Friday, September 19, 2014
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Will Manuel manage into his 70s?

Charlie Manuel has his contract extension.

Will Manuel manage into his 70s?

The Phillies and Charlie Manuel have agreed to a two-year contract extension. (David M. Warren / Staff Photographer)
The Phillies and Charlie Manuel have agreed to a two-year contract extension. (David M. Warren / Staff Photographer)

Charlie Manuel has his contract extension.

Now, it will be fascinating to see if he gets another one after this when he is pushing the age of 70 following the 2013 season.

"More than likely I'll stay around as long as they'll have me," Manuel said. "I don't think I'll catch (Joe) Paterno, but I'd like to. I think he has a head start on me."

Actually, if Manuel really wants to push the envelop he'd have to catch former Philadelphia Athletics icon Connie Mack to be the oldest manager in big-league history. Mack managed until the age of 87. It helped that he owned the team.

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As for Manuel, he does not sound like a man who will want to retire at the end of his deal that became official Thursday, but he said he will sit down and talk with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and team president David Montgomery when this contract is close to expiring.

"I think I made it clear to Ruben that I'm not planning on getting out in the near future," Manuel said.

At some point in the future, Manuel is likely to be designated with an advisory role that seems to be reserved for icons like former manager Dallas Green and former GM Pat Gillick. The late Paul Owens also held an advisory role, so if you win a World Series with the Phillies you do seem to have a position for life.   

Amaro described Manuel's new contract as a three-year extension Thursday morning, saying the team ripped up his 2011 deal and reworked the numbers.

"It took a little time as many negotiations do, but at the end of the day, we did what we think is fair and appropriate and we're happy to have him for the next three years," Amaro said.

Manuel, 67, said he was "very satisfied" with his new deal, which reportedly is worth between $3.5 and $4 million per year.

"When I got hired, I came here with the idea that I knew it was going to be tough as far as where we were at. At the same time, with some of the players we had, I figured it was a good chance to win. I basically took this job because I figured we could win. So far things have worked out pretty good, but there is still more to this journey than the last six years."

Amaro said Manuel deserves a lot of credit for changing the culture and mindset surrounding the Phillies from a team that perenially finished out of the playoff picture to one that has won four straight division titles, two N.L. pennants and a World Series.

"He has made it a more positive environment, not just for the players but in regards to everybody," Amaro said. "Across the board, there was a new mindset of instead of the glass being half empty it has changed to where the glass is always half full. Charlie deserves some credit for that in the clubhouse."

Amaro said he believes Manuel's greatest strength is the way he deals with the players.

"He's the same guy every day in the clubhouse," Amaro said. "As an employee, you like to have somebody kind of be the same every day and believe in you and have your back. I think that's the thing Charlie delivers on a day-to-day basis and I think that has worked very well for our players."

 


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Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
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