When it comes to assigning blame for the Phillies' crushing, early elimination, Manuel is pretty far down the list, ranking behind Ryan Howard, an aging lineup, a poor hitting approach, Ryan Howard, a four-man starting rotation that combined for a 2.71 earned run average in the regular season and a 3.71 ERA in the postseason, and Ryan Howard.
As for the Eagles, who drag a 1-4 record into Sunday's game against the Redskins, Reid tops the list of accepted culprits. He made the offensive line coach the defensive coordinator, implemented sweeping changes on a team that wouldn't have the benefit of a preparatory offseason, cast his fate with a currently scattershot quarterback who is 1-6 in his last seven starts, and didn't bench Howard in favor of John Mayberry Jr. Oh, wait. That was Manuel. But you get the idea.
From the outside, they are day and night. Friendly and bristly. Honey and vinegar.
Where Manuel and Reid are eerily similar, however, is their standing within their respective locker rooms. Each is the kind of boss whom players like to play for, and both have the support of their rosters.
In Reid's case, that was demonstrated last week when Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce, a couple of players who have been here for about an hour and don't know any better yet, got into the faces of some fans who planted an anti-Reid sign across the street from the NovaCare Complex. It was a dumb move by the players, but one that conveyed their loyalty. Of course, if they really wanted to support Reid, mixing in a win now and then would be helpful, too.
Manuel's players love him. They josh with him, do dead-on imitations of him to amuse each other (Jimmy Rollins' Charlie is particularly good) and have enjoyed sustained success under him - as have the Eagles with Reid - that is unprecedented in franchise history.
One reason both locker rooms like the boss is they can play without the fear they will be publicly called out to answer for their shortcomings. Manuel handles his business with his players in private and doesn't castigate them out loud, and Reid, as has been well-documented, wrote the book on leaving the pages blank.
The question on the floor is whether this is still a good thing for the Phillies and Eagles.
Would the current editions of the teams be better off from a motivational standpoint with a Larry Bowa and a Buddy Ryan than they are with a Charlie Manuel and an Andy Reid?
The greatest truth in sports is that managers and head coaches are hired to be fired, and each person who occupies one of those slots knows the clock is always ticking. In Reid's case, the ticking approximates the resting heart rate of a grizzly in February, but nonetheless.
Baseball, particularly, but football to some extent, likes to alternate between the good cop-bad cop approach to locker room motivation. It is no coincidence, in the case of the Phillies, that crusty Jim Fregosi was followed by nice guy Terry Francona, who was followed by Bowa, who was followed by Manuel. In the same way, after Ray Rhodes' fire-breathing act, the Eagles front office settled on a guy who believes in holding the matches until cold.
Last week, Manuel said he has been telling the hitters for two years they should adopt a smarter approach at the plate. Know the situation, know the count, know themselves. Stop swinging at bad pitches, stop swinging at the first pitch after a guy just gave up a walk. All the things that were on ready display in the division series against the Cardinals.
This is for the Phillies organization to judge, but if the message isn't being received, there are only two options: New sets of ears to listen, or a new messenger. The Eagles, according to Reid, are being well-coached in a solid set of schemes. In that case, either the players aren't very good or they don't have enough respect for the consequences of failure. One of the consequences neither the Phillies nor Eagles have to worry about is being singled out in public.
Maybe that's still a good thing, and players are able to play their best when they are comfortable and relaxed. But it's worth considering as the depressing autumn drags on. If nothing else, this empty season has left us with plenty of time to think.
Contact columnist Bob Ford
at email@example.com or @bobfordsports on Twitter. Read his blog, "Post Patterns," at www.philly.com/postpatterns. Read his past columns at www.philly.com/bobford