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October 28, 2009

Charlie Manuel


Q. Can you just give us your lineup, please.
CHARLIE MANUEL: My lineup, we've got Rollins leading off, shortstop; Victorino, second, center field; Utley, hitting third, second base; Howard fourth, first base; Werth, fifth, right field; IbaƱez, sixth, DHing; Francisco, seventh, left field; Feliz, eighth, playing third base; and Ruiz, catching, hitting ninth; and of course Lee is pitching.

Q. Joe Girardi will manage his first World Series game tonight. I'm curious if you had any different feelings before your first one than a normal game.
CHARLIE MANUEL: It was exciting. I was very excited about being there. I think when you're standing out on the field and they introduce you and stuff like that, and you go through a procedure, I think things go through your head, all the years that you've been in baseball, and you think about all the good things and just how -- you'll get a little sentimental about it. But then once the National Anthem is over, then you'll be back to normal. You'll quickly come right back to managing the game or seeing it probably in a different way. It gets down to being all serious and business. You won't think about it until the game is over after that.

Q. Can you describe your managing style and your philosophy on managing, and just sort of talk about some of the guys that have come along that have sort of shaped your style and your philosophy.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I talk about this sometimes, and I kind of ramble, and sometimes I don't really know how to explain it, but my philosophy, definitely I'm excellency over success, and I think with our team the last three years, and I've said this over and over, and a lot of you have heard me say this, we play for today, we come today to the ballpark to win this game, and we try to master the game. I think our team, I want to have the elite team, and that means if we've got weaknesses on our ballclub, I want to see how strong we can get them starting from that day on and also in the future.
I want us to be good, and I want us to be good for a long time, but at the same time I want every player on our team to try to master the game and try to be as good as he possibly can be or get him to be himself. I tell our guys all the time that they are their best coach, that they are their best hitting coach and our pitchers are their best pitching coach. When it comes down to the experience of the game and learning and we talk about mistakes we make, it's very important that we correct those and play the game right.
I'm big on hustle. My two rules ever since I've been managing through the Minor Leagues and the Big Leagues is hustle and be on time. I don't like to set a lot of rules because that means I've got room to play as we go along, if that makes sense. I like relaxation, I like to be loose, but I like relaxed and focused. But at the same time there's a fine line. If you cross that line, of course there's a discipline of things that come into play and how we want to do things, and that's up to somebody that's in charge to take care of it. That's where my staff and myself come in. And I definitely want to be held up accountable and also take responsibilities for how we play.
But our players, I give them all the credit in the world, and I'm sitting here talking to you today because I've got good players, and they look at it in a very special way. They look at it as winning a game, and every one of them like to play, and that's what makes us a good team.

Q. I know Raul IbaƱez has played in the American League but what is his biggest adjustment to being a DH? And do you like the way the World Series is set up DH-wise?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I like a DH at times. I like managing in the National League better because your bench comes into more play and who you've got and everything plays a big role in it. Pitching changes are different at times because when you're losing a game, you have to take starting pitchers out of the game and things more in the National League. But I look at the DH as something that's been around for quite a while now in the American League, and more than likely it seems like it's going to stay there. I'm definitely not against it. I see it puts more excitement into the game from an offensive standpoint, and I'm an old former hitting coach.
But as far as Raul IbaƱez being a DH, he's definitely did that before, and he'll get to play some of the field in this series. It's not like he's a bad outfielder. He's been playing very good for us. I just think he had an injury this year, and I think right now Francisco moves a little bit better. But Raul has played very good. I'd like to make that clear. He's played real well and he's played very good defense for us. In the outfield he's been very strong, and he will play some outfield in this World Series. I definitely feel very confident with him in left field, and that's really the only reason that he's not out there tonight is because I just think that Francisco moves a little bit better than he does right now.

Q. The fact that you played here during the regular season, how much is that going to help you in this series and this game tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think the fact that we played on the field in Yankee Stadium, I think that helps us some. But during those regular season games we were 2-1 -- actually we beat them two out of three, and we had some trouble late in the game. But those games you can -- I don't know how much they're going to play into nothing because we won two out of three, that's all I can tell you. Now we're talking about a whole different game, and I think that you're talking about two teams that have come a long ways.
At that time the Yankees were just getting ready, just starting to play good. But I could tell when I was here that they were going to be a good team and they were going to be hard to beat, and they were just starting to play good when we played them. And they've come a long way since then. They're a tremendous ballclub, and we've got to play and play hard.

Q. You talked about this being a perfect setting for Pedro tomorrow night. What is it about him that makes him a big-game pitcher? And was Dodger Stadium when he proved that to you, or did he prove that to you earlier this year?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I seen him earlier this year. The best game he pitched before Dodger Stadium, he pitched a game against the Mets. And that's when he threw 130 pitches and everybody was screaming because he threw 130 pitches. Whatever. But I think that what happened was he got hurt in Atlanta. I don't think people really realized he got an injury in Atlanta, his neck and he had a sore shoulder, as far as where he hurt his neck. And I think that kept him out. He missed a couple of turns, and I think that kind of cut him short because we were trying to get him stretched out like where he would be -- where he could go at least anywhere from 105 or 100 to 105, 115 pitches or something.
But I looked at him in Dodger Stadium, I think he's a guy who's in good shape physically, and I think with the knowledge and knowing how to pitch, I think that definitely he's ready, and I think that he can handle the big setting. He's been there before, and he likes being there, and he likes everything about it.
I think that who he is plays a big part in it. We'll see tomorrow night.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about two of your outfielders, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth. We know your team has a lot of star power but what those two players have meant to the day-in and day-out grinding of winning a championship?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, you know, first of all, Victorino and Werth are a big part of our speed, and they'll play a big part of our defense in the outfield, both of them. But Victorino is a switch-hitter. He's got power for a little guy. He's stronger than you actually think he is. He's got tremendous talent. When he's playing good, he's a very good player. He definitely -- he's one of our energy guys. He hits at the top of our lineup, and when him and Jimmy Rollins are getting on up front -- sometimes they don't even have to get on. When they're really hustling and running down the line hard and making infielders throw the ball quick, I think that they kind of set a tone, the energy in the game and everything picks up, and they are our energy guys.
Whereas Werth's got speed, he's got power. He's developed into a very good player. He's been very consistent for us, and he hit 36, 37 homers, and he had 99 RBIs, and for now about a year and a half he's played regular, and he's a real good defensive right fielder. Plays a real big role on our team. They fill big roles, and also they help balance out our lineup.

Q. Could you speak for a minute about the part of your job where you have to make decisions that are a little bit hard, and you may have to disappoint some people like maybe Raul wanted to play the field, but he knows you're making a decision or even a greater extent leaving a player off the roster all together, someone who's been with you all season. Is it difficult for you to do that or have you changed how you approach making those decisions?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I look at a decision as something you have to make, and sometimes you do have to make tough decisions. Actually I didn't tell Raul he was DHing tonight, but it wasn't because I had to go up and really explain to him because I feel like he really knows me and I communicate that well with my players.
I think, first of all, when I talk to our team, the number one thing is win the game. You can take your feelings, they're out the window. My heart is good, but at the same time, for me to win the ballgame is more important than my heart, and I kind of look at that, and I want -- I try to set that line of thinking. We came here to win the game, and we talk about every night, we try to play the best to win the game. I hear people say, "Aren't you afraid to hurt his feelings and things like that?" No, I'm not intentionally trying to hurt anyone's feelings. I think if you get to know me, you will see that.
But at the same time my intentions to win the game is much bigger than thinking about the other part of it, because this is a game, we have fun, and we're out there to win the game. That's the part I get out of managing. That's the competition part, and that's the part that makes it better. I want my players to be as good as they possibly can be, and my door is always open to them. They can always come and talk to me, and I have no problem at all ever communicating with somebody.

Q. You talk a lot about chemistry in your clubhouse. When you guys were considering signing Pedro, was there anyone you sought out to find out how he was in the clubhouse or anything like that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: No, not really. No. I felt like I knew him, but actually I didn't know as much about him as I thought, because I thought at times, like I think I said yesterday, I saw a guy who was cocky, which is fine. Sometimes to be good you've got to be cocky and you've got to be -- someone has to let you be who you are sometimes. Sometimes you don't want to take who somebody is and their identity and stuff or what they stand for and try to change it because who they are sometimes makes them -- that's why they're good. He had an arrogance about him, and you would think -- at times I thought he was kind of arrogant, but at the same time everything about him, I felt like -- I always thought he was a professional and that he loved to pitch.
And since I got to know him, not only does he love to pitch and the competitive part I already knew about, but the guy, he really studies the game and he loves baseball and he's a baseball guy. If you sit and listen to him talk and everything, he'll impress you with what he knows and how he kind of sees things. That's the part about it I've gotten to know him, and I'm very proud that he was able to sign and come on our team and pitch for us because that way I got to know who he is.

Q. Could you please share with us your decision to leave Miguel Cairo off the roster?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Basically I saw what our thinking was that I figured we needed another pitcher because Myers is healthy. He pitched a couple simulated games. He hadn't pitched since the Colorado series, but he's healthy and he's well and he's throwing the ball better. I still liked the fact that we needed another -- I felt like we needed another pitcher. Like in Dodger Stadium when I used five pitchers to get through an inning, and it made the back end of our bullpen short, and that kind of came into play. And then the last game that we played when I only had Bastardo -- I had Lidge closing and I had Bastardo the lefty. I was thinking -- my thinking was I need another pitcher, and Myers being healthy and throwing good, that's why we put him on the roster.
And then we get down to the place with Bruntlett, Bruntlett can play all outfield positions and infield positions. Miguel Cairo can play all the infield positions, and I felt like Bruntlett, the fact that we do have a DH and I might DH IbaƱez and all that, there comes a time when we might want to make some kind of move in our outfield late, and that's where Miguel kind of got eliminated.

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