PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The last time Charlie Manuel and Howard Eskin got into a dust-up after a game, the Phillies went on a run and made the playoffs.
Perhaps Manuel was hoping the same would happen this time when he told Eskin he’d “knock [him] out,” after Friday night’s 4-3 loss to the Mets. The team came back and scored eight runs on Saturday, but followed that up by being shut out by Matt Harvey and the Mets.
“Charlie uses me as the whipping boy, because he’s afraid to yell at the players,” Eskin told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday. “He can say he’s tough with them and all that, that’s a bunch of nonsense. Obviously they don’t pay attention to him. In the news conference I hear the media just dwells on—the reporters just dwell on Cole Hamels. Granted, Cole Hamels should have locked that down with a 3-0 lead. I get it. But when the team doesn’t score after the second inning, they scored three in the second, then they don’t score the rest of the game.”
The last time the two got into it and physical violence was suggested was 2007, when Eskin suggested that Manuel be tougher on his players.
“I’m so tired of hearing—Cole Hamels is not having a really good year, but its the offense that sucks! This offense is just basically not good enough, so I formulated it into a question, with the offense it can’t be just all Cole Hamels when you don’t score after the second inning,” Eskin said. “So I got into that, and then Charlie got mad. But his big mistake, and I’m pretty sure I heard you point it out this morning, is when he says, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ Well, I do so he challenged me to say, ‘you don’t know what to do, you don’t know what to do either’. Well I do know what to do. You got to force the players to do things that they need to do, and not that they want to do, and Charlie won’t do that.”
The Phillies have scored 280 runs this season, which ranks them 25th in MLB.
Eskin says he’s just asking the questions that everyone else is afraid to, but some suggest he went in looking for a fight.
“I didn’t go in with an attitude, you may have thought that. I don’t ask a question until I hear somebody else not ask the question. It’s not good when they lose, and nobody deals with the real issue,” Eskin said. “The real issue is the lineup. The middle relief is brutal, we get all that, but the real issue with this team, because Charlie can’t manage when he doesn’t have three or four run leads, and that’s what he had all those years. And now, you’ve got to manage and you got to do something about it. If it was me, Charlie give me one game, Jimmy Rollins is not my lead-off hitter. He pops-up more than anybody in baseball. Ryan Howard, who I think is still a good player but not as good as he was, as long as he strikes out on breaking balls all the time, he’s not my four-hitter. Delmon Young, we all know, his ass should be out of here. Just release him and get it over with and that would be the end of Delmon Young. I don’t care who you put in right field, they don’t have a good enough outfielder.”