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October 7, 2011

Charlie Manuel


Q. I guess now that we're four games through the series, what do you know about your team more than you did when the playoffs started being here with the series tied 2-2?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I know this: I know that we've been grinding games out all year long, and I know they know exactly what's out there tonight, and I know that they know what we have to do.
We came to the ballpark today, of course, to win the game. We've got everything set. We're at home, like I said yesterday. We're at home. We've got Halladay pitching. We're in a good place.

Q. How about just kind of the makeup of the team? Do you still like what you have regardless of being in a situation where you're in a must-win game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I like what we have. I like our team. I mean, I like our team a lot. I like our team especially a lot since we've got Hunter Pence and our pitching. I can't talk enough about our pitching.
We've had a -- our regular season was big, and we definitely want to go out there tonight and continue on.

Q. I'm curious if you've made your way around the clubhouse today and if you've been trying to check in on the temperament of your team, and what do you think that is at this point?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I've been walking around talking to guys. I took some of those ducks that we had in 2008 and I put three of them on the table and I put a couple of pacifiers out there with them, too. I wanted to kind of cheer them up. But at the same time, I don't have to because they're ready. We're ready to play. I mean, if you -- I know our guys, and we're ready to play. I'm sure they're going to give it everything they've got, and I'm sure the fans are going to give it everything they've got. I look forward to us closing it out, really.

Q. Two questions, Charlie: You've got a number of guys on this team that are impending free agents that have been with the team for a long time and could be playing their last game in a Phillies uniform. Do you think that's something that's in the back of their mind?
CHARLIE MANUEL: To a certain degree. But at the same time, I also think that those guys, if that is in the back of their mind, I think that they want to continue on because I think that if your career and money is what motivates you and things like that, I can't think of no better way to become a free agent than to go to a World Series and win one. I mean, I think that would definitely add more pleasure to it. To me it would if I was a player.

Q. Are Hamels and Oswalt available out of the bullpen tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yes, they're available. Lee would be probably the first choice.

Q. Since you guys signed Cliff (Lee) last year, there's been this expectation and attention focused on you guys as almost like a World Series or bust kind of year. How have you handled -- as a group handled that, and how do you think your players have handled the expectation?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think expectation is something that -- I mean, I think that's absolutely -- I mean, that's great. And I think that when we said that's our goal, I think that's been our goal ever since -- I know ever since 2008 is to get back there and win another one, and we didn't do it in 2009. We got there, but we didn't win it last year.
Of course the Giants beat us, and I remember how our team was, very down last year when we lost to the Giants. And we went into Spring Training this year, of course, and our goal was to -- our expectation was for us to go to the World Series and win. And that's a high mountain. And we played baseball in a situation where when you get in series like this and things like that, and if you're going to do it within -- the mountain we've got to cross tonight is part of that. And if you outplay the other team and you're good enough and you do things right and you beat them, that's what it's all about.
In order to win a World Series, I mean, you've got to beat people, and sometimes you have to beat them in the first round. But also, you also have to beat them in that second round and you have to beat them in the Series. That's kind of how I look at it. That's how I always look at it. And it's -- and I definitely don't even want to think about anything negative. I don't even think about nothing from a negative part, I think about that we are going to do it. And I think that's kind of -- that right there is what you've got to talk about. That's what you've got to send out, you know.
I know we're good enough to do it, so that's -- the other part being positive is very easy.

Q. You mentioned yesterday you think about your lineup a lot. Did you come close to making an adjustment today?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I thought about our lineup. I woke up a couple times last night and ended up getting up early this morning and stuff like that. I was at the ballpark about 10:30. Seemed like I've been here for a couple years. But anyway, when I thought about it, I get back to our lineup, I like our lineup. And what I like about it is there's things in our lineup -- first of all, they like to use the bullpen. They've got two lefties, and when they bring their lefties in they've got to make some decision. And hopefully we can definitely -- as soon as we can get those two lefties in the game and get them out of the way, things could be different for us. And I stay with that lineup because of the balance, and I liked it.

Q. You mentioned you got here early. Did you beat Halladay here? And how does he look?
CHARLIE MANUEL: There was nobody here when I got here today. Even Alex (clubhouse attendant) wasn't here, and he stays here all night. (Laughter).

Q. How does Doc look?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Doc looks good. He didn't want to talk too much. That's good, though. He's all right.

Q. I was just wondering, there seems to be a popular perception that maybe the two best teams in the league are playing in series. Do you share that perception?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think what you see in the Cardinals, you see, what are they, 15 or 16 and 5, and so you see a team that all of a sudden right down toward the end of the year, they got hot, and they've been playing real good baseball. You know, I think that they are one of the best teams in the National League. I think when I look at Milwaukee, they're good; Arizona came out of nowhere, and they're surprising to me. But to more watch them, they have to be good, they've won 95 or 96 games or something, they've got to be good. And we were sitting right there with them, of course. I mean, we're ahead of them as far as wins. But at the same time, you still -- you know what, expectation is all great, but you still have to go out there and win the game. You still have to go play the game, and you've got to win the games, and that's what it's all about, and when it's all broken down, you've got to -- and once you get in the playoffs, you've got to win 11 games to win the World Series. So we've got a job to do tonight, and we plan on getting it done.

Q. I know you get here early pretty much every day, but 10:30 seems especially early for an 8:30 game. Were you just kind of antsy sitting at home, nerves?
CHARLIE MANUEL: No, I just got tired of sitting at home. I just wanted to come to the ballpark.

Q. You've been a part of four of these games where win or lose you go home -- lose or go home -- win or go home. Thank you very much. What have they been like for you? What have some of your experiences been in these games?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Actually it's nothing -- it's hard to explain about the winning, because the winning part is -- that's the best part of it, and that's what everything is all about.
I think it's -- especially because I think I was a manager when we won in 2008, that's the first time that I was managing a team that won the World Series, of course. And if you want to know the truth, I think I really completely understood what a fan really is. I think that's what it taught me, because what you see and everything is real. I've said that over and over. And also being when you're in a situation and you -- like in '97, when we lost, in '95, you don't even want to talk about it really because that's kind of how you feel. And that's kind of how you look at it.

Q. When you guys clinch, you kind of go off and do your own thing. If you win tonight, do you think you would be any more inclined to be out there celebrating at all?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't know. It just depends on what kind of -- how I look at it, I guess. But you know, let me put it to you like this: It would be great with me if my guys celebrate, all right? Believe me, that'll be just as much enjoyment out of it. That'll be fine for me.

Q. You mentioned Lee being the first kind of option among your starters. Do you have an exact kind of scenario in mind that you would use him, or is it just kind of a feel thing at this point?
CHARLIE MANUEL: It's kind of a feel thing. But at the same time, if something happens and we do use him, I'd like for him to get to start the inning if that's possible, stuff like that. It's kind of -- it's still a feel, something that he hasn't did or hasn't did in a long time. But if he could start an inning, but sometimes that doesn't matter neither.

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