Tuesday, October 17, 2006
-First, I am absolutely stunned to see the Phillies hire three individuals who have absolutely no contact with the team. As far as I am aware, neither Howe, nor Lopes, nor Williams have any sort of a connection with the team: they’ve never played or coached or consulted with the Phillies at any point in the past. This is startling for a franchise that is xenophobic in the extreme, typically seeking to hire managers and coaches who have played for the Phils or previously coached for them in the past. And here the Phillies bring aboard three guys with zero ties to the Phillies.
I think it is an enormously positive sign for a team that often seems stuck in reverse or is too unimaginative to seek new ideas or bring in outside ideas. This move has Pat Gillick’s fingerprints all over it: he was the GM in Toronto and oversaw Williams and he got to see a lot of Art Howe when he managed the Oakland A’s and Gillick oversaw the Mariners. Gillick himself is an outsider: someone without any sort of connection to the team prior to being hired as GM last year. To see outsiders be brought in is a tremendous step in the right direction for this team.
-Second, I think the decision tremendously undermines Charlie Manuel. Right there are three guys who have managed and managed well in the majors waiting to second-guess his decisions. Right there are three interim-managers-in-waiting for the Phillies to turn to in the event that the Phils get off to a slow start and Gillick decides to axe Manuel. Will there be tension here? Count on it.
-Johnny Callison died recently. He was a great one for the Phillies and played on that ’64 squad. Poor guy. He deserves to be remembered for being one of the finest defensive outfielders in baseball.
-I was stunned that the A’s axed Ken Macha as their coach. They guy had almost one hundred more wins than losses as a manager in a comparatively short period of time and got the A’s to the ALCS. I don’t usually question the wisdom of the Wise, All-Powerful and All-Knowing Billy Beane, but I am baffled by this move.
-The NLCS got rained out. The Mets and Cards go again tonight. I wonder how the Tigers are going to feel, not having to play a game for basically an entire week. They ought to be rested, but you never know if they’ll lose that critical edge that they’ve been carrying around.
-I cannot believe that the Bears won Monday Night against the Cardinals 24-23. I went to bed when it was 20-0 at the half in favor of Arizona and was positive that the Bears were going to get their first loss of the season. It was not to be.
-I ended up watching a little of the NFL Cheerleaders playoffs on the NFL Network last night. Couldn’t the Eagles have found a better team than the two girls we sent? Jeez, they got creamed.
More tomorrow on the NLCS. I'll also post Part IV of the Wiz Kids thursday.