Manuel: Worried About Winning, Not Contract

Charlie ManuelCharlie Manuel is entering the final season of his two-year contract extension, and he discussed his uncertain future this afternoon at Bright House Field.

“This is the last time I’ll answer about my deal, OK?” he said. “I’m very satisfied with the way it is. This is my ninth year and I know the good things that we’ve had and I should never have to sit and tell somebody what we’ve done and I always give my players the credit for it and things like that. And I should never ever even have to answer what we’ve done. I definitely, if I needed to get established as a Major League manager, I definitely did that with kind of the help of my players. And if we lose 10 games or we win 10 games, well, I don’t want nobody to ask me about it because it’s not going to bother me.

“I’ve seen Joe Torre, his contract’s run out before. Dusty Baker’s last year, (former Cardinals manager Tony) La Russa. I’ve seen all these guys and there’s still a couple this year. It’s (Yankees manager) Joe Girardi this year. That’s fine. It’s the way it goes. And I’m not worried about it at all. So therefore, I want to stay focused. I want to stay totally focused on us winning. Us winning is more important to me than my contract. At the end of the year, somewhere along the line, (Phillies president) David Montgomery and Ruben (Amaro Jr.) and I will more than likely have a talk and that’s kind of how I see it.”

Manuel, 69, is optimistic to think his contract status won’t be discussed if the team struggles, especially if the Phillies struggle early in the season. But he does not believe he needs to defend his record as manager on a weekly basis, either.

What is there to defend, he wonders? He has more wins than any manager in Phillies history (727). His .561 winning percentage with the Phillies is the is the best among Phillies managers with 300 or more games. He has been to the postseason five consecutive seasons, winning one of the organization’s two World Series championships.

“I shouldn’t have to explain it to anybody, the team or President Obama or anybody,” he said. “Seriously. That’s kind of how I look at it. I’m not worried about my contract. I’ve been in baseball 51 years and right now I definitely plan on staying in baseball and I plan on managing.

“What we did is sitting there in front of you. My record is just as good as anybody’s in baseball. I don’t want to sound like I’m an ‘I-Me’ guy because I’m not. But really, I mean just look at it. What’s wrong with it? Do you know what I mean? We want to win a World Series every year. But that’s kind of impossible. The Yankees have 27 of them, so there’s over 100 years the Yankees didn’t win. You can look at it anyway you want to. But it’s what it is.”

Manuel said he never mentioned his contract situation during his morning meeting with the team.

“I would never do that,” he said. “I would never do anything like that.”

That would take away the focus from the field, and that’s where a good manager gets his reputation as a good manager: the players on the field perform and win.

Is he confident this team can win?

“We won’t know until we start playing games and when we get on the field and play,” he said. “At the same time, I look in there we got a lot of options. We got some competitions going. Usually there’s ifs on teams every year. You’ve got to turn those ifs into exclamation points. That’s how I look at it. You definitely work to try and improve. Everybody we got, they’ll get a tremendous chance to improve themselves.”

10 Comments

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Thanks Charlie for what you’ve done for the phranchize. Most of us phans appreciate that you have helped make the Phils a place where top free agents want to come and even stay for less money, like Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay did. You have helped create an almost perfect clubhouse atmosphere that somehow managed to stay intact through the tough first 4 months of last year. That team had the heart to come back and keep the Phils from being the second team in MLB history to go from best record to below .500 the next season. Keep up the good work. The team are rested and healthier than they’ve been in two year. It’s time to show the NL East what a healthy Phils team can do. GO PHILS!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, ErichH1. What award did they win for that below .500 accomplishment? It’s nice that you’re rewarding Charlie for avoiding true mediocrity.
It was really gracious for Lee to settle for $25 million and for Halladay to take $20 million. Who else was beating down their doors for more than that?
And here’s what Buster Olney wrote when the Phils traded Lee in 2009:

“Although the Phillies have done next to no actual negotiating with Lee, they heard enough rumblings that Lee wanted a CC Sabathia-type contract that they believed it would take a five-year or six-year deal to keep the 31-year-old left-hander. And the Phillies have an organizational philosophy that precludes deals longer than three years for starting pitchers.”

Where does Charlie get credit for that?

muleman, I shouldn’t have to explain it to you. You’ve been following the Phils for a long time. I thought you knew baseball, but I guess you never played the game after little league. The manager is essential in providing an environment for the players to thrive, for the clubhouse to thrive. Cliff Lee experienced that when he was traded by the Indians to the Phils. But if you want to thank the waiter for making the delicious meal you ordered and give the chef the finger, go ahead.

Furthermore, Don’t quote “buster Olney” here. True fans don’t believe anything that A-hole says since he tried to bring trouble to the Phils by insinuating that the Phils were negotiating a straight up trade: Ryan Howard for Albert Puhols. It was a lie of course. Ryan laughed about it, but it doesn’t change the fact that that moron would rescind his statement. He stuck by it. You go on quoting Bastard Onley and lose any respect to two people on this blog have for you! Is that clear enough for you, Dude?

Erich, google hagiography.

Sorry, Pherris. I’m not interested in lookin’ at naked pictures of your mom….

Erich, let me repeat myself, google hagiography. Don’t under estimate the heuristic value of even this, a baseball blog.

I already knew what the word meant and it’s unusual pronunciation. I just wasn’t in a mood for someone to play trivial pursuit with me. I apologize for my comment about your mom. My own mom would be ashamed of me.

Buster O was on to something. Pujols, LaRussa and the Cardinals were especially outraged, over the top, I think. The next month the Phillies went all-in on Howard, extending him well in advance of his FA year.

And we’re off to a rousing start in the 2013 Zozone. :-)

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