Philadelphia Phillies: Does the Charlie Manuel Extension Saga Really Matter?
Okay, before I start, let me just be clear that I am a huge fan of Charlie Manuel, so don't be fooled by the headline.
However, when I was thinking over the whole situation about his contract, is it really a necessity to keep him?
Manuel has done a tremendous job in Philadelphia by bringing home a World Series, but has he done all he can?
I feel like in sports there comes a time where a coach can do no more then just watch his team try to execute. The Phillies arguably have the best team on paper in the league, with a ton of talented players.
Manuel had a big influence on every player wearing a Phillies uniform, but I feel like every player (with the exception of a few) have maxed out to their full potential of talent.
Having said that, there are also plenty of reasons why they need to give him the extension.
So in this slideshow we'll analyze five reasons why they don't need to give him the extension and five reasons why they do need to give him the extension.
In the end, we'll come to a verdict.
10. Veteran Leadership
The Phillies roster this season includes many veterans. With the exception of Cole Hamels and Ben Francisco, the rest of the lineup are all at least 30 years old.
Fans must realize how much experience this team has.
Manuel helped bring this team up to what it is today and he did a great job. But is it time for the mentor to leave his students?
Roy Halladay has been a clear workhorse and not only with the Phillies. He teaches himself now.
Jimmy Rollins is a great base runner and could pretty much teach everyone else his tricks, and same with Chase Utley.
Placido Polanco is one of the best hitters in the game, and Carlos Ruiz has proven to be a reliable and consistent catcher.
This is a team of leaders. In gruesome times, this team has the leadership to carry themselves down the road.
9. Talent Level
The team's talent level right now is already through the roof.
The Phillies currently have four starting pitchers who are All-Stars (two of whom are Cy Young award winners) and six position players who are All-Stars (you can add one to include Carlos Ruiz).
Their pitching rotation is stacked and they have very solid hitting. It can get streaky at times, but there is always one player who remains consistent during a slump.
And don't tell me that the bullpen isn't good, because it's really not as bad as fans make it out to be (yes, Brad Lidge is fine).
Almost every player on this team has a pedigree and each one flourishes in a special talent. The talent this team evokes is extremely versatile when you put it all together.
8. Is He The Best Manager?
Like I stated earlier, I love Uncle Chuck, but is he the most brilliant of managers?
Some fans will say that he isn't the best one out there, but he is more than serviceable. In fact, he is definitely a top five manager in today's game.
The only reason why I bring out this argument is when it comes down to the money.
Think of it like this: Would you give Melo LeBron-type money?
I think we can consider Manuel like Melo in this case, because on a scale of 1 to 10, the need for him isn't a 10 because he has already coached this team up to be a top team in the league.
So I would like to keep him, but if the money goes overboard, maybe we should take some time to reconsider.
7. The Big Four and Joe Blanton
If you have paid attention to any baseball news, you have heard of the Phillies starting pitching rotation: Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and Joe Blanton.
When the Phillies brought back Lee, it really sealed the deal for Phillies fans. Entering the season with pitching staff of that caliber is very reassuring.
In the playoffs, pitching is what wins you games and that right now is the Phillies' biggest advantage (assuming no one gets hurt).
With such a great pitching staff and lineup a mentioned earlier, some fans argue that keeping Manuel isn't as big of a priority any more.
6. Easier Team To Deal With For a New Manager
If the Phillies were to get a new manager, I think having the older, veteran lineup would make things easier for him.
The team is easy going and very good.
5. Represents Philadelphia
Manuel is a perfect example of your blue-collar guy.
He sticks to his word and always backs up his players. When Lidge was having a bad season, did Manuel give up on him?
Has he given up on Rollins, and has ever given up on any player?
The answer to these questions are no, in case you needed any help.
He represents Philly in a great way and is a great icon for a manager.
4. Big Shoes To Fill
If the case would arise that the Phillies don't give Manuel an extension, no matter who would take his place would have huge shoes to fill.
Even though I said earlier that a new manager would have the benefit of the doubt, Manuel has developed such a pedigree in the city of Philadelphia and that would be extremely hard to live up to.
Plus, Philly fans will always give anyone a hard time. We are so quick to react and jump to conclusions (sad but true, and we must admit it).
And if he doesn't do a good job, people will say "He can't even win with a lineup like this!"
If we keep Manuel, we won't have to encounter this problem.
3. The Fans Love Him
CHARLIE, CHARLIE, CHARLIE!
This is what you hear at Phillies games when Manuel gets fired up from a bad call by the umpire and the fans love it when it happens (as do I).
You have to prove a lot to be loved by Philly sports fans. Philly fans tell the truth. If you're playing bad, they'll let you know that, but they have always loved Manuel.
If the Phillies would not give an extension to Manuel, the fans would be very disappointed.
2. Impact On The Players
It is clear that every Phillies player loves Uncle Charlie and have each made his own personal connection to him.
He's been here for a while and has accomplished a lot with the players.
If Manuel were to leave, then I think it would have a big effect on the players. They would have to get used to not playing under a great manager like Manuel and after playing under him for a while, it would be hard for them to adapt.
1. Helped Bring a World Series
In 2008, it seemed that the city of Philadelphia was rejuvenated. As a die-hard Phillies fan and a Philly native, everyone you saw couldn't get over the great season, but could you blame them?
This team had won the World Series for the first time since 1980.
Phillies fans had forgotten how good felt to win, which is why they want to win so badly again this season. They want that feeling of holding up that trophy and saying that we are the best.
But can they do it without Manuel?
He clearly played a huge part in this great season, and I think losing him would bring a massive disadvantage to helping them win it all.
In The End, He'll Stay
After reviewing, I think the Phillies need to give Manuel the extension.
But no matter what happens during this process, I believe that Manuel will remain part of the Phillies. He has been too much of a vital piece on the path to success for the team.
It just won't make sense to let him go. He has done a great job, the players like him and so do the fans.
What more could you ask for?
If Manuel doesn't come back, then baseball season just wouldn't feel right. Not without Uncle Charlie.