Charlie Manuel’s sitting alone in his office around 9:30 this morning. There’s a yellow pad on his desk. He’s scribbled a bunch on notes on it for his talk to the entire team. Sign on clubhouse bulletin board says, “Dressed 9:45 a.m. Tuesday”.
62 players pulled their chairs toward the middle of the room for the traditional opening day meeting. It all started with a bunch of introductions and a few short business-related speeches. Once all of that was out of the way, Charlie stood up with his yellow pad and went to work.
He worked the room well, turning to make sure he could look into the eyes of all the players. Charlie is a very down to earth person, he knows what he wants to say but he also knows he will ramble at times.
Throughout his talk, there were certain interesting messages delivered:
“I’ve always played this game and managed this game to win. Winning is where it’s at.”
“You young guys. You are here to make an impression, to take someone’s job, to show us.”
“We’ve got to play mentally tough….every day….162 games.”
“We can look back at a great season last year. We were resilient, we battled and the fans were with us. They liked watching us play because we played hard, played the game the right way and played to win.”
“How bad do we want it? There are a couple of more steps to go. How bad do we want it?”
With that he headed for the door, “Let’s go.”
On The Field
The usual exercises, long tossing, fielding drills, bunting in the cages, batting practice on four Carpenter Field diamonds and general conditioning took place on day 6 of spring training.
The Mike Schmidt Field featured infield practice for the “A” unit of Howard-Utley-Rollins-Feliz. One thing that caught my eye…there were four different instructional staffers hitting ground balls at the same time. It used to be one person would hit ground balls which made it a longer drill. With four fungo hitters, more was done in much less time.
Mike Schmidt was hitting grounders to Rollins, Sal Rende (hitting coordinator) to Howard, Dave Huppert (Lehigh Valley manager) to Utley and Doug Mansolino (infield coordinator) to Feliz.
Bright House Networks Field will be phasing in a new name over the next few weeks. The word “Networks” is being dropped.