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November 4, 2009

Charlie Manuel


Q. Can you update the status of Victorino for tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Victorino is playing center field, his finger is fine. He's already went down and took some swings and picked up a ball and he's been throwing it, and he showed me that he's fine. He's all ready to go, and he's hitting second. Going to get four or five hits, and he's going to be fine. (Laughter). Steal five bases.

Q. In terms of after Pettitte pitched the first time, you talked about it was up to the lefties. That was kind of the big difference in the game. Is there a reason whether or not you believe that they can make adjustments like they did get Burnett?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, but also I think that Pettitte is going to have a lot to do with it. I heard him say something today about his command and that he put the ball where he wants to and pitch his game. That's basically what it boils down to. We've got to make adjustments on him. He's throwing our left-handers sliders away and he's sharp and he's hitting the corner, we've got two things -- like, if we're going swing at them, we've got to stay on it and go the other way, and take what he gives us and make sure we follow the ball, and actually get close enough to play, to cover -- and we'll be fine.

Q. In your mind if you have the lead late in the game tonight, is Lidge your guy in the ninth, or is it basically how you feel the game is kind of going?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I definitely will be talking to Dubee a lot. It's kind of how we feel, and it even could be kind of like the match-ups that we like. We've got everybody available tonight except Lee, and we're going to try to win, of course. I mean, we're here to win. That's what we expect to do. That's why we showed up today.

Q. I know you've always said that Howard is your clean-up hitter, but did you give any consideration to flip flopping him with Jayson Werth?

Q. Why not?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Because he's the fourth hitter. He's been there. What kind of message do I send to Howard after three years he's been in the Big Leagues, three or four, all of a sudden on a big important game in the World Series I drop him? You know, what am I going to do, call him in and say, "Ryan, I'm hitting you fifth or sixth tonight because this is the sixth game of the World Series?" What's that telling him? If my manager did that to me, I'd have some words with him. I might win, too. (Laughter).

Q. Could you just give us your lineup, please.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, my lineup is basically Rollins is leading off, playing shortstop; Victorino hitting second, playing center field, Utley is hitting third, second base; Howard, fourth, first base; Werth is in right field, hitting fifth; IbaƱez is DH and hitting sixth; and Feliz is hitting seventh playing third base; Francisco is hitting eighth and playing left field, and Ruiz is catching and hitting ninth.

Q. What is your thinking at this point for Game 7 pitching?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I actually haven't really -- in some ways it's entered my mind, I've thought about it a little bit, but I'm not focused on it. I'm focused on tonight's game. That's how we play. That's what my players talk about, that's what I talk about. That's our philosophy. After the game I'll -- more than likely I'll tell you who tomorrow's pitcher is going to be.

Q. When Pedro was first introduced in Philadelphia he said that you never know with him, that he might surprise everybody. I was wondering if you've been surprised by him with anything thus far?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think Pedro has pitched a little bit better than I thought he would. I think his stuff is a little bit better. I saw him last year, and that's what I said when I go back, when they mentioned they'd like to sign him, and I think I told Ruben Amaro, he's got to have better stuff and he's got to be in a little better shape. Well, he's in a lot better shape and he's got better stuff. He's did more than I truly expected, really. I felt like if he hadn't have had an injury kind of late in the season that he would even -- might have a chance to be even better. I think the last two games he's pitched have been real good for him. He's got good rest, but I think at the same time the more he pitches, the more he gets lengthened out and endurance and everything, and I think tonight he has a chance to throw a real good game. I know he wants to.

Q. Can you just talk about the fact that today is the fifth-year anniversary of when the Phillies hired you? Are you surprised at all how much success this franchise has had under your leadership? Is this what you've expected and how do you define your five years so far?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't know if you guys were there or not, if you remember or not, I said I took it to win. I've said this before, too, and I think, first of all -- I think I knew more about it than people have realized. I had gone through our Minor League system and I knew the players that we had. I knew the players we had down there. I knew Howard was there, I knew Utley was there, guys like that, and I knew Madson had a chance to be a good pitcher because I had seen him in Triple-A baseball and things like that, and he put all that together at the Major League level. I could see if we kind of tweaked our team some and got the right pieces that we definitely could have a winner.
And also what led me to believe that was by traveling I got to see every team in our league. I spent a lot of games in Philadelphia watching the Phillies and their opposition that came in there to play them, and also I got to see those teams sometimes. I did some advance work when Hank King got sick at one time for about a month. I got to see everything about the National League, and I got to see all the players that the Phillies had. And I figured that it was a good bunch of guys and a lot of young talent and guys that wanted to play baseball. Actually I thought it was a good place.
And since I've been here, I'm sitting here today talking to you because I've got good players. I always give them the credit. They have the best attitude I've ever been around. I've been in baseball a long time, best attitude, best chemistry I've ever been around. How much I put into it, I don't know, believe me. But I know this, I know that they've got a good way of seeing the game and doing what they want to do and how they play it. And that makes me proud of them.

Q. There was a lot of talk before and after Game 5 just about your team's ability to stay loose in these high pressure situations. Having seen the guys today prior to Game 6, how do they seem to you going into tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: They seem the same. I walked through, they're still relaxed, loose. If you go in there and look, they're the same guys. They're the same every day. That's what we talk about, and that's how I like it. We came to win today, and you know what, not only did we come to win today, but we plan on playing tomorrow.
But first of all, we're going to get through tonight. I like our chances.

Q. When you're talking about Howard, you seem to be concerned with his feelings and his psyche and stuff. But do you also think that leaving him there is the best thing for winning Game 6?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah. You know something, I'm not thinking about his feelings. I'm not a feelings guy. You guys might think I'm a feelings guy. I'm not. I'm not a feelings guy. I can get on your ass just as easily as I can get on anybody's. I could care less about things like that when it comes to winning. The number one priority we have is winning the game, I've said that. That's the number one priority. If everybody else in baseball would remember that, that works in baseball, remember the number one thing all throughout the game is to win the whole game. That's what we take on.
You know, I learned a long time ago, especially when I played baseball in Japan, you've got to slide that ego away every now and then, and really if I thought dropping Howard down in the lineup would win the game for us, I'd do it. But you know what, he's been there that long, and I don't want to go doing it on a day, the sixth game of the World Series.

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