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October 15, 2010

Charlie Manuel


THE MODERATOR: We've got Charlie Manuel. And we'll start with questions.

Q. We always hear that experience has to be a help in situations like this. Now that you've been here a few times and are here again, do you see that to be the case? Do you think your experience helps you in this case? And if so, how?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think basically anytime you go through something, I think the next time, or if you keep doing it over and over, it has to help you. Absolutely, it has to help you. It has to help you as far as relaxing. It has to help you as far as you kind of expect what's happening and things. And definitely, I think that's a part where experience plays in.
And I think without a doubt I think definitely experience is the best, probably one of the best teachers you can have.

Q. Was there a point, though, in the year when you looked at all the offensive additions the Giants were making, added to the pitching they already had, where you thought you were going to see them in October?
CHARLIE MANUEL: When we first played them, the first time we played them on the West Coast, like I had a good feeling about their team because of their pitching, as far as thinking we were going to see them at this time, not really. But what I saw, I saw a team that really liked to play.
And also, like I made the statement yesterday, for some reason they really liked to get up for us. And they've been doing that now for about three or four years. And they kind of used us as a measuring stick.
And actually I think it can work both ways. I think that can also help us. I remember when I was in Cleveland and Minnesota, one year, had a winning record against us. They were young and we were a veteran team, things like that. And I made a statement when the season started how cocky they were and they thought they were better than us, and they came out and played us hard. And I said we've got to beat them. If I can go back, I think we really took it to them that year.
And I kind of see that energy with the Giants. I mean, when I saw it, because they definitely like to play us, and you can tell, I can tell when I talk to their players and I can tell just a feeling that they've got, that they get up for us. And that's good. It's going to be a good series.

Q. With all the talk about the starters, very little has been said about the bullpen so far. You have had several guys who have been up and down all year. Where do you think you guys are bullpen-wise now?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think probably about since Madson came back and right after the All-Star Game, I felt like that our bullpen, the back end of our bullpen really came together. And before that I felt like the first half of the season I felt like Contreras definitely did a good job for us. He played a role in keeping us in there.
And I feel like right now the back end of our bullpen, we still, if we can put J.C. Romero and some lefties every now and then, I feel like we're very strong. And our bullpen, it goes unnoticed. But at the same time they've been real good. I think it speaks for itself.
I think Brad Lidge is a pitcher. I think he's come into his own and his command and what he does with the ball and where he puts it counts more than him trying to rear back, throw 95 to 96 miles an hour, 97-miles-an-hour fastball. I think some of his velocity is down some, but at the same time I think he's definitely more of a pitcher. And I think Madson has been good ever since he came back. Madson's stuff's real good. And they did a tremendous job for us.
But, also, too, when we talk about our bullpen, I think our bullpen has been as good -- it's been real good because our starters take us deep, and our bullpen can get some time off, especially like the seventh- and eighth-inning guys, they can get more rest than they used to get, if that makes sense.

Q. Obviously everybody knew that Roy Halladay was a great pitcher before he got here. Is there anything you've learned about him this year that you didn't know?
CHARLIE MANUEL: As far as who he is and how he goes about things and what makes him good, those are the things that I feel like I've learned about him. And like the things that I think is better than what I really imagined was definitely his command and his routine.
It's so regimented, he's so focused and everything. Everything about him is kind of, until you're around him and you get to know him, then you see why he's good.

Q. So much has been made of the starting pitching in this matchup, does that magnify other things such as the bullpen, defense, base running? How much more do you look at those types of things when they have two staffs going against each other of this magnitude?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think if we're talking pitching and pitching is going to dominant the game, I think that even with good pitching, I think defense comes into play. And I think that neither team can afford to give extra outs in an inning. And I feel like in the close games you've got to execute, and you've got to be able to score runs and hits at the right time.
But also I still look, and I think that you never know what's going to happen in baseball. And the hitters are capable of scoring runs on both teams, as far as that goes. I mean, it's not like these guys are just going to throw their gloves out there and, like, the hitters aren't going to be up there trying to get to them.
I mean, I think there's going to be some runs scored. And I think it just gets down to who is the best and, like, who executes the best and who plays the best.

Q. In terms of Roy Halladay, throwing so many complete games as he has throughout his career, what have you learned about him, or this year since you've had him or what maybe do you -- how do you manage him differently late in the game and where maybe you would trust him to finish it off more than maybe you would somebody else?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think first of the year, first couple times he pitched, I think Rich Dubee and I we learned a lot about him and we learned about who he was and what his thinking was.
And of course, like, we wanted to give him some leeway, like, letting him pitch a lot but at the same time we also kind of -- we wanted to take care of him. We actually wanted him for all year. I'd say after about two or three times out, you know, if you want to know the truth, I managed him just like I manage anybody else.
And I think that he's a professional. And he's very -- if I go take him out of the game and he don't want to come out, he's not going to like -- like, he'll show you that he's upset or something like that, but he handles it really well.
But most of the time, I mean, that don't happen very often. But at the same time I manage him just like I manage any other guy.

Q. Two of your most key pieces, I guess, in the 2008 championship run had down years in '09. And I'm just wondering, as you were coming into this season, where did you think they were going to -- did you think it was kind of a natural byproduct they would start to rebound just because you come off such a high, you might go down low and come back up, or did you have some concern that maybe they were going to kind of stay in the struggling mode they'd been in in 2009?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Who are you talking about?

Q. Cole and Brad.
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know what, I've always said that Hamels' best days are ahead of him. And I'm still saying that. Like the reason I say that, I think Rich Dubee and I talked a lot about Cole last year, and I wasn't -- like, I think you guys were a lot more concerned than I was, because I've been in the game, and I know what kind of ability he's got. I knew exactly what kind of person he was. And I knew that there were some things that -- when you talk about experience, I think those are the things that he had to experience before he became the pitcher that I think he's going to be. I think everybody goes through that. I've seen a lot of baseball. I can sit here and name you guys that had years similar when they came off of a World Series or a big year. And I can sit here and name them over and over to you and it's a learning process.
And as far as Brad Lidge, I've always thought he's always had the talent. And he's always had -- he's always wanted to. And, like, I thought that staying with him was where it was at. But also I think that you get to the point where, like, you've still got who is the best pitcher down there that we've got to close the game and who has done it and who can do it.
And people sometimes, I've heard them say, "Well, how come you don't let this guy close or that guy close?" You can beat people out on our team. There's guys that are playing the field that's done that. I will let you beat somebody out if you can, if you know what I mean.
But at the same time, I haven't seen anybody take his job yet.

Q. Just back to that other question, in terms of you said you'll know Roy is very professional when you take him out of a game, but there have been times when you've seen maybe he doesn't agree with your decision. Are there any stories from the year in that regard, or in terms of where you guys kind of found a middle ground where maybe you learned a little something where he was coming from or he you?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I talked to him one day after about his second or third start, I talked to him in the weight room about 45 minutes. And basically what I got out of it was the fact, you know, like, "I came here to win, Charlie, and the teams before me." And he said, "I always will put the team before me." And like we got into a real good discussion.
From that time on, I learned the fact that I read through what he was telling me, and if I do something that he doesn't like, you know more than likely -- there's a sense of really you can feel it and things like that and you see it. But at the same time he's very professional. And, like, that's what makes him special. That's what makes him good. Like, he doesn't want to -- definitely doesn't like to miss turns. He doesn't like to come out of any game, really.
But at the same time, that's kind of how it is. And like I said, I manage him like I manage anybody else.

Q. What's it going to be like for you to see Pat Burrell on the other side now trying to beat you guys after all these years helping this team get to the point where you guys are now and helping you guys win a World Series? He was front of the parade route and everything else, now he's trying to keep you guys from getting back there. What is it going to be like for you to see him on the other side?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I'm not going to let my heart overrule something we're going for. I like Pat Burrell. I like him like he's a good friend of mine. He's like my son in a lot of ways. I spent a lot of time with him. When we walk out there to play baseball, we're going to get him out. That's what we're out there for.
I mean, do I want him to get any hits? Not at all. I mean, that's kind of like how I look at it. We've got to beat him.

Q. Some statisticians have suggested that Lincecum was more dominant in his round, last round, than Halladay was in his. Does that make any sense to you? And also what did you think of those two performances in general?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think it doesn't make any sense at all. I think -- what time is the game tomorrow? Seven? Eight? 7:57. I think that's when we're going to find out.
I think that's what is going to tell the story. Both of them pitched really good games. Two-hitter, no-hitter is better than a two-hitter, I guess. (Laughter).

Q. You haven't decided anything on the roster yet, have you?
CHARLIE MANUEL: No, but we should probably have something maybe before you guys leave today.

Q. If you do add an 11th pitcher and you need to take a guy off the roster, a player, can you talk, it might go down between Dobbs and Brown, can you talk about what each of those guys would bring to the roster if you end up keeping one of them?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Basically the problem, Dobbs has been with us for a long time -- as far as the bat goes, I think it's pretty -- it's kind of a wash. I think you're talking two different scenarios. I think if you look at the lineup, you know, like, we do not hit for Ruiz very much. He's become a pretty good hitter, and we haven't pinch-hit for him for a while.
And so, therefore, like as far as Dobbs and Brown's hitting, I think that's pretty much a wash. I think we get -- especially Domonic, he can be a base runner. You put him in the game, outfield and he can go play. I think Dobbs, we've got Valdez sitting there, but also the big thing where Dobbs comes in to play is experience, of course, but also the fact that Valdez, if he has to go in the game, like Polly (Polanco) or something happens to Rollins or something like that, we will not have an infielder. And that comes into play.
So that's kind of how I see it. And like we'll have to -- that's like we'll figure out what we want to do.

Q. Jack Morris was on a conference call earlier with John Smoltz. He called you old school. And he talked about managers allowing pitchers to go to the length. You had Cole finish that game the other night in spite of I think there were a couple pretty good line drives in the previous inning. What went into that thinking? And would you be adverse to letting a guy go out in the 10th inning in a certain post-season situation?
CHARLIE MANUEL: 10th inning? I would say depending on -- you know what, depending on how many pitches he's already thrown. But sometimes I look at pitches and you say -- and I've heard you talk to me a lot about pitch count and things like that -- I look at 115 pitches. There's not much difference in 125 pitches, 115 pitches.
That's what I think. Like, I don't see a lot of difference. When you go down to the bullpen sometimes you throw on the side and somebody says, like, this guy, would you be leery of bringing him back on short rest, but when a guy goes down in the bullpen and throws on the side, some will throw 50 and some 70. If they're working on something, they'll throw more than that. That's just on a warm-up day.
You can look at that, so 10 pitches to me, that's not going to -- that's not such a big deal. So would I do that? Depends on where the game is and how it's going.

Q. Would Cole ever be in a situation --
CHARLIE MANUEL: Would it be a consideration of me taking out, Votto gets on, that will come into play. We're sitting there and go back and look, Lidge, Rolen is 1-for-12 off of Lidge, and they right-hand hitters, there's going to be two right-hand hitters standing there. And like I'm not saying -- but I will reveal that to you, that was the plan, if Votto gets on, that makes more come into play there. But it depends on how it goes.

Q. You guys faced Lincecum in his Major League debut. How has he changed since then? I know he had a lot of talent right away. But how has he developed since as a pitcher?
CHARLIE MANUEL: First time we saw him his fastball was 93 or 97. Sometimes he would touch 98, if I'm not mistaken. If the gun was right he had a good, sharp breaker ball and great change. Since then I think his velocity has come down some. I think he's learned more about pitching.
I think his changeup is better. The command of his changeup is better. His breaking ball, he's got a good breaking ball and he can command it.
I think the biggest thing about it for us we've got to make him throw strikes, and we can't -- his secondary stuff, we can't start chasing it down out of the strike zone.
If we hit it, swing at it, we've got to make sure, try to make sure that it's up or sitting in a good place for us to swing at it.
I think it's easier said than done at times. But at the same time, we've got to control our adrenaline and concentrate better and kind of take what we give him, don't try to swing big at him.

Q. When you look at the Giants' lineup, what is their power potential in terms of home runs?
CHARLIE MANUEL: They can hit home runs. They've got some guys in their lineup, Cody Ross can hit a home run. Huff can hit home runs and Pat Burrell can hit a home run. And Sandoval is capable of hitting home runs, lot of power. Renteria can hit home runs and shortstop, and Uribe he's an aggressive hitter can hit the ball out of the yard. They've got some power.

Q. Where is Jimmy right now? And what do you hope to get from him this round? And do you think the layoff helped him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't think that Jimmy's -- I don't think Jimmy's 100 percent. I don't know how close, but he's not completely at the top flight and whatever.
But at the same time I think the rest does help him. I think that he's -- like, when he has to really, like, make a play or something where he really has to be quick and running-wise, he has to kick it in gear, he has to speed up. And I think that how he's going to get confident that he's not hurting and he can run. I think that's something that has to come.
He's kind of -- I think in the back of his mind he still thinks that he's not ready to, like, get the extra kick. And I think that's where -- I think those are things where he's at.
I think he definitely can play. I mean, he can be very good. But I think stealing bases and things, I don't know if he's there yet or not.

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