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Thursday, October 06, 2005


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agree..agree..agree. etc etc etc.

nice wrap up on Manuel. I said the same thing on my site --he deserves to stay, despite his screwups.

Very well put, Jason, though I can't help but wonder why we can't hire a manager who is both a people person and technically competent ...

I have been asking myself for about two months now, "What exactly does Gary Varsho do during the games?" Does he, for example, walk over to Cholly and say, "Hey, skip, we should pinch run Endy Chavez here for David Bell, right?" Does he walk over to Cholly after Rich Dubee gets off the bullpen phone and gives the thumbs up and say, "Hey, skip, we should bat [pitcher] in the number 2 slot and send up [batter] to pinch hit here."? If Cholly's greatest weakness is in-game strategy, and it is, then what the hell is all of that alleged coaching talent leaning on the dugout railing spitting out sunflower seeds doing?

I hear everything you are saying and agree with a lot of it. But when do we reach the point where we can just say enough! We all know next years team is going to look almost exactly the same minus one or two changes. I just feel like with this current team and regime running the show they are going to be the exact same team.. Good, but not good enough to win it all. I WANT TO WIN IT ALL. I think it's time to shake things up. Get rid of Wade and if the new GM wants to get rid of Cholly, so be it. Trade Abreu or Burrell, do something to give this team a new feel. Meh.

Don't forget there's a part 2 to this - the negatives.

Jason -

Now that "Cholly" is back (I agree with your article) does this mean for certain that ED WADE is back as well.....? We definitely need another quality starter (we don't really have an 'ace' although Lieber was great in Sept) and what about our middle relief, 3rd base and catcher? Can we trust Wade to work on these issues? Even though every article says that Monty is aware of our discontent, I doubt that he does anything about Wade. I'm a 17 game season ticket holder - Why is it that a GM with no post seasons since 1993 is allowed to stay on? Do you think the PHILS arte just unwilling to spend the $$$$$ to get someone who has succeeded in other venues? BTW - I found your blog through a Jim Jenks link kind of late in the season but I've really enjoyed it. I'm glad you'll be continuing to "blog" through the off season so we can digest, review and then discuss the needs and moves of the 2006 PHILS... Thanks again!

What difference does it make if they can Ed Wade? They'll just promote Ruden Amaro Jr. They don't want a Billy Beane type GM. Not with this ownership group. Brian Cashman? No way.

Tom Goodman - you're point about Gary Varsho is a good one, and echoed by Jason in a post a bit back - why is Varsho up here when he could be doing more good down on the farm? And Enrico - just to bang on about my favourite point again - the big shakeup this team needs is to do with minors and coaching. HOW LONG have we had mike arbuckle? more to the point - when did arbuckle leave the braves, and how good have they been at producing young kids since? I used to rate the guy on developing high-school pitchers, until I recently thought how many of the prospects have properly developed to full-time starters.

So to bring the two points together - the best thing the phillies could do in the offseason is a serious audit on the organisation, and then go and start replacing or moving staff to gear the team to producing the bits and pieces that we'll need when the major league players together.

One of the areas I'm keen to know about cholly is his relationship with Rich Dubee. I think Dubee worked well with all the pitchers this year, and I think he's the key to cholly (a hitter's manager) understanding the pitching staff better. Seeing as how we have 'em all next year, I hope this a productive working relationship which can improve.

I agree with focusing on the minors, but that's more "moneyball" philosophy and Wade isn't having any of that.

Why is it that the Braves have such a great farm system? We need to steal their blue print and implement it in Philly.

I've heard some of the beat writers interviewed, and they say that Varsho and Dubee make suggestions to Manuel, and he disregards them.

You know, on second thought, I'm a finance major at Virginia Tech, only 18 years old, but I intend on earning a M.B.A. some day, maybe the Phillies should hire me as their new GM. That would only facilitate the current trend in MLB right now...

If that's true about Manuel disregarding Varsho and Dubee, there needs to be a story on it.

If I was Dave Montgomery and if I gave a sh*t about winning it all, I would ask myself two simple questions.
Given that the Phillies have a solid young nucleus of position players, given that the team won 88 games this past season, and they are really just a couple of key pieces away:

1) Is Charley Manuel and his staff capable of taking the team to the next level? My personal answer is YES, although I've had many criticisms of CM and his coaches.

2) Is GM Ed Wade capable of making the deals to get the pieces the Phillies need? (Moving Thome and/or others, re-signing Wagner, acquiring frontline pitching, a 3B and a catcher, etc..) My personal answer is NO. Wade does not have the imagination nor the energy to come up with the right parts.

Don't over-complicate things this off-season by focusing on longer-term projects like re-building the minor league system. It's important, certainly, and it shouldn't be ignored, but it also should not be the #1 priority THIS offseason.

Wade should be replaced or moved away from the field operations. This is a critical juncture in the future of this franchise. They need to win SOMETHING next season, not in 2009. They are very close. But they cannot make it by signing #3 and #4 starters, by re-cycling aging veterans in everyday postions, and by carrying a large payroll full of players easily replaced by more economic alternatives.

A new GM could get the minor league overhaul started, but would first acquire those missing pieces to get the Phillies to the next level in 2006. Ed Wade will not get it done.

I think that Gerry Hunsicker is still available, Monty should kick Slow Eddie upstairs and hire him to wheel and deal.

A little minor tinkering and we're there!

I believe that CM is as stubborn as a mule and won't listen to his coaches. That's why his tactical gamesmanship sucks.

George S - no sooner had I written those words, but a timetable unfolded in my head, and I agree, the soonest change could be affected would be next christmas rather than christmas coming. I think planning and initiating an audit (if necessary pulling in outside help to do it) should be done by a new gm - if they were to do it currently and ed wade went out, a new gm might not have the confidence to act on nor see the worth of the results.

Its not the whole answer, and is less urgent than addressing the pitching, but its an essential component to the team that is long overdue a revamp.

The entire coaching staff was retained based on Montgomgery and Wade's "Let's not rock the boat now that it's finally settled down" thinking. They obviously missed most if not all of the base-running blunders to which Bill Dancy was a contributing member. That alone suggests to me the Phillies' alleged brain trust refuses to take a broad view of matters. I don't give a damn how many times I hear some variation on the old saw that players win (or lose) games, everyone knows the most successful franchises have good BASEBALL men at the top. The Phillies do not.

Thanks for your comments. Part 2 of my Manuel piece has been delayed.

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