Yes even among us fans Charlie Manuel is under-rated, there's a logical reason for it. Such as the times when Manuel humps Madson for god knows what reasons. But equally so, he makes 'questionable decisions' that pay off. Thats with his heart, instinct and guts and frankly thats the kind of psychological mind frame very few coaches have, it's also one of the reasons why Manuel and the Phillies are enjoying their recent success.
Every year, the Phillies seem primed with seemingly impeccable challenges and seemingly impossible holes to climb out of, but they climb out of them anyway. In 2008, bad climate weather could've easily shifted the series around, but Manuel kept the team on the task at hand and brought Philly it's first title in how many years?
However, the most impeccable and difficult challenge arose with Brad Lidge, it tested Lidge's ability as a closer and it tested Manuel's fate as a manager, even after both rode the wave of 08. To be fair to Lidge, fans had unreasonable expectations after 48-48. But even after Lidge blew game after game Manuel stuck by Lidge. However, Manuel didn't just stick by Lidge he said it time and again: "He's my closer", never once was Lidge's role demoted even after having the worst year of any closer in 2009, sure Madson got a few more chances but Manuel knew that Madson was just as "consistent" as Lidge which ain't all that much.
Lidge rewarded Manuel with great play in the post-season, the only thing that mired Lidge was a defensive mishap that put Lidge in a tight position in the World Series. After a setback that cost the Phillies a shot at a second title, Manuel could've easily hid behind that excuse and had Lidge be the fall guy but he didn't.
Flash forward to 2010, Lidge was encountering similar problems and blew a game every here and there, causing Phillies fans and alike to panick. That and the injuries and once again there were calls for Lidge's head. But Manuel stood his ground, and Lidge responded in kind saying he can go out there and perform his best because his manager believes in him. The rest as they say is history: Lidge is now an everyday closer, the Phillies have won 9 straight and have just about clinched the division. All because of the faith and trust Manuel has in his roster and in his closer.
I acknowledge I am but a casual fan, but I don't believe Manuel has won Manager of the Year, this should be the year he wins it. We went from 48-46 to 91-60. Manuel for Manager of the Year