Today the Phillies parted ways with their longtime skipper, Charlie Manuel — one of just two men to lead the local 9 to the pinnacle of Major League Baseball. It was an emotional press conference, with Cholly, in his folksy way, explaining that he “did not resign, did not quit.”
It’s the Band-Aid we all knew was going to be ripped off sometime in the near future, but that doesn’t make it any less excruciating.
It reminded us of these other painful Philadelphia breakups.
5. Charles Barkley Traded to Phoenix Suns for ray of sunshine Jeff Hornacek (and Andrew Lang and Tim Perry).
The round mound of rebound’s departure left the Sixers devoid of talent and personality.
4. Ed and Midge Rendell get a “gray divorce”
While it was perhaps no surprise that the Gov. and his wife of 40 years threw in the towel, it was no less heartbreaking.
3. Eric Lindros and the Flyers finally call it quits.
When Bobby Clarke traded Lindros to the Rangers for a bunch of have-beens and never-would-bes, it was the culmination of a long, ugly relationship that was as painful as its end was sweet relief for all involved.
2. Steve Carlton rejects retirement, gets released
Carlton had lost his fastball thanks to rotator cuff issues. After a 1-8 season in 1985 and a miserable first half of 1986, Phillies brass approached Lefty about retiring. When he refused, the club released their future Hall of Famer, and Phils fans had to watch him kick around the league like a vagabond until teams finally stopped giving him chances.
1. Mike Schmidt retires, bawls like a baby
When Michael Jack decided he didn’t have it anymore, he didn’t drag things out. He announced his retirement on May 29, 1989, just two months into the season.
For more on Cholly, see Philly Mag’s 2008 profile and our 2011 joint Q&Awith Manuel and Andy Reid.