So at first Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he wasn't going to talk about his Tuesday dustup with radio guy Howard Eskin (as seen and heard above), but thanks in part to Dan Steinberg at DC Sports Bog, that vow didn't last long. Prior to Wednesday's game with the Nationals (the Phillies left nine on base in a 13-inning, 5-4 loss ... ouch), Manuel went off on this bizarre rant:
"When I first started as a manager in this game I used to grab guys, I'd slam them on the wall. Really. I mean, that was no problem. I had no problem doing that. And you know, like, I'm older now and things like that, I'm 63 years old, but at the same time, you know, like, I've still got that same passion, I've still got that same fire....People don't know me and they don't take the time to know me. They see me around the ballpark and they kind of look at, 'Well, there's Goodtime Charlie,' or you know, like, 'Take-it-Easy Charlie,' 'Laidback Charlie,' 'Uncle Charlie,' 'Grand-pa Charlie,' whatever."
But that wasn't the best part. Later in the interview:
Finally, out of the blue, Manuel drops this: He's putting his No. 1 starter, Brett Myers, into the bullpen. There was five seconds of silence. Literally. I timed it later. Then laughter. Much laughter. The beat writers attempted to convince Manuel that he was joking. They stared at each other. Literally, jaws were dropped. One writer offered to bet Manuel $100 that he was kidding. Finally, they realized he was serious.
It was all too bizarre, and the weirdness continued. When we eventually tracked down Myers, someone asked if he'd be able to throw harder now that he was working in shorter bursts. "Let me let you direct that question to my arm," Myers said, putting his arm in the writer's face. I mean, this team was born for bloggers.
It should be noted that Manuel said all of this while wearing a Virginia Tech cap. Well, you can change your cap, Charlie ... but don't you change.