PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Manuel officially named his coaching staff for the 2009 All-Star Game on Wednesday, and it didn't take him long to make up his mind.
"It was very easy," said Manuel, manager of the defending-champion Phillies and, therefore, the National League squad.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa will join Manuel on the bench at Busch Stadium on July 14.
The National League, which has not won since 1996, could use Torre's winning All-Star touch. He went 8-1 over his 18-year playing career -- representing St. Louis four times -- then 5-0-1 at the helm of the American League during the Yankees' dynasty years. That's an impressive 13-1-1 mark overall.
Manuel said he immediately thought of Torre because the Phillies and Dodgers played for last season's pennant. Philadelphia won the NL Championship Series four games to one.
"I'm honored he asked me and I'm definitely going to go," Torre said. "It will be fun. It's in St. Louis, and going back there will be nice."
La Russa doesn't have to go anywhere, but he will cede his office.
"It's Charlie's," La Russa said. "I'll move all the stuff out and be in the coaches' room."
That choice was equally obvious for Manuel. After all, the host team's manager is typically selected. And La Russa brings his own accolades, trailing only Connie Mack and John McGraw on the all-time win list.
"I think it's a treat for both of us," La Russa said. "And Charlie's a long-time, real-time baseball man. Neat to be around."
The respect is, indeed, mutual.
"When we're playing in St. Louis," Manuel said, "I think from baseball's standpoint -- and also the caliber of manager that Tony is and things that he's done for the game -- that definitely makes it better if he's out there representing the Cardinals at the All-Star Game."
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.