Charlie Manuel to be inducted to Phillies Wall of Fame

Charlie Manuel to be inducted to Phillies Wall of Fame

Charlie Manuel already owns the Philadelphia Phillies’ record for wins by a manager with 780, but since records are made to be broken, the franchise will immortalize the legendary skipper another way.

The team announced on Tuesday that Manuel will join the ranks of the great Phillies of all time in a pre-game ceremony to be held on August 9, less than one year from the day he was relieved of his duties as manager.

Here’s more from the team’s press release:

“It is only fitting that Charlie become the newest member of our Wall of Fame,” said Phillies President David Montgomery.  “His contributions to our club, his unparalleled connection with our fans, and his overall passion and love of the game made the decision an easy one.  He has left an indelible mark on Phillies history and he deserves this honor.”

Manuel spent nine seasons (2005-13) at the helm of the Phillies and went 780-636 (.551), guiding the club to more wins than any other manager in franchise history. From 2007-11, the club won five consecutive National League East Division titles, two NL pennants and a World Series championship. Last August, he became the 59th manager in major league history to notch 1,000 wins. Prior to being named manager for the 2005 season, Manuel spent two years (2003-04) working for the Phillies as a special assistant to then-GM Ed Wade. Manuel was recently named the team’s senior advisor to the general manager.

Manuel’s induction will be a part of the annual Alumni Weekend festivities at Citizens Bank Park, which this year will also include a Roy Halladay bobblehead giveaway on August 8. Halladay will be among the alumni in attendance to honor his former manager.

Manuel’s recognition is a no-brainer, although it’s a bit surprising it happened so fast. Anything that keeps him around the organization and making public appearances is a good thing though.

Source: Phillies have agreement with free-agent OF Michael Saunders

Source: Phillies have agreement with free-agent OF Michael Saunders

The Phillies are putting the finishing touches on a deal with outfielder Michael Saunders, according to a source.

Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported the deal was close early Monday afternoon.

When the medical reviews and other loose ends are complete, Saunders will end up with a one-year contract for 2017. It is believed that there will be an option for 2018.

Saunders, 30, will give the Phils the left-handed bat they’ve been looking for in the outfield. Saunders is likely to play right field and his addition will likely push Roman Quinn back to Triple A, where he will get more seasoning.

Saunders is a veteran of eight seasons in the majors. He played in a career-high 140 games with Toronto in 2016 and made the American League All-Star team on the strength of a first half in which he hit .298 with 16 homers, 42 RBIs and a .923 OPS. He fell off in the second half and hit just .178 with eight homers, 15 RBIs and a .638 OPS. Saunders finished the season at .253/24/57/.815.

With less than a month to go before spring training, the Phillies are likely done with their significant offseason moves. The offseason began with trades for reliever Pat Neshek and outfielder Howie Kendrick. Later in the winter, the club traded for starting pitcher Clay Buchholz and signed reliever Joaquin Benoit. Now Saunders is on his way.

Villanova returns to top of AP poll after a week away

Villanova returns to top of AP poll after a week away

It didn't take long for Villanova to get back to the top of the AP poll.

A week, to be exact.

The 'Cats jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 in this week's AP poll, edging out No. 2 Kansas by just 16 total voting points. Villanova had 1,580 total points compared to the 1,562 total points the No. 2 Jayhawks received from voters.

In a twist, the 16-1 Jayhawks actually had more first-place votes than the 17-1 Wildcats. Kansas received 32 first-place votes compared to Villanova's 28 first-place votes. But total votes are the deciding factor, so, advatange: Wildcats.

UCLA hopped up to No. 3, Gonzaga jumped up to No. 4 and Kentucky checked in at No. 5 to round out this week's top five.

Baylor, the No. 1 team in the land last week, fell to No. 6 after it was blown out by No. 7 West Virginia.

Beginning on Dec. 5, Villanova was No. 1 for five straight weeks before falling at No. 13 Butler on Jan. 5 and seeing a 20-game win streak come to an end.

Jay Wright's Wildcats blew past No. 22 Xavier and St. John's last week, but will face another Big East test when 12-5 Seton Hall visits The Pavilion on Monday night. The last time Villanova and Seton Hall met, the Pirates upset the Wildcats at MSG in the final of last season's Big East Tournament.

The Wildcats' schedule this week is closed out with a visit from Providence on Saturday afternoon.