The Philadelphia Phillies rewarded manager Charlie Manuel on Thursday with a two-year contract extension through 2013, his prize for four straight National League East titles, a World Series championship and the team's exceedingly bright future.
Hardly a popular choice when first hired, the folksy Manuel has guided the Phillies to the best record in the NL since taking over. Hard-to-please Phillies fans have warmed to his Southern drawl, and he’s even had his own bobblehead day at Citizens Bank Park.
“Between our players and everything in the organization, the things that developed here, I think we have a good thing going,” Manuel said. “This is definitely the place I wanted to stay. I look forward to getting on down the road and seeing if we can’t even get better.”
Manuel turned 67 in January and is baseball’s oldest manager. He said he isn’t thinking about retiring any time soon.
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“More than likely I’ll probably stay around as long as they’ll have me,” Manuel said. “I don’t think I’m going to catch (Penn State football coach Joe) Paterno. I’d like to, but he’s got a head start on me.”
Details of the contract weren’t made public but Manuel will reportedly be paid between $7 and $8 million total for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Manuel took over in 2005 and has never had a losing season, winning 88 or more games in five of six years. He and Bobby Cox are the only managers to win four straight NL division titles since baseball split into divisions in 1969.
BERRA OK AFTER FALL
Yogi Berra was released from a hospital Thursday, hours after the 85-year-old Hall of Famer tripped and fell in the New York Yankees’ clubhouse before a spring training game in Clearwater, Fla.
The Yankees said Berra went by ambulance to the hospital as a precaution after landing on his backside. He was released around 1 p.m. PST.
Earlier in the day, Berra said he was OK.
“Feeling fine,” Berra said in comments relayed by the team. “Resting comfortably.”
Atlanta Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar was scheduled for more facial surgery Thursday, a day after being hit by Brian McCann’s foul liner while standing in the dugout during an exhibition game in Kissimmee, Fla. Braves spokesman Brad Hainje said “it may be another day or two before we have final clarification on everything they had to do.” Salazar had surgery Wednesday after being airlifted to the hospital. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jon Garland is expected to miss at least a month after straining his left side. Garland hurt himself throwing a pitch Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners, and an MRI exam revealed a strained oblique muscle. Garland was projected to be the fifth starter in the Dodgers’ rotation. Having failed to earn back a job in the starting rotation, Oliver Perez has accepted an assignment to pitch out of the Mets’ bullpen. Perez was 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA, five walks and a .345 opponents batting average in seven innings over two spring starts and one relief appearance. Dayan Viciedo of the Chicago White Sox has a broken right thumb after being hit by a pitch. Viciedo is expected to miss two to four weeks.