10/21/08 4:44 PM ET
Charlie Manuel workout day interview
Manager wants team to stay focused but keep loose
By / MLB.com
Any word on the DH?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Any word on the DH? I haven't decided on the lineup, until tomorrow.
What do your reports tell you about Kazmir? What do you expect to see in him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I expect him to be aggressive. He should throw more fastballs than breaking balls or change ups, that's what he pitches off of. And if he's got good command, that means he's on, and he definitely qualifies to throw a real good game. I think we've got to be patient with him and make him bring his fastballs down and get strikes on him and try to work him in the count, try to get up ahead of him in the count. I think that's how we're going to be successful against him.
Are you necessarily wedded to the idea of having a right-handed DH against Kazmir, or since you have so many good left-handed hitters is it possible you might take your best hitter, regardless of right or left-handed?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Most of the year when we play and stuff, I haven't used too many left handed hitters. That's not in our regular lineup, like Utley and those guys, they were in the lineup most of the time and I haven't used Dobbs or Matt against the left-handed pitchers. I'll be more inclined definitely to probably throw a right-handed hitter in there.
Would you mind telling the story or relate the story of the rubber ducks in the players' lockers?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I said that yesterday. Basically we were playing Milwaukee. The game wasn't going too good and I walked out to the mound, we had a little talk on the mound and after the game I think Chase Utley, we were back in the training room, Chase Utley said something to me, he said, "Get that rubber duck out of your ass," and that meant that he thought I was tight. And I thought to myself, okay, that's good. So when we clinched over the Dodgers, I figured coming into the World Series, I wanted our players to be loose and I wanted them to be play like they always have. So I bought them some rubber ducks. And every time that they -- before they go out on the field they look up in their lockers and they see a duck, it means for them to play like they always have. Don't get caught up in -- like this is just like another game. And like we play as hard as we possibly can, and we play for that moment and we take it one day at a time and like we plan on coming out winners.
I know you've been pretty busy during the year, but have you had a chance to keep your eye on this team?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I watch them at times on film. They have a good team, a tremendous team. If you look and you see who they've played, they played Boston and the Yankees 18 times each, and they've played real good teams in the American League, and they definitely earned everything that they've got. Nothing has been given to them.
They're champions in the American League.
Last year the Rockies had an eight day layoff before the World Series, and in retrospect Hurdle said that was one of the most difficult things that they ever had to overcome on a baseball field, and the Rockies were swept. What did you do with your long layoff to keep your team prepared so it's ready to go into the World Series?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We're definitely trying to stay focused and there's a big gap in time. And it's very important that we keep our timing, not only hitting, but also running the bases, playing in the field. We feel like that we've practiced enough, and also if we stay focused on what we're doing and we have the right mindset, I think our guys have definitely hit enough. I think we're ready to go. You'll always be able to argue that point, if something happens and we don't win. But at the same time I look at it, I think we're ready to go.
I think this time of year we definitely don't want to be distracted. There's a lot going on. There's a lot of media, there's a lot of fans, there's a lot of family and things, and you can't lose the perspective thing that you're trying to do and that's trying to win a World Series. You have to keep things even keel just like we always have, and we'll be okay.
How do you think the turf affects your team?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think it's different. I think the ball bounces differently. I think two days in taking ground balls it will help us. When I was manager in Cleveland, our outfielders did not have trouble catching the ball. If you hit one completely over the catwalk and it comes down on the other side you might lose that ball at times. But that's the only ball I remember us having trouble with.
I think our team, we actually do pretty good on it. We've got some speed in our infield defensive wise, that should help us.
Just one more question on the designated hitter thing: Have you not decided or have you decided and you just don't want to say?
CHARLIE MANUEL: It doesn't matter (laughter). I mean, really, whether I decide or I haven't decided, when I put my lineup, I never know. I might look and change it right at the last moment. You never know. Seriously.
Obviously you weren't around here, but you have a hierarchy in Montgomery, Giles who go back to the 1980 team. How much discussion has that been when you guys get together, the old World Series championship?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think if you come to watch a Phillies game, I think they celebrate that every year, since 1983 or '84. I think it started in '84, probably. They've been celebrating it every year. I know it was a great moment, but at the same time I think our players would like to change that.
Cole Hamels has pitched two excellent ballgames in the postseason. What do you expect from him? What do you expect out of him tomorrow night?
CHARLIE MANUEL: First of all, this year Cole Hamels has been very consistent. This is the most he's ever pitch. And I hear people talk about he only won 14 games or something like that, don't ever let that sell him short. Every time he walks out on the mound I expect him to win a game. He's definitely capable of shutting a team out. He's capable of throwing no hitters, I look for him to throw a good game. Every time he goes out I look for this guy to throw a good game and put us in a place to win the game. And usually he's been very consistent with that.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.