It has only been one series since the Phillies decided to fire Charlie Manuel after nine and a half seasons as the team’s manager, but speculation about where Manuel could land as a manger next is already brewing.
Sunday, Manuel went on Jim Bowden’s XM radio show to discuss his firing and his MLB future, and made it clear that he doesn’t believe that he is done managing and will listen to any offers that come his way.
Charlie Manuel told us that he wants to keep managing and he’s open to all opportunities and that includes the #Nationals XM 89 Sirius 209
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) August 18, 2013
The Nationals job isn’t currently open, but as the team sits at 60-63, 15.5 games out of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves and 10 games out of the second wild-card, it appears very likely that manager Davey Johnson could be axed at the end of the season.
To me it doesn’t seem very logical that the Nationals would fire a 70 year-old in Johnson and bring in a 69 year-old in Manuel next season. The managerial trend appears to be heading in the direction of going with young managers like Mike Matheny, Mike Redmond, and Walt Weiss, rather than recycling veteran managers.
But we can play along with the idea of Manuel going to Washington, because he has connections to general manager Mike Rizzo and obviously outfielder Jayson Werth.
With the Natitude campaign and banning anyone from outside Maryland from buying tickets to Nationals games, the Nationals have at least tried to build a rivalry with the Phillies. So would Charlie Manuel be in the wrong to go manage the Nationals because of his history with the Phillies?
I don’t see it that way. The Phillies didn’t exactly give Manuel a Bobby Cox-esque sendoff by announcing that it was his final season and letting him finish out the year with the team and get standing ovations from each stadium he visited. I’m not saying that they necessarily should have, but they fired Manuel rather abruptly, and with that, I think Manuel owes very little if anything to the Phillies organization.
Manuel also handled his firing with class by being present at the press conference when Amaro announced the move, and taking the high road by not throwing Amaro or the organization under the bus, like most people would have if they were in his situation.
Let’s be real, if the Nationals job was offered to Charlie Manuel and he said no, he would be a fool. Despite a disappointing 2013 season, the Nationals have the pieces to be a World Series contender as soon as 2014.
I hope that Manuel doesn’t end up in Washington because of my disdain for the team and Bryce Harper specifically. But I can’t say that it wouldn’t be fun to see it happen, and I certainly wouldn’t view Manuel as a traitor given the circumstances.
Topics: Charlie Manuel Fired, Charlie Manuel Fired Press Conference, Charlie Manuel Interview With Jim Bowden, Charlie Manuel Nationals, Phillies Fire Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro Jr Crying, Ryne Sandberg Phillies Manager