Halladay clarifies comments on Manuel firing
Right-hander says he meant to lift Sandberg, not disparage old skipper
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay made some revealing comments regarding the team's recent managerial change following Tuesday's rehab start in Class A Lakewood. He tried to clarify those remarks Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.
Asked Tuesday about the firing of Charlie Manuel and replacing him with Ryne Sandberg, Halladay said: "I think that Ryne is going to do a good job and I think bring back a little more of the Phillies baseball style than we've had the last couple years. You know, we really haven't had that whole team effort and the whole team hustle I think we had in prior years."
What issues have there been?
"Ah, just different things," Halladay said. "I mean guys being at places on time, being on the field on time, taking ground balls and taking extra BP and all those little thing that nobody thinks make a difference. I think he [Sandberg] has been very good so far, but I don't want to take anything away from Charlie. We all respected him tremendously, and, you know, I think he's going to have the choice of what he wants to do at this point in his life, so I'm happy for him."
It sounded like Halladay believed things had gotten away from Manuel the past two seasons that and Sandberg would get players refocused and rededicated. It is no secret the Phillies' clubhouse has not been a happy place this season, with players venting their frustrations publicly and privately.
Sandberg has mentioned seeing lackadaisical play. He has already instituted one noteworthy change since he replaced Manuel: a 3 p.m. report time to the ballpark. Manuel required players to be on the field only for pregame stretch, which is typically about 4 p.m.
But Sandberg also showed the desire to squeeze more effort from his players as third-base coach, having mandatory infield practice before the first game of every homestand. That had not happened on a regular basis in more than 10 years.
"All I can say on that is being the third-base coach and infield instructor up to last week or five days ago, players came to the ballpark, they reported, they got their work in with the coaches and all of the players were ready to play every single game," Sandberg said when asked about Halladay's comments.
But Halladay appeared very upset at many of the headlines regarding his comments that said he endorsed Manuel's firing. That is why he met with reporters before Wednesday's game and offered a statement.
"I felt like what was said necessarily wasn't written," he said. "And I just want to make it well known that I have a lot of respect for Charlie. There were some articles put out that offended me and, I'm sure, offended Charlie. And I called him today and talked to him about it. We've been in a lot of contact.
"I loved playing for him. He was a great manager. Everybody here loved him. The players loved him. And he was a lot of the reason they won the World Series here. I just want to make that point clear. I was also trying to say that I feel like if there was somebody that's going to replace a guy like that, then it's going to be a Ryne Sandberg type of person with the experience that he carries and everything else.
"But I really felt like a lot was lost in translation with respect to Charlie. I just want to make that clear. I don't endorse any manager's firing. The players get managers fired. Any time a manager is fired, as a player you feel like you haven't done your job."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.