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An interview with Charlie Manuel and Cole Hamels

An interview with Manuel and Hamels

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If you were getting that usual phone call from your mom, what do you think she'd say to you tonight?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think she'd be hollering and laughing. And I think she'd be telling us how good a team I had and all that stuff, really. And she would be saying that she's going to walk around in Buena Vista and talk to everybody tomorrow. That's what she would be saying.

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Can you kind of walk us a little bit through the sequence of tactical stuff that goes in, starting with what goes into Jenkins being your guy, whether you expected them to maybe bring in the lefty. There's so much that goes into that. Could you walk us through how some of that went?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Actually I wanted to keep Dobbs and Stairs both back and for the eighth or ninth inning. I knew it was going to go back around, and I was going to keep going back because of my guys were in the bottom of the order. I might have hit for Ruiz or Feliz and the pitcher, and like I wanted to keep those guys back if a righty was in the game.

Also, when if sent Jenkins up, if they had brought a left handed pitcher, I already made my mind up I was going to let him hit, because he's capable of hitting the ball out of the yard. And I wanted to keep Taguchi and Bruntlett basically for defense in the later innings. So therefore, I was going to let Jenkins hit all the way. Jenkins got a big hit.

Jenkins hasn't been able to play since Werth got right field. This is the first year Jenkins has been with us, and he's just breaking into our club. He's been a good player, and I have a lot of confidence in his hitting, just the fact that this year has kind of been different for him. And I think in the future he'll play better for us, and he'll hit like he's capable of. But tonight he got a huge hit for us, stepped up and that's what it takes to be part of a team.

Charlie, did you even think at all about hitting for Feliz at all in that situation?

CHARLIE MANUEL: It crossed my mind. But at the same time he's a down hitter, and the guy on the mound is a sinker ball pitcher, and I feel like he can make contact. He doesn't strike out a whole lot. I felt like he can make contact and that's kind of what we needed.

The big part of the game as far as scoring the last two runs, tonight we were able to bunt our runners over and guys made contact. Whereas before we had been striking out or hitting the soft ground balls.

Cole, your team won the world championship, you won the MVP, you're 24 years old, life is pretty good, isn't it?

COLE HAMELS: It is. And I'm definitely going to have to enjoy this moment, because there's a lot of times you don't have everything go your way. I was just fortunate enough to, I guess, be on the good ends of these victories and winning a trophy. But truly it was the teammates behind me that really helped me through these times. They're the ones that scored the runs. They put up runs in the first inning and that makes my job easy, it really does. It makes things all the excitement and stress that come along with this game kind of fades it away to a point so that you can go out there and relax and just throw, because you know the guys are going to score, and you know that you have that confidence that our bullpen is going to seal the deal in the end, too?

For either of you gentleman: For the last two days we've been writing about how this 46 hour layoff was going to have a huge effect on the game. Now that it's said and done, anything different happen here because we sat for 46 hours or was it the same?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I'll answer it first, and he can definitely give what he thinks. Those are two good teams. We were fortunate enough to get ahead of them 3 1. And I think that the layoff didn't hurt neither team. I think we came out with the same intensity, like they had the same intensity that we had. And I think that their thoughts were just like ours, that they were determined to win the game. The game played out well. It was a well played game. And we did some good pitching at the end and we came out on top.

And as far as the game the other night when Cole started the game, I definitely felt like in the sixth inning, he can answer that, too, I felt like the rain and the wetness of the ball and stuff definitely had played a role, like the feel he had for the ball, and also I felt like that he would definitely he would have gone farther in the game, because he had 75 pitches. But that's gone now and like tonight we bounced back, and we overcame the problem the other night and we won the World Series.

Charlie, you didn't use Taguchi in the World Series, but just tell me as a manager to have a player like Taguchi on the 25 man roster?

CHARLIE MANUEL: You know, when I was a player and I was telling somebody I tell stories all the time, and I was telling somebody the other day about Billy Martin, like I remember one time I got in an argument with him because against a left hand pitcher he sat Tony Oliva and Rod Carew. Rod Carew was leading the league in hitting. Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball. It came time to pinch hit like in the eighth or ninth inning, the only time I ever hit was when we were losing the game. He put me up to hit and I struck out. I came back and he said something to me, and I looked at him and I said, "What the hell are you hitting me for, you got Oliva and Carew sitting here?" He said, "I know you can pull the ball. I know you would get the runner over. That's why I sent you up there, and that's your job." And I thought to myself, well, he's got a lot of faith in me. He's got a lot of confidence in me.

Taguchi, if you notice, he was on our team the whole year. He didn't get to play a whole lot, but I always looked at him as someone who knew how to play. He can handle a bat, he can make contact in the game. Like when I sent him up there he didn't strike out much. He can run the bases and steal a base now and then. And the things he could do fit for the National League. Like on our team with the outfielders we had and the ones that we played, it was hard for him to get playing time. That doesn't mean that he's not a good player and that doesn't mean that he's not part of our team, because he was. And I used to tell him that a lot. And I still feel that same way.

You've been in this game for so many years, the culmination, obviously, winning the World Series, can you talk about what's going through your heart and mind, especially when you saw the last out?

CHARLIE MANUEL: When I saw the last out, you know, I kind of looked up and I was kind of watching the fans and I was watching our players and I knew it was over (laughing). And I said, you know what, we just won the World Series. Like we're champions. I kind of laughed. I took it all in. I liked every minute of it. Actually it's bigger than I actually felt like it was. I've been in the World Series before as a coach and things, this is way ahead of that.

But also, believe me, the things that go on here, it kind of gets hectic and you definitely can lose focus. And if you're not careful you've got to keep things in perspective because a lot goes on here, there's a lot of talk, there's a lot of people and to win is hard. To win a World Series is probably even harder?

What does it mean to you?

CHARLIE MANUEL: It means everything to me. You know what, you see people in baseball, like for instance, you'll see people if they've got a ring on, everybody always wants to see the ring, but not only that the symbol is that you're a winner. Once you win a World Series you became a winner. Dallas Green is a good example of that. If you go ask him, the biggest thing he ever did in baseball, he would say "People call me a winner." Why? Because he's got a ring where he managed and won a World Series. In baseball, when someone asks me what I want to be known as, I want to be known as a winner. That kind of tells the whole story.

Fair or not, you've been criticized here in Philly. Do you feel like you've proven some people wrong? And second of all, what did it feel like to be on that podium and hear those fans chanting your name?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I can handle that podium. I'm old enough and I'm experienced enough. You know what, until you win something, like a lot of times like you're going to be criticized, especially when you're losing or like when you don't get off to a good start, you're losing and you come in new, yeah, there's going to be criticism. And like I said before, sometimes it's hard to take some personal criticism, but at the same time that's part of being mentally tough, and also it's part of being a professional. And those are the things you have to handle in the job.

Cole, with that trophy in front of you, has it sunk in yet that you are in World Series history and baseball history, when you talk about some of the pitchers that you may have watched over the years in the World Series, and where you may rate with that crowd now?

COLE HAMELS: It hasn't. It truly hasn't. As I go into this off season and each week creeps closer and closer to a new, fresh season, I might think about it more. I know people will look at me differently, expect probably more out of me. But I truly know that all the hard work that I go out and I do, to come away with a World Series ring is more important to me than an MVP, because truly I'm one of 25 guys on the team. I'm one guy out of nine that's on the field right then and there. And without them I would be nothing, because you can't win by yourself.

So I think winning the World Series is the far more greater accomplishment than anything I can do. Like he said, I feel like a winner now.

Charlie, when you count the last two and a half weeks in the regular season and the postseason, you won 25 of your last 30 games, in the hardest part of the year to win games. Why was that? Why were you able to run off that kind of streak at this time of year when it's so tough to win a ballgame?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think the other day when someone asked me my philosophy, I said excellence over success. You get on a roll and you start winning games. And then everything is going good for you, and really like from a manager's standpoint, you might believe it or not, these I look at it this way, we've got to win four out of seven or three out of five in the first round, things like that. And I take it day by day, try to win a game. And all of a sudden you look up and 25 5 or whatever. And whatever you just said and that's that's kind of like the groove you get into. And you know you're winning, so like, therefore, you don't have to keep up with it. And that's the part where when you play good and you master the game, and you work on correcting mistakes and weaknesses, and you prepare every day, and you want to be the best player that you possibly can be, like those are things that happens to you. And that's basically my philosophy.

The last three innings did you feel that the game was going at hyper speed almost, almost too fast, or did you have to fight to control it?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Actually I felt like it was going pretty fast and I liked it. Because when I looked up and things were going our way. And when and Navarro dropped that single in right field, it kind of slowed things up. But, anyway, yeah, I felt that way.

I felt like Lidge was going to do it all the way, and I felt like our bullpen, like Cole stated the other night, our bullpen is great; they can hold them. We've got more players than just one. And we are a team. And I think that's what makes us good, because I said the other day, I think our players, I don't know which one it is, but they give us we definitely get the most out of them, or easily they give us everything that they've got. If that makes sense. And I think that's what makes our club good.

I'll tell you, Hornsie, I'll ask you something, why don't you go back to Cleveland and tell them that we won a World Series, all right? Okay?

Do you think you proved anything to the people back in Cleveland?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I wasn't working on trying to prove nothing. Don't take this in a cocky way, I already knew how good I was (laughter).

Cole, you know this city, you know these fans. When do you think it's going to sink in the magnitude of what you all have done for this citizenship and just the suffering that they've had that you've all ended for them?

COLE HAMELS: I think when we come back, when we're all old and retired and we come back and they still stand up and giving us a standing ovation, just like they did to all the guys of the 1980 World Series. We've got to witness that, and knowing that and seeing the city and the excitement throughout the first game of the season this year, throughout the multiple sellouts and of course the playoff excitement was just really huge. I really think the fans stepped up. They could taste it just as much as we could. And they added to our confidence to go out there and win?

Cole, you couldn't grip the ball, you had to leave the game early, there must have been a fair amount of regret. What have you been telling yourself for the last two days?

COLE HAMELS: Shoot, I was telling myself I was still in the game. I was hoping Charlie might put me in to hit.

No, I thought that was the best I possibly could do. I thought that was the worst weather I've ever pitched in in my entire life, and I really did make the best of it. I think that game easily could have gotten away from me, and the score could have been a different magnitude. And going into today it could have been a completely different game, we might have been looking at having to head down to Tampa and win it. But I feel like I succeeded, even with all the hard conditions that were thrown my way.

Did you make any moves differently because of the three innings instead of nine innings to play?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Not really, no. We basically as far as the pitching, Dubee and I sat down before the game, when I first came to the yard today, we sat down and talked about kind of how we wanted to use our bullpen. We had it set up pretty good. And like I said we got some doubles out of Jenkins and Burrell, and nobody out and we executed two bunts and we got our runners over and we made contact and got them in, whereas if you notice earlier in the series, we were striking out and we weren't getting them in, popping up, and hitting soft ground balls. We just executed tonight whereas before we weren't. The last three and a half innings it was a pretty good ballgame.

With Jimmy you called in the bunt?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Yes, I called in the bunt.

Cole, growing up in San Diego, I imagine you must have paid pretty close attention, might have been at even some of the games in the '98 World Series. If you go back to that, could you ever put yourself in this place as you grew up?

COLE HAMELS: No, I couldn't. I just wanted to play the game. I didn't know where I'd ever end up. And being fortunate enough for the Phillies to draft me and knowing that they were trying to put together a really good team, and now being a member of what they were able to establish is something I can't thank them enough, because they truly did give me the opportunity to be here in this city and to win this World Series. All they asked of me it to go out there and go out and play this game that I enjoy and that I die for every day.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
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