Charlie’s Take

Some of Charlie Manuel‘s thoughts before tonight’s series finale against the Dodgers:

  • Chase Utley played five consecutive games before getting tonight off. “He’s not fighting me,” Manuel said. “He’s very understanding. He played three days in a row and all of a sudden he played five days in a row. We have a plan and we’ll stick with it. He’s told me, ‘Charlie, I feel real good.’ But I knew maybe the next day or the following day it’s time for him to sit down.”
  • Jimmy Rollins is not in tonight’s lineup, but Manuel said he could start tomorrow against the Cubs.
  • It’s no secret the offense is struggling. Manuel said he is confident the Phillies will hit again … kind of. “I’ve seen guys that have hit in the past. I know they can hit,” he said. “But I’ve also been in this game long enough to see guys that have hit in the past and never hit again. That’s what we’ll have to see.”
  • If the Phillies don’t start hitting soon what are their options? Really, they seem to have very few. With the Phillies’ money issues it’s unlikely they can add significant salary without moving significant salary. But who do they have to move? If everybody were healthy, Joe Blanton and Brad Lidge could be candidates, but they’re injured. I can’t think of anybody else.
  • Asked if hard decisions will have to be made in a month or so, Manuel said, “It depends on where you want to go. If we want to go to the World Series and follow our goals, I think there has to be a cutoff somewhere. I think there has to be a time where we say, ‘Hey, we better be getting better.’ I don’t know when it is, but I’d say somewhere along the line we’ll make a decision on what we need to get to the playoffs and get to the World Series.” But again, the Phillies don’t seem to have many options other than hope everybody starts hitting. What do they do? Knowing their money issues, who do they add?

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16 Comments

When is Charlie going to be called on the carpet for the hitting? He’s considered a hitting “guru” yet the team gets into prolonged slumps every year. Do the player not listen to him? Maybe it’s time for a change…

John, You are what is called “a reactionary!” Don’t jump the gun. It’s not Charlie, it’s the nature of the game! He has had so much success before he got to Phillie and since! I personally know from experience that you can show & teach all of the basic fundamentals and give all of the pertinent tips to each individual hitter but if they’re off right now, they’re ‘off!’ There are so many factors involved other that simple athletic moves. There are other factors that can effect a player’s performance: self-confidence (psychological), mental toughness, home & personal problems, financial problems, relationship instability, family health, etc, etc! John, don’t be an ‘arm-chair quarterback’!

No, when is Amaro going to be called on the carpet for doing little or nothing to improve the offense? He ignored replacing Werth and upgrading the bench by trying to correct a wrong by signing Lee. Hate to play what if, but, if he didn’t trade Lee to begin with, how much more money would they have had to pursue a legit right-handed bat? It was a given that Werth was going to walk and Amaro put all his eggs in the pitching basket despite the fact that the offense struggled mightily last year with Werth. Pete Orr? Michael Martinez? Ross Gload? Ronnie Beliard? Scott Podsednik? Ben Francisco?

As for Charlie, he and the coaches can only do so much. It is up to the PLAYERS to listen and adjust which they refuse to do. Recently, Howard was asked if he’s considered changing his approach to beat the shift. His reply? No. Milt Thompson recently said that he tried to get a few guys to choke up on the bat in certain situations. Did they listen and try? No. The hitters (except for Polanco and Utley) are impatient, and lack situational awareness. Why are they swinging at the first pitch against a rookie pitcher who was wild? (Victorino). Why are they swinging wildly at balls in the dirt that wind up hitting their legs? (Howard). Wouldn’t surprise me if they have tuned out Charlie and GG when it comes to batting.

The Phillies have the best record in MLB, hank10. Must be a miracle.

Victorino still has some trade value, no? $9.5M next year?

It’s hard to call out Charlie. What did he have to do with the errors and miscues from last night? The team played some pretty uninspired baseball, and I think that they should be embarrassed, but I don’t think that Chuck is to blame here.

Mike… to me it doesn’t make much sense to trade one of your best offensive players as a means of jump starting the offense. Trading pitching for hitting makes more sense, if it were even possible.

@coachbubba…although your right in not jumpin the gun on Charlie..I mean the man has been a savior to the Phils..there is still issues…i mean the hitting has been in dramatic decline since 09…these last two years have been…although they were up there last year in runs they had tons of >2 run games, and the same this year.. they need to figure out the finances and start getting some youngsters in here..Even with great pitching it’ll end up as repeat of last year.. the pitching will give 1 extra run than usual and the hitting will choke..We gotta figure this out.

Oddly, the hitting has been in decline since the Phillies were accused of stealing signs in Colorado. Coincidence?

yes. end of discussion on that one.

John: Don’t think it’s a coincidence. Pretty clear and obvious decline after that event.

Chuckles has been a savior for the Phillies? Believe in hyperbole much? A somnambulist could do just as much with the talent given him as Chuckles has done.

Big win, with Hamels stepping up again as a legit ace. His gutty pitching in the 7th and 8th was a wonder to behold. Solid defense, another HR from the big man, and Madson closes it out in the ninth. Doesn’t get any better.

It could get a little better, but not much. Cole has really stepped up since he lost his way after winning the ’08 WS MVP. No doubt that Halladay and Lee have had an influence on his work ethic. Sometimes, I think players can step their game up if they don’t think that the team is dependent on them and them alone. Having other guys to lean on has helped him, IMO.
You can see it in Cole’s face and his demeanor on the mound. It doesn’t matter if they score 2 runs for him. He pitches his game.

Need to make a move on the hitting coach. I say Thompson leave last year for a lot less.

Great points mule man.

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