It’s time to once again discuss everyone’s favorite topic online: What people other than you think!
The most recent SB Nation FanPulse Poll went out before the Phillies had rehired Charlie Manuel to be the hitting coach, which gave the team, if only for one evening, an influx of energy that lit up the stadium and the scoreboard. Seeing Charlie in a Phillies uniform again was a trip back in time, and for as long as he’ll be here, I think we can all appreciate that.
In the mean, though—the harshness of reality:
Yes, prior to Cholly’s homecoming, things were dire around here, with fan confidence slipping once again from 32% down to a season low of 7%. I don’t know who on these weekly fan surveys (which you can partake in by clicking here) was hanging on for dear life, but no one could be blamed for looking away from this team after they dropped three straight series for a variety of reasons, all of which combined to create an inescapable specter of hopelessness.
Gabe Kapler’s approval rating fared no better, dropping from 42% to another season low of 14%. Kapler’s in a weird spot now, with this hitting coach removed and Cholly taking his place. Any success from here on out will be viewed as a direct correlation to Manuel’s influence, and any failures will be assigned to Kapler.
Assuming next week’s poll sees a sharp uptick, should the Phillies string a few wins together in celebration of Manuel’s arrival, the Phillies will have one of the more dramatic season graphs of fan confidence, starting at the highest peak, spiking to a series of low points, and then climbing back about to, I’m going to predict, about mid-range, at least. Compare that to, say, the Mets, who are undergoing their own late season success story that nobody... sigh... nobody saw coming.