Angered Manuel says Contreras was not overused

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Charlie Manuel disagreed with the assessment that Jose Contreras was overused. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

PHOENIX -- Standing in the manager's office at Petco Park on Sunday, Ruben Amaro Jr. briefed reporters on Jose Contreras' strained elbow that forced him to the disabled list.

"He had been pitching quite a bit," Amaro said of the 39-year-old Contreras.

The GM continued: "I think it was just the work that he’s done. He didn’t indicate it was one pitch, just over time, especially after his outing on Thursday."

Amaro did not say Contreras was overused. He did imply it.

On Monday, Amaro was asked to clarify what he thought of the situation. He said he did not think Contreras had been overused.

"Charlie has done a great job with our guys," Amaro said. "I don't have any issue at all with how Charlie is using our guys."

Contreras threw 81 pitches in a seven-day span, appearing in games five times. He is on the disabled list with a strained flexor pronator tendon in his right elbow. An MRI will be performed Tuesday in Philadelphia.

On Monday, Charlie Manuel went on a long-winded rant against his critics. He did not name his boss, Amaro, specifically. Included below are the questions asked to Manuel for context.

Q: Did you feel like you had the personnel to be able to stay away from Contreras?

A: Do I feel like I had the personnel? I feel like, first of all, that there's no way in hell we overused Contreras. That's how I feel. There's no way. What did he pitch? The most games was three. Then he had a day off. He pitched five times in seven days. We weren't trying to stay away from him. He was closing games for us. That's how I look at it.

Q: Ruben has said he was used a lot.

A: I don't think he had been used a lot. Really. What's today? April 25? It's April 25 and I already hear our guys need days off. Guys need this. Guys need that. I've been listening to that for about four or five years now. The object of it is, like I tell our guys in the meetings, the brass, the object is for us to win the game. Every day we come to the ballpark, that's the object, to win the game. Now do you want to win or do you want to lose? To me, I want to win so I'll put the best team I possibly can on the field that day. I'll give you days off when I think so. That's part of my job too. If I'm going to be accountable for my job then you let me do the whole thing. You basically let me do my whole job. I don't need nobody to tell me what to do and how to do it. It's up to me to do it. That's how I look at it. If you want to talk about it and say something about it, that's fine too.

Q: Is anyone saying anything to you?

A: That's none of your business.

A few minutes later, the rant continued.

"We still have to play the game the right way," Manuel said. "Over the years I get tired of hearing people say we want him healthy in October. October is a long ways off. It’s April 25. A lot of time, hell, there’s a lot of people that aren’t going to make October.

Q: Is that stuff coming from the inside or outside?

It's coming from me today, all right? That’s where it’s coming from. I hear it all the time. I hear it from [the media]. From everybody. From everybody around the ballpark."


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