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October 10, 2010

Charlie Manuel


KATY FEENEY: Questions for Charlie Manuel.

Q. As long as we're on a light-hearted note for a minute, Ryan said you were the first to see him in the mask in the hot tub?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I saw him.

Q. Did you know it was him when you saw he had it on?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I knew it was. I saw Chooch with it on, too.

Q. Durbin has your -- you've done a lot of things with him over the last few years. How valuable is he to you, as a competitor for that 5th starter spot? Do you think he could develop into the role he's giving you?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Actual when he was competing for the fifth spot on the rotation, when we first got him, when spring training went along, we decided that he -- we knew he pitched long relief in the bullpen, and he'd actually never -- he'd never pitched, like, say, in the 7th or 8th inning and stuff like that, and once the season started and we started getting into some tough spots and we started putting him in different roles and he started coming through good, it was kind of like he was the one that we had to put in those roles at that time.
He definitely did a tremendous job for us. And the last two or three years, he's been really good. He's been really good for us. He's been serviceable, did exactly what we ever asked him to do. He never complains. He's been -- he's a big reason why we win games.

Q. Charlie, do you think there might have been something to Roy Oswalt, the extra time you had off and just had that little stint in the bullpen in the last game. He said he was -- as the later innings went on, he felt like he could have done more. Do you think his first few innings were a product of that time off?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I felt like that could have had something to do with it. But at the same time, I felt like you got to remember, to me, what I saw was he gave up two home runs and Phillips got 3 hits off him, I think. When you go out there and pitch -- and he's not going to throw shut-outs all the time, that's why we got an offense and that's why we're supposed to score runs, and that's why you talk about how good of an offensive team we've got.
And as good as the two Roys are, and Hamels, and Blanton, and Kendrick in our rotation, they're not going to shut everybody out. And there's going to be nights when they -- like when they take their lumps, and the other night he wasn't really -- he didn't really take his lumps. But at the same time, he was getting hit enough for them to build up runs on him. That's what I saw.
His stuff was good. I felt like I've seen times when his command was better and, you know, he didn't really get into a good flow of the game where he could use his change-up and really start mixing his pitches up. I think he mostly was throwing foul balls. I think the counts that he got in, too, like he felt more comfortable challenging them and throwing foul balls.

Q. What's your evaluation of Chapman, the Reds rookie, and as a hitter, would you have liked to face somebody throwing 100-and-something miles an hour?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I said the other night, he's a talented kid. He's got a big future. He's special. He's going to be real good. But also when I look at him, this is my thinkin' and most of the time other guys in baseball who like to play and stuff like that, they'll look at him like he's a big challenge for you. And in some ways you want -- you should be -- I would get up to hit against him, you know what I mean?
He's that good. I know he's good, but at the same time, he's a challenge for you and you can really, really, really bear down on him. And I always look at guys like that, That's a feather in my hat if I can get to that 100-mile-an-hour fastball. And that can motivate you. But also, believe me, he's got a lot of equipment there. He's going to be good.

Q. All season long you guys played six, seven days a week, and in the postseason, there is a lot more days off. And if you win tonight, you will start the NLCS playing 3 games in twelve days. What can be done to stop something like that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't know what can be done. When you say, "Is that too much," if you advance to the next round, you do good, nobody says nothing. But if you don't, people say the rest hurt 'em, things like that. I don't know. That's always -- that's something to talk about. It's part of the game, I guess. Until somebody does something about it or changes it, I don't know -- I don't know what I can do about it.
I mean, does it hurt us? I don't know. Seriously, I mean, if we play good, I would say no. If we don't play good, I go, "Yeah, it hurt us." That's how people are, I'm no different.

Q. Charlie, Jimmy has struggled this year from the left side of the plate more so than any other year. How much of that has been a surprise? Two, how much thought do you put into that when you look at the lineup? I know the other day you said you wanted Jimmy 6th and Raul 7th, how much does that go into your thinking process?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Jimmy usually hits better from the left side than the right as far as production and might be that he faces righties more. But I think this year, he's had a hard time finding his swing from the left side. Usually, his swing from the left side, he's got good balance and he has a short, quick swing.
He shows signs of getting the swing down. This whole season, he has never hit a streak like where he got hot or kept his swing for a long time. And I think his injuries definitely have something to do with it.
But he's dangerous and he's very capable of having a good night from the left side, too. That's how I look at him. I put him 6th, because of the lefties, and I wanted some righties. If they bring some lefties into the game and I don't worry about him hitting from the left side, because if his swings are good, he'll produce.

Q. At some point this season there will be a situation where it would benefit you to use Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, or Cole Hamels on short rest. Halladay has done it before, Oswalt has done it before, Hamels hasn't. Would you use them on a short rest?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Actually, Randy was talking about a minute ago, if we win, seems like we're going to get a lot of rest. We chose the 8 days in this playoff because we like the way our pitching is going to run. Like we'll wait to see what's going to happen. We came to the ballpark today to win the game. We'll see what happens after that, but will I be scared of -- no, I'm not scared of nothing.

Q. Blanton in this kind of a role could go a stretch without making a start. Him having gone through that last year, does that help you know how to keep him sharp?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He'll throw in the bullpen and he stand a good chance of gettin' in the game, but he'll do regular side work in the bullpen, and we'll have to see what happens. And if there comes a time we want him to throw, we'll play a simulated game and get him working. He'll stay sharp, Joe did those things before and he bounces back pretty good.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Charlie.

End of FastScripts

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