One of my favorite pastimes – and I suspect just about everyone else on the Internet feels this way – is trying to manage Phillies games as they happen. You know, where you talk to yourself and try to reason why you would pull player X at this time and why pitcher Y should be brought in. It's interesting, to say the least.
And sometimes, you'd end up making a right move, like when you would opt not to go for a certain relief pitcher. Say, like one that is perhaps prone to wildness and is coming off an extended outing in which he wasn't particularly effective. And when you're right, you can brag about it on Twitter and pretend like you knew what you were talking about.
As it turns out, not everyone is a fan of that sort of arm-chair managing. Especially Charlie Manuel, who took exception to the likes of Twitter and beat writers criticizing his judgment and player usage after Sunday afternoon's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
“You guys ought to sit in the dugout with me during the game and give me all the scenarios because I don’t think we know them,” Manuel said sarcastically. “We don’t know how to manage a game. Really, you guys ought to sit down there with us or tweet or something and float the information down there to me because I’m not smart enough to get it.”
He does have a point. After all, Twitter is nothing but a second-guess machine where the manager's moves are questioned and the player's performances evaluated with the benefit of knowing the outcome ahead of time.
However, that sort of detachment should not prevent anyone from criticizing how a manager uses his players, especially - as is the case with Charlie Manuel - if he doesn't have a long storied track record of making the best decisions at any given time. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the fact that he hasn't been given a great team or a deep bullpen, which makes it a little easier to make the wrong decision.
Case in point, on Sunday afternoon in the first game of the double header: He brought in Antonio Bastardo for the eighth inning, and he allowed three runs on a pair of hits and a pair of walks. I talked about why he shouldn't have been brought in shortly after the game, but like I said, Charlie didn't have a ton of options. It's not like the 'pen has been a strength, and that he has four or five arms he can go with in that scenario.
So yeah, it reasons that the skipper is probably tired of everyone second guessing him, especially when he has jack to work with.
Still, though, it would be really interesting to see a Major League game managed entirely by people on Twitter. Can you imagine if the fans of this team got to manage the game for a day vis a vis the internet? Forget Dollar Dog Night, I want to go to a “fans vote for the pinch hitter” night. It sure would make this bummer of a season a whole lot more interesting.