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NL DIVISION SERIES: CARDINALS v PHILLIES


October 2, 2011


Charlie Manuel


PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Game Two

Q. Two-part question. Do you think this is Victorino's best season? And also I know you prefer him at the top of the order, but you've hit him third and you've got him five. What makes him so versatile?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think the way it plays. I think he can handle that. I think it's who he is. I think I can move him around in the lineup, and I think that he'll perform. I'd like for him to relax and just play his game. I mean, he's not what I call -- his talent plays up big, so you can put him in different places. Switch hitting really helps him in the 5 hole on our team right now. If you look at our lineup, I like our lineup the way it lines up, and that does give us the best balance.
And also this year, he's had more extra-base hits as far as homers, triples, doubles. Put them all together, he's had -- he's probably stolen about 19 or 20 bases, and he would probably -- you could have probably gave him ten more if he would have been in the top of the lineup. But the fact that he's had extra base hits I think has taken away some stolen bases from him.

Q. You've had guys in the past who entering their free agency years seemed distracted and didn't necessarily handle it well. How do you think Jimmy has handled that this year and the approach of all your guys who could be gone at the end of the year?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think Jimmy has been good. I think he has a lot of confidence in himself, and I think that he knows he's a good player. I think he's handled it real well. I think when he gets hurt -- I think he had a calf injury, I think, and that kind of sidetracked him a little while. But at the same time, I felt like that he's bouncing back, and he's finishing the season strong. Right now he's playing real good. His swing is good.

Q. When you look around like at the other series and even your opponent tonight, there's always speculation about which pitcher is going to go on short rest and everything like that. How nice of a luxury is it to have the situation you have where you've got four really good pitchers and you don't really have to worry about that too much?
CHARLIE MANUEL: To me that's good. That's very important. I think Halladay definitely has pitched on short rest before and Roy Oswalt. I don't know about Cliff Lee and Hamels hasn't. But at the same time, I've said it all over the whole season, our pitchers, they don't like to miss turns.
And sometimes Rich (Dubee) and I, Rich will kind of organize them and we might push one of them back a day or two, but at the same time they like to pitch, and they want to pitch on their regular turn, and they want to pitch all the innings they possibly can pitch. To me, I like that. That's kind of how I look at baseball, and we're very fortunate to have guys like that.
But yeah, when you look at our starting pitching and we don't have to play with them and shuffle them around a lot, that's good.

Q. Stutes finished up the season with a couple of really good outings and was obviously a little bit shaky in the ninth last night. Do you chalk that up to his post-season experience? And how do you view that, and how might that performance affect how you want to use him going forward?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think it's a good experience for Stutesy. I think that's all part of it. I think that's part of being a young pitcher and being in the Big Leagues. I think when he was out there yesterday, he kind of realized where he was at, and now he'll adjust and he'll be fine. That's all part of it. I think that was new to him. I think that he was wound up, and I think that he'll get over that.

Q. You and Tony LaRussa have been with the same teams for a long time now. Is there any concern that your message might sometimes get stale? And how do you make sure you continue to resonate with your players?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Somewhere along the line, I usually talk to our guys every day, and I'll at least have eye contact with them and say hello to them and ask them how they're doing or something like that. I do the same thing every day. I've been managing about 20 years now counting Minor Leagues, and I'm consistent. I do the same thing every day, and I think that could be -- if there ever comes a point where your message don't get across, I think that maybe more than likely you'd have to do anything about it. But at the same time, I hope that day never comes.
But when I look at Tony LaRussa, I think of a guy that's had a real longevity managerial career, and he's been real good, and I have a lot of respect for him. Actually when he used to have a guy named Ken Silvestri who used to be one of his coaches when he first started in the game, he might could tell you more about him than I could, and I had that same guy when I started managing the Wisconsin Rapids. White Sox, they let Ken Silvestri go, and he joined me with the Wisconsin Rapids. And at that time I can't have a coach. And when Tony and I talked about it, Tony said that Ken taught him a lot about the game. And I think Ken taught me everything about the game. He was with me for about six or seven years, and he passed away when he was about 76 years old, and he taught me a lot about the game. I was just thinking about that today.

Q. When you guys signed Cliff Lee over the off-season, when you talked to him about that, I assume you talked to him, what did he convey to you about why he wanted to come back here?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He said he liked us, he said he liked me, he liked the coaches, he liked all of his teammates, he liked Philadelphia, the fans, the people. And he said him and his wife wanted to come to Philadelphia. That's what he told me. He said it was a team he wanted to play for. He said he enjoyed being here, and that's kind of -- that's what he told me.

Q. You've admitted to us before that you have an ego, and you're squaring off against a guy like Tony LaRussa who has a really good reputation in the game, and you've faced guys like Joe Torre in the NLCS before. Do you take any satisfaction on an individual level, kind of the manager versus manager match-up?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Not really. I look at that -- I think sometimes, if we win the game, it's because that's kind of how the game played, and that was the decisions and things that you made during the game, and definitely it's not me managing against Tony. I don't know how he feels, but that's kind of how I feel. It's not me managing against Joe Torre. I look at it as the game is what it is. It just happens that we were there. Do I enjoy managing against him? Yes. But at the same time, it's not me competing with him. But if it comes to beating somebody, yeah, I guess I'm competing, because I come out there every day, I think you guys hear me say it every day, we go out to win a game, and today is no different.

Q. Could you talk about the thought behind moving Utley to the No. 2 hole, Pence to 3?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah. If you look at our lineup, we have -- this year Chase (Utley), Ryan Howard and Raul IbaƱez. If you look at it, the numbers are down on the lefties, and that doesn't mean they cannot hit them. In the past Chase has had what I call really good numbers against lefties, and at times so has Ryan and so has Raul.
But this year for some reason, if you go look, their averages are down, our production is kind of down, and they definitely -- every team in the National League saved lefties for us. During the season if we have a series and they can reach in the Minor Leagues and get a lefty to call up, they'll do it. So I looked at our lineup, and the fact that once we got Pence and we needed a 5 hole hitter before we got Hunter, and that's why Victorino, that's why I put him there, and then I started thinking. And I write lineups all the time, and I come to the conclusion that the lineup we have right now for the present time, this is our best lineup. It doesn't mean that we will keep that lineup, but for right now I definitely would like this lineup to play out a little bit.

Q. Two questions. First, what kind of adjustment has the 7 hole been for Polly (Polanco)? And when it comes to Shane, he definitely has an outgoing personality, is kind of always on the go, especially prior to when you got Hunter. How much did you need his energy and his personality in with this group?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think one of the biggest things that made our team really kind of glamorous to the fans was the fact of how we played, like from 2007, especially when we started winning games, especially when we really started winning titles, 2007, 2008, 2009, things like that. If you look, that's when Jimmy, Victorino and Chase, that's when they were at their highest peak as far as running and being able to steal bases and things like that. Each year they get a little bit older and they have injuries and things like that.
I think back then we had more glitter and more hustle and more get-up to our lineup. And I think Hunter Pence, what we brought to our club, he brought a new face with energy. He brought what I call refreshing energy, and it's a new face. And not only that, he's a good hitter. Combine that together, and that makes our team look much better and play much better and perform much better.

Q. The sample size is relatively small, but can you talk about the success Garcia, who starts Game 3, has had against your club, especially this year?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Garcia has always pitched good against us, and again, he's a guy that likes to get ahead in the count, and his command definitely plays big, and in order for us to be successful on him, we've got to make him bring the ball up and be patient with him, and our right-handed hitters have to definitely have some success against him.
But so far he's pitched very good, and we'll kind of see how he does the next time out. He's a very good pitcher, and he's one of the top-notch pitchers in the National League.

Q. '09 World Series, Yankees, I thought one of the bigger reasons, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, of not pitching Leon on three days' rest that he had never done it before. Is that right, and what goes into --
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I think back then that definitely played a part in it. Also the fact that he had had a history of arm trouble in the past. He spent a year in the Minor Leagues with Cleveland in the following year when he went back to Cleveland he was the Cy Young winner, and he had never pitched -- as I understand it he had never pitched on short rest before. But at the same time, if we got beaten six games, nobody knows who pitched that seventh.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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