The pitchers aren't pitching. The hitters aren't hitting. There are 16 games left for Charlie Manuel's Phillies to change that before it counts.
This morning, there were a couple write-ups on Manuel, basically laying it on the table. The Phils, who are 5-11-1 this spring, are dogging it. They're too cool, he believes. That includes team leaders. No one was mentioned specifically, but he didn't need to. We get the point. The question is, is it time for Manuel to look in the mirror? Are his players taking cues from the top? Does his hands-off approach, which keeps players loose during the dog days of summer, hurt him in the frosty early weeks, when success sometimes boils down to who wants it most?
The Phillies have a habit of playing catch-up until September. Last season, it miraculously worked. If you're hoping this season is any different, beware. Old habits die hard, especially when there's an enabler involved.
Game chat: Adam Eaton is scheduled. Discuss it here.