Uncle Chollie, Chuck, that idiot in the Phillies dugout, he has been called many things. Most are not that flattering, but we must give Charlie credit, he gets the best out of his team. This year may be his best performance yet. I was one of his biggest bashers when he arrived. He couldn't grasp the concept of the double switch that is required in the National League. In 2005 Billy Wagner had 6 at bats. How can that happen? Charlie has gotten better with the strategy of the game but every now and then he forgets. "Now batting for the Phillies, Pitcher Chad Durbin". With his success I will give him a pass. In 2007 he lead the Phillies to their first post season appearance in 14 years. He had a good core of young players coming into their prime. I honestly never expected the Phillies to win a World Series in 2008. Charlie road a shut down bullpen into the playoffs and all the way to a World Series Championship. Most of the pieces from that bullpen are still here, Madson, Romero, Durbin and Lidge. They had career years in 08'. If they were ahead after 8 innings you knew they were going to win. Thanks for the ring Charlie, I guess he could have just been in the right place at the right time. Wrong.
Last year Charlie really showed me something. This team could have coasted like a lot of teams do after winning a championship. He didn't let that happen. His bullpen wasn't nearly as good, Hamels struggled. They did acquire Cliff Lee who was a playoff beast. Two straight World Series appearances. Great job.
This year with all the injuries and distractions with high expectations for this team, he has kept them rolling. He is doing it with the likes of Wilson Valdez, Ross Gload, Mike Sweeney, Ben Francisco ect. His bullpen has been shaky at best. The starters after Halladay and Hamels have been inconsistent. The Roy Oswalt acquisition should help. This year has made me a true Charlie believer. I used to laugh at people who wore 'Manuel' T-shirts or jersey's at the ballpark. Now I think they might be the smartest people there.
Keep it classy Philly!