In a bold move designed to raise the Phillies' median coaching staff age above the "Where's my senior citizen's discount?!" level, the Phillies have added former managers Art Howe, Davey Lopes, and Jimy Williams to the team's coaching staff for the 2007 season.
Ohhhhh, magical. So we get a guy in Art Howe whose last job was managing two disastrously bad Mets teams and was previously canned for failing to take two exceptional A's teams past the ALDS, Jimy Williams, who was fired in the middle of a Boston pennant race in 2001 due to team mutiny (to be replaced by cuddly Joe Kerrigan!), and Davey Lopes, who is, well, probably a very nice man.
Once again the organization places a premium on worn-out ideas and veteranocity and rejects any kind of progressive thought. This whole thing has to make Charlie Manuel very comfortable, knowing that these three Brutuses will be sharing the dugout with him.
And it figures that the one time there were two former Phillies with merit who may have deserved a shot (John Russell and Juan Samuel), they go outside the organization.
Alright, I've cooled off a bit.
It seems Williams is going to manage spring training (whatever that means). Could the players get out of the gate faster in 2007 than they have the past several seasons? Hey, who knows? And Howe by default will be an upgrade over Windmill Bill Dancy. And maybe Lopes can teach Victorino how to steal bases. I'm still pretty lukewarm on these moves.