Manuel seems to come from the minimalist school of managing too. Leaves pitchers in too long. All the usual Cito complaints, Manuel seems to get too, though Charlie doesn't have Kevin Millar bat clean up.
But what really gets me about him comes from last night. Tie game, 9th inning. Manuel brings in Brad Lidge. Lidge hasn't pitched since October 21st. Now I would have liked to get him into one of the first 3 games of the series so that he could pitch in a lower leverage spot to work out the rust from the long break. But that didn't happen, so he's thrown into a tie game. In the 9th.
Things started off great, he got Hideki Matsui to pop out then struck out Derek Jeter. Then Johnny Damon singled after a long at bat. Still, he had two outs and a runner on first. No emergency yet. With Mark Teixeira up the Phillies put on the big shift. The only guy on the left side of the diamond was Pedro Felix, the third baseman, and he was playing about were the shortstop usually plays.
In the play of the series, Damon stole second, the throw from the catcher came to Felix, he was safe easy. Damon saw no one was covering third and ran on to third.
Now the obvious question is: Who should have been covering third? Let's ask Charlie Manuel. He's the manager, he should know. Fortunately for us someone else did.
It's the catcher or the pitcher has to be heads up,'' Manuel said. " . . . Evidently, there was some miscommunication there. It's the first time we've had it happen to us this year.''
So, he's manager, and he doesn't know who should be covering. Shouldn't that be something you would want everyone to know. Someone should be heads up alright. But wouldn't you figure the manager ought to know who this 'someone is?
Anyway, it all unraveled from there and the Yankees won.
Just one other note from the game last night. Philly pitchers seem to be using Yankee players as target practice. And geeze they and their fans are up in arms about it. Seems to be Yankees pitchers were using Jay players as target practice. We had 8 Jays hit in 4 games. So Jesse Carlson throws behind Jorge Posada and Posada starts telling him "You don't want to be doing that". Course when I talked about that I got comments and emails from semi literate Yankee fans telling me I knew nothing about baseball. To be fair we did get some comments from far more reasonable Yankee fans too. It's kind of cool when the shoe is on the other foot.