02/23/10 5:55 PM EST
Manuel's message to Phillies: 'Just win'
Manager doesn't want players to become complacent
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
"What are we here for?" he said. "Let's keep it going."
Manuel's Spring Training speeches can be interesting at times, and even he acknowledges that. He cracks jokes. Sometimes he rushes his thoughts. He often writes down things he wants to say, but most of the time, he forgets to look at his notes and just riffs.
Manuel was asked if he saves his "A" material for Opening Day.
"I don't have no 'A' material," he said. "It went OK. I didn't see anybody get mad or want to fight. I didn't see anybody cry.
"Whatever comes in my mind, I let it out. My talk's always different, because different [stuff] comes out. One day, it's hillbilly. One day, it's Northern Virginia. Some of it might be in Japanese. I just let it come out. Whatever you get on that day. Are my speeches inconsistent? Without a doubt, but I always send the one message, and that's how we want to play and what got us where we are today and how people like to watch us play. That's because of the team we have and the talent on our team and how we go about things."
The Phillies are trying to win three consecutive National League championships and two World Series in three seasons. It won't be easy.
"I told them, 'We've got a chance to do something special here, and with the team we have, there's no reason we can't continue it,'" he said.
Manuel reminded his players not to get too comfortable. He said some players get too caught up in themselves and the attention they receive playing for a winning team, and forget about why they are here.
"We have some special players and special guys," Manuel said. "Our goal is to win and get back to the World Series, and I think I made that point today."
Jimmy Rollins said the message was delivered.
"Win. One word. That's all Charlie preaches," he said. "But it's obviously how you go about that. It's going out there to have fun. No matter who you are, nothing is set in stone. Guys will come up and take your spot if you play yourself out of that spot. And that's a good thing, because it reminds you to go out there and play hard and get the most out of yourself every single day. If you don't do that, you can easily be moved. And sometimes a team will swallow money if you're no longer part of the program. And the program here is to have the right attitude, have fun and ultimately win."
Extra bases: Outfield prospect Domonic Brown left early Tuesday because of the flu. ... Cole Hamels continued to receive high praise from Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee following another bullpen session. Dubee said Hamels has never been in better shape entering Spring Training.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.