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Charlie Manuel

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April 30, 2015 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
A PRETTY good indication that Ruben Amaro Jr. has made the right move in holding on to Cole Hamels is the number of general managers and personnel executives anonymously bellyaching about him in the national press. Amaro starring in "Little Big League 2" is an easy narrative to peddle, and his colleagues seem happy to play it up, but his culpability for the Phillies' current mess does not mean every decision he makes is a terrible one, and the decision to hang on to Hamels has proved to be the smart play.
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April 6, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - When Ryan Howard blooped a single to center field in the final inning of another lost Phillies season late in September, the notion existed that it may have been his final at-bat with the team. But six months later, after a winter in which the club's front office failed to find a taker for the aging slugger and a fraction of the $60 million left on his contract, Howard will find himself back at first base at Citizens Bank Park on Monday afternoon. This season, the first of the Phillies' daunting rebuild, will differ from its immediate predecessors, but not in terms of who bats cleanup.
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April 3, 2015 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
Today, the Daily News begins a four-part preview of the Phillies' 2015 season. The focus of Part 1 is a discussion of a simple question: How exactly did the team get where it is today, seen by most as the worst team in baseball? Part 2 will run tomorrow and answer the question: What is the team's biggest current concern? Staff predictions for the season also will be included. Part 3, in Daily News Weekend, will profile one of the team's legitimate hopes for the future, third baseman Cody Asche.
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March 24, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - With the three hitters projected to hit in the middle of the batting order past their 35th birthdays, the regular production expected from the Phillies' offense is uncertain at best. With Cliff Lee likely gone for the duration of the season and the likelihood that Cole Hamels could be traded before the end of the summer, the formerly formidable starting rotation is more than vulnerable. It's a 1-2 punch that has led some to believe to Phillies could flirt with 100 losses in 2015.
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March 22, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Maikel Franco's belongings were packed in a red duffel bag. His locker was nearly empty. The Phillies prospect clutched three bats in each hand and walked out of the clubhouse Friday morning. His time in major-league camp was up. The Phillies optioned the 22-year-old to minor-league camp after a slow start this spring. Franco hit .200 in 30 at-bats. All six of his hits were singles. He was projected to compete with Cody Asche for the starting job at third base. Franco failed to be much of a threat.
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March 12, 2015 | By Ryan Lawrence, Daily News Staff Writer
Weak offense With the M*A*S*H* list growing by the minute inside the clubhouse - Maikel Franco left early yesterday to have a root canal - it was easy to miss the fact that the Phillies had four hits to go alongside a goose egg on the home half of the scoreboard entering the ninth inning. Non-roster first baseman Chris McGuiness singled in the ninth inning but the Phillies lost to Detroit, 6-0 at Bright House Field. It marked the fourth time in the last five games the Phillies scored fewer than three runs.
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March 2, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The latest 3-hour workout was nearing an end when the two veteran hitters dropped their gear and prepared for the last drill of the day, a short agility exercise. Jeff Francoeur stopped in between reps and broke out into some kind of crawling crab character. The dozen players around him busted out in laughter. Ryan Howard's was the loudest, the kind of belly laugh that sends your balance off. "It seems like every time I look at him, he's got a few guys around him," manager Ryne Sandberg said of Francoeur.
SPORTS
February 27, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Ryan Howard pulled on his Phillies windbreaker and picked up a pair of bats. Charlie Manuel asked him where was going. To the field, Howard said. It was the end of the first baseman's second-straight day of facing live pitching. "I know you want me to keep hitting, but other guys have to hit, too," Howard said. Manuel joined manager Ryne Sandberg behind the batting cage on Wednesday to watch Howard, the star attraction of hitting group No. 3. Howard started his morning hitting Manuel's pitches in the indoor batting cages.
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February 27, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Jeff Francoeur leaned against the batting cage on Wednesday morning and stood next to Charlie Manuel as another Phillies player took his swings. The former Phillies manager and his newest pupil talked about Manuel's favorite subject: the art of hitting. Francoeur said one of the main reasons he joined the Phillies for spring training was to have a chance to work with Manuel. The two often spoke when Francoeur played with Atlanta. Manuel reminds Francoeur of Braves manager Bobby Cox. They're both old-school guys, Francoeur said.
SPORTS
February 27, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Ryan Howard playfully joked with reporters for a minute inside the clubhouse at Bright House Field yesterday. But he's apparently still not ready for a question-and-answer rap session. During his first 4 days of camp, Howard's focus has been on prepping himself for the upcoming season. Perhaps he should have the Phillies print out T-shirts with the Teddy Roosevelt message, "Speak softly and carry a big stick. " Howard has been working diligently this week with former manager Charlie Manuel, a spring training hitting instructor, in the indoor cages and on the field to improve his hitting approach.
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