ATLANTA - As the Phillies closed out a 2-7 road trip with a 2-1 loss to the Braves yesterday, manager Charlie Manuel had plenty to say:
Here is a partial transcript of his postgame press conference:
Manuel was asked if today's off day will help.
His answer: "I don't think it's going to hurt us. But if there is a way it could hurt us, it might show up . . .
"When you play this game, you can't take nothing for granted. It's an everyday process. Just because we did something last year doesn't mean we're going to do it again this year. And it's hard. You've got to make sure you stay focused and keep the same intensity and drive . . .
"I get upset. I'll tell you guys. I got upset when I came in and saw everybody looking at movies. We had a whole audience in there looking at movies and [bleep]. And I thought, 'What the hell? We should be getting ready for the damn game.' I don't like things like that. And [an hour-and-a-half before first pitch], I told the [clubhouse] guy to turn it off.
"Down through the years in Philly, I always tell our team they are the ones that do it. Their attitude and their way of thinking . . . I always talk about making sure we keep those things. And when it goes bad is when we really need to stay focused and stay on the right path. That's what keeps you there.
"Now, if you get complacent and you get satisfied sometimes because you got a big deal or you make more money and you know that you're set. Or if you're a bench player and you come over here and you get a 2- or a 3-year deal or something like that and you feel good about yourself. There's nothing wrong with that, but at the same time, we still want those people to have the same drive they've always had.
"Sometimes when I look around, I see things that happen. I also see people that work here. And they've got their jobs and they should look at that World Series money we get. And when you say 'we get,' the players have to vote on you to get that World Series money. They are the ones that get that for you. And, believe me, their attitude counts just as much as players'.
"We've got some of the best clubhouse guys I've been around. Everything about it is good. At the same time, you've got to stay focused on what you're doing. My saying is, 'Know thyself.' Well, know thyself and also know your position.
"I think you get what I'm saying. I see a whole lot of cockiness, big-headedness and complacency. Sometimes I feel like as a manager it's hard to kick all the complacency out. Because of the things that go into everything. The surrounding things and how baseball is run. The big thing is the attitude part and the resilience and the complacency. And it works together.
"You don't take it easy. You don't slip. It's an everyday process being good. I preach that and sometimes I get upset because some of it you can't control . . . "
Asked about the lack of a player taking the leadership role, Manuel said: "We've definitely got guys who step up on our team. At the same time, if you want to know the truth, I think when it really gets down to it anymore, on our team, I kind of think it's my job. I think a lot of our big core players expect me to do that.
"They're not the vocal type, but they don't have to be, neither. Who they are is what makes them good. That's why we're winners. I try to let our guys play very comfortable and I try to let them play the game because they like it and they want to instead of having to do something.
"Success changes you. Winning changes you. People sometimes don't even know that. But you'd better stay the same if you think you're going to be as successful as you have been. Success is great, but at the same time knowing how to handle it and keeping it for a long time is even better.
"I think there's complacency every year, especially since we've been to the World Series. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying right now that's the big thing. But I think we definitely have some and we've got to take care of it.
"Every team has guys that slack. Every team. Every team that plays this game. You can see that. I'm not pointing a finger at no one guy. Every team has those guys.
"The things I see, the things people do, tell me that. Believe me, I don't miss nothing. Hey, just because I don't say something about it, I will get you. I will lay for you. I'll set you up and I'll get you . . .