Sometimes change is good just for the sake of it. There’s a different vibe in the Phillies’ clubhouse and more significantly, on the field. It’s a different team than the one that left Citizens Bank Park earlier in the month.
“We’re feeling really good right now as a team,” Kevin Frandsen said. “We feel like we can win any game. We feel like we can come back from any deficit.”
After coming back to win three games in a row last week, the Phillies roared back from a six-run deficit Saturday night against Arizona only to lose in an epic 18 innings. They followed that up with a 9-5 win Sunday.
That’s a far cry from the Charlie Manuel-led team, which fell off a cliff during a 4-19 run.
“Sometimes, you have to shake things up,” Diamondsback TV color commentator Bob Brenly said. “When a team, particularly one with the level of talent the Phillies have has so much trouble, maybe you have to make a change. Charlie did a great job with the Phillies. He won a World Series here and had a great run, but managers know that you don’t manage in one place forever. It always comes to an end eventually.”
Brenly understands Manuel’s situation. Two-and-half-years after leading Arizona to its lone World Series title in 2001, Brenly was fired after getting off to a 29-50 start in 2004.
“That’s the business,” Brenly said. “I look at it like I was incredibly fortunate to get the job as manager of the Diamondbacks. Winning it all was the most incredible experience. It was absolutely surreal. I can’t help but think back to it. Sweaty, grown men hugging each other after winning the World Series.. It was incredible. I’m sure Charlie looks back at the same way. It all worked out.”
Brenly is thrilled to be part of the Arizona organization. Who knows if Manuel will accept a gig with the Phillies? But the bottom line now is that the Phillies is playing with a palpable sense of urgency, which it lacked entirely under Manuel in 2013.
“I love coming to the ballpark every day,” Domonic Brown said. “I feel like we have something to prove every game for the rest of the season.”