Charlie Manuel plans on sticking around for the future, whether he’s with the Philadelphia Phillies or not. The Phillies skipper said publicly last Thursday that he wants to keep managing regardless of circumstance. In other words, whether the Phillies win 60 games or a World Series, expect Charlie to negotiate a new contract with someone, whether it’s the Phillies or another club.
Apart from stating that he won’t even think about negotiations until after the season, the Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. hasn’t made any remarks about Manuel’s contract. Ruben has proven in the past that he is not afraid to mix up the team with trades and free agency, it stands to reason that he won’t be afraid to swap managers either.
If the Phillies fail to impress this season count on a grassroots, Phillies fan movement in favor of promoting new third base coach (and all time great second baseman) Ryne Sandberg to the head coach job.
Though Amaro hasn’t (and will not) talk about his preference going forward, I believe Amaro wants a change. Despite his success Charlie Manuel has significant flaws in his managerial strategy. For example, Manuel does not manage small ball well, he doesn’t but over runners enough and opts instead to hope for an extra base hit. That flaw doesn’t hurt when the lineup is riddled with sluggers (as it was in 2008 and 2009), but when the average age of the infield is over 34, logic dictates that strategy be adjusted, and his hasn’t.
Charlie Manuel is the most successful manager in Phillies history. When all is said and done, he will be remembered forever by Phillies fans for bring the Phillies to the mountaintop. That said, over time a managers message gets stale. When that happens there is not choice but to make a change. I think that change is coming next season, unless Charlie can coach the Phillies deep into the playoffs.