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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-04-21

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-04-21

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-04-21
Before the Phillies' series finale against the Padres was rained out Monday night, manager Charlie Manuel said he has "seen some difference in guys" this season. He didn't name names or cite specific examples, but he indicated some players might have grown complacent.

And, as much as anything, he thinks that may be a reason for the Phillies' sluggish 5-6 start in a distraction-filled April.

"There will always be things that will make us think of last year," Manuel said. "If you look at the pictures on the wall (of Manuel's office), that's the fact that we won. But at the same time, the celebration comes to an end. These are memories, but the game goes on. For us to compete and win again, we've got to do the same thing we did last year. We've got to play the same way.

"Don't get me wrong. A lot of our guys have the same drive. But there's a few that ... what I'm trying to say is, don't slack up."

It's somewhat natural, though. After dealing with the high-octane pressure of the playoffs, it can be difficult to maintain that intensity early in the regular season when the consequences of winning and losing are less dire. In January, reliever Ryan Madson admitted that he and several teammates wondered if they could do it.

Manuel said he hasn't called any team meetings, although he insists he won't shy away from it if he believes it's necessary. In 2007, after the Phillies started 4-11, they held a closed-door meeting before batting practice in Cincinnati. They haven't reached that point yet.

"We've got some very professional players," Manuel said. "We've got some players that love the game just like they always did. But now we've also got some guys who, I think they need to look back at how we got there and what we did to be a winning team, and I think sometimes you can do things that get away from the fact that winning the game is the first priority.

"I've seen some changes in the way guys go about their business and how they act. I'm not saying they're for the worse. We won, and we're getting a chance to repeat. So don't have our mindset change. Just don't get into a thing where you think you're too big for your britches. I don't know if I'd call it confident. Self-inventory is what I call it."

PADRES AT PHILLIES, PPD., RAIN: No makeup date was announced.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 21, 2009

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