Odd that I seem to be talking about Bowa in the past tense in my first post, like he's already gone. I was never a Bowa fan - I didn't really think it was a good hire three years ago. He didn't do a great job with San Diego and hadn't been given another shot for about 12 years. That being said, I wasn't in favor of tarring and feathering in April and May either.
I often feel - Trader Jack not included - that firing the manager coach during the season isn't necessarily the answer. Managers get way too much credit or blame. Joe Torre was derided in his first stint in the Big Apple with the Mets. Dusty 'Why don't I let my two-year-old run around the field during a game? What could possibly go wrong?' Baker is often praised as a great manager, but didn't he fail to notify the umpire of a double-switch earlier this year. That's the definition of boneheaded. And I don't think Tony Pena went from a Manager of the Year to one of the worst overnight - his true abilities lie somewhere in the middle (but could this KC team even win a competitive adult softball league? I digress). Besides the Phils were right in the thick of the race.
True they were underachieving in the first half, but they were still in first place. It would be great to have a 200 game lead, but first place is first place, no matter how you slice it. You're still in the playoffs. Since July 1, though, the Phils have tanked right at the time the Braves - when are they just going to go away? - got hot. Maybe a change was needed as murmurs of more clubhouse trouble and disdain for the manager surfaced. But now it might be too late. They are 5.5 behind ATL and 5.o out of the Wild Card. Is Charlie Manuel the answer? He lasted only a year in Cleveland.