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October 22, 2008

Charlie Manuel


Q. Your first game managing in the World Series, and I'm wondering how you're feeling inside? Calm, relaxed, butterflies? What's going through you?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know what, I hope I'm calm, yeah. I'm all right. I'm fine. I'm looking forward to it. Matter of fact I want it to get going. And it feels kind of like I thought it would to be here. Hopefully we can finish it off.

Q. What kind of risk, if any, do you consider in using your second catcher as the DH? And how much did you do that when you managed the Indians?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Well, you know, when I managed the Indians, I didn't do it very much, but since I've been over in the National League I've done it quite a bit. I've taken my catcher out quite a bit this year, and especially when Coste is catching, I'll put Ruiz in, sometime in the eighth inning or ninth inning, especially to catch Lidge. So those situations, we've had them quite a bit this year.
As far as Coste DHing, I did think a lot about it, but I wanted to make sure that I could cover everything. But most of the time when Coste is in the game, I'll pinch-run for him, or later in the game I'll might hit a left-handed hitter for him. But I've been doing it most of this year.

Q. It's been a long time since the city of Philly has won a championship of any kind. Is there any sense among you guys that, we'd like to do this for the city, the fans, civic pride, all that sort of stuff?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, without a doubt. I definitely feel that way. I feel like they're a part of it. They come to the ballpark, they enjoy watching us play. And I've said this over and over for about the last two years, I think that our personalities and our attitude when we play definitely helps bring fans to our ballpark in Philadelphia. I think they like our team and they definitely enjoy watching it, plus they love baseball, and of course they've been starving for a winner or they've been wanting a winner for a long time.
Our ultimate goal when I took over for manager four years ago was to win a World Series. And most, all of our core players, and the players that's been here with us for the last four years, they preach the same message.

Q. Brett Myers had such a roller coaster year, can you talk about your confidence level in him going into tomorrow night?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Since Brett went to the minor leagues and he came back, he's been tremendous. He's one of the reasons why I'm sitting here talking to you today. And he's been just a completely different pitcher. He had a couple of games after he come back that he was a little rocky. But at the same time he's made some good adjustments and he's been throwing the ball much better. His command has been better, and his attitude has definitely picked up and been better. He's more in control of himself.

Q. Can you say what you'll do with the DH tomorrow against the right-handed pitcher?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We've got some options. We have three left-handed hitters sitting on our bench. We can be strong on our left-handed hitters. If I want to or if I choose, I can probably overload our lineup with left-handed hitters, but I'll wait and see exactly what I want to do tomorrow.

Q. You had Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste share the catching duties much of the season. Toward the end of the season and the playoffs, you've gone with Ruiz. What's been the basis for your decision?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think the biggest reason was like we started to win. And like we started the streak and we started winning, so I basically stayed with Ruiz. And also at the same time like Coste's hitting slipped some. But I've got a lot of faith in Coste, I've been around him a long time and I trust him. I never gave up on him at all. And believe me, like I figured I can always go back to him. But once we started winning games and things started working really good for us, I just sort of left it that way.

Q. What does Jimy Williams do for you on the bench?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Jimy Williams and I talk about baseball. I always talk to Dubee and Jimy Williams, and before I do things I'll run it by him.
Jimy knows a lot about the game. He's a studier of the game and he's very sharp. And also Jimy, he's got a good memory, especially on our reports and everything. He definitely keeps up with things, like match-ups, things like that, I can run something by him, and if I don't remember or I don't know, he'll give it right to me.
He's very valuable, does a tremendous job.

Q. It's kind of the funny thing, isn't it, that you lose one of your best offensive players, and being able to let Myers hit?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Myers, you know, I heard somebody say the other day we should let Myers DH (laughter).
Actually Myers' hitting, he had some good at-bats against CC Sabathia, and then he had a big game against the Dodgers, and I guess he's been hot. But I haven't gotten that, what do you call it, I don't guess I've got that much nerve yet (laughter).

Q. Ryan Howard had some big hits against the Dodgers, but no home runs in the postseason. What have pitchers been doing that take away that power he has?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think actually when you look at Ryan, people think he's not hitting, because he doesn't hit a home run. But he definitely got some hits that helped us. But they're pitching very carefully, for instance, and they want to move the ball around on him, first of all. And they want to try and see if he'll chase bad balls. And it's very important he's patient at the plate and he gets good balls to hit. And that's kind of how they pitch him.
Ryan sometimes the biggest thing about him is this guy wants to hit so much, and he wants to make sure he does a job, he wants to make sure he helps the team. If you got to know him, the kind of person he is, sometimes that hurts his hitting. But when he's patient and he's seeing the ball and when he's putting the fat part of the bat on the ball, and the ball jumps up, and I look at, also, I don't want to -- put it to you this way, although he didn't hit any against the Dodgers, he might be due to hit a whole lot. He's definitely capable of having a big series and hopefully he will.

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