The Phillies will not talk about Charlie Manuel’s future until after the season

4 Comments

We talked yesterday about Davey Johnson being forced out of Washington, perhaps against his will. Same thing seems to be going on with Charlie Manuel in Philly.

Jim Salisbury from CSNPhilly.com quotes Ruben Amaro as being adamant that no discussions about Charlie Manuel’s status beyond 2013 will be had until after the season. Manuel is said to be on board with that approach as well, but Salisbury also says that Manuel wants to manage beyond this year. Waiting in the wings: Ryne Sandberg, the third base coach who is widely viewed as the heir apparent.

If the Phillies struggle this year it’s likely a non-issue as it will be time for a reassessment of the roster. At that point a new face in the dugout makes sense.  But what if the Phillies bounce back? What if they make the playoffs?  Does Charlie get a one year deal? More to the point, if it’s obvious that the Phillies are heading back to the playoffs come August, does Amaro change his stance on in-season negotiating?

 

Starters? Openers? Who cares? It’s the lack of offense killing the Brewers

Getty Images
2 Comments

The talk of Game 5 of the NLCS — and, indeed, the talk of the postseason so far — has been the Brewers’ creative use of their pitching staff. Indeed, Craig Counsell calling for Brandon Woodruff, and removing Miley from the game after just one batter and five pitches, stands as one of the more audacious acts of bullpenning in recent memory.

In light of that strategy, it was tempting to compare and contrast the Brewers’ approach to that of the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw gave up an early run and, as has so often been the case lately, didn’t look super sharp early. But as the game wore on he got stronger, his curve got more devastating and he turned in an ace-like performance, leaving after seven innings of work, retiring the final 13 batters he faced. The Brewers may have an army of pitchers they throw at you, but the Dodgers, on this night, had a Hulk.

That’s all a lot of fun, and it was a tempting narrative to grab a hold of, but you know what? It doesn’t matter a bit. The fact of the matter is that the Brewers have scored two runs in the last 17 innings between Games 4 and 5. Two runs, with one of them being an oh-by-the-way run with out in the ninth tonight. They’ve only scored three runs in their last 24 innings. They could have a college of coaches using a murder of pitchers and they’d still be staring at being down 3-2 like they are right now because the bats have gone cold.

The presumptive NL MVP, Christian Yelich, was 0-for-4 in Game 5 and is only 3-for-20 with three singles in the entire NLCS. Ryan Braun is 5-for-21. Lorenzo Cain is 6-for-24. Games 3 and 4 have, obviously, been the big problems for the Brewers. In those games the entire team is batting .168 with 26 strikeouts and they are 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Craig Counsell could go back in time, bring back Pete Vukovich, Rollie Fingers, Teddy Higuera, Moose Haas and Jim Slaton, use them all for an inning and two-thirds each and it wouldn’t matter if the Brewers can’t score. That’s the story of the series so far. No matter how much we might want to talk about the pitching shenanigans, that’s the only thing that really matters.