Tagged: Amaro

Cliff Lee

I’m sure most Phillies fans had the same reaction I did when I saw the headlines about Cliff Lee’s injury/soreness “You’ve got to be kidding!!”  The more I read about it, particularly the quotes from Amaro and Lee that everything is fine, the more worried I got.  Not because I think Amaro is lying- but because athletes in general tend to downplay their injuries, and particularly so when they are a new arrival to a team (and have a had a history of small, nagging injuries).  Hopefully this will be just what Lee and Amaro have stated- nothing to worry about- but history tells us that when someone says “there is nothing to worry about”, frequently we have a lot more to worry about than we ever thought possible.  I, along with all Phillies fans will be watching Lee closely (if he does start when scheduled) during his first spring training appearance next week.

Charlie Manuel

Interesting that Phillies and Manuel have not come to an agreement on a new contract.  According to Manuel’s agent, it’s all about the money, since Manuel wants to get top-five manager money, which I assume means $4 million per year or so.  I’ll admit I’ve never been a big fan of Manuel’s style, but to the degree any manager has a real impact on his team, his work has certainly appeared to produce exceptional results.  Whether they would have performed any differently under a different manager is of course impossible to say.  In-game decisions certainly can play a significant role (and don’t necessarily appear to be Manuel’s strong suit), but really, much of what happens once a reliever is brought into the game or a certain hitter is sent to the plate is independent of the decison made by the manager. No manager can really know how a player will perform on any given day- even the best hitters are lucky to get hits 1 out of 3 appearances and everyone is familiar with the seemingly random ups and downs of bullpens. The role of a manager therefore probably comes down more to keeping the players working together through the almost inevitable struggles/firestorms that occur at least once per season and Manuel seems to have success in this regard.  However, Manuel clearly prefers veteran players to younger ones, and often seems to make decisions that negatively impact the confidence of young players.  Therefore, as the Phillies begin to move toward the inevitable turnover of some of their veterans over the next 2-3 years, I’m sure Amaro is wondering if Manuel is the right person for that job.  With manager in waiting Sandberg in Lehigh Valley (and Mark Parent further down the system), no reason for Amaro to way overpay for a manager.  I’d give Manuel a two-year extension, $3 million per year, and tell him that was the top limit.  If he thinks he can do better somewhere else, thanks Charlie for your efforts and good luck.