By Dylan MacKinnon
Charlie Manuel joined Dei Lynam on her Labor Day show, and had a lot to say about the Phillies, including his belief the Phillies can still make a push to win the NL East.
“I told you at the All Star break, if they get through the break and stay close, they can win the division,” Manuel told Dei… We caught the Mets twice, in 07 and 08. Especially in 07 we caught them with like 17 games and 7 out. They can do it, why not. Just play up to your potential. Just play up to your potential and have a lot of fun, but play right and stay focused on what you are doing.”
The Phillies are currently two games back of the Braves, with each team having 26 games left to play. They are also 2.5 games behind the Padres for the 2nd Wildcard, and a half game behind the Reds.
Dei also asked Charlie about Bryce Harper’s MVP campaign.
“I would say he is the motor on the team,” he said. “He’s had a tremendous year. I like it when he’s nice and relaxed, instead of overswinging, because when he is nice and relaxed it feels like he can use the whole field and really pepper the baseball.”
He also touched on the Phillies continued struggles vs the Marlins, after they dropped 2 of 3 vs them. Its worth mentioning the Phillies close the season in Miami.
“When I managed in Cleveland, when we played in Pittsburgh, for some reason they had our number. Didn’t matter what we did, seemed like we would lose, and that they pushed the game and wanted to play against us. And actually I kind of see the same thing with the Marlins when they play the Phillies. They have a young team, and they know this year they aren’t going anywhere. And right now it can be a series like those that hurt the Phillies, because their Phillies are real loose and they are playing for next year. They’re excited, they have no pressure and they don’t get tense. All the sudden you look up and they’re pushing the game. I don’t know what you can do about that, I could never do anything about that.”
Other topics he touched on include Joe Girardi pulling Ranger Suarez from a start early, the Phillies bullpen, and his upcoming appearance at Fan Fest. You can hear the whole interview right here.