posted 8 years ago
PHILADELPHIA -- A baseball is round. A circle is round. But as Charlie Manuel proved Friday, on a bittersweet afternoon turned evening, it isn't always easy for that baseball to fit inside the circle of life.
Charlie Manuel has managed 1,072 games in the big leagues. But he had never managed a game like this one.
It was one of the most satisfying games of his managerial career. It was also the saddest.
It was the day his Phillies fought to within two wins of the World Series with a raucous 8-5 victory over the Dodgers, a win that gave them a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. But that was just the part of this day that revolved around baseball.
It was Manuel's other journey Friday, his journey along that circle of life, that made a mere postseason baseball game feel almost insignificant.
It was the day the manager came to the ballpark knowing this was one day that wouldn't end with the favorite postgame ritual of his managerial life -- that daily phone call from June Manuel, the mother who raised him, loved him and affectionately picked apart every game he ever managed.
June Manuel was rushed to a Virginia hospital Tuesday. She passed away early Friday morning. So for the better part of this week, the manager has been a jumble of swirling emotions. How could he not be?