Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The job of a coach is to get the best out of his players

The Philadelphia media was pretty tough on Charlie Manuel back in 2005, his first season as manager of the Phillies. As one report from November 2004 put it:

"Manuel's thick Southern drawl, down-home charm and folksy nature make him an odd fit for gritty Philadelphia."

But your accent has little to do with what kind of coach you are. As former Phillies manager Dallas Green put it in this article:

"He's a good communicator and he's a good baseball man, and people don't give him credit for that. He knows the game. He's remained very consistent, very positive. He's maintained a discipline that people don't see that has made the team understand there's rules to follow and he's going to demand they are held to them. I think our fans have come to understand that the job of a manager is to get the best out of the players, and he does that better than anybody."

Here's what one of Manuel's players had to say about his coach:

"He has a unique way of making you feel, if you went 0-for-4 or 0-for-8, that you went 4-for-4 or 8-for-8. When he walks into the door, he's like your favorite uncle or favorite grandfather, and you want to go up to him and give him a hug. That's the kind of guy he is."

The oldest son of 11 kids, this article describes the 64-year-old Manuel as "genuine and sincere," "affable and friendly," "wonderfully candid," and a "fun guy to be around."

He's also a heck of a coach, leading the Indians to two 90-plus win seasons in 2000 and 2001. With the Phils, he's never won fewer than 85 games in four seasons.