As a relatively "young" Phillies phan I have had to endure some trying times cheering on my baseball team. Just missing the 1980 World Series Championship and being a whopping 18 months old during the 1983 World Series, my fondest childhood memories of the Phightins revolve around Harry Kalas "Long Flyyy Ball, that babys outta herrrre.....Michael Jack Schmidt!" and of course the 1993 'Fightin Phils' who may not have looked like a Championship team but sure as heck played like one. I can still remember those tears as Joe Carter so infamously broke my heart with one swing of the bat. From Jim Fregosi, to Terry Francona, to Larry Bowa, and now to our beloved Charlie Manuel. In 1993 we had 97 wins, and now again in 2010 we had 97 wins. Philadelphia is again a baseball town and we have Charlie Manuel to thank for that.
After the 2004 season the Phillies parted ways with the controversial, too tough on the players Larry Bowa and brought in a guy all ready on staff as a special assitant to the GM, Charlie Manuel. Charlie a baseball phanatic at heart, and so full of knowledge of the game but has a hard time expressing it in words. Let's just say that at first glance the Philly phaithful were not so happy about the change. All I remember hearing is Charlie Manuel?! We want Jim Leyland! Well wow what a difference 6 seasons make. I guess if you look at his track record here its not too hard to figure out why Philly has fallen in love with this man. In six seasons as skipper he has averaged 91 wins a year, with 4 division titles, 2 league titles, and of course a 2008 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP! If there is anything Philadelphians crave more than a wiz wit it's championships!
He loves the game and it is evident in everything he does and says and the players love him just as much. If you want to see how much they love their manager just peek in at the dugout during a game and watch the lovefest between J-Roll and Charlie as the stand side by side laughing it up talking about the game they cherish. Even as much as he fumbles over his words in interviews with his southern drawl and down home charm you can't help but smile and think man "I love this guy too!" Even as he waddles out to the pitchers mound or out to argue a call all you hear at the Bank is "CHARLIE! CHARLIE! CHARLIE!" As a Philadelphia Phillies phan I would like to say Thank You Charlie for making baseball fun again and for brining our team back to the promise land and for making Citizens Bank Park the greatest place to be not only in South Philly but in the country.