Here in Philadelphia, sports mean almost everything to us. Think about the city of Philadelphia without sports, you just can't do it. Although we aren't a sports town that has many championships, our sports teams mean the world to us. Philadelphia fans expect the best out of every one of their teams, their players, and their coaches.
As we all know, Philadelphia fans will get on any player or coach when they disappoint. We also notice the good that players and coaches do. While we don't always see eye to eye with these coaches or players, in the end we know what is good and what is bad.
Philadelphia has a reputation for always being able to "compete", meaning that most of the time, our four major sports team always are a contender. The Flyers always seem to make the playoffs, the Eagles almost always make the postseason, the Phillies have obviously had some success since the new era team came along (Utley, Howard, etc.), and the Sixers are beginning to get better, especially after this postseason. So why does Philadelphia sports team always compete? The coaching.
Philadelphia has some damn good coaching right now. The Eagles have Andy Reid, say what you want but his numbers are good. The Phillies have Charlie Manuel, the manager who helped us win the World Series. The Sixers have Doug Collins, the coach that knows how to use his youth. The Flyers have Peter Laviolette, a coach who can squeeze the life out of a team. We don't win as many championships as we want, but we have something that many other sport cities do no have, four good coaches.
Over the next few days, we will have a complete break down of all four of the professional coaches in Philadelphia sports. Today we will start with none other than Charlie Manuel.
Before coming to Philadelphia, Manuel was the manager of the Cleveland Indians for three years. In that span, Charlie managed the Indians in 410 games, which they went 220-190. Under Manuel, Cleveland won the American League Central Division title in 2001. In July 2002, the Indians fired Manuel and in 2004 the Phillies stepped in. The Phillies hired Manuel in 2004 as an assistant to the general manager. In 2005, the Phillies named Charlie Manuel their new manager, replacing Larry Bowa.
In his first season, the Phillies went 88-74 and missed the playoffs as they were just one game back in the Wild Card race. The next season looked very promising, but fell short again. The 2006 season, the Phils missed the postseason again, as they were three games out of the Wild Card race, finishing with an 85-77 record.
The 2007 season was when Charlie Manuel began to make his mark in Philadelphia. For the first time under Manuel, the Phillies have made the postseason, as they clinched the National League Title (with the help of an epic meltdown from the Mets) on the last day of the season. The season ended with an 89-73 record, but unfortunately they were swept in the first round by the Colorado Rockies.
The 2008 season was one that the city needed. Charlie Manuel managed the Phillies to a World Series Title as they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays. That season, the Phillies had a 92-70 record and went on to win the NL East title for the second straight season.
Over the next few seasons, Manuel has helped the Phillies to 5 consecutive NL East titles (2007-2011). In the 8 years "Chalie" has been in Philadelphia, he has led the Phillies to 2 pennants and one World Series Title. Manuel has won 683 game (as of 7/8/12) with the Phillies, and 903 career wins, again as of 7/8/12. For more stats on Charlie Manuel, check out Baseball-Reference.
With the 2012 window closing fast, Charlie may or may not have to take the fall, unfortunately that's the business. One thing that is for sure, Manuel is an unbelievable manager. The former hitting coach loves the game, players who have played for him love him, and he is very passionate about what he does. Manuel is the only current coach of all the four sports teams to give us a parade. Charlie has fantastic numbers and he deserves to be looked at as a World Champion.