Since his tenure as Philadelphia Phillies manager commenced in 2005, Charlie Manuel has seen his share of ups and downs. Fortunately for him and the Phillies, the majority of Manuel's experiences have been positive, though as of late the opposite couldn't be truer.
Over the last two seasons, Manuel and the Phillies have slid from being the best in baseball to the laughing stock of the league. In 2012, most of the Phillies' woes could be attributed to the injuries of cornerstone players such as Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. While all three of those players have spent some amount of time on the disabled list in 2013 as well, that alone cannot be blamed for the lack of success this season.
Last year, multiple unlucky events led to the Phillies' first non-winning season in over a decade. This year, however, there are two obvious names to take the hit. One is Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. for his mismanagement of the team's roster, both in the offseason and at this year's trade deadline. The other is Manuel himself.
From playing hitters in the wrong spots of the lineup to simply allowing players to go about their own business unmanaged, Manuel has gone from franchise hero to lame duck in a short period of time.
He's made some mistakes that have cost the Phillies any remaining chances they've had in 2013 following Amaro's inactivity. While not everything the players do should be blamed on Manuel, it is the manager's job to provide an explanation for his team's errors. And Manuel has not done that.
Don't get me wrong, Manuel should be revered by all Phillies fans for leading the team in all-time managerial wins and to its second World Series title in 2008. I'm not suggesting he should be criticized solely for his miscues this season. Nevertheless, there have been miscues, perhaps too many to identify them all.
In light of that, let's take a look at Manuel's top four mistakes managing the Phillies this season.