Charlie Manuel said he won't talk about his contract anymore after Saturday, but he got a lot off of his chest about it, his job and his performance as Phillies skipper. And he believes he doesn't have to explain himself, not even to President Obama.
Manuel has more wins that any manager in franchise history. He's one of two to win a World Series title. He guided the team to five straight NL East titles when they had just one in the 21 years before he arrived.
"My record is just as good as anybody’s in baseball," Manuel told reporters, including CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury, on Saturday in Clearwater. "I don’t want to sound like I’m an ‘I/me’ guy because I’m not. But really, I mean just look at it. What’s wrong with it? Do you know what I mean?"
Yes, Charlie, we know what you mean. You undeniably have been the best manager in Phillies history, and arguably own the best track record in the game right now (though Bruce Bochy might have something to say about that).
But your team also owned baseball's best record in 2010 and 2011, and there are no titles or pennants to show for it. Your record has earned you a bad season (2012) and a chance to finish out your contract. But don't expect it to take you any further than that if there isn't another serious title run this year.
It's unfortunate for Manuel -- who, somehow, has never won a Manager of the Year award -- that his heir apparent Ryne Sandberg was promoted to coach third base. And Sandberg isn't going to wait around and be patient -- he bolted from the Cubs when he didn't land that job in 2010.
"You can look at it any way you want to. But it is what it is," Manuel said. "What I meant was, you shouldn’t have to explain it, us or the team. I shouldn’t have to explain it to anybody, the team or President Obama or anybody. Seriously. That’s kind of how I look at it. I’m not worried about my contract. I’ve been in baseball 51 years and right now I definitely plan on staying in baseball and I plan on managing.”
Will Manuel be managing the Phillies post 2012? Sure, it's definitely a possibility. The team, though, won't make that judgment based on his past record -- and they shouldn't. Unless, say, his resume includes multiple World Series titles.