As typically happens when a team is underachieving the way many believe the Phils have this year, Manuel has found that his job is anything but safe.
Of course, the record and overall inconsistent play has been a source of concern for the Phillies and their fans. Manuel just hasn't been able to get the job done this year with the players that he has had to work with. He has done the best that he could, but as critics will say, there is a lot that he could have done differently.
Who knows if the Phillies would be looking at making the playoffs if Manuel did things a little differently? No one really and with the bullpen's utter failures, it is hard to believe that any manager could have made this a playoff-caliber team.
Part of the reason why Manuel's future with the team is in question is because of Ryne Sandberg.
Currently managing the Phils' AAA affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, Sandberg, despite having just four years of minor league managerial experience, has already been tabbed as the potential successor to Manuel. The players are high on him and he was recognized as the 2011 International League Manager of the Year.
For the Phils and the fans, promoting Sandberg could seem like the perfect choice. After all, he was already scouted by both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, the organization Sandberg built his Hall of Fame career with, for jobs last year. The Phillies had to sweat it out and wait as fortunately neither team chose him.
The Phillies, who made the regretful decision to trade the young Sandberg when he was just a prospect in the system, are not going to make the mistake of letting him leave again. They are committed to giving him a chance as right they should.
It just shouldn't be next year, though.
In order to thoroughly explain why Manuel deserves to keep his job, the best way to do so is to compare him to Sandberg, his would-be successor. After the comparisons, it should be clear that Manuel, and not Ryno, should be the Phillies manager at least until his contract expires following the 2013 season.