Just a few years ago when Charlie Manuel hoisted a World Series trophy and yelled to a capacity crowd of cheering fans on Broad Street, “this is for you Philadelphia!”, no one would have thought in a million years that the beloved manager would ever even consider taking the reins of a division rival. But now, that thought doesn’t seem so crazy at all.
After eight-plus seasons as the Philadelphia Phillies‘ skipper, Manuel was unceremoniously relieved of his duties in a move that was incredibly unpopular with fans and players alike. It came just days after he won his landmark 1,000th career game.
And now that Manuel is unemployed, the rumors have begun to swirl that he could replace the retiring Davey Johnson as manager of the divisional rival Washington Nationals. Considering that one of Manuel’s greatest fans, Jayson Werth, was signed by the Nats to a long-term contract, Manuel to DC actually makes a lot of sense.
Werth offered high praise for Manuel, calling him the best manager he ever played for. He also said that he would love to see him take over as the Nationals’ skipper.
The 69-year-old Manuel has said that he believes he has two, maybe three years left in him, and a gig with the Nationals could be his chance to complete his career aspirations. Considering Manuel’s success and how he managed to lead the Phillies to just their second-ever World Series, it is unlikely that a team wouldn’t take the chance on him if he can still manage .
And perhaps he can do for Werth and the Nationals what Johnson was unable to do. Perhaps he will be the guy to bring Washington to the promised land.
As much as Phillies fans would hate to see that, Manuel was a spectacular manager during his time in the city. It wasn’t his fault that he suffered two pretty bad injury-plagued seasons. Maybe a change in scenery with a fresh new team is just what he needs.