PHILADELPHIA -- After spending two seasons as the team's
special assistant and adviser, Charlie Manuel made this
recommendation to the Philadelphia Phillies: Hire me as the new
Manuel, 60, was the second candidate in two days to interview
for the vacant managerial position, less than two weeks after Larry
Bowa was fired. Manuel has served as an instructor and a scout for
the Phillies at the major and minor league levels.
"I know the team and I know a lot about it,'' Manuel said
That could be a boost for Manuel, who will join the team for
organizational meetings this weekend in Florida.
Manuel had a 220-190 record with the Cleveland Indians and led
them to the AL Central championship in 2001, but was fired after a
39-47 start in 2002. Manuel wanted the security of a longterm
contract, but as the Indians entered a rebuilding mode, general
manager Mark Shapiro wasn't ready to make that commitment.
"They were going one way and I was going the other,'' he said.
"I did not go in and demand a contract, a four- or five-year deal.
At the same time, I did want to know exactly where we stand.''
Manuel said he didn't think about managing again once he joined
the Phillies. But teaching hitting and evaluating got him thinking
he'd like another crack at running a major league team.
Manuel's name was often the first mentioned in rumors to take
over when Bowa's job status was tenuous during the season.
Bowa made it through all but the final two games. Manuel,
though, said he tried to distance himself from spending too much
time in the dugout or with the players for fear of being seen as
someone waiting for the job.
"It's a huge benefit for Charlie to have the knowledge of our
club and organization that he's got,'' Phillies general manager Ed
Manuel also has one big thing in his favor -- he is the
anti-Bowa. Manuel is folksy, has a Southern drawl, is known as a
player's manager and is close to Phillies slugger Jim Thome, whom
he managed in Cleveland.
"I get real close to my players and I communicate with them,''
Manuel said. "At the same time, when discipline on a team needs to
be done, I'm a hands-on guy.
"I feel I am the man for this job. I didn't come here to not
get this job. But at the same time, they can interview whoever they
And they will.
The Phillies interviewed former Cubs manager Don Baylor on
Tuesday. They'll interview former Boston manager Grady Little on
Thursday, former Rockies and Tigers manager Buddy Bell on Oct. 25th
and former Phillies manager Jim Fregosi on Oct. 26th.
Bell's son, David, is Philadelphia's third baseman and Fregosi
managed the Phillies to the 1993 NL pennant. Little was Manuel's
bench coach in Cleveland.