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October 16, 2010

Charlie Manuel


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Charlie Manuel.

Q. Victorino leading off, is this becoming permanent or is it series to series?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think just because one reason why because he's done pretty good there and we've been winning and I'm still wondering if Jimmy, he can steal bases and things like that, just what goes into it. And also I like the balance that I think it adds to our lineup. And that's kind of, it's kind of where it's at.

Q. Has this been the longest week of your life? What have you done to pass the time not to go crazy?
CHARLIE MANUEL: It's been -- actually it seems like it's been a while since we've been out on the field playing a game. It seems like but at the same time we've been staying busy. I've always got something to do.
Actually I'm really looking forward to it. I'm very excited about it, really.

Q. You spoke yesterday about your fondness for Pat Burrell, specifically what he's done. Given how he struggled in Tampa Bay last year and the first part of this year, what do you think are the differences? And are you surprised he bounced back as he did?
CHARLIE MANUEL: The difference is, I think that you people have seen, when he played here is that he's a hot-and-cold hitter. A lot of players are that way. And like when he's not hitting or when he's not playing real good, you know, like, you've got to find some room to sit him and also don't forget about him and always go back to him.
And I think in Tampa Bay eventually he definitely didn't adjust to being a DH, and I think I made the statement if he had ever got comfortable and had some success in the DH role and he knew how to spend that downtime, I felt like he definitely would have liked it. But playing every day, definitely seems like it suits him.
And got a lot of time to kill between at-bats and stuff when you're DHing and you're always thinking about your hitting and always about everything about your hitting comes into play, and you have a tendency to press and try hard and things like that. You've got to try to find something to kill that downtime.

Q. In the first series, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels pitched great games; Oswalt struggled by his standards, do you think that will be motivation for him come Game 2?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Again, we're playing tonight, but I'll say this about Roy, Oswalt, he's going to give you everything he's got and he's definitely capable of pitching real good. And our pitchers, let me tell you something, guys, they're human. I mean, they're going to give up some runs some time. If they don't, we're going to be looking real good. Really good. Hell, I can't wait. Like I said before, I was joking about how long I wanted to manage, but if they don't give up no runs, it's hard to tell when I might -- how long I might stay here.
Really. But, no, he's fine. His arm's good. And like I said before, I just like for our guys to go out there and pitch their games, stay focused on what they're doing, stay really into how they get it done and everything, the rest of it will take care of itself. They're going to do the best they possibly can do, and that's kind of how I look at it.

Q. Up to this point, how do you compare this year's team to the last two you've had that advanced to the LCS as far as strengths?
CHARLIE MANUEL: What was that?

Q. How do you compare this year's team up to this point to the last two Phillies teams that have been to the LCS? Is this your strongest Phillies team for this time? Anything stronger or weaker the past couple of years?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think this team is a little bit different because of I think this is the best pitching that we've had. I think this is the best starting pitching that we've had.
And I think the second half of the season, I think the back end of our bullpen is real good. And also it's got to continue to be good for us to get and accomplish where we want to go.
And I think that's been a big part of our season. I think we have hit enough from an offense standpoint, we have hit enough to win games because we hit and we score runs at the right time.
I think we can be better offensively, and I look anytime for us now, for our bats to come to life, like where I can imagine that I've seen them and, like, if we play that kind of baseball, we've got a chance to really be good.
And our defense, our defense has to stay just like it always has. Like, we catch and throw the ball pretty consistent. And that's all part of it. I think if you put all those things I said, if all those things could happen, this would probably be our best team.
But one thing wrong, there's a couple "ifs" in there. (Laughter).

Q. Talk about personality-wise how Roy Oswalt blended in with this team and coming over from Houston, was there any adjustment period? Seemed like he fit in really well with the clubhouse right from the beginning.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think the fact that there's players in Houston that I'm sure he talked to, and he's been around, like they got to know Roy and also there's guys on our team, like Brad Lidge and some of those guys in there that have played with Roy before.
So, like, I think when he came over here, it wasn't -- I don't think it was a hard adjustment for him at all. I think that he definitely fits right in.

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