded in the batters box by strike three. The Astros went on to win the final 2 games of the series and the Wild Card over the Phillies by one stinkin game. One fucking game!

Fast forward 3 years and on October 29th, 2008, Brad Lidge fell to his knees and moments later the frenzied crowd was chanting "Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!" My friend Doug turned and said, "What do you think of Charlie now?" "He's ok. He gets a pass," I responded. And there lays my mistake, thinking that fool could actually manage.

I like Charlie. I'd buy a car from him.

This year, more so than any other the Phillies NEED a manager who can actually manage, The upgraded bench is all for nothing if its not used correctly. Take last night for example. In the 8th inning the Phils are down 4-2. Pence grounds out, Wiggy follows suit. Manuel sends up Thome. There's 2 outs. Nobody's on and you're going to send up Thome to swing for the fences? He can't field and he can't run. Ok, where's the sense in that? I guess it's better to lose by one? I haven't studied the new tiebreakers in the new playoff system but I guess run differential ranks pretty high.

Maybe Charlie can prove me wrong once again and maybe Juan Pierre and throw a one hop laser from the warning track that cuts down Michael Bourn tagging from third. You never know.

Maybe he better suited for this?

See ya at the ball park!

Jay Wrizight

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