CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Charlie Manuel is tired of talking about his contract.
The deal for the Philadelphia Phillies manager expires at the end of this season, along with the deals for Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz, and probably the agreement for Roy Halladay, too.
“This is the last time I’ll answer about my deal, OK?” Manuel said Saturday. “I’m very satisfied with the way it is.”
Ryne Sandberg, the Phillies’ Triple-A manager for the last two seasons, earned a promotion to major league third base coach and appears to be the manager in waiting.
Manuel hopes to manage beyond this year and said he’s tired of having to explain why he should be worthy of another deal.
“I shouldn’t have to explain it to anybody, the team or President Obama or anybody. Seriously,” Manuel said. “That’s kind of how I look at it. I’m not worried about my contract. I’ve been in baseball 51 years, and right now I definitely plan on staying in baseball and I plan on managing.”
Before the Phillies worked out on a brisk, windy morning, Manuel spoke to the entire team in the clubhouse, which he does every year before the opening full-squad workout.
Manuel said he reminded players the season is long and to play the right way. The Phillies went 81-81 last year, ending their streak of nine consecutive winning seasons and five division titles in a row.
“We’re definitely planning on being real competitive in our league and having a chance to win at the end,” Manuel said. “Our goal is to win our division, go to the World Series and win. Same as always.”
Utley, Halladay and Ryan Howard appear to be healthy after missing significant portions of last season. Utley and Halladay changed their offseason regimens, and Howard focused on strengthening the Achilles tendon he tore at the end of the 2011 season.
“We have a whole lot of talent,” Manuel said. “We still have a good team with our veteran players. Of course everyone will say they have to stay healthy and they have age on them. We’ll see.”
Philadelphia added setup reliever Mike Adams and center fielder Ben Revere.
“I look in there and we got a lot of options,” Manuel said. “We got some competitions going. Usually there’s ifs on teams every year. You got to turn those ifs into exclamation points. That’s how I look at it.”
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)