Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Tuesday he had no idea what to say to his team following an ugly 7-4 loss to the Mets. Manuel's strength is relating to his players and finding the right buttons to push to get them to perform at their best, so it was not encouraging that even he seemed baffled at how to fix the team's losing ways.
He expounded on that statement Wednesday.
"When you think about it, we've got guys hurt," he said. "We've got guys out for half a season. We've got some guys doing good and things like that. You've got to make sure you don't destroy some of the stuff you've already got going. When you talk to them, it's timing. That makes a big difference. I always walk around and talk to guys. Sometimes when you get them into a group, that's better, but at the same time, you have to remember what's going on."
Reading between the lines, Manuel might not feel it's the right time to talk to his team, which remains without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley and just got Cliff Lee back from the disabled list.
"You better know really what you're doing before you get up there and take off to get your point across," Manuel said. "The bottom line is we're not playing good enough to win. Right now, we're just playing bad baseball. We're just not playing very good at all.
"I'll address the team when I want to, believe me. I don't have to talk to you guys about addressing the team, not addressing the team. Really, that's how I look at it. I've been in the game long enough. I don't have to tell you everything I'm going to do."
Manuel said it is his job to speak to the team, if he feels it is necessary. That might be a good thing, because he said there is not a true vocal leader on the team. He said he has not had once since Aaron Rowand played for the team in 2006-07.
"He was a vocal leader," Manuel said. "But at the same time, we've got guys in there, especially when they're playing good, that lead by example with who they are and their personalities. They can lead that way. Does it work? If you're winning, I guess it works. If you're losing, people look at it and say, 'Something isn't working.' To me, I look at our team and I think I'm the leader."