Charlie Manuel, best Phillies manager ever?

BY NICK STAFFIERI, Contributor

The year was 2005.  Charlie Manuel was beginning his first season at the Phillies manager amidst fan uproar due to the Phillies organization passing on Jim Leyland.  And judging by the next two seasons, the fans seemed justified in their reaction.  The Phillies finished out of the playoffs while Charlie muffed and goofed his way through bad decisions due to a lack of National League knowledge.  Meanwhile, the fans’ choice Jim Leyland took his Detroit Tigers to the 2006 World Series.  The transition from National League to American League didn’t seem to affect him.  The fans were calling for Charlie’s head.  “Worst manager ever!” was the sentiment.

Fast forward three more years.  Charlie managed our Phillies to three straight division titles (second time in team history), won the World Series in 2008 (second time in team history), brought the team to back-to-back World Series appearances (first time in team history) and has amassed 447 total victories during his tenure (4th all time in team history).

Among the top four managers in total Phillies victories, Charlie Manual has the highest winning percentage at .551.

Gene Mauch, 1960-1968, 645-684, .485

Harry Wright, 1884-1893, 636-566, .529

Danny Ozark, 1973-1979, 594-510, .538

Charlie Manual, 2005-Present, 447-363, .551

Charlie’s .551 winning percentage also places him fifth in Phillies history on that list.

Arthur Irwin, 1894-1895, 149-110, .575

Steve O’Neil, 1952-1954, 182-140, .565

Dallas Green, 1979-1981, 169-130, .565

Pat Moran, 1915-1918, 323-257, .556

Charlie Manuel, 2005-Present, 447-363, .551

Dallas Green is the only other Phillies manager that has won a World Series (1980).  With a .565 winning percentage, he would certainly gain a few votes.  Danny Ozark managed the team to three straight division titles in the late 1970s and amassed a .538 winning percentage.  With the lack of a pennant, those numbers can’t compare to Manuel’s.  Gene Mauch, the Phillies leader in number of wins, has a .485 winning percentage and will forever be remembered for losing the 1964 pennant race.  Pat Moran is the only other Phillies manager on the above lists that won a pennant (1915).

Other notable lists that Charlie tops:

Word Series Victories

Charlie Manuel – 1 (2008)

Dallas Green – 1 (1980)

National League Pennants

Charlie Manuel – 2 (2008, 2009)

Jim Fregosi – 1 (1993)

Paul Owens – 1 (1983)

Dallas Green – 1 (1980)

Eddie Sawyer – 1 (1950)

Pat Moran – 1 (1915)

National League East Division Titles

Charlie Manuel – 3 (2007, 2008, 2009)

Danny Ozark – 3 (1976, 1977, 1978)

Jim Fregosi – 1 (1993)

Paul Owens – 1 (1983)

Dallas Green – 1 (1980)

If records and pennants are any indication of greatness, Charlie most certainly would rank among the Phillies best managers.  And with great promise with the current Phillies team projected over the next few years, the potential for his legacy is even greater.  While Charlie may never be known for his cunning baseball intellect or even his ability to call a hit-and-run at the appropriate time, the bottom line result is winning.  Charlie has done that better than any Phillies manager before him.  Charlie Manuel, you are the man.

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Filed under Editorial, Nick Staffieri

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