Charlie Manuel: He managed the Indians to the playoffs in 2001, but lost to the Mariners in the first round after taking a 2-games-to-1 lead. In his first season, Manuel and the Phillies went 88–74, only one game back of the Wild Card. In 2006, Manuel and the Phillies finished just short of the playoffs once again, this time three games back of the wild card. Last year, the Phillies won the NL East, but were swept in the postseason by the Mets Rockies. Manuel isn’t considered a master tactician, but he’s earned a reputation as a Bobby Cox-style manager who keeps his players on an even keel, even in tough times.
Ryan Howard: He has no home runs and only one RBI in the playoffs this year. And while his OBP is a stellar .438, his batting average is only .185. Simply put, Howard needs to start hitting the ball. He showed signs of breaking out of his slump last night, hitting a double in his first at bat and stroking a ground ball single in his next plate appearance. This could be a sign of big things to come…or just a big tease.
Jimmy Rollins: He’s hitting .375 with a .412 OBP in the playoffs, but in the World Series he’s 0 for 10. That won’t last. It can’t last. Can it?
Brad Lidge: The Phillies’ closer is perfect in save opportunities this year. But how long can he keep this up? He’s got to blow one eventually, right?
Steve Phillips: He picked the Phillies to win in seven games, saying, “The Phillies win because of the quality and predictability of their ace, Cole Hamels, and their bullpen.” Of course, Phillips has been wrong before. Very wrong. Very often. He picked the Mariners to not only win the west this year, but to win 92 games (they won 61). But Phillips is bound to get one right eventually, right? The law of large numbers seems to be in his favor.