Jul 8, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (41) high fives center fielder Ben Revere (2) after the win against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals, 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Manuel Lowers Expectations, Hopes for Best

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Jul 9, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (41) talks with pitcher Cole Hamels (35) during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Hamels battled Jayson Werth in a critical at-bat last night, with the Nats down three and the bases loaded.

Eventually, Cole lucked out on a hard-hit Werth-ball and slithered out of the inning with a smirk on his face and everybody calling him an “ace” again.

“That’s baseball,” Charlie Manuel said, and he was right.

Yeah, I guess.  But I wish baseball could sometimes be humiliating the Nationals with a 20-run spot in the second inning.  Or even just getting more than one run scored on a wild pitch after loading the bases.

But Manuel’s motivated by something much more than baseball, the trade deadline, or a playoff push:  nothing.

“That’s my job. I come to the ballpark and I want you to be the best you possibly can be. At the same time, I understand everything about what happens.”

–Charlie Manuel

Manuel has made a point of verbalizing a wish list of some kind each year as we approached the trade deadline.  Remember those playoff years?  My god, even then, we’d need things.  The Phillies have never fielded a perfect team, somehow.  And this year is far, far, far from an exception.

But poor Charlie’s a little beaten down – we all are – and this time, he’ll be happy with a team that goes out there and wins.

Which they have been doing, lately.  But we’ve seen all too many examples of hope followed by foolishness due to the preceding hope.  Maybe living in the present, or at most the short term future, is a healthy start.  Charlie just wants to win tonight.  That’d be nice.

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