The Philadelphia Phillies made an announcement yesterday that no one saw coming. By now, everyone knows that announcement was the immediate firing of manager Charlie Manuel. The fans, media, and current and former players were in shock. What was supposed to be a normal day suddenly became a sad one in Philadelphia.
No one could understand why General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. could not allow Manuel to finish the rest of the season. As Amaro was introducing him at the press conference, he began to choke up. If he cared that much about Manuel, he should have had enough respect to let his contract expire instead of firing him with close to 40 games left and shocking Manuel’s team.
Chase Utley and Cole Hamels have said over the years Manuel has been a father figure. Utley is a player who is a quiet person, but he had something to say about this. He had said Manuel gave him an opportunity to play and he believed in him. Hamels believed that the players are at fault because they are the ones that are not succeeding. It was certainly a hard day in the clubhouse.
Former players of Manuel also had reactions as well. Jayson Werth was saddened by the news and thinks that Manuel deserves better. Shane Victorino is another player that thought of Manuel as a father and helped him develop into who he is today. He was honored to spend time with Manuel and again was sad to hear the news.
The media also is upset by the decision. They had a hunch that Manuel was not going to come back at the end of the season, but they did not know the decision would come yesterday. With all Manuel did for the Phillies, they believed he would finish in September.
As you can see, everyone who had a relationship with Manuel had respect for him. They understood where he came from and they looked up to him, especially the players. The media enjoyed what he had to say. The fans enjoyed what he brought to Philadelphia, especially the wins. Manuel will always have a special place here. It will take a little while for the shock to go away, but one thing is for sure, Manuel will never be forgotten.