12. CHARLIE MANUEL, Manager
When Charlie Manuel was hired by Ed Wade to be the successor as Phillies manager to Larry Bowa for the 2005 season, there was almost universal derision from the fan base and local media. Bowa had been a longtime Phillie as a player, coach, and manager and many loved his fiery personality.
With the team perceived as an underachiever, Wade was seen as scrambling to save his own job. Manuel was scoffed at as a country hick who couldn’t win the World Series as manager of a mega-talented Indians squad earlier in the decade.
More from That Balls Outta Here
When the Phils won 88 and 85 games and finished in 2nd place in the NL East in his first two seasons, it seemed like just more of the same, disappointing ‘close but no cigar’ endings. But then it all began to change.
In 2007, the Phils won the NL East, rallying from 7 1/2 games out in mid-September. In 2008, the went all the way, winning just the 2nd World Series championship in franchise history. Along with the winning, Manuel had grown on everyone, and now was the beloved ‘Uncle Charlie’ whose generally laid-back style perfectly fit his group of new-era players.
Under Manuel, the Phillies would ultimately win that NL East crown in 5 consecutive seasons from 2007-11, the longest such streak in franchise history. They returned to the World Series in 2009, the only time that the Phillies have ever played in consecutive Fall Classics.
In all, over parts of nine seasons, Manuel’s managing record with the Phillies was 780-636, a .551 winning percentage. His first 7 teams all finished either 1st or 2nd in the division, and he won those 2 NL Pennants and the World Series title.
His 780 victories are the most for any Phillies manager in franchise history, and his .551 win percentage is the highest among the 10 men who have spent at least 5 seasons in the managers seat.