You could tell from a morning interview that Charlie Manuel's blood is still Phillies red.
At least, for now.
He told radio host Chris Stigall of 1210 WPHT that he's not bitter, didn't protest what seemed to be Ruben Amaro Jr.'s decision, and might return to the Phillies in an off-the-field capacity.
Then again, he might not be done managing.
Stigall asked how Manuel might feel if the "poke in the eye" scenario developed and the Washington Nationals called about managing that club.
"Like I said, I'd like to see what my options are," Manuel said.
Amaro, president Dave Montgomery and co-owner John Middleton all strongly expressed an interest in having Manuel be a part of the Phillies front office.
"I will highly consider it, of course," Manuel said. "But right now I want to go home, and I want to go fishing by myself probably, and just think, and play some golf, and in the next few weeks, find out exactly where I'm at and what I want to do, and I'd weigh some of my options, if I have any."
The departure announcement made Friday "a tough day," he said, because it marked the "end of really nine years of tremendous joy and happiness for me."
"Every bit of it was fantastic and absolutely great," he said, citing the fans, the players and the ballpark.
Many fans have described the timing as insensitive or classless, but Manuel didn't go there.
"I feel like it was handled, you know, like, kind of the way they had to handle it," he said. "... I don't feel bad about it either way, really."
He found out Wednesday morning, while having coffee with Amaro, and didn't tell anyone until he told his longtime fiancee, Missy, the next day.
Stigall asked if the decision was Amaro's or seemed to be coming from higher-ups.
"When talking to him, I felt like that it was his decision," Manuel said matter-of-factly.
"Did you protest this, Charlie, at all?" Stigall asked.
"Nah, I looked it like that's their decision," Manuel said, sounding like the ultimate team player when it comes to the Phillies.
"I put them ahead of me really," he said. "I love my job. Yes, I want to keep it, but at the same time ... definitely the club and the organization comes before me."
And there's no ill will toward new manager Ryne Sandberg.
"I didn't have any problem with that," Manuel said. "If it wasn't Ryne Sandberg, it would have been somebody else. That's kind of the way baseball goes."
It's understandable fans have all sorts of opinions, he also said.
"If you stop and think of it, baseball is a second-guessing game and that's what really makes it great," he said.
Fans love to debate calls by umpires, moves by managers and trades, and "the fans are definitely what makes the game go," he said.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.