After 14 years of being the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Reid has been relieved of his duties. He leaves the franchise as the winningest coach in history. He led the Eagles to 5 NFC Championship games, and 1 Super Bowl. As the National pundits always put it, those numbers speak for themselves. We know here in Philly however, not winning the “Big One”, amongst many other issues, is why Reid is gone.
One would think with a résumé like that, it would be hard to remove, and replace, a coach with that type of record. Just across the parking lot though, on the other side of XFinity Live, the Philadelphia Phillies may be dealing with the same type of situation in 9 months.
Charlie Manuel has been the Philles manager since the 2005 season. Since then, he has compiled 727 wins, and maintained a .561 winning percentage during the regular season. He has led the team to 5 consecutive division titles, 2 World Series, and of course, the World Series victory in 2008.
Although the now longest tenured coach in Philadelphia has an impressive résumé as well, this will be a make or break season for his future in Philadelphia. First of all Manuel is not getting any younger, he will turn 69 years old on Friday. Happy Birthday Charlie, by the way. He’s in the last year of his contract with Ryne Sandberg waiting in the wings. He also has a quickly aging roster to handle this upcoming season. His core position players are all reaching the “other side” of their careers. He has a pitching staff that is led by 3 horses (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee & Cole Hamels), only Hamels is under 30. This off-season did not provide the opportunity to go after the big bopper-style player that Charlie loves. Saying that, he will actually have to manage this season more than he has in the past and that might not be a bad thing.
Charlie is known as a “baseball guy” around the league. He has been involved with MLB in some facet for close to 50 years. For the past couple of years Charlie has seemed to sit back, and not really try many different things with his players on the field. Easy to do when you’ve got a guaranteed 40/145 at 1B (Ryan Howard), a consistent hitting 2B (Chase Utley), and others contributing regularly. This season, he will have an outfield that could enter the season with 15 total MLB Home Runs. (That is based on an opening day outfield of Darin Ruf, Ben Revere, and Domonic Brown) He will have a 36 year old 3B (Michael Young) who will not be a gold-glove level fielder. If ever there was a season where Manuel will have to implore his baseball knowledge on his team, this is it.
The Phillies seem to be the city of Philadelphia’s closest hope for a championship, and with those high expectations, comes a lot of pressure on Charlie Manuel. Just like Reid, he will enter this season with fans expecting at minimum, a trip deep into the post season. If the Phillies fail to make the playoffs, or make an early exit, I would assume that this is Charlie Manuel’s swan song, and the 2 longest tenured coaches in Philadelphia will both be gone within a 9 month span.Tags: Andy Reid, Ben Revere, Charlie Manuel, Chase Utley, Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown, Michael Young, MLB, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies, RyanHoward, Ryne Sandberg