Notes: Manuel held in high esteem
Players show their support for manager after playoff run
DENVER -- Charlie Manuel hopes to manage the Phillies next season, and the team's decision-makers appear to want the same thing.While the team's first playoff appearance in 14 years seemed to guarantee the manager's return, it wasn't a requirement. The Phillies approached Manuel a few days before the regular season ended. "They basically told me that I did a good job and they wanted me back," Manuel said. "I told them that I would talk to them at the end of the year. I didn't want it to be a distraction." Phillies general manager Pat Gillick didn't speak about the topic on Saturday, but said on Sept. 30 that Manuel's status would be addressed "after the season."
Shaking off numerous injuries to key players and an inconsistent pitching staff, Manuel pulled the strings on an 89-win season that resulted in the National League East title.His positive outlook and constant support have been regarded as his greatest attributes, as opposed to the hyper-intense Larry Bowa, whom he replaced after the 2004 season. At one point during a particularly poor stretch through Florida, former reliever Rheal Cormier likened the clubhouse under Bowa to "walking on eggshells." There are no eggshells under Manuel. "This man doesn't have a panic button," Jimmy Rollins said. "When a manager doesn't have a panic button, no one else in the clubhouse does. We go out and we have fun with each other, enjoy the moment. We've done it all year long." Though it's nice for Manuel to know he's wanted, the manager refused to feel confident that he'd return. "Am I confident?" Manuel said. "The only time I'm confident is if I'm sitting here and you tell me, 'Hey, Chuck, you've got a thousand million dollars.' Until it's in my hand, I don't have nothing. That's kind of how I look at life. So, we'll see." Heated discussion: The Phillies have enough to deal with being a loss away from elimination. They didn't need the stress of an argument with the Rockies' grounds crew. Some Phillies coaches and players were visibly upset with head groundskeeper Mark Razum as they were ushered off the field following batting practice. Apparently, the Phillies felt they weren't given enough time to hit. The Rockies had cleared the field while Philadelphia was still stretching, but the allotted time to hit had begun ticking. Phillies personnel let Razum know of their displeasure as they left the field. Happy anniversary: Chris Coste spent his 11th wedding anniversary on Oct. 5 the same way he spent his wedding day -- on a baseball field. He wouldn't mind spending every anniversary with a baseball game. "This was the first time," Coste said. "I'd like to see it become a trend."
With baseball such a huge part of his life, he knew of no better location for a wedding ceremony for him and his fiancee, Marcia, than a baseball field. The couple hosted the gala in Fargo, N.D., after the 1996 season, his second year playing independent ball."I wore my uniform," Coste said. "At first there was a debate, and I was going to fight until the end. After a while, my wife realized that it just made sense. There was an open invitation to the whole city. We got cards from people we didn't know, from people who had just stopped by." The Costes invited about 400-500 people, and he estimated that about 900-1,000 attended. He described the day as "72 degrees with not a cloud in the sky." The next day? "45 with rain and sleet." Philling In: This is the second time since the Division Series was instituted that all four series had a team leading 2-0 heading into the third game. The other time was 1995, the first year division play was held. Of those four series, the Mariners were the only team to overcome the deficit, when they took down the Yankees.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.