PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Charlie Manuel joined the guys on WIP Afternoons on Thursday ahead of his induction onto the Phillies’ Wall of Fame. The Skipper seems excited to return to his old stomping grounds to be honored for his years of service to the Phillies organization.
“It means a whole lot to me,” Manuel said of the honor. “I’m excited about it, but at the same time I think it sends a message to me of how good our teams were.”
Manuel reminisced about how well the players responded to his tutelage and how much desired they had to win during the team’s best days. He also spoke about the ownership’s ability to surround him with great talent and of course he had to thank the fans.
“They’re the greatest fans in the world and it definitely take me long to realize that,” Manuel said.
To this day, Manuel does not miss a Phillies game. He talked about how it feels to watch so many of his former players struggle the way the team has this season. “We’ve struggled and we’ve had a hard time,” said the Phillies former skipper.
“I think for Ryan Howard it’s been hard for him to find his swing and I think his injury was a serious injury,” Manuel said of his former slugger. Manuel did not go so far to give up on Howard going forward.
“I think it’s still there,” Manuel said of Howard’s talents. “I think it’s a process where he’s going to really have to work hard. It’s just a matter of him working and finding it and being consistent with it.”
Manuel made it clear that he believes Howard’s struggles are a combination of unfortunate injuries and a need to make adjustments as he gets older.
The Phillies do not appear close to the team that won the World Series with Manuel in 2008, but he does believe it does not have to take too long to get back to that type of baseball. “I think in the modern day era of baseball you can get it a little quicker,” Manuel said.
“You got to be lucky in some ways that the talent is out there for you to get. You got to find a way to get it and everybody knows that that’s exactly what it takes.”
Manuel also stressed the importance of drafting wisely in the early rounds of the draft to supplement talent that you acquire in free agency.
As the Phillies continue to try to regain the glory days, they will get the chance to relive them for just one night as Manuel will take his place on the team’s Wall of Fame on Saturday, August 9th when the Phillies take on the Mets.
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