Whoah, that Roy Halladay is quite the narrative buster, isn’t he?
In delivering some very surprising and candid comments concerning the firing of Charlie Manuel on Tuesday, Halladay said he felt the time was right for the Phillies to dismiss his former skipper.
“I’ve exchanged texts with Charlie,” Halladay said after his rehab start in Lakeland yesterday. “Obviously, I loved him. He was great. But from what I’ve seen, Ryne [Sandberg] came in and made some changes and addressed some issues that I think were being overlooked. So from that standpoint, as much as I miss Charlie, I think that Ryne’s going to do a good job and I think he’s going to bring back a little more of the Phillie baseball style that we’ve had the last couple of years. You know, we really haven’t had that whole team effort and the whole team hustle that I think we’ve had in prior years.”
Halladay was asked what issues were being overlooked.
“Just different things,” he said. “Guys being in places on time. Being on the field on time. Taking ground balls, taking extra BP, and all those little things that nobody thinks makes a difference.
“So I think [Sandberg] has been very good so far. But, again, I don’t want to take anything away from Charlie. We all respected him tremendously. You know, I think he’s going to have the choice of what he wants to do at this point in his life, so I’m happy for him.” – quote per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury
Wow. That is as much criticism as I have ever heard a player utter about Charlie Manuel. And if it’s true (and I have no reason to believe it isn’t), then a new voice and new attitude were something that was probably needed in the Phils’ clubhouse.
Keep in mind that Roy Halladay is not usually a fountain of quotes. This is a guy who keeps his cards close to his chest. So for him to volunteer this information as he works on trying to get back to the big leagues sometime in the next couple weeks is noteworthy, and shows this is something that has been bothering him for quite some time.
Without knowing details, it’s impossible to point fingers at specific players and situations. But anyone can see that this team has a different attitude on the field than they used to have. And for a team that knows it didn’t have the talent it used to have, it’s especially disappointing to hear one player accuse his teammates of not doing all they could do to maximize their chances of winning baseball games.
Of course, when it comes right down to it, talent is the main reason teams win and lose ballgames. The Phillies have not become a bad baseball team because of the issues Halladay mentioned. But those issues, the lack of hustle, the showing up late, those things CAN make a difference for teams that have marginal talent.
It would be interesting to know just WHEN these problems started to crop up. Did the team get lackadaisical because they started losing and knew the season was lost? Or was it happening from spring training or Opening Day? Did it just become a part of the team’s culture, and how much did it affect play on the field?
The Phils are a team that needs every edge it can get. They’re not good enough to just show up late, not put in the work, and go out on the field and expect to win. When you’ve got the 2011 starting rotation making a start every fifth day, you can afford to coast a little.
It’s impossible to say who is doing what inside the clubhouse, and it would be unfair to target one person. It’s also a big question just how much these issues actually affect a team’s won-loss record. It certainly doesn’t help.
But when a team starts losing, every player on that team can lose focus. It’s just part of being a human being.
At the very least, Roy indicated that it was time for a change. And while everyone will miss Charlie Manuel, the man, perhaps the team is better off without Charlie Manuel, the man-ager.
Hey, don’t yell at me. Yell at Roy Halladay.