Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel was fired this afternoon. He’s arguably the best manager in team history, and was in charge for the 2008 World Series win and a number of successful seasons before and after. I don’t really need to go into much more detail: he was beloved, and for good reason.
To put it briefly: I loved Charlie because he knew when to care and when not to. One of the most annoying things about following Philadelphia sports is a whipped-up hysteria about every sporting event or decision, most of which don’t matter. And I’m not just talking about “in the larger world” matter, but often in “the Philadelphia sports world” matter as well.
Charlie simply didn’t care. A thousand writers have probably described him as “laid-back” and “relaxed,” and I’ll do it too: he was laid-back and relaxed. He was. I can’t put it any better. And I’ll miss that. Yes, he wasn’t a king of strategy, and he believed in obnoxious sports ideas like “his gut” and “hunches” over statistical evidence.
But while he wasn’t a progressive baseball manager, he was a progressive Philadelphia sports figure, and I’ll miss having him around the team and the city.
Bye, Charlie. You were good to us and for us.