At 2pm, we will find out if Uncle Chollie will be crowned the first Phillies manager to win Manager of the Year since Larry Bowa in 2001 (Bowa is the only Phillies skipper to win the award since the year they gave it out in 1983).
Sure Joe Torre led the Dodgers to their first playoff appearance in 4 years (his 13th straight year in the playoffs after 12 straight with the Yankees) and Lou Piniella led the Cubs to their 2nd straight berth and the most wins in baseball. But those 2 didn't do what Manuel did and that was win the NL Pennant and World Series.
Manuel out-coached the 4-time champion Torre, who also out coached Piniella's top-seeded squad. It should be obvious to the voters for this thing to pick the man who won it all. Unfortunately that hasn't been the case at all because since 2000, only Jim Leyland and Ozzie Guillen won the award and the World Series
Here are my points that I want to make for Manuel. First is that he had balls in sending his opening day starter in Brett Myers down to the minors. We all know Myers is a head case and this would either help him or hurt hi. Manuel took that chance and look at what Myers turned into for the 2nd half of the season.
Secondly, his use of the bench was phenomenal. Greg Dobbs was the best pinch hitter in the league and Eric Brintlett and Geoff Jenkins made big plays subbing in for Pat Burrell and pinch hitting. Chris Coste also turned into a good PH option. Manuel loved to use the double switch and he finally used it well towards the run of August and September.
Third, he got the players to give their best at all times. After Jimmy Rollins didn't run out that pop out in June/July, he benched him. He trusted Shane Victorino to be the CF and use his work effort to turn him into the monster he was in the 2nd half, offensively and defensively. And he stuck with Ryan Howard when he was in DEEP DEEP slump. We all know what Howard did once he woke up.
Also he was able to make his players believe that when they were 3 1/2 games out of the playoffs in September that it was not over. He rallied this team so many times it was amazing.
Fourth and finally, Manuel grabbed a hold of how to use this bull pen. JC Romero and Ryan Madson turned into the best set up otpions possible for Brad Lidge to be perfect all year. He also found some good relief in Scott Eyre and Chad Durbin to stick with them through out crunch time.
Charlie Manuel should be voted Manager of the year. Anyone who thinks other wise obviously was rooting for the Rays to win it all. Everyone hates Philadelphia, even when there is now doubt that they are the best team with the best coach.
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