Charlie Manuel, the skipper who led the Phillies to five straight NL East pennants and a glorious World Series, was “fired” just over four years ago. (He wasn’t technically fired, the Phillies told him that they wouldn’t be renewing his contract at the end of the season and Charlie decided that it was time to leave. Semantics.) It was a sad, sad day. And if you remember back in time, it led to a sad, sad picture.
4 years ago we got the saddest picture in human history of Charlie Manuel and his Wawa quesadilla pic.twitter.com/7ePsbrO6Mb— Kevin Prinz (@Fresh_Prinz11) August 24, 2017
Head bowed, hand in pocket, grasping a Wawa bag. This was the last image we had of the great Phillies manager, so of course we had to know: WHAT WAS IN THAT BAG?!?!
The writer of that tweet says it’s a Wawa quesadilla. But unless Charlie Manuel told us, we’d never know for sure what was in that bag as he departed Citizens Bank Park for the last time.
Oh, I’m sorry, Charlie Manuel. Do you want to chime in here?
To answer the burning question of what was in the Wawa bag - it was Heart Miracle liquid supplement from @VitaminShoppe ❤️— Charlie Manuel (@CMBaseball41) August 26, 2017
YES. NOW WE KNOW FOR SURE! AND IT’S... A LITTLE BIT OF A LET DOWN! BUT HE TOLD US!
So here’s what I love about this. Either someone sent Charlie that tweet, or he name searched himself. I absolutely adore the imagine of Charlie Manuel name searching himself on Twitter, looking for questions worthy of answering.
I would attack the whole issue of why Heart Miracle liquid from Vitamin Shoppe is in a Wawa bag, or in a box with that shape (seriously, what is with that, did he forget that he had a box in that Wawa bag?), but Charlie wasn’t finished blowing our minds.
and yes, it was a sad day for me (and for the @Phillies )— Charlie Manuel (@CMBaseball41) August 26, 2017
BOOM. That is some SHADE right there.
It WAS a sad day for the Phillies. The winningest manager in franchise history was gone, and the dudes that would come after were but shadows of the great man.
Manuel was replaced by Ryne Sandberg in the interim, and he was hired as the official manager before the 2013 season had concluded. Our hopes were so high for Sandberg. Well, as high as they could be under the circumstances. The Phillies were terrible and it didn’t seem like they’d be getting any better soon (we had no idea what the future had in store for us, loooool), so it’s not like anyone thought that Sandberg could right the sinking ship. We were hoping for someone who, at least, could relate to the younger players and not suck in general.
Those aren’t high hopes as much as they’re a very low bar to clear. And Sandberg couldn’t do it. He lasted less than two years, resigning/quitting/fleeing into the night in June 2015. Sandberg was replaced by Pete Mackanin, part of the coaching team. His most important quality is that he wasn’t Ryne Sandberg, which was exactly what we needed for awhile.
For awhile. Now, of course, Mack’s deficiencies as a manager are pretty clear, but still: he’s not Ryne Sandberg.
Since the Phillies parted ways with Charlie Manuel, they’ve been unmoored managerially. Sandberg was brought into the system in late 2010 to manage the IronPigs, and after taking them to the playoffs for the very first time, he was brought up to the majors to serve as Charlie’s third base coach. The Phillies saw Sandberg as Manuel’s heir apparent, and since that blew up in their faces, they’ve just sort of floated along with Pete Mackanin, seemingly unsure of the future.
Who knows what would have happened if the Phillies had decided to give Charlie another year or two. It’s hard to imagine right now, especially with the Phillies starting to emerge from their suck slumber. But Charlie knows one thing for sure: the Phillies were worse-off without him. And so were we.