PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – No one knows for sure whether Charlie Manuel will be the Phillies manager after this season. Ruben Amaro Jr. has said it will be addressed when this season ends, while Charlie Manuel gave his thoughts much as Jay Z would have.
No matter what happens with Manuel, it’s clear he’s made his mark. Ending a championship drought in Philadelphia with the 2008 World Series win buys Manuel a lifetime of goodwill in the city.
“I do know that obviously [Manuel’s fate is] an organizational decision. For us, he’s been an inspiration, obviously throughout my whole career in the big leagues because he’s been my manager. He’s an outstanding manager and I’ve really learned a lot about baseball from him,” Hamels told 94WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese on Thursday. ”
After winning the World Series in ’08, the Phillies have had less success with each passing season, from a World Series loss, to a Championship Series loss, to a Divisional Series loss, to .500 in 2012, and then this year’s disaster.
“At the same time, we understand that it is a business and when things aren’t going right something is going to happen. A decision is going to be made, changes are going to be made, we can all be in that position. I know in my time in baseball, I know I can’t play forever. There’s going to be a time where somebody is going to have to make a decision and it obviously won’t benefit probably myself, or something that I would like,” Hamels said. “I have the utmost respect for Charlie, and I think we all do. We do. We feel horrible that we weren’t able to obviously win last year, and we’re not winning this year because he’s just been a really inspiration to all of us. It’s just something that’s—it’s unfortunate, and we know that obviously the upper management is going to make decisions and all we have to do is just focus and go out on the field and play, because ultimately that’s what our job is. It’s to go out and play baseball the best we know how, to have the sort of Philly pride of playing for the city of Philadelphia, and nothing else.”
While the Phillies season has gone in the tank, Hamels has turned his performance around. Lowering his ERA to 3.65, and dominating his last eight starts.
“Obviously I was very disappointed in the way it started, but at the same time I know, you know, nobody is going to feel sorry for you. You have to go out there and you have to get the job done. That’s the reason why they signed me and that’s the reason why I get paid to go out there,” Hamels said. “I have to get the job done, the expectations are going to be there, and it’s for me to go out and enjoy the moment because pitching is fun for me and I had to make it fun. That was just focusing on working a little bit more than I guess I’m used to to try and get everything back and just get prepared and ultimately I know, if you stay healthy, results should come. I’ve been able to do that, but the results weren’t coming. So I think it was just something about trying to go back to when I was having success, try to find out what I was doing right, and repeat that.”
It’s clear, no matter what moves are made with the Phillies, the goal for the franchise will not be a “rebuilding” effort. Which players and coaches are here isn’t sure, but the object will always be to win.
“I think it’s not on only one person. I think it’s on all of us, and we really do have to get back to the basics and develop that sort of bond, team bond, that we know we used to have and see where it can take us,” Hamels said. “Because obviously it took us to the World Series, it took us to many playoff games, so I think that’s kind of where we have to get back to.”