In Defense of Uncle Chuck

As players and managers prepare sleeplessly for the Grape Fruit League, the Phillies find themselves facing legitimate expectations. In order to meet these lofty goals, bean-counting management has again provided Charlie Manuel with a patchwork lineup.

Expecting more than five innings out of either Jamie Moyer or Kyle Kendrick is wishful thinking. And as for the 5th starter, well let’s just say I don’t think Johan Santana will get a lot of Cy Young competition from Adam Eat-Me.

Charlie Manuel will have to make a lot of moves this season, especially when you throw in a starting left fielder that becomes a defensive debacle waiting to happen- a risk that cannot be taken far after the sixth inning- and then have a defensive replacement’s weak bat in the heart of the Phillies’ order, so you either let a chump like So Taguchi try to protect Howard, or make another move, emptying the bench.

Especially considering that our new closer just re-injured his surgically repaired leg, and the fact that either the seventh or eight inning still belongs to Tom Gordon, who will give up a couple of key bombs before he gets injured, Charlie Manuel will again be forced to turn his line up card into a laundry list of scratch-outs, and ‘he’s-still-in-the-league?’ names.

Lucky, Uncle Charlie is pretty good at this. Continue reading