Recently dismissed Phillies manager Charlie Manuel managed to sit down for a chat with CSN Philly’s Leslie Gudel (shortly after being stalked in a local supermarket) and expressed dismay over the talent provided of late by GM Ruben Amaro Jr. Facing a greying roster, constant injuries and a juggernaut at the top of the standings in the form of the Atlanta Braves, you might’ve expected the Phillies to have sought reinforcements or prepared for a 2012 Red Sox-esque fire sale. Instead, they’ve given Chase Utely a contract extension and kicked Manuel to the curb. The Good Phight’s dajafi shares many of Manuel’s frustrations, but readily admits, “he’s not the right man for this team at this time.”
Manuel does extremely well with a veteran team with an established leadership core and mostly defined roles. His strengths as a manager are in the handling of egos and setting a tone in the clubhouse, not in-game tactical maneuvering. Given much better health and a little more talent on hand, a better tactician–Buck Showalter, or the late Billy Martin–might have been able to keep the 2013 Phillies on the periphery of the playoff race. Might have. But that guy would have been absolutely wrong for the 2005-11 Phillies, and that wasn’t the deal Manuel signed up for this season; Amaro thought he was giving Charlie a roster that could compete. As others have noted, this is the real problem: this team consistently fails to effectively evaluate non-elite players.