Charlie Manuel Should Return to the Philadelphia Phillies as a Minor League Hitting Instructor
The Philadelphia Phillies offered a job to former manager Charlie Manuel in an “undisclosed capacity” earlier this week.
Manuel said he would think about what the Phillies offered and decide on it in a few days. There are some who believe that Manuel wants to find another big-league managing job first before deciding on the Phils’ fallback offer.
For the sake of their sanity, Phillies fans have to hope that’s not with the big-league club. Manuel’s appearance anywhere near the Major League team would be an incredibly awkward circumstance for a few people, most notably current manager Ryne Sandberg. Remember, pitcher Roy Halladay said a week after Manuel was fired that Sandberg “addressed issues that needed to be addressed.” A number of his teammates privately felt the same way.
Sandberg and Manuel take different approaches to the game and the easy-going style of Manuel would not mesh with Sandberg’s more demanding demeanor, not even around the batting cage. There are things, though, Manuel has done well and he’s a proven mentor of young hitters. If Manuel chooses to accept an offer from the Phillies, he would be a perfect roving Minor League hitting instructor and that’s where he should end up.
Manuel will be 70 on Jan. 4 and probably should not undertake the rigors of a 162-game season as another team’s manager. Being a roving hitting instructor, particularly with the Phils’ two Class-A Minor League teams based in Clearwater (where he lives), probably would be the best use of his skills right now for both the man and the team.