By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Once the National League Rookie of the Year, once the National League MVP, twice the National League home run king, and once a World Series champion, Ryan Howard is no longer wanted by the Phillies. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted as much a few weeks ago on 94WIP.

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However, Howard’s former manager and now Phillies senior advisor Charlie Manuel, thinks Howard—if he works hard enough physically—can get back to his old self.

“I think Ryan Howard, in talking to him to Ike [Reese], I think that he definitely needs to really work hard and gets his legs as strong as he possibly can,” Manuel told Glen Macnow and Ike Reese on Wednesday. “He needs to be in better shape. And when I say in shape, over the last couple years when people would say like he’s in much better shape and he will played good and things like that, I don’t think he’s been in tip-top shape as far as being able to stamina wise, and being able to hold it in play everyday. I think if you look like last year, every now and then he would get hot, he’d stay hot for about five days or a week and then all of the sudden the next two weeks he would have trouble hitting. I think that comes from conditioning. I think he gets tired and I think that’s what it is, as far as strength goes.”

Listen to Charlie Manuel on the 94WIP Mike & Ike Show:

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“I think there are things that he can work on his hitting, where he can get back to where he was,” Manuel continued. “I totally believe—his 93 RBI’s tell me something. His 23 home runs definitely tell me something. I think a lot of it’s up to him, but at the same time too I think you gotta stay real positive with him and keep him going in the right direction. I think that the Big Piece’s has still got it, Ike.”

Manuel was reportedly considering leaving his role with the Phillies for a bench position with the Baltimore Orioles. While Manuel says there was interest around baseball, he wasn’t ready to leave Philly.

“There was teams that interested me,” Manuel admitted. “The talks didn’t really get what you call, lengthy or long, because I kinda felt like I’ve been with the Phillies and just because that we were in a transition and things were kind of tough for us, I feel like I still got something to offer and I could help you. And hopefully I can and be part of something and I wasn’t ready just to commit to some other team. Although I love baseball and I want to be on the field, I kinda just wanted to try another season with the Phillies.”


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