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Phillies should have given classier sendoff to Charlie Manuel


The Philadelphia Phillies should be commended for their level of professionalism displayed on and off the field over the last decade.


However, what happened today was anything but professional.

Charlie Manuel photo: sports.espn.go.com

Charlie Manuel is the longest tenured manager and winningest manager in the history of the franchise. One of only two managers to lead the team to a World Series title, the Phillies were supposed to honor him Friday night in recognition of his 1,000th managed win in the major leagues. The writing was on the wall that Manuel would most likely not be back next season. I get that. But with 42 games left in the season, you couldn’t have waited until the end of the year to give this man who has given so much to the Phillies since 2005 a farewell tour or the chance to say goodbye to the fans who love him?


I’m sorry, but that is in poor, poor taste. Whether it was today, two weeks, or at the end of September. Charlie Manuel earned the right to exit on his own terms.


The timing on this seriously could not have been any crappier. Isn’t there ANYONE in PR for the Phillies who said something along the lines of “Hey guys, this is not a good idea right now. Maybe we should at least wait so we can honor him Friday? This really is the epitome of disrespect.”


Moreover, none of the players knew? Manuel only talked to Chase Utley and John McDonald? This is the same exact kind of move that Bill Giles would pull back in the 1980’s that made this franchise literally hated by the fans in this town.


It’s understandable that the Phillies want to turn the page and usher in the Ryne Sandberg era. Yes, the team was 4-19 in their last 23 games. But before you dismiss Charlie Manuel in the middle of August, when his aging, lackluster team is laying eggs all over the field, he deserved much, much better than this. To tip his cap to the fans one last time would have been the classy thing to do. I know there’s lots of emotions here on both sides and I don’t know everything that transpired, but couldn’t they seriously couldn’t have honored him on Friday night anyway? Or maybe even let him manage the game? No matter whether you liked him or disliked him, Manuel's departure now makes him an official Philadelphia coaching legend- joining the ranks of Fred Shero and Dick Vermeil and only a handful of others. Phillies fans will never, ever forget October 29th, 2008, where the lives of Philadelphia sports fans were forever changed for the better.


Hopefully, the Phillies will have a separate day for Charlie Manuel, so fans can stand up from their seats at Citizens Bank Park to cheer one more time “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie!”   

Sad sad day.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Photo: phildelphia.cbslocal.com