Manuel reflects on managing game's best at ASG

Manuel reflects on managing game's best at ASG

Manuel reflects on managing game's best at ASG
MIAMI -- Charlie Manuel feels the same adrenaline in the All-Star Game that he feels in a pennant race.

It's big.

Manuel managed the National League in the 2009 and '10 All-Star Games. The American League won in '09, but the NL snapped its 13-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory at Angel Stadium in Anaheim in '10.

"It was a tremendously pitched game," Manuel said.

He remembers Braves catcher Brian McCann hitting a two-out, bases-loaded double in the seventh inning against White Sox left-hander Matt Thornton to clear the bases to give the NL a two-run lead.

"I like the people I meet and the players I get to talk to -- the players I don't know," Manuel said of his All-Star experiences. "Of course, you're looking at the best talent in the game on both sides. It's the greatest talent in the world for baseball. I looked at that as quite an honor to be the manager. Our players and our organization put me in a position that I had a chance to go."

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Manuel specifically recalls having lunch with Mets left-hander Johan Santana in St. Louis in '09, and spending time with Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki when he went as a coach to the '02 All-Star Game.

Both players impressed him.

But after the conversations are over, Manuel wants to win.

"It's very competitive," he said. "I was surprised at both years that I managed the All-Star team at how much the players definitely wanted to win. You can get distracted there because a lot of people are there, a lot of your family, things like that. But at the same time, when the game started, it was very competitive. The adrenaline was flowing through our dugout. The guys wanted to do something about the game."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.