Manuel said he met Harwell when he came up with the Minnesota Twins in 1969, and he got to know the Hall of Fame announcer through the years.
"I used to talk to him every time I'd see him," Manuel said. "I have a lot of respect for him. I feel very honored to get to know him personally and I definitely feel like he's a friend."
The news of Harwell's passing touches a different nerve in Philadelphia, where the sudden death of longtime Phillies announcer Harry Kalas last year is still on many minds. Manuel said there must be similar sentiment around Detroit.
"Him and Harry were a lot of alike as far as what they did, what they represented, and what they brought to the ballclub and the organization and the fan base," Manuel said. "Ernie's voice could hold you."
"He did a piece on baseball that I think is absolutely off the charts -- the game of baseball and how it's played and things like that," Manuel added. "I've got it somewhere at my house. He sent it to me. We're going to miss him. I can't say enough about him. He was good for the game, good for everything about it."