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October 22, 2010

Charlie Manuel


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Charlie.

Q. When you think back about Roy Halladay's year, obviously the two no-hitters were unbelievable. Is there any chance that what he did last night defines him as a complete pitcher even more than those no-hitters?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think it tells a whole lot about who he is. I think everything he does is -- from the first year he's been with us, you find out something about him every day that tells you how he can do it and why he can do it and things like that. I think last night, when he -- he was definitely -- he was determined he was going to stay in the game.
And I was concerned about how like how bad, of course, he might be hurt or the possibility that he kept pitching, get hurt even more.
Yeah, but he got -- he fought and he battled and he got us right to a pretty good place in the game, like where we could use our bullpen and things worked out for us. But that definitely shows what type of person he is. He came here to win. That's one of the first things that he told me when I talked to him. He said that the biggest thing he wanted to do, he said he wanted to go to the World Series and win. He said he wanted to play on a winning team.
He said that's why he picked us. That's basically what he told me. The first time I talked to him. And when I talked to him during the season this year, he's always said that, he's always put winning definitely before himself or his personal performances.
I mean, like he's a very solid individual.

Q. Did he come in today, Roy?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I haven't seen him today. I got here about 15, 20 minutes ago. I don't know if he came early or not. He might have.

Q. So you haven't got an updated medical report on him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: No, I haven't. I just saw Cole Hamels. I saw Roy Oswalt. And those are the only two guys I've seen.

Q. You anticipate if you advance he would be able to pitch?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Oh, yeah, he made it clear to me. He said, on his regular time, he said he'll be ready to go.
But also our doctor, our doctors and of course our trainers and everything, they'll definitely monitor Roy. But he definitely thinks he'll be ready to pitch.

Q. If there's a Game 7 in this series, will he be available to pitch out of the pen?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that -- I think we'll have to wait and see a little bit, see where he's at and how he feels. That would be hard for me to answer right now.

Q. Not knowing until maybe midnight tonight what time the play is, does that concern you, you don't know if it's a day game, night game, other things in terms of you guys getting ready, does any of that matter?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't think that's going to hurt us. I think when we came -- we got in early this morning, and I think the fact that we did not work out today I think that that's okay. I think that -- as a matter of fact, I think that can help us. I don't think the time of the game tomorrow is going to hurt us. Our guys are ready. I'm sure the Giants are ready, too. Our guys are ready to play.

Q. Does it affect the fans not knowing what time you're going to play?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think for me if you want to know the truth, the way our fans have been for the last few years around here, I think that they definitely have an idea exactly when we're going to play the game. I think that's fair. Really. I mean, I think they're the ones that come and see the game.
I think for them to come in and know what time to get here, I think that's going to be fine. I think the quicker you can tell them, I think that's going to help, I would guess. That might help me.

Q. Their players yesterday did a little bit of chirping on the field. At one point early in the first game Burrell said to Halladay something, and Lincecum to Rollins. Do you like when other teams do that to your players, and do you like that your guys don't respond?
CHARLIE MANUEL: As a matter of fact, I like that in games. But also I expect our guys to respond. And like I never -- anymore, in the Major Leagues, when I first came to the Big Leagues, you weren't allowed to talk to players on the field and like -- and things like that. And I remember all those things.
I remember Billy Martin used to get on us if we did it. He would really get on you. He would say: Why don't you take them out to dinner or see them later; this is not the place where you go over to talk your buddies, you're out here to beat them. Things like that. I'm still that same kind of guy.
But anytime -- I like to see my players like stand up and like -- really, I think that's all part of it. That's being competitive. And that shows how much they want -- like want to win and get after it. It's all part of it.

Q. You talked after Game 4 about your team needing to play with its back to the wall. With Oswalt in that situation, are you confident in a guy like him, how he'll deal personally with that situation?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yes, I'm confident with that. But what I think about it, like our philosophy, I preach it every day, and sometimes I think it's got to sound boring to people because when you come to the ballpark we come to the ballpark on that day to win that game. And we're prepared to play the hardest and best we possibly can do. Do we do it all the time that way? No. But the season is real long and everything.
If you take that kind of approach, that's what's worked for us. And like our players, I mean, I think when you see us finish the season, especially the second half of the seasons, the way we do, the more I look at it, it's the fact that they really, they kind of know that if we're behind or what they've got to do and we really start -- like they start turning it up more and things like that.
But I think when you've got guys like Halladay and Roy Oswalt around and Hamels is definitely getting there, and you've got Utley and guys like that who are so intense and who can really -- their work ethic and their routine, that definitely has to set an example to like some of the other guys, especially young guys that are utility players or like relief pitchers that pitch in the middle of the game and things. I think it definitely sends a tone to those guys.
I think being prepared is where it's all out and how you are prepared. I look at the Giants right now, they're a lot like us the first year we won. And they definitely -- like I said yesterday about Sandoval and Rowand and Burrell and them how they accept their role. And like Bochy, he double switches and he uses a lot of players, things like that, a lot.
And he plays different players, but his team buys into that, too. We've got to basically like the way we set our team up, like we don't double-switch a lot because we're set up that way. And he interchanges players and they stay real up and they stay after it and they accept all that, and that tells how much they want to win by just watching them.
And you can overachieve and you can play hard and things like that for a series or for a month even. I said two years -- 2008 we won the World Series, I said in Spring Training, I said after the season is over we'd learn a bunch about how we were, and if how we played was exactly like who we were. And I said if we just got on a real hot streak and we played it out -- and I kind of thought about that more last year when we started the season. I came to the conclusion that we were hot, like Cole hit a real hot streak and everything was working for him and like his talent came up and he had good command of all of his pitches.
And basically our team was hot. Our bullpen got hot and things like that. If you go back and check. I remember the year we won the World Series in Chicago when we lost some games and a game that Hamels pitched and Madson came in and I think him and Durbin, they blew the game and it was kind of ugly, and I think that turned our bullpen around at that time.
And I think there's things, who we are and how we go about it, and I see a lot of that in the Giants. I see a lot of -- they're hot right now and they got a lot of fire and they've got a lot of get up. I think yesterday's game, the momentum can shift.
I think the other night we went in the sixth inning when we had the lead and we were in the momentum had kind of shifted to our side I felt like. All of a sudden they walked right back and took it away from us. Also the same night I felt they scored and beat us in the last inning when I brought Roy into the game and it didn't matter to me, it didn't matter who it was, it could have been Oswalt or Halladay or Hamels or anybody else, I felt like how they won the game, I felt like they had the determination and things were going their way and they had momentum on their side, they were going to win that game.
I've had the same feel about us a lot. And things can happen. And you've got to stay after it. And I think the fact that we did win yesterday and we got a good chance now to win because of who we got pitching and basically because we're home and our fans are going to be out here to see us play and also we like to play in Citizens Bank Park, of course. That gives us a little advantage. But then we've got to win.
The bottom line is we've got to win tomorrow.

Q. Ruiz got hit again last night. I think you've had six batters hit during the season. Is that normal for this team? And how helpful is it when bats are struggling?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Chooch got hit last night, hit with a change-up. I think he was behind 0-2 in the count. If I'm not mistaken, 0-2 was the count and Lincecum hit him with a change-up. I think he kind of took it. He kind of recognized it and just kind of took it. He was down -- he was behind in the count. It wasn't on purpose.
At the same time, pitching inside, especially when a player's hot and as long as you keep the ball up in front of the guy, things like that, when you start throwing -- when you want to start hitting people you throw the ball behind them, that's when you want to hit them, or back up around here, because they'll turn and like more than likely you'll hit them.
But when you keep the ball up it's a difference in knocking the guy down than actually wanting to hit him. If you throw the ball up in front of the guy, if you always keep it in front of his body to a certain degree, but like there's also -- I like the fact that you're supposed to get a little aggressive inside.
And that's what moves the guys away from the plate, and if you move somebody just a little bit, that right there messes their timing. A little means a whole lot.
When they have to start looking location, I go back -- I said it the other day, I go back to the at-bat that Hamels was pitching to Scott Rowand against Cincinnati for the last out. You go back and see how he worked him at the at-bat and the pitches he threw and where he put them and you can tell -- I know Cole. You can tell just by looking at him and he says I got him. He says I'm going to throw this ball right by him upstairs, and he set him up for that.
And that's kind of why that you drive people off the plate and everything. You're sending them a message you're not afraid to come inside and then they'll be a little bit leery of leaning out over the plate and hitting the ball away from him.

Q. How helpful, though, is it for your offense to get guys on base that way? Is this something that you're encouraging, taking it for the team?
CHARLIE MANUEL: It's big. A lot of times in the game, the other night in the fifth and sixth inning, like we were in a game, we got the lead and everything and we walk the lead-off hitter in the fifth inning, walked Burrell I think in the sixth, that set up big innings, that's like getting a single. People talk about like this guy don't walk, getting hit with the ball, it's like when Utley gets hit 15, 25, 30 times, to me it's just like a guy hitting a single.
I look at it that way. If you walk 100 times, it means you got on base 100 times. It's like hitting a single. All those on-base percentage, that's what it is, and all those things come into play and that sets up opportunity for you to score runs.

Q. In the time you've had Roy Oswalt, how much of a competitor have you learned he is and is there a good example of that that you could share?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He doesn't say a whole lot. He likes to joke and kid a little bit. But he's kind of -- he kind of knows when -- it's not like he has to be seen or heard or nothing. Kind of low key. But he's kind of a witty guy. But he's very aggressive.
He has a strong routine, too. And he definitely is a competitor. You can tell that by how he gets the ball and throws it and some of the things he does how he looks on the mound and everything. Presence count. And in like what you give off to the hitter and everything definitely counts a lot.

Q. Also on Roy, how much confidence do you have specifically in him given the success he's had at home this year and his playoff experience?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Big. If you look at somebody and those things -- I'm like you guys in a lot of ways when I look at things and something pops out, when I see seven and eight, one at home, that stands out. Hey, I want this guy pitching at home, of course. Definitely a kind of guy, if you hit good in a certain ballpark and I see that, I know it, and I remember those things, more than likely I'm going to play you on those days.

Q. When the player is hot, like in this case Cody Ross, what does that do for strategy-wise, as the series progresses for a pitcher? Do you get that much more determined to try to get him out? As a fan I'm guessing this guy is doing damage, just contain him and don't deal with him, don't let him beat you anymore. How do you deal with that sort of thing challenge-wise?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yesterday, Cody Ross, he got a hit, hit a ball in right field corner. If you notice before that all the balls he hit most were pulled balls, pulled to the left side of the diamond. All of a sudden we started really moving the ball around on him and like pitching him. We've got a way of pitching him. When he was in Florida he hit us good. He used to have his moments where he hit us good. But also we had our times, of course, when we got him out.
And basically when you start seeing the ball good and you have a lot of confidence and you're feeling good and you're hot, you can be throwing a guy, he's hitting. He's covering a lot of pitches on the plate and he feels good about himself and also the pitchers are throwing balls that he can freely get to, and you gotta work him. You've got to move him and you've got to stretch him out and you've got to go up and down and in and out on him and try to get him out of his, out of the fact that he's comfortable when he feels good.
And you start doing that, I think yesterday we definitely started doing it. But at the same time he's had a hot series and you don't take him for granted. It looks like to me like it looked like, and it is -- like we don't necessarily want to pitch him down on the plate. He want to crowd him inside. And we've been getting the ball like the ball's we've been throwing -- that's what happens when you're hitting good, the balls will be right there for him to hit. That's not by design. We're not trying to throw the ball on the inside part of the plate for a strike, but he's going there. He was definitely wearing us out.

Q. Talk about your team's approach against the pitching that they'll see tomorrow, the first time around and kind of what you expect out of your team going up against Sanchez again?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think when he pitched here before we worked him pretty good. And I felt like he is the one pitcher that we were patient on. But at the same time we were also aggressive. When I say aggressive, we did a good job of not chasing his slider and his change-up down out of the strike zone, especially like when he's up in the count, say when the hitter is behind 0-2 or 1-2 something like that. We kept working on trying to bring the ball up. We had a lot of success on him. That's basically the way we have to approach him the next time, because that's the kind of pitcher he is and that's who he is.

Q. Are you likely to split Utley and Howard again against Sanchez?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think about that. I kind of -- yesterday when I was thinking about that, of course the left-hand starter is a little bit different than a righty. And I was thinking -- I think about a lot of things, I look at it and sometimes when Polanco -- Polanco and Utley hit left-handers about the same way. And it's kind of -- I don't see a whole lot of -- I don't see where that makes a whole lot of difference at times.
Another thing, too, a lot of times when you've got regular players like we've got, you start moving guys in the lineup and things, too, that's kind of like -- whether you realize it or not, they get prepared and they're ready and they usually think they're going to hit, like Polanco thinks he's the No. 2 hitter. Utley looks at it as the No. 3 hitter, things like that.
I remember my manager sometimes when I was playing and especially in Japan or in Triple-A baseball when I played every day and my manager, if I'm hitting third or fourth and I got used to hitting in one position, he'd move me to five or six. Yeah, I'd get upset. That would bother me. I would never tell him that, and I used to think it had something to do with how I thought and things like that.
We're a creature of habit and routines play a big part on them. That's why you have it. Pitchers are the same way.

Q. Roy essentially threw two bullpens the other day. How do you expect that he will respond to that? And if you needed length, would you consider going with Cole tomorrow?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know, when I think about Roy, I think listening to him and also listening to Dubee -- first of all, I think he's got a rubber arm, he's kind of different in his style and he's got a loose arm. That's why he gets his rise on his fastball.
I think that he is kind of that kind of guy. And his mentality thinking is like -- he's one of those guys -- maybe I can explain it a little bit better. He's one of those guys that goes out there start playing catch and a guy picks up a ball you go out there, watch him, guy picks up the ball and he slowly starts working his way in playing long toss or catch.
And Oswalt is one of these guys. He goes out there, gets a ball and starts gunning it right away. Like he's throwing -- his warm-ups are a guy throwing more than 50 or 60 percent at a time. So I look at that and I see all those things. I don't think it's going to hurt him at all. I think when he tells you he's ready, I think he's ready. He's also one of those guys that if he's got -- if he's got some kind of problem or something, he's hurt or something like that, I think he'll be the first -- he'll tell you.

Q. Would you consider using Cole if you needed to?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Depends on where we're at in the situation. I'm not saying -- you know what? Do I want to? No. More than likely I want, but at the same time I'm not ruling it out. So don't be surprised and jump on me if I don't use him.

Q. We all get behind in life, either as people or as teams. Some people respond by panicking and getting worse and some people by accepting it and being resilient. Why do you think over and over your team loves the challenge of saying watch what we can do?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think our team over the course of three or four years, I think that they know a lot about each other. And I think that -- actually, I don't know -- I'm saying winning teams probably look at it the same way we do, but I think that they look at the game as like today's the day and we've got to win. Like they look at it that way, and when we lose, like they know -- when you lose a game, nothing you can do about it.
There's absolutely -- you can sit there and you can cry and you can whine, you can drop your head and you can quit. That's basically what you're talking about. But there is nothing we can do about it. There's nothing you can do about what you did yesterday. But you can do something about it today. And I think they look at it that way and I think they accept that. And also I think they know that they're going to play tomorrow or next year and things like that, and they know they've got a lot of baseball left.
But at the same time they know that they can -- like the day is the day that we're supposed to shine and that's when you talk about like playing in the moment, teams always talk -- well, that is the moment. And I think that's the philosophy we have, and I think their attitude and who they are and how they foresee and look at a game, I think that has a lot to do with it.
And the guys we bring in here, few years ago we brought in Jamie Moyer and Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt in, those guys when they come in here, like basically they're right on course with us. They set right in, they fit right in perfect with us. But not only that, they teach us and we learn things from them. And, believe me, we look at this game, we come out tomorrow and we may lose, but at the same time we'll play as hard as we possibly can. If we make mistakes, things like that, as long as we play our best and what happens is going to happen.
But baseball is that way. Sometimes I think people don't understand that. This is a game. And a lot of things happen in this game.
Believe me, luck -- the more I'm in it and I see it, luck -- the game is a lot about luck. But in the moment, when you have to, in a situation, make a pitch or hit or catch the ball, those things, that separates that winning team from the team that loses or a second division team, if you understand what I'm saying.
I think that is definitely -- I think we look at it that way. Like yesterday, for instance, when Roy bunts a ball, we got a break. I mean, that's a break. That's luck. The other night when Sandoval hits a ball on the line, I saw it, and the show's over, I thought, man, we got a break. He ended up hitting a double in the gap where he turned that break into hard luck.
But at the same time like that's kind of what baseball is. And nobody misses a ball on purpose. Nobody strikes out or nobody -- it's hard to sit here and explain to somebody I've been there and I can tell you, and you'll know exactly what's coming and you stand at home plate and take the ball right down the middle and the following day a better pitcher has better stuff, you'll be lighting him up.
It's hard to explain it to somebody, tell somebody how you feel and what happens, but that's kind of what baseball is. And a lot of times in short series or in the course of a long season, the best team, if they play right, they definitely play the most consistent. They're going to win. But in short series or for a month or something like that or two weeks or whatever, teams can rise up and they definitely can beat the better team at times.

Q. On the line of thinking of resiliency, talk a little bit about Ryan Madson. Has he ever pitched as well as he pitched last night, and talk about his maturity this season coming back from the injury.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think ever since he broke his toe, I think he learned something from it, first of all. And ever since he came back he's been real good. And it seems like the longer the season goes, seems like the better he's getting. And that's good. I was talking to him this morning before he went home. And he told me, he says: I'm ready. He said: I can pitch whenever you want me to. I'm ready to go. I don't feel tired. I feel strong. I want to be out there.
But he's improved, kind of a grow-up thing, like he's gotten more mature, and he also understands the fact when he goes out on the mound I see more determination and I see -- but his stuff has always been good. Command is getting much better. I think right now his command is real good.
And like he's ready to go. Second half of the season Madson and Lidge did a tremendous job for us. I haven't said a whole lot about that, but at the same time they've been pretty good.

Q. In the lineup did Raul show you enough yesterday? Did you feel okay with him going to Sanchez and Jimmy stealing two bases and moving them around? Thinking about what to do with him in the lineup?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think Raul swung better yesterday. Of course, he stayed on the ball. I think that he -- like he showed me that he stayed on the ball and he got a couple of hits. He got the first hit off of Lincecum like it was kind of a broken bat hit, but at the same time the swing was not real long and out of control. Those are things that will go through my mind and everything like that when I'm sitting there thinking about the game.
What was the next part you asked me? Jimmy? Jimmy showed me yesterday on the bases when he took off, the two bases that Jimmy stole yesterday showed me that he thinks that he is well and he can run, yes.

Q. I don't know if you recall watching Oswalt's performance in the 2005 Game 6 in the NLCS and just sort of what your impressions were watching him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I'm trying to think. I think I did see him pitch, but I don't remember a whole lot about it. I watched the game that day. But I think back then I think he had a power breaking ball, if I remember. It was mostly fastball, breaking ball. Now he's got a change-up. And he got the big, slow -- like the humpy curve, like a roller. He's got more weapons now, I think.
I kind of remember the game, but I remember him having a big over -- a hard over-the-top breaking ball and used his fastball more.

Q. Is there something that as a manager -- how much do you have to trust a guy who has only been with you for, say, two and a half months, not with you for the whole year? How much as a manager do you have to trust --
CHARLIE MANUEL: I trust him. I trust him a lot. I'll tell you this, to me, when I look at him you're going to know right away when he goes out there, who he is and how he throws. And if he gets -- once he -- I think when the game starts you're going to know because just how he throws and how aggressive he is and things like that, I mean, the first couple of innings, that determines a whole lot for him.
I think how good he's going to be, he's going to show you right there in the first couple of innings or the first three innings, especially the first two, and if he's throwing strikes and he's got command of his pitches and he gets through those innings pretty good, I think you're going to see him give us at least seven really strong innings.

Q. What have you seen out of Ryan Howard right now in terms of his approach and swings and why he seems so off?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think when we get guys on base, I think he's definitely trying too hard. I think that he wants to do something, I think that he wants to like feel like he's part of something -- I think that he's definitely trying too hard. He's thinking about like knocking runs in and things like that.
I think if you notice sometimes when there's no one on base, he'll get some hits and he'll hit the ball. I think when he gets somebody on, I think that he realizes that he wants to be a part of it and he has to knock runs in. I think that he needs to slow down and, there again, just hit a couple of balls good and things will happen for him.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Charlie.

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