Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel Signs Contract Extension Through 2013

On Thursday, the Phillies announced that manager Charlie Manuel has signed a two-year contract extension worth $7.5 million that runs through the 2013 season. From the official press release:

During Manuel's tenure as manager (2005-10), the Phillies have had the best record among all National League teams at 544-428. He has led the club to four consecutive division titles (2007-10), two NL pennants (2008-09) and one World Series Championship (2008). Last year, despite six of his eight starting position players having stints on the disabled list, he guided the team to best record in the major leagues (97-65).

Manuel is one of only two managers in NL history, along with Bobby Cox, to win four straight division titles since divisional play began in 1969 (Cox won 14 straight with Atlanta, 1991-93; 1995-2005). Overall, Manuel has a career managerial record of 764-618. During the postseason, he is 27-19, which is tied for the third-most wins among active managers (with Jim Leyland), trailing only Tony La Russa (59) and Terry Francona (28).

Actually, Bobby Cox won three straight division titles, then Felipe Alou won one, then Cox won 11 straight, which is plenty impressive enough without acting like 1994 never happened (it did; I was there).

Manuel's streak is impressive, too. The Phillies' recent dominance might make those four division titles seem somehow preordained, but they weren't. Manuel's been one of the best managers in the business, and while this contract extension was largely a formality, most managers (and some players) are uncomfortable with a contract that expires after the current season. And there seems little danger of the organization looking for a new skipper anytime soon.

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