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The Manager

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The Phils are off to one of their better April starts in recent memory at a record of 6-7, which boggles the mind since many of us are very frustrated with this start.  The pitching has been good and the hitting has been decent, but as I showed last night, the defense has been putrid.  I did make one mistake in that blog entry.  I said that pitching, defense and hitting make up 99% of the game.  While, in concept that is true, it ignores a part of the game that overlaps all aspects, and that is the manager.  If you thought analyzing defense or speed in numerical form was hard, try figuring out the worth of a manager.

By all accounts, Charlie is a great clubhouse guy and has helped a lot of players with the bat.  I have no idea if this is true, but I am certainly not going to say it isn't.  Maybe Pat's reassurgence, Werth's breakout, Rollins' good hitting and even Chase and Howard have a lot to than Charlie for.  I really have no idea, but I do have an idea where a manager does have an effect on the team. 

Decision making.

If you turn on 610 WIP, you always hear some blowhard (either caller or host) calling Manuel an idiot or having a better idea how to do things (hindsight is always 20-20).  How do you judge a manager though?  I can poke holes in his lineup, but how much of a difference would it make between his and mine?  Maybe at his bullpen usage, but who even knows how it would have turned out otherwise.  I think the best way to guage a manager is in games where his decisions are magnified the most.  A 7-1 blowout certainly had some effects from the manager, but keeping everything else constant, one change would do what?  Make it a 6-2 game?  Probably not a whole lot.

While a blowout is likely to be a blowout no matter what, I am not so sure about 1 run games.  1 run games are certainly an enigma when it comes to analysis.  Sometimes the best teams have really poor records in 1 run games and often bad teams have good records in 1 run games.  I tend to believe that blowouts show how good a team is, but 1 run records show how good management is (and not just the skipper, but the general manager too since he supplies the manager with the players he has).

The Phillies records since Manuel has taken the reigns:

Overall W       L        1-Run

W       

L      
2008: 6 1 4    
2007: 89 73 14 23
2006: 85 77 22 23
2005: 88 74 22 23

Total:

268 231 58

73

The team has a .537 Winning percentage (or 87-75 for an entire year) overall with Manuel as manager.  They have a .447 winning percentage (or 72-90)  in 1 run games during that time (and really bad the last 2 years).  The difference is actually greater than just subtracting those two numbers.  The team has a .571 winning percentage in games NOT decided by 1 run.  In blowouts (either for or against) they are winning 57.1% of their games (or 93-69).

I don't know how much of this is truely on Manuel, but I beleive that this is the best indicator of good ingame management.  The difference between the 1 Run Phillies and the Blow Out Phillies is 21 games over the course of an entire year.  Had the 1 Run Phillies had a .500 record, then I'd think that there is really nothing involved other than luck.  Or, if the blowout Phillies had an equally bad record, then I'd think it would make sense.  But when the Blow Out Phillies are so drastically better than the 1 Run Phillies, it makes me scratch my head and wonder what the coach is doing to hurt this team.