Charlie Manuel: ‘I’m not Interested in Managing’
It was hitting season at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night.
The return of Charlie Manuel to the dugout, brought out some hot bats, as the Phillies pounded the Cole Hamels and the Cubs for 11 runs on 13 hits including three home runs and six extra base-hits on night.
Phillies fans chanted "Charlie, Charlie, Charlie" in appreciation of what they were watching, which for at least one night seemed to be something different offensively.
Manuel was in a familiar spot, standing behind the batting cage hours before the game, watching the team take batting practice. He also spoke before the game with reporters in the Phillies home dugout, making it abundantly clear that he was not back to take Gabe Kapler's job.
"I'm not interested in managing," Manuel firmly stated before his first game back. "I'll make that clear right now. Something would have to go really big for me to change my mind."
Instead the 75-year old World Series winning manager wants to help teach the current team more about what he's passionate about - hitting.
"We've got a talented team," Manuel said. "That's one thing that helped my decision, and I look forward to it."
Nights like last night have been few and far between, especially recently, where the team ranks near the bottom of every statistical offensive category. Before lats nights outburst, the Phillies ranked 20th in the majors in runs (4.7 per game), 24th in batting average (.245) and 23rd in home runs (150).
"We're inconsistent, that's for sure," Manuel acknowledged. "But at the same time, we just got to get back and enjoy playing a game and hitting in situations and move runners, just start playing the game and having a lot fun.
"I think the environment can be different as far as just talking to guys and letting them talk to me, I think we can get better - we need to get better."
For one night, there was no question - certainly better.
"Everyday is a new day," said Bryce Harper after the game.