2013 May Be End of the Line for Phillies’ Charlie Manuel

One of the unofficial rules of sports is this: When you win a championship, you have to be grateful for five years. No grumbling even if everything goes to hell the next year, because you won the championship and who knows when things will be that good again, right? Well, by that measure, the 2013 season will be last year of Charlie Manuel’s grace period after winning the 2008 World Series. Does that mean it’s the end?

As a manager, he’s as old school as they come, which is why so many question if today’s game has simply passed him by. Managers in the new era are expected to micro-manage each game – especially in the National League – which has never been Charlie’s strong suit.

He makes questionable pinch hitting calls, lineup changes and defensive substitutions. He relies heavily on his starting pitchers and has a lot of faith in his veterans, sometimes to a fault. While everyone is calling for him to work the lineup card like a Sunday crossword puzzle, Charlie manages with the confidence that if he puts the right players on the field, they’ll be successful.

For as long as the Phillies continue to struggle, those methods will continue to be called into question.

Even to the point that the Phillies could make a make a managerial switch this season. In any case, you’ll probably do best to pray for Chase Utley’s knees. [Yahoo News]