Yes, I think Charlie Manuel is the Jeremiah Johnson of baseball. All of the things that happen in that movie I could see Charlie doing in real life. Living up in the mountains. Being offered a wife by a Native American tribe. Going on a vengeful, one-sided killing spree. The entire plot of Jeremiah Johnson could unfold with Charlie Manuel photo shopped over Robert Redford’s face and I wouldn’t even notice anything had changed.
So I don’t want to make my ignorance of the process known by shrieking “JUST GIVE HIM HIS MONEY,” but now we’re setting deadlines and watching clocks and I don’t want to say that Charlie Manuel contract situation is exactly the same as the Albert Pujols contract situation, but I think their close enough to draw comparisons.
But not closer than Jeremiah Johnson.
They’ve got the time to organize a 15 minute glorification of the rotation for a press corps with all the professionalism of a bus load of starstruck kindergarteners, but Charlie Manuel goes wonting? It doesn’t seem right, for a lot of reasons.
The aforementioned deadline was brought up as a joke, amongst the increasingly disdainful Phillies reporters, who I guess see the extension of Charlie’s tenure with the team as hilarious enough to mock openly. Am I only just recently noticing their crappiness, or is this just the blissfully ignorant ‘tude of a bunch of writers who are overyjoyed they no longer have to recycle the same material for the next few months?
But the truth is, Charlie, in what is known as “obvious,” does not want to muck up the goings-on of the regular season with concerns about his own career. If this business isn’t cleared up by Opening Day–he said, responding to the reporters’ patronizing cacophony–he doesn’t want to talk about it at all.
And with Ruben Amaro’s smugness keeping a firm lasso on all Phillies contractual negotiations, any tension derived from the situation will stay firmly where it doesn’t belong: In the clubhouse.
So… why isn’t this happening? This isn’t fun. It’s not interesting to talk about. It’s just sort of messy, and indicates that the maestro of the Phillies success is either a low level priority or impossible to negotiate with, both of which seem impossible.
Well. He’s always got that Rugged Mountain Man thing to fall back on.