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I always thought, I can say it, I’m straight,
Manuel always looks like he was just released from Shawshank and doesn't know what to do with his life.
Charlie Manuel Basically Blames Ruben Amaro for Putting Together #### Team
This photo of him leaving the park after being fired really had that feeling.
Terrible thing, to live in fear.
Phillies fans have this weird tendency to put everything on Amaro, and I don't get it. Yes, Amaro made some big mistakes, but the biggest one, the Howard deal, hasn't come close to hurting them yet. Amaro went for a window of success, traded away the correct prospects, and brought in star players to contend for the WS. The Howard deal was a horrible deal, but it was only money. Who did the Howard deal prevent them from signing? Josh Hamilton? Albert Pujols?
Did Amaro make Manuel refuse to platoon Howard since 2011?
Yes, by signing him to a $125 million contract.
You do realize that this can just as easily be used as an argument against Amaro. Howard's contract didn't cripple the team; why then, besides his own incompetence, has he assembled such weak 25 man rosters?
But that's just it--he hasn't. His 25 man in 2012 was widely expected to be the best team in the NL
They happened to have EVERYTHING go wrong altogether
Manuel is still talking about adding pieces, not about recognizing the team is aging and it's time for a rebuild. Manuel seems to be referring to adding higher-priced veterans while the real problem was the development system's lack of production. Did Manuel object to the Howard extension then or even now? Did he object to bringing Rollins back? (not a big deal in the grand scheme of things) Did he think they should have re-signed Werth or kept Pence and, if so, what payroll would he have jettisoned?
And, coming off a 102-win season in 2011, what was it specifically that caused him to know in spring 2012 that the team was done for? Was it letting Madson, Oswalt, Lidge and Ibanez go? Was it re-signing Rollins and signing Papelbon (overpaid or not, one of the best relievers in the game)? The addition of Juan Pierre and Ty Wiggonton (this should have been a huge hint)?
I don't think there was anybody here who strongly disagreed with letting those 4 go -- some question around Madson and Oswalt. Nobody here was happy about the replacements except Braves fans but these seem like the sort of moves Manuel was asking for, not complaining about.
You never know what's PR BS and what's truth but Manuel is quoted here responding to news of Howard's extension:
"This is absolutely great. We signed Ryan Howard quite a few years ago and that means we're keeping him. He's one of our guys, he is a Phillie. It's big for our team. That's what you set out for.
“He's very worthy of it. He is a great player and he is going to continue to be a great player for a while. Everything about it's good,” Manuel said.
Fail, as you kids love to say.
Amaro has many faults but in 2012 he handed Manuel a team with a rotation of Lee, Hamels, Halladay, Worley, Blanton and Kendrick and the 2nd highest paid closer in the game. He handed him Howard and Utley (and Rollins and Ruiz and Victorino and ...). The January 2012 projected standings at RLYW put the Phils at 90-72 and first in the NLE. On April 3, using ZiPS, RLYW put them at 91 wins and now a 3-game favorite in the NLE -- best projection in the NL and a 76% chance at the playoffs. Some indiv ZiPS projections:
Utley 116 OPS+
Lee 210 IP, 140 ERA+
Halladay 210, 140
Hamels 199, 120
Worley 168, 103
Papelbon 152 (Red Sox)
Ibanez 95, Oswalt 108, Madson 132, Lidge 108 for the ones let go ... and naturally Ibanez was the only one to even come close to that.
Is there a manager in the world that wouldn't have loved to have that team in the NL in the spring of 2012? Really? I'm pretty sure the easy majority opinion around here was that the 2012 Phils were playoff bound and maybe the best team in the NL. Manuel is engaging in revisionist history.
Shane Victorino went from 5 WAR to 2.
The Pythag for the team was 81-81 and they ended up ... 81-81. Cholly did his job. Amaro was asleep at the wheel. A decent righty and lefty hitter off the bench and maybe two more veteran bullpen arms and that team could have won 90+.
Yeah, but this exemplifies much of what has gone wrong in Philadelphia the last couple of years. Victorino was never going to be a 5 win player on any consistent basis. A 2 win player is what he is and always has been, other than one fluke season at the age of 30.
w/r/t ryan howard, yeah, there's 3/75 left on his contract and it would be great if it wasn't, but there's 7/168 left on prince fielder's contract and 8/210 left on albert pujols' contract, so while howard is overpaid in the short term, his contract is not nearly the albatross that everyone here accuses it of being.
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