Breaking! The Phillies have announced a press conference for 2:30 eastern time, at which point it will be declared that Charlie Manuel is no longer with the team. The Internet (specifically, my Twitter feed) has risen up in support of the decision, rightfully noting Manuel's poor decision-making, particularly in the area of signing washed-up veterans, obtaining Delmon Young, and providing that great Ryan Howard extension.
So yes, Charlie's getting a bit of a raw deal, but then, general managers have to Do Something just like managers have to Do Something sometimes. It's the law of the office jungle. Baseball is by no means exempt.
What I find tragic about the situation isn't just Manuel's fate, it's that once again, a losing team with a month and a half of baseball to play out will fail to employ a player-manager. We need more player-managers; they're the real mascots of baseball that mooses and Youppis can only approximate. What's more dramatic than a coach putting himself in as a pinch-hitter in a big game? What's more inspiring than a coach going out on the field and teaching the young players by actually doing it himself? Nothing, I say.
I'd like to say that we're not in the same boat that the Phillies are, being two games ahead in the standings and not indebted to Michael Young in any way, but you never know. The Mariners are on the path of a 74-88 season, and we're only an eight-game slide away from Something Needing to be Done here, too. It's highly unlikely that the M's would fire Wedge before the offseason, what with his condition and technically not being around lately. But you never know! We should prepare.
Let's look at an incomplete list of potential player-manager candidates from the current M's roster:
- Raul Ibanez: the easy choice. He's basically already playing like a manager anyway, and he can put himself in the lineup every day. Only four more home runs to catch Ted Williams!
- Brendan Ryan: technically, he has plenty of free time. And spirit! If he benches Brad Miller for himself, though, he'd better find some covert way of getting out to his car after home games.
- Felix: there aren't as many pitcher-managers, for some reason, although you'd think the four days' rest would make it easier. Felix is one of the few guys who might know how to use himself responsibly. Also, he's Felix. People would create statues, unsolicited.
- Nick Franklin. Not because he's particularly qualified, just because it would be hilarious to have a rookie managing the rest of the team. He can't do worse than Maury Wills, right?
Vote, and add your thoughts in the comments. This is an important dialogue we are having.