With four straight division titles, three straight NLCS appearances, two World Series appearances, and one Championship trophy, Charlie Manuel has been a blessing to Phillies baseball. Ruben Amaro appreciates that, and rewarded him with a 2-year extension worth $7.5 million to keep him here until 2013.
From the official press release:
During Manuel's tenure as manager (2005-10), the Phillies have had the best record among all National League teams at 544-428. He has led the club to four consecutive division titles (2007-10), two NL pennants (2008-09) and one World Series Championship (2008). Last year, despite six of his eight starting position players having stints on the disabled list, he guided the team to best record in the major leagues (97-65).
Manuel is one of only two managers in NL history, along with Bobby Cox, to win four straight division titles since divisional play began in 1969 (Cox won 14 straight with Atlanta, 1991-93; 1995-2005). Overall, Manuel has a career managerial record of 764-618. During the postseason, he is 27-19, which is tied for the third-most wins among active managers (with Jim Leyland), trailing only Tony La Russa (59) and Terry Francona (28).
To say Charlie does not have faults would be incorrect -- he'd tell you himself there's plenty of better in-game managers than he. But he's brought Phillie baseball from the pinnacle of futility and taken it into the spotlight. They're the best team in baseball (ON PAPER!) this season with one of the best rotations (ON PAPER!) of all time. It doesn't make sense not bringing Charlie back for a few more years with this core in tact.
2013 is a very telling year for the front office. By then, only Ryan Howard and Cliff Lee will be contractually bound to the team. There are a number of guys like Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz who have team options that year which will likely be picked up, but most of these guys will be on the back-end of their primes, with their production dipping exponentially. If guys like Domonic Brown, Tyson Gillies, and Phillippe Aumont aren't ready to produce at a high level by that point, expect a huge makeover for the Phillies in 2014.
But for now, let's congratulate Charlie on a well-deserved extension and look forward to an additional two years of Chollyisms.