Taking Fenway in
BOSTON - Fenway Park is celebrating its 98th year of baseball. And Charlie Manuel is happy for the old-time reminder every now and then.
"The modern-day clubhouses spoil the hell out of you," Manuel said. "But I like this field. I love this field."
This weekend, the Phillies made their first trip to Fenway since 2006 (and the ill-fated Brett Myers incident on Boylston Street). When Manuel was with the Cleveland Indians, he came to Boston regularly.
Some of his players experienced the ballpark for the first time.
"It's not as big as I thought," Rule 5 righthander David Herndon said as he emerged from the visitors' dugout.
Righthander Kyle Kendrick, also making his first trip to Fenway, stood in front of the dugout and swiveled his head around the stadium, taking it all in.
Former Phillies pitcher and current broadcaster Larry Andersen reminisced in the dugout about his first and only major-league start, which occurred in Fenway.
The visitors' clubhouse is a marvel, too. Among the smallest in the majors, there is little room for the players to congregate and no amenities of modern clubhouses.
But Manuel said it is far from being the worst. That distinction belongs to Wrigley Field in Chicago.
"And Detroit, I always bumped my head in the clubhouse," Manuel said.
Manuel said the strange dimensions of Fenway can get into players' minds.
"When I used to play, I used to think the right field was huge," Manuel said. "In left field, you have to hit the ball high to hit it out. You can hit the ball hard and hit the wall, and if you have an outfielder who knows what he's doing, you can save some doubles here."