Charlie Manuel Makes SABR Heads Explode, Phillies Win 4-1


Cole Hamels is still a good pitcher, even though he’s never had 20 wins. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Does Charlie Manuel know how to troll?

I was under the impression that Charlie Manuel was not totally conversant when it came to the electronic Twitter machines. However, perhaps he is a bit more technologically astute then we all gave him credit for.

Because after his comments on Sunday, I can’t imagine a better set of quotes to stoke the annoyance of sabermatricians all across the country than the ones ‘ol Cholly uttered after Sunday’s 4-1 win over the Marlins in Miami.

"In talking about Cole Hamels’ 17th win of the season after the game, Manuel said ,”Without a doubt, before his career is over, he’ll win 20. I’m still looking for him to have a really big year, 22, 24 wins. It’s in there. Things just have to go his way.”"

Saber-heads… have at it.

You know, that 2008 season seemed like kind of a really big year. And he didn’t even have 20 wins! I can’t believe I’ve been fooled all this time.

Of course, a pitcher’s win total is a statistic that is indicative of very little, and most of the baseball world has already been clued into that fact.

But Charlie Manuel is an old school guy. He believes wins and RBIs are still the best numbers a person should use to measure the true effectiveness of a pitcher/player.

I doubt Cholly was trolling the saber folks, but it makes me giggle to think of Manuel, with bifocals down at the end of his nose, jabbing and mashing the keyboard to his laptop, maniacally laughing to himself like an evil Santa Claus.

My guess is Cole Hamels would love to win 20 games. Being a 20-game winner still carries a certain cache to it, for better or worse. But my guess is most pitchers realize their win total really doesn’t amount to a hill of beans and perhaps more importantly, most of the time there isn’t a darn thing they can do about it.

See: Cliff Lee, 2012.

And hey, Hamels’ 2012 season is still a tremendous success, even though he “only” won 17 games like a loser.

With every start this year, Cole proved he was worth the six-year, $144 million contract he signed before the trade deadline. He made all 31 starts this year, going 17-6 with a 3.05 ERA and 216 strikeouts in 215 1/3 innings. He was their most consistent pitcher all season long and should remain a Cy Young contender throughout the majority of his contract.

Even if he doesn’t get the magical 20 wins.

As for Sunday’s game, for those who still care, the Phils scored three runs in the first, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Chase Utley, and RBI double from Carlos Ruiz (who had three hits on the day, raising his average to .330) and an RBI single by Nate Schierholtz. Domonic Brown added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Darin Ruf had one hit starting at first base. Sadly, it was but a harmless single. Domination must wait another night.

Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Papelbon picked up his 38th save of the season to finish things off for the Phils.

Up next, three final games in Washington, with the Nationals looking to clinch their first ever National League East title.

It’s going to be insufferable.