Blog Entry

Sad day for the Phillies

Posted on: October 10, 2008 10:13 pm

PHILADELPHIA -- I can't say for sure whether Game 2 of the National League Championship Series here was the toughest game Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel ever managed, but surely it was. The skipper mostly stayed secluded Friday after learning that his mother had passed away earlier in the day, skipping pre- and post-game news conferences, appearing only when his team was on the field.

"It's tough," Phillies reliever Ryan Madson said. "I didn't see a whole lot of him today, and I can understand why. Even though we were up for the game, we kept it mellow. It was calm today."

Manuel learned that his mother, June, had passed away in Virginia at the age of 87 Friday morning following a pre-game strategy meeting with his coaches. He was in a room with his coaches when he took a phone call and learned the news. His mother had been hospitalized earlier this week.

Making for an even sadder day for the Phillies, outfielder Shane Victorino learned immediately after the game that his grandmother, Irene, had passed away.

As Manuel privately grieved and the club prepared for the Dodgers, news of his mother's death affected the entire club.

"I went up to him right before I warmed up before the game and told him, 'I want to win this for your mom today,'" Phillies starting pitcher Brett Myers said.

Myers said Manuel and his mother were on his mind for much of the game.

"I told him after the third or fourth inning that I loved him," said Myers, who notably became involved in a dugout shouting match with his manager earlier this season, an argument in which the two men had to be separated by Phillies coaches.

Manuel's response to Myers' expression of love?

"He said, 'Let's go! Pitch, kid!'" Myers said, slipping into a dead-on impression of Manuel's West Virginia accent.

"It was tough," said closer Brad Lidge, who collected his second save in as many games in this NLCS. "I think we all tried to make our rounds to him and tell him we're sorry for his loss. Even though we didn't say it verbally, I think we all wanted to win this game for him. You play baseball, but family comes first.

"I'm glad we won today. Whether people say it or not, we all have a ton of respect for him."

The Phillies did not have any information on services for June Manuel. After the game, a club spokesman said Charlie was planning to board the team charter to Los Angeles for Game 3 of the NLCS on Sunday in Dodger Stadium.



Since: Oct 3, 2007
Posted on: October 11, 2008 1:34 am

Sad day for the Phillies

I too was sadden to hear about her death during the game.  You can tell it touched each player too in their response to the media.  It shows their respect for Manuel as well as the tight bond he has grown there over the last two years.  He is a heck of a coach and hopefully this year the Phillies can bring home a World Series victory for him. 

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: October 10, 2008 11:39 pm

Sad day for the Phillies

great for the pflayers, for Manuel, for the organization and

most important...for the image of ballplayers as all being

so self centred. Perhaps that is why the Phils have had

such find last two years. Tremendous respect for manuel.

Somewhat of a change from the poor attitudes present

when he started last year, he must be a heck of a guy

to play for.

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: October 10, 2008 11:37 pm

Sad day for the Phillies

Cool report. Great to see that even guys

who make millions can care like that. Not

that I am surprised. I recall last year at the

start when there seemed to be quite a bit

of grousing about Manuel. Now he is the

fair haired boy (man.) He sure has paid

his price for the fortune he has achieved

of being the manager of a fine club...

certainly at least some of it he deserves.

Good for the players for understanding.

He must be some kind of a guy to play for.

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