An interview with Charlie Manuel

An interview with Charlie Manuel

This is treating it almost like a new game. Can you talk a bit about the differences of this pregame, this will be a very different approach to a very short ballgame?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, this is definitely a different approach. Of course we're going to hit for Hamels and like we'll see, I'm sure, that they'll have Balfour on the mound, probably, and we'll see what happens. And I'll decide to send somebody up there to hit. And we'll see the game kick off from there. And then we've got the top of our lineup up. And we'll start trying to score some runs. And Madson will start the game for us. We've got Romero and Lidge, Durbin and Eyre, that's how we'll play it.

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I know technically Madson is only pitching in the seventh tonight, but you've got to think his biological clock will tell him it's the first inning, since he's pitching at 8:37. Do you think that could affect anything, kind of the nature of this game?

CHARLIE MANUEL: He's got experience, and a couple of years ago he was a starter. He got in like 20 some games as a starter. And like I said, he's got experience. He's been throwing the ball real good. I think from a mindset he also knows that, we just got actually three innings of baseball for our bullpen to pitch.

So it's kind of a mindset thing, but I think when you look at it he's got to get three outs or four outs or whatever, five outs, whatever. However long we leave him in.

In weather like this, what kind of challenges does that pose to your players?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I'd say biggest thing, sometimes it's real cold, the ball is kind of hard to grip and it's kind of slippery, and you've got to keep your hands warm enough, the pitcher does. Before you execute pitches and feel free to throw the ball, of course.

From a hitting standpoint, you seem like you're tight and it's cold and when you hit the ball a lot of times your hands sting. And people say, well, you've got gloves on. Well, believe me, if you don't hit the ball on the fat part of the bat, you get a sting from it. It can be uncomfortable hitting in cold weather, but at the same time it can be uncomfortable throwing a ball, too. Both sides, they've got the same problems. And how big the problem is depends on how warm you can stay and how loose you can stay.

Nowadays you've got a lot of stuff, like the clothing is different and it's very up to date as far as like keeping the body heat in. And you can do things like put baby oil on your body and stuff like that when you get ready to play.

Kind of a three part question: You talked yesterday about Cole not being able to grip the ball and the weather having an effect on him in pitching. Did getting hit in the hand also affect how he pitched?

CHARLIE MANUEL: That was his pitching hand, I'm sure it had something to do with it.

Is there any swelling now? And if he needed to be used in the next three days, could you use him?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I haven't looked at it today, really. I haven't talked to him, but when I do I'll look at his hand. I haven't really looked at it. He got hit right on the big finger.

You obviously worked for a lot of bosses over the years, what makes Pat Gillick unique and what will you miss about him?

CHARLIE MANUEL: He stays up on his job. Like he's definitely a hands on kind of guy. He still believes in the old scouting system. Actually, being a manager I don't really get to see him as much as like the people in the upstairs level do. I get to see him in meetings and things, of course, and in our discussions.

But he definitely, I would say he's a hands on guy. And the success he's had everywhere he's been kind of speaks for itself. And the job he's done here definitely plays a big role in where we are at.

What do you think about the notion that there's somehow destiny on the Rays' side, and that it was advanced by the fact that they wriggled out of something in Game 5 here? And also do you feel you have an advantage now because you have extra outs here and a strong bullpen?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I wouldn't trade positions. So I guess I feel like I have an advantage. That's kind of how I look at it. Destiny is one thing, but if they're destined, we want to definitely fight through destiny (laughter). That's about all I can tell you.

How crazy have the last two days been for you and for your team, this whole situation?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that once the game got called and we got out of the clubhouse, and if you stop and think and look where we're at, we're still sitting in a very good position. And we've controlled our destiny. I said this yesterday, I think, we've controlled our destiny all year long and we've still got control of it. You won't see us cry or bitch and moan if we don't get the job done. Because we're planning on getting it done. And that's not an option. So that's how I look at it. That's how we look at it.

Given the weather the World Series keeps running into the last few years, should any consideration be given to shorten the regular season so the World Series can get done by mid October?

CHARLIE MANUEL: You know, I leave that up to people that are, what do you call it, higher up than me or has more to do with that than I. I'd like to see, I don't know, the season is 162 games, they shortened it before to 154.

And I look at it as it depends on where you're playing. If you're going to play in the east, of course you're going to run into it some weather, or you play in Colorado or something like that. If you play in Arizona or Florida or California, more than likely the season is fine. Where you're playing definitely plays a role in it.

Shane Victorino has been in the middle of so many big plays in the postseason. Is there something about his makeup that makes it more likely that he can succeed in a setting like this?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, well, Victorino, first of all, he's got a lot of talent. For a little guy he's strong and he can do a lot of things. He plays centerfield, so he's in a lot of traffic and in a lot of things that goes on in the game. At the plate he's a switch hitter. When I got him in the six hole, he seemed to come up definitely with more guys on base. And the type of player that he is, he gets to swing the bat more there instead of having to worry about or concentrate on playing situational baseball and moving runners and things. So I think his talent definitely shows up in the middle of our lineup offensively.

But, yeah, he's definitely capable of stepping up and having the kind of game that definitely can carry you. He's that kind of a player.

I'm assuming you're expecting to see David Price. First of all, is that accurate? And, two, when? How early do you expect to see David Price?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think we're going to find out real early, you know. He came in against us in Florida, of course, and he went through our left hand hitters twice. So like I figure that and evidently they've definitely gained confidence in him there. And I can thing that we're going to see him.

Just back to the way you talked about how certain places you wouldn't run into it. What would be your feelings about having the World Series seven days or seven games, nine games, all in one neutral site, warm weather, dome kind of place?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I would have to think about that and get more information on it and everything, before I haven't had time to think about something like that, really. I understand what you're saying about having it in a neutral place where it's warm weather, like Arizona or Florida or something like that, or maybe even rotating places, but I think, you want to know the truth, I'd rather have it home for the Phillies fans to get us to see us play in Philadelphia, on the turns that we play those games. And I'm sure Tampa probably feels the same way. But there again, you have to ask them. I think from a World Series standpoint, I think it should stay in your city.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.