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Fix the Phillies: Fire Manuel, Hire Sandberg

Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel will go down as the greatest manager in team history, but it might be time for Ryne Sandberg to get his shot.

He's the Manager of the Year and the manager of this year's All-Star squad.

No, his name isn't ; it's Ryne Sandberg.

While the Philadelphia Phillies get to start the second half of the baseball season in a basement in which the water is almost chest deep, the skipper of the is putting together another fine season.

Check the standings

For Charlie, the Phils stand dead last in the NL East, 14 games back of the first-place Washington Nationals. Even a Wild Card berth looks wild at best, despite a healthy second half expected for sluggers Ryan Howard and Chase Utley and returning stud Roy Halladay.

The Phils are 10 back in the Wild Card race, and at 39-51, that .433 winning clip isn't going to scare many teams in Major League Baseball these days.

Sandberg, however, took the Iron Pigs to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last year, and has them in first place at the International League (AAA) All-Star Break.

Ryno's work has been impressive, considering the Phils have shuttled players between Allentown and Philadelphia this year because of injuries and the ineffectiveness of the bullpen of the big club.

Yeah, Charlie has a World Series ring, and in Phillies history, only he and Dallas Green can flash them as managers. Charlie also has two National League pennants and a handful of NL East titles to his name.

The man has done some great work in Philadelphia and he will go down as the greatest manager in Phillies history. (Sorry, Dallas!)

But every head coach must one day go (OK, Andy Reid is still sticking around for another season), and it would serve the Phils' management well to do right by Sandberg this time.

Have you seen photos of him in a Chicago Cubs uniform? Sandberg only became a Hall of Famer with the Cubbies—and that's because the Sillies threw him in as an extra in a trade when they banished Larry Bowa to Chicago for Ivan De(Who?)Sus.

(Who was behind that deal? Chicago general manager Dallas Green.)

So let the season play out and give Charlie his shot at righting the ship, even if a few players jump off this Titanic of a season. He's earned that opportunity.

But don't let Sandberg walk away for a job elsewhere; he almost did last year. The Phillies can't afford to let Ryno slip away once again.

When the season ends and the Phils finish in last place, give Charlie some grand administrative position with the organization and let Sandberg have his due.

He deserves the chance. Who knows? With this organization, Sandberg could be a Hall of Fame manager as well.

Big Daddy 1 July 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Why not bring up Ryne now as hitting coach. Greg Gross must go. Power numbers are all way down for everyone since he became hitting coach, Then make Ryne the manager when the time is right.
Christina Paciolla July 17, 2012 at 02:44 PM
So, are you saying because the Phillies stand to have one losing year, it's all Charlie's fault and he should be canned? And to bring up Ryne Sandberg, with one year experience as a coach of a AAA team? That doesn't make much sense to me. It seems like Phillies fans (and I'm one of the biggest) need some sort of excuse as to why the Phillies aren't doing well this year. In the first half of the season—we had Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Vance Worley and Roy Halladay on the disabled list. And we had good players playing poorly. We gotta trot out Nix, Wigginton and Fontenot because that's what we have. I'm surprised we're only 11 games out of first! I just think letting Charlie go isn't the answer. Are we so jaded by winning the last four years?
Teresa Kazmierski July 17, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I love how Charlie is the best when we are winning and now he is the reason for the Phillies losing. How about the fact that the team is just not hitting!! This was also the reason we did not make it to the World Series last year despite a fantastic season. The team would barely squeak by with a win because they were not hitting the ball. Thanks to the pitching staff they looked better than they actually were!
Larry O'Doyle July 17, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Fire Uncle Charlie for one bad HALF season? Get a clue.
Porterincollingswood July 17, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Charlie stays for as long as the core of veterans is here - Howard and Utley and Rollins. To change course for some kind of youth movement / overhaul / fire sale (which will never happen here since the fans attend games and the team makes money) what would the point be? This isn't HS football or even the NFL, where you can bring a coach in to scream and yell and hold guys accountable. In MLB and NBA you can't do that with veterans, they don't respond to it. They're grown men, professionals. He's the right guy for this team - the construct of the team just happens to be way off kilter and we have supporting players (Pence, Ruiz) shouldering too much of the burden with our stars recovering, recently returned.
Sean McCullen July 17, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Here's the excuse in one word: Bullpen.
jblaze July 17, 2012 at 05:55 PM
CHARLIE WON US A CHAMPIONSHIP...how can we fire him for one bad season but yet andy reid hasnt won anything and he still coaching here, we gotta give Charlie atleast 1 more year 2 right the ship
@xxLouA July 17, 2012 at 05:59 PM
right on for Christina and teresa but that's the way it goes in baseball, it's always the manager who gets the boot. But before Ryne there is one guy who I've been writing about online and that is the person who HELPED BUILD this team and then destroy it by putting all those big bux out for pitching and completely forgot you needs to get runs to win for these pitchers......Know who???? RA he's the man
Joe July 17, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Typical WIP-crowd panic piece here. Charlie is certainly not the best manager in the game but he holds about 3% responsibility for the first half performance of the team; 27% belongs with several underachieving players (yeah, I'm talking to you bullpen and pretty much all the position players except Pence, Pierre, Rollins and Ruiz) and the final 70% belongs to Amaro. Amaro, obviously, could not know Doc would end up missing two months but we had multiple holes coming into the season and he did nothing but patch them up with cardboard. When is the black hole at third base going to be addressed? How about left field? At this point, just get Brown up here and let him play. He has almost no trade value anyway so he isn't going to hurt that by struggling. And if he does struggle, at least the Phils know there is nothing there and they can move on. The kid still has not received a fair shot at staying with the big club. Let him play everyday for the rest of the season (maybe 250 - 270 ABs) and let's see what he can do.
Larry O'Doyle July 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Do you think it's time to offer Charlie a contract extension now Dino? You should really be more prudent about the reactionary nonsense you write regarding the grueling marathon of a baseball season.
Rob L. July 19, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Nonsense, most of the healthy players have underperformed. Firing Charlie will NOT fix anything. 700 level knee-jerk reaction.
Larry July 19, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I agree. I will add that I believe Sanberg could be brought in on the management team in some capacity. Then he and Manuel could try new approaches. Eventualy when Charlie decides to catch balls on the outfield stands, Ryne could be stepping up to see that he gets a few chces to catch a ball or two. As Charlie has said repeatedly it is about having fun playing ball.
Larry July 19, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Carlie has been around ball parks a LOT of years. I trust he will know when it is time to throw in the towel. He loves the Phillies too much not to bring in new tallent to replace even himself.
Bill Prendergast August 01, 2012 at 06:50 PM
it's not that this year is all Charlie's fault, but he is a "players manager", which means he basically just makes the lineup and pats them on the butt. We need a guy who gets small ball, someone who isn't afraid to pull a pitcher when they suck, to help the team win games. I like Uncle Cholly as much as anyone, but he was a great manager for the offensive juggernaut we had 5 years ago, not the team we have now.
Big Daddy 1 August 01, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I hear that we are not the same powerhouse team we were 5 years ago. Of course we are. We still have the same core players and all of them have hit less since greg gross and uncle charlie turned them into shadows of their former selves. They had Howard standing on top of the plate so that he would pull everything into that shift. They turned a 50 HR all fields bomber into a 30 HR half field player. Utley's power is down. Victorino was slapping at pitches. Mayberry came back from the minors last year with pop. Now he is way off the plate and not doing well. All players - hitters and pitchers are in a slump. Only one answer: get rid of the hitting coach now and eventually Charly too. We don't need no stinking small ball, just let these guys hit like they proved they can.
Ed August 04, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Chuckles has to go worst manager in baseball has no clue how to manage a close game
Michelle Wolfson August 06, 2012 at 05:12 AM
The manager isn't the problem. Injuries in the first half and a positively dreadful bullpen put the team where they are right now. And only time and the strategic acquisition of the players we need (relief pitching, a 3rd baseman, and now 1 or 2 outfielders that can produce runs) is going to help right the ship. I am totally confident that in 2013 they will be back on track. Charlie shouldn't go just yet. He's only got another year left on his contract anyway. Give Sandberg another year Triple A-- or heck bring him up on the coaching staff in some capacity-- but as manager--not yet. Give him the nod when Charlie's contract is up.

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