home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 13, 2001

Charlie Manuel


Q. What did you see in Sabathia in spring training that made you so strong about your feelings in keeping him?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Last year he pitched a game, a Hall of Fame game up in Cooperstown and we had a look at him and people were speculating at that time that we were going to keep him. And basically, what I saw is a guy that had a tremendous fastball. A right-handed hitter hit a home run off him about 427 feet, and then he started overthrowing the ball and I sat there during the game and I watched him and I watched the ability and the potential he had and that's what I saw in him. And then when he went to Venezuela last year and he came back, we called him and brought him on our ballclub. I thought about starting him in one or two of those games, especially the doubleheaders that we had. He was working out with us in Boston and I had to make some kind of decision because they didn't want him working out with us because he wasn't on the roster and I sent him home. At that time I told him that I liked everything about him and if he would come to spring training, I said I would let him pitch his way on our team. Like I told someone yesterday, when we made the Venezuela trip and was playing the game, we had two guys on and I ordered him to walk the guy and load the bases with nobody out and he got out of it. The way he handled it I thought, well, he's focused, he knows what he's doing and keeps his cool. What I did at that time, it entered my mind that he might walk some guys, like he might really start pressing but he didn't do it and he showed a lot of composure on the mound. After that, we kept pitching him in spring training and I felt like the fact that he had a good fastball that he could locate on both sides of the plate, I felt like his ability and the kind of offense that we had, and our rotation the way it was set up, I felt like he would be a big asset to our ballclub.

Q. What is his preparation for a team he has never faced?

CHARLIE MANUEL: He'll watch a lot of videos, talk to the pitchers, go over reports, he'll talk with Dick Pole and Luis Isaac. As far as being prepared, C.C. will definitely be prepared today to pitch.

Q. How do you keep from what happened in Oakland; he got too revved up?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that was the first time I had seen him there that way. He had his friends, his family, all his buddies he grew up with. He kind of got out of whack. He started overdoing it, what I would say. I think today, I think his adrenaline is going to be big at the start of the game, and I think the only thing I'm kind of worried about a little bit is the fact that he might be too involved in it and he might be trying too hard and if he gets by the first inning, I'll say that he's going to pitch good today.

Q. Just your feeling about Colon going for you guys tomorrow, and can he top what he did in Game 1?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think Colon, he's ideal for tomorrow. I think that's a perfect situation for him. He's got his proper amount of rest. He's on a regular turn. Can he top what he did the other day? I've seen him better than he was in Seattle. Although he pitched a tremendous game; he can be better than that. But at the same time, as long as he pitches good enough for us to win, that's basically all we can ask of him.

Q. Can you talk about Colon's confidence and ability tomorrow being up 2-1 or being down 2-1?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't think it's going to matter. The better the competition, the better Bartolo seems to pitch. The biggest thing about him is sometimes like the tempo he has on the mound. Like the other day in Seattle, he kept a good rhythm, good tempo and he kept the game moving. I think those are the things that I will watch when he goes out to pitch because sometimes he tends to slow the game down, and he slows it down like actually, to me, like, too much. But I think as far as the situation he's going to pitch in tomorrow, I don't think it's going to matter because I think that he's good against -- the better the opponent, the better he pitches.

Q. Can you compare Colon's performance in Seattle to the Yankees in '98?

CHARLIE MANUEL: The game he pitched against the Yankees, he had better stuff. He had a good breaking ball going. He had a changeup going. Also, he had tremendous command; worked the ball on both sides of the plate. He would run the right-handed hitters off the plate and at the same time, he was real sharp. In fact, that might be the best game I've ever seen him pitch was against the Yankees. As far as stuff-wise, matter of fact, in my baseball career, I've never seen anyone have that good of command and throw that hard in spots. I've seen Bob Gibson and some great pitchers, but that day as far as where he was putting the ball, to me that was amazing.

Q. Rocker made some comments yesterday towards Wickman; can that affect team chemistry?

CHARLIE MANUEL: What Rocker said, and how it affects our team chemistry, I think that's something better off keeping in house. I'm the kind of guy I like taking care of things in our locker room. I think that's something that should just stay inside, for whatever it's worth, I think the more I talk about that, like nothing for me to say can be good out of that. So therefore I think I should keep my mouth shout about it.

Q. What is keeping Colon from being among the class of Martinez and Schilling?

CHARLIE MANUEL: He had some bad luck as far as us scoring runs, but at the same time, great pitcher, they a way, like Martinez and Clemens, guys like that, they will find a way to win 3-1, 2-1, 3-2 games. Bartolo, the biggest thing is it's down to his command. He's still real young. If you are going to compare him to Pedro at the same age, I think you will find that Colon -- I'm not sure about this, but I keep up with it a little bit. I think Colon's victories might be more at the age where they were at. I'm not sure but you can check on it. I think maturity, he's still growing in this game from maturity and mental aspects, but I think the biggest thing about it is the fact that he uses both sides of the plate. Gets his breaking ball over more consistent. I think he'll be a pitcher like Clemens or Martinez. The other day, for instance he threw like 115 pitches, five or six breaking balls. So that means he threw 109 fastballs out of 115 pitches.

Q. Does it help Colon and the team's confidence, him pitching against the Mariners?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I'm not sure that's the case because I'm sure our players look at Garcia the way I do. To me, Garcia is a young pitcher, but at the same time, he's the No. 1 starter on their staff and Freddy has got all kinds of ability. To me Colon and Garcia is a very good match-up. I think who is pitching the best on that given day and who gets the breaks will be more likely to win the game.

Q. You said the last couple of weeks in the season that you thought Jimmy's quest for 50 might have affected his performance at the plate. Have you and C.J. sat down and talked to him about his approach?

CHARLIE MANUEL: C.J. and I together haven't, but C.J. talks to him every day and I have talked to him two or three times about it. I think it's just a matter of Jimmy slowing down. He got a base hit the other day off Moyer to left field. He has to cut his swing down, stay in the middle of the field and get his timing back and he'll be okay. If he starts swinging hard and pulling off the ball, starts chasing balls, bad balls up and in; they try to get him away, throw him soft stuff and bust him off the plate. The balls, if he stops chasing them; basically what he's got to do is relax, like wait, try to hit the ball to the middle of the field. That's easier said than done sometimes, though.

Q. They don't know what time tomorrow's game is going to start; does that matter to you?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Does it matter to me? I guess that means I don't have nothing to do about it, so I guess it really shouldn't matter anyway. But at the same time I look at things, I like to have a specific time. I think to get ready and prepare for the game, I like to know ahead of time. To me, that could be important. But at the same time, both teams -- it's the same for both teams, so why cry over that.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297