The Boiling Point
Well, at least he has with the two that come to mind.
He called a pregame meeting April 21, 2007, in Cincinnati, a night after Tom Gordon blew the game in a 2-1 loss to the Reds in 10 innings. It dropped the Phillies to 4-11, which was the worst record in baseball. A lot of people talked during that meeting. Wes Helms compared it to a family gathering for Thanksgiving Day dinner. Cole Hamels then went out and struck out 15 in nine innings as the Phillies finished the season 85-62 for the best record in the National League.
He blew up in the visitor’s dugout in Miami on May 1, 2006, after the Phillies dropped two of three to the Pirates before the Phillies went to Florida, where Dontrelle Willis was sticking it up the Phillies’ keisters through four innings. The Phillies had finished April at 10-14 and 5-10 at home and Manuel had seen enough of the team’s lackadaisical play. The Phillies came back to beat Willis to jumpstart a nine-game winning streak. The Phillies finished the season 75-63, the fourth-best record in the National League.
Maybe last night’s meeting in Toronto will work like those worked. Maybe it won’t.
But clearly Manuel had wanted to say something for a while. The team is simply playing very poorly right now. It doesn’t help that the team has been without Raul Ibanez, Brett Myers, Brad Lidge, Scott Eyre and Clay Condrey. But that doesn’t explain the mental errors, which seemed to be killing Manuel as much as anything.