After firing Charlie Manuel as the team’s manager in August, general manager Ruben Amaro claimed that he wanted Manuel to remain in the Phillies organization. Apparently, that wasn’t just lip service. It was reported yesterday that Manuel will indeed be returning to the Phillies in a yet to be determined position.
In December, here’s how Amaro envisioned Manuel’s role with the team:
“He could be a hitting guru with the organization [and do some] troubleshooting and scouting, much like he was when he was here for [former general manager] Ed Wade,” Amaro said before Christmas. “I hope he comes on. He would be a tremendous asset for us. I think he can help us and me in a variety of ways.”
I was a bit curious about the return. While this is a “feel good” story for an organization that seems to be trying very hard to enthuse the fans this week, I can’t see Manuel making much of an actual impact on the team’s fortunes.
I decided to investigate further, and found that much like every move the organization had made this offseason, the re-hiring was well thought out, and there was a good deal of logic behind it. I will share with you the Top Ten Reasons Why Charlie Manuel is Returning to the Phillies:
10. Gene Mauch was unavailable.
9. The lack of malapropisms in the pregame speeches really hurt team morale at the end of the season.
8. If having two hitting coaches didn’t work last season,why not add another?
7. Nothing makes a rookie manager feel comfortable like having his popular predecessor on hand.
6. Now Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews only need one more person for their “other duties in the organization” bowling team.
5. Howard Eskin was getting a bit too uppity at press conferences.
4. This move was forced upon them by Comcast because Charlie = ratings gold.
3. To maintain balance, for each statistical analyst they hire, they’ve got to hire two old school traditionalists.
2. Ruben Amaro only listens to advice that is delivered in a folksy drawl.
1. If the season goes poorly, they can always just fire him again.