Manuel: Players Can’t Give Up
He had something to say about it.
“You can get down if you’re not careful,” he said. “That’s what you don’t want. You’ve got to stay together. You’ve got to keep plugging at it. You’ve got to grind it out. Actually, that’s how you build heart and strength about your team. That’s how you become a team. A lot of times in the second half you notice we play a lot better baseball. And that’s because we stay together and we don’t give up and quit and things like that. Almost every team goes through periods where they’re down. If you’re not careful you will get depressed and you will forget about the main object and that’s winning and you give in and you quit. But if you’re good and you’ve got heart and you want to win and you want to try, just stay together. It’s not how many times you get knocked down – I think Vince Lombardi said it – it’s how many times you get back up. When you’re struggling that’s when you really stay together.”
It sounded like he was saying the Phillies are showing those tendencies, getting down, getting depressed, giving up.
“I’m not saying that we’re quitting,” he said. “Not at all. I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is we’re in that period right now where we start doubting ourselves instead of just keep firing. You stay aggressive and keep working on trying to find a good ball to hit and not try to overdo it. Just stay within yourself and do something. Just try to score one run. Do something. Just keep going. Never get down. Play 27 outs. A lot of times when you’re young and there’s not a lot of expectation for them they’ll keep playing and you’ll say, ‘Hey, they hustle. They battle. They keep playing.’ A lot of times when you’ve got a lot of experience and things get tough you kind of get in position because of how long you’ve played and how many years you’ve been in the game that you kind of look up and see the score and you say, ‘It’s going to be hard for us to win.’ That’s kind of a negative. Say we’re talking about hitting. You don’t give no at-bats away. I’m not going 0-for-4. If I’m 0-for-2 or 0-for-3 the last time I’m up I want 1-for-4 or 1-for-3. I don’t care what the score is. You stay together and you keep fighting. And that’s what you’ve got to do. But if you don’t well that’s kind of sending a message of what kind of player that you are. That’s how I look at it. Like I said, I played for 20 years. I’ve been on a lot of teams. Your character is revealed. They say the game builds character. I don’t know about building, but it’ll definitely reveal your character. Does that makes sense? And that’s kind of what you see. You’ve got to fight to really not go there. Once that you get there you’ve got to do some real hard searching to get back to where you should be and things. That’s what I believe.”
A couple facts:
- The Phillies have been shut out six times in 43 games. They were shut out six times last season.
- They have scored two or fewer runs in 17 games. Only the Marlins (26) and Nationals (20) have had more punchless nights.
- They have allowed 10 or more runs six times to lead the Majors.
- The bullpen has allowed a mind-blowing 25 of 52 (48 percent) base runners to score, easily the worst mark in baseball.