Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Manuel is all about tonight

Phils manager Charlie Manuel refuses to look ahead.

Manuel is all about tonight

A funny thing happened at Charlie Manuel's pre-game media availability at Miller Park.

Andy Reid showed up.

Ask Manuel pretty much anything these days and he sings a variation of the one-game-at-a-time blues. With the Phils up by 2-0 in their best-of-five series against the Brewers, Manuel is all about Game 3, all  about tonight.

Even  though his pitching coach, Rich Dubee, said on Wednesday that Joe Blanton would be the Game 4 starter if there is a Game 4, Manuel wouldn't say if Blanton will be the guy or not. (Who else could it be? Cole Hamels on three days' rest would be a total panic move. J.A. Happ would be the only other option, but why?)

Anyway,  Manuel said, "Actually,  we haven't named out pitcher for tomorrow but Joe Blanton is our fourth starter. We'll make our decision after the game tonight. Right now, we're concentrating on winning this game. I know we're two up, and I know tonight is like -- that could finish it if we win. But we came to the ballpark to win tonight and that's the way we've been doing it every day."

Then he caught himself, as if he had actually heard what he had just said. Because Manuel is usually an  interesting guy to talk to -- funny, colorful, insightful, truthful. Especially truthful.

But if truth is the first casualty in war, it is also the first casualty in post-season baseball.

"I might be getting boring but I want to stick to that way," Manuel said.

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Everybody expects it to be really loud here tonight. But as Manuel said, "The other night in Philly, it doesn't get much louder than that. If it does, we're in for a good day."

Manuel has managed in the post-season in a dome before, when he was with Cleveland. In 1995, they played at Seattle. Manuel said, "Whether you believe it or not, I felt like it kind of got our team riled up. I think we kind of feasted off of it maybe more than Seattle did. I think our players liked that, really. They kind of got into it...They were amped up, man. They were ready to go."

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Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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