This is a very different group of faces than the 2008 squad. Is Charlie Manuel still the best guy to lead them?
Stolnis: Right now, yes he is.
Cholly just seems to get these guys, even if his in-game decision-making can still leave you scratching your head from time to time. While Manuel did admit that this group doesn’t have the same drive and determination they did in 2008 and 2009, they are still a supremely talented team that respects Charlie and plays hard for him. Not only that, is there really anyone else out there that would get anything more from these guys? I doubt it.
That said, Charlie needs to fix some things about himself. He stayed with slumping veterans far too long last year, and it killed them in the NLDS. And he seems unwilling to use lefty specialists solely against lefties. Other than that, though, Charlie deserves to coach as long as he wants. He’s proven himself, and he’s still the right guy for the job.
Ethan: The ’08 squad had hitters like Utley and Rollins in their prime, putting up a lot of crooked numbers in the box score. Manuel is a hitter’s manager, but the identity of the Phillies has shifted to the mound. He has his general in Rich “stone face” Dubee to handle his deck of aces, but Manuel’s bread and butter is coaching the guys at the plate.
What Manuel has going for him is that most of the core Phillies from 2008 are still in the clubhouse. Utley, Rollins, and Ruiz are great leaders on the field and know exactly what Manuel is trying do in the dugout. While his sound bytes may be starting to sound a little stale to us, there are no signs that he’s lost the ear of his players.
Justin: I don’t fear change at all, so I can answer this question objectively: Charlie Manuel will always be the best guy to lead this team. I don’t care if it’s a completely different team, or a team that doesn’t mesh well with his coaching style, or a team that hates the shit out of him for some reason.
Charlie Manuel should always be the manager of the Phillies, and I don’t fear change remember, so when I say that even when Charlie retires they should replace him with a bronzed statue of himself and give every new manager the title of “co-manager” with the statue, you have to acknowledge that I’m saying it objectively, because I said I was. Okay? Great.
Ricco: Being a lousy, no-good, frontrunning fan since 09 (quite literally), I can’t imagine the team being managed by anyone else. Also, being a a lousy, no-good, pocket-protecter-wearing saber nerd, I am of the opinion that managers don’t make much of a difference. So yeah, he is.