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Charlie Manuel goes off on a reporter during post-game presser

Jun 22, 2013, 8:33 AM EDT

Charlie Manuel lost his cool during his postgame press conference last night, snapping at a reporter:

For those who can’t see the video, a transcript of the conversation can be read over at He ends the presser when the exasperated reporter asks him “when are you gonna score ten runs?” and Manuel says “when I knock you out, that’s when.”

In defense of Charlie Manuel, the questions he was asked leading up to that exchange — is the lineup “going to be fine” and what will he do if it isn’t? — were kind of dumb questions. they’re the sort of things a reporter asks not because he wants or needs information, but because he’s writing a story and needs to insert a quote from Charlie Manuel to put in right after “Manuel is not worried, however, saying …” or “Manuel sounds worried …”

I mean, really, how on Earth does Manuel answer that in any way that provides information and insight? What’s he gonna say? “No, I think we’re all doomed. I think the only thing any of us has to look forward to is the inevitable march to the grave.” Please.

That said: Manuel has been in this game a long time now. And he knows that an essential part of a manager’s job is to answer dumb questions in a way that doesn’t create controversy. It’s sad that so much time of ballplayers and managers is spent doing this and I know that if we were inventing the whole relationship between baseball teams and fans anew the current role of the press would be radically different than it has come to be, but that’s not where we are. Manuel knows this and the fact that he lost his cool about things is now a much bigger deal than the dumb question ever could have been.

Now it’s part of a talk radio and newspaper narrative in which the Phillies aren’t only underachieving, but they’re out of control in some way and Manuel has lost his patience and all of that. Bad times.

  1. breastfedted - Jun 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Once again, smug Craig sits on the sidelines throwing pot shots at jobs reporters are trying to do. Reporters trying to get a quote to fill in their story before deadline is no different than Craig fishing for anything he can find to write his millionth blog entry about how Tony Bosch is the devil and MLB is a big bad bully for making an attempt to clean up the game from Craig’s precious cheaters.

    • chacochicken - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      You are bringing alot of useful insight to the conversation. Perhaps you could read something you actually like instead of insufferable Craig.

      • recoveringcubsfan - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:28 AM

        Chaco, you have a point in general, but you have to admit that Craig posts so often and across such a wide range of issues that he’s hard to ignore. In a way, his mile-wide, inch-deep reportage of late is similar to this reporter’s never-ending dumb questions. Impossible to ignore in its omnipresence and so tempting to take a whack at. I think CC needs a vacation and maybe we all need a brief cooling off period. The commenters here have turned on him somewhat in the last few months and I don’t know if it’s the trolling, the superficiality, or what. Anyway, HBT is becoming a bit too pointy for my tastes and Craig’s writing – which was fresh and fun, if wry, back at Circling the Bases – is now a part of the reason why.

      • blacksables - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        What gulag do you live in that forces you to read something against your will?

        And more curiously, what was your crime to get sent there?

        Must have been plagiarism, or not getting enough zinc in your diet, or some equally dastardly crime.

    • natslady - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      Sheesh, don’t you recognize trolling when you see it? Craig is upset because his Barves CAN’T hit and they CAN’T win. Can’t bet the um, Mets, could easily have lost 4/5. And shut out by Wily Peralta and the Braun-less Brewers. So he’s taking it out on y’all.

      • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        What the heck do the Braves, Mets, or Brewers have to do with Charlie Manuel’s rant? Some people just seem to have it in for Craig. If Craig didn’t report this, he’d get criticized by such people.

        Unless YOU were trolling just now.

    • jrd8523 - Jun 22, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      I agree with you. Right around his “J.P. Arencipia is so mature” article is when I started to realize how petty and hypocritical these articles can be. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy his work, or recognize that putting your opinions out there will always alienate people. Those of you who think that negative critiques warrant a suggestion to go read something else should try growing up. I love this site, so despite the fact that the articles suck from time to time I think I’ll stay, Craig will live, and the universe will stay in harmony.

    • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      breastfed, I haven’t seen a crock of shit like this since I squatted this morning.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 22, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        You shit in a crock pot?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jun 22, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        Well done!

        For the record, any person who sides with Howard Eskin is inherently a douche bag, if you’ve seen his act.

        Makes Simers look like a low single A prospect.

  2. eagles7to10 - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Craig you should have looked up the history between these two. Charlie and Howard Eskin locked horns long ago before we won it in ’08. Charlie hates Eskin and Eskin will ask the most asinine questions just to make Charlie look bad. Good for Charlie, and trust me, we here in Philly would love to see Eskin get knocked out!

    • bitlrc - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      eskin is the one who guaranteed for years that the phillies could not win with their current ownership and with charlie as manager. and then when they did win, he was the first reporter on the field to celebrate and bask in the glory of it all. that’s the kind of person he is.

    • evanwins - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Ahhh, Howard Eskin. I live in Philly and used to (have to) listen to his radio show and whenever he talked about baseball I got embarrassed for him. He knows so little about the sprot it’s amazing.

      Eskin shouldn’t be ALLOWED to talk about baseball, yet alone cover it.

    • Mike Gianella - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      I think Craig makes a lot of valid points, but knowing that this is Howard Eskin makes this a very different story than if it were, say, David Murphy.

  3. jermaya - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Howard Eskin. The Philly reporter who thinks he’s bigger than what he’s reporting. He loved Freddie Mitchell. Any questions?

  4. ChandlerMc - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Howard Eskin is already pumping himself up on his radio show this morning. He just loves attention any way he can get it. He takes pride in being a world class jerk and he’s NEVER wrong about anything, just ask him. Eskin and Ol’ Cholly have a long history and its always Napoleon, er Howard, doing the instigating.

  5. schmedley69 - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Charlie and Howard Eskin almost had a throw down about 5 years ago. They have a past history. Howard Eskin is considered a joke in Philly. He is about as negative as you can get. I’m sure that 99% of Phillie fans would love to see Charlie knock Eskin out, regardless if they approve of the job that Charlie is doing as manager.

  6. recoveringcubsfan - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Isn’t a Philly writer, possibly named Bill Baer, working for this blog? Not knowing the history between these two guys is kinda a big oversight. Why didn’t the Philly guy at least get asked before this was posted? Sheesh.

  7. gallaghedj311 - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Speak for yourselves. I’d much prefer Charlie get fired tomorrow. Is Eskin arrogant? Yup. Super negative? Def. but I’d rather see Eskin knock out Charlie. Back in September 2005 when the city was gloom and doom about Ed Wade never getting fired, Eskin was the one who broke the story and suggested Wade would be gone. Everyone laughed at him, but he was right.

    Hate Eskin. But he didn’t cost us a dynasty……

    • paperlions - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      Neither did Charlie. It is baseball. If you make the post season 8 years in a row (meaning you make it past the play-in game they now have), if you are an average playoff team, you’ll win one of those 8 years. If you are the best team every year, on average you would win about 2 WS in those 8 years. There is a lot of stochasticity in the outcomes of individual baseball games and any team can win a 5 or 7 game series. The man most directly responsible for Phillies situation is Amaro, he leveraged the future for the present and did so poorly. He let the team get old and any help coming from the farm will be too late.

      The role manager’s play in winning is generally over-rated, but it seems to me that Manuel does most of the important things right, and those things largely do not involve in-game strategy. Players win or lose games, manager decisions rarely are as important as people like to think they are.

      • blacksables - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM


        F*&^ing Harvard grads.

      • paperlions - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Well, people don’t like the terms “luck” or “natural variation” or “random variation”….so I figured I would use the most accurate term for the concept….and for people that have had even the most basic statistics class, it is a concept to which they should have been introduced.

      • yahmule - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        New one for me, too. I kind of like it.

      • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        Hey, I aced statistics, and I don’t remember that word. But then I don’t remember much about the class either, except the gal sitting next to me 😀

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:14 AM

        “stochasticity.” Seriously? Come on Man!
        Now I am going have to google it. Thanks a lot Paper. Jeesh!

      • paperlions - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        Because….googling is hard? :-)

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        lol! Hard? Of course not. Just another task I didn’t need. One that could have been avoided had you utilized “randomness” instead. But that’s alright. I am going to try to work it in every now and again for shits and giggles. I look forward to the looks I get when I use it.

      • paperlions - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        I avoided randomness because people seem to mis-understand the concept and think it means luck or chance rather than a lack of predictive accuracy in a system.

  8. mancave001 - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    The fact that Craig didn’t even mention this was Howard Eskin is absurd. Howard is the biggest blowhard in all of media. This is a guy who wears a friggin fur coat on the sidelines at Eagles games and deliberately suffers his questions to coaches and players he likes to gain access. He’s always been anti-Manuel an anti-Phillies’ ownership, but was so far up the butts of Reid and Lurie, it wasn’t funny.

    All that said, Charlie is a lovable oaf who is done. We give him a pass for winning in 08. I have a feeling another year with no playoffs means that pass will be revoked.

  9. mustbechris - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    The reporter was Howard Eskin. Before the 08 world series, so in the 05-07 range I guess, they had a pretty big blowup that nearly resulted in an actual fight. I recall charlie getting pushed into another room by PR (?) staff while screaming vulgarities at Howard who was quite pleased with himself for having incited this.

    It’s frequently recognized as the moment when Phillies fans finally accepted Charlie. He was not well liked or respected to that point, and really most people in Philly kinda hate Howard Eskin.

    This, however, I don’t believe was serious on Charlie’s end. I think Charlie was at least half joking. A few years ago he would have at least considered putting Howard on the floor.

  10. klink6224 - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Have to admit I wish I saw in the “article” it was a pop back at Howard. If known that wouldn’t have wasted my time watching the clip. Howard is a blowhard and Charlie is a wounded duck. More of this is coming I’m sure.

  11. jimeejohnson - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Just get that guy who made himself throw up on that little girl. He’ll solve this feud! Otherwise, batteries make great projectiles! (sarcasm intended: I love the city of brotherly love, not that I’m gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that)

  12. stevietimmy - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    The commenters here have turned on him somewhat in the last few months and I don’t know if it’s the trolling, the superficiality, or what.
    Yeah, because I have nothing else to do in my life but troll bloggers. Trust me, it’s the superficiality. Moreover, it is mid-season where material should be aplenty. Instead we are getting “selfie” shots. Quality. Not.

  13. historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    I really don’t know why anyone cares about these interview things or the “reports.” Most of it is just meaningless crap. That said, man, Phans are sensitive and they care waaaaaaay more about reporters than seems good for your heart.

    • paperlions - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      Agreed. The assumption that a blogger should be aware of the history of every manager and reporter is absurd. Yes, in Philly people might know whoeverthefuck Howard Erskin is….and they apparently remember previous encounters between he and Manuel….the rest of the country, however, has pretty much no idea. No writer/reporter/blogger is familiar with all things from all cities and teams, and the assumption that someone not from Philly should know these things is a poor one.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        /passes out b/c paperlions agrees with her, guzzles coffee and gets back up

        I don’t even read the ones about Detroit. I watch the games. I check roster moves. I monitor the standings and read the wraps on games I don’t get to watch. I couldn’t tell you anything about the people who write about the Tigers. I really don’t care about them. I’m kinda perplexed by the whole “having beefs with sportswriters” thing generally. Why do fans care about the writers that much? Maybe it’s baseball town thing…

      • paperlions - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        I agree with people (including you) a lot, but unless there is something to be added to their comment to support the argument, I don’t post “Yeah, what they said.” Very often.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        I’m just teasing you, paper. I know you agree with me a lot…because I’m brilliant.

        /toots politely and goes for another drink

      • paperlions - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        See, this is why you don’t tell a woman you agree with her. 😛

      • historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        You love it.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Oh please, Philly fans have no monopoly on sensitivity. Watch redbird fans go in an uproar whenever Matthew posts “Dipwads” columns or how about those rational and intellectual Tiger’s fans who railed against the bloggers for suggesting Trout was having the better season than Miggy.

        Look in the mirror people.

      • paperlions - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        Whatever FC. Feel free to find evidence that another fan base is so highly critical of a writer for not knowing local history.

        Any fan base would respond strongly when something obviously wrong is written about them or their team. MP called the Cardinals the biggest dipwads in baseball, not just dipwads…but the biggest ones, when all they did was the same dumb shit every other team does. They were being average sized dipwads, nothing bigger or smaller.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Don’t be so sensitive, Francisco. :)

        PS For the record, I did not go off on Craig for the Trout-Miggy thing.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 22, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      @hist and paper – I think you are mssing the poitn of the replies. I don’t think people are necssarily taking Craig to task for not knowing who Howard Eskin is. I think they are waving there arms and saying “Hold it, don’t call this guys a reporter, and don’t say a blow up at Eskin will change the narrative about Charlie”

      Put it this way. Say you read a column about Harry Reid blowing up at a reporter, and it turned out the “reporter” was Rush Limbaugh. And the person writing acted as though it was just some pool reporter. Wouldn’t you perhaps try to correct the record?

      • historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        No, as I said, I don’t care that much about the writers themselves. I don’t think about them. But, then again, I’m not reading all that. Anybody and their dog could talk about the Tigres picking up Papelbon and I wouldn’t care a thing about who it was — only if there was any basis to the story. Beyond that, I’d think people were getting too worked up about nothing.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 22, 2013 at 8:14 PM

        Well – again, Howard Eskin is not a writer, and he is not reporter. He is a shock jock. So it is natural that Phillies fans wil see headline refering to him as a “reporter”, and want to jump in

        Odd that you say you don’t care what those poeple have to say. Yet you seem to care that the fans on here want to correct the record

      • historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:12 PM

        Ok, I’ll stop responding to your comments then. I made one about how I didn’t understand people getting so worked up about nothing. The rest has been responses to others. I do not care about Eskin at all or what he said. I think it’s silly to let him bother you, if you think he’s a doofus.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:28 PM

        Checking for my comments saying Eskin bothers me…..nope, don’t see it. Simply standing up for those who gave there opinion….on an opinon board.

        Now stop this “I’m taking my ball and going home” non-sense

      • historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Ok, I don’t want to argue with you, dude. I made an observation. That’s it. I didn’t really have more to say…except we’re beating the BloSox right now. Grrrr!!!

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        Heh-heh…..I’ll drink to that. And sorry if I was “harshing the mellow”

      • historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM

        Cheers! :)

  14. twpguy1964 - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Calling Eskin a “Reporter” is a laugh! He belongs on TMZ with all the other low life. The only things he’s known for, for people knowing of him, is cleaning the nut sack of Mike Schmidt and Charles Barkley with his tongue…

  15. paul621 - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    All I know is that watching Charlie walk away, I’m reminded that the requirement for managers to wear pajamas player uniforms makes them look ridiculous.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      YES! Although, in all fairness, he’d probably stretch out a polo and khakis pretty good too.

    • anthonyverna - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      I agree. Why they can’t wear something more manager-like is beyond me.

  16. mattryannolan - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Well that certainly wasn’t GOING OFF.. Also, if the reporter here is such a saint that the article portrays then why does the reporter egg on Manuel as if he is some little kid trying to get a reaction. Normally I don’t get too annoyed by articles like these but to paint this as some sort of huge deal is way wrong. He’s frustrated cause his team is losing and he doesn’t need some annoying reporter to ask stupid questions just to get a reaction. “sports journalism” seems to have deteriorated into some negative over analysis of everything. You literally watch and write about sports for a living everything can’t be that bad.

    • mattryannolan - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      Also, this goes for the worthless Randy Galloway who wrote Profar is overrated. Not only does Galloway know nothing about baseball or sports in general the fact he is employed by not just the Star Telegram but also ESPN is just beyond me.

  17. greymares - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    the “knock you out” portion was supposed to be humorous, a take-off from a few years ago when Charlie actually threatened to kick Eskin’s butt

    • yahmule - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      I’m not as well versed in all the back story as some, but this really seems like the most reasonable interpretation of events.

  18. scotttheskeptic - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    No great fan of Howard Eskin, but how many times do the press, and by transference we the fans, have to listen to Charlie maintain, “they will come around,” or some such inanity? Even Larry Andersen conceded in his post-game comments that the season has reached a point to accept that this IS the offense the Phillies have, and Eskin was, obnoxiously, attempting to goad that concession from the manager.

    The question I want to hear asked of Charlie is, “given the offense, what is being done to get this team to win in that paradigm?”

  19. timpaz - Jun 22, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Charlie Manuel is stuck managing an old overpaid team, is frustrated and doesn’t need to put up with dumb questions from jerks like Howard Eskin, Good For you Charlie!

  20. thesmedman - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Eskin is close to the 70-80s Phillies. He likely prefers Bowa, and agreed (with many) that Bowa was not the problem when mgr but that it was players. Gillick, btw, proved that.

    Bowa would be a candidate to be bench coach for a Mgr Sandberg.

  21. bmcg13 - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    This is what Eskin does … He’s an arrogant punk!

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