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Manuel contemplates next step after dismissal

GM Amaro Jr. offers former manager a position within Phillies organization

PHILADELPHIA -- So what's next for Charlie Manuel?

The Phillies on Friday dismissed him as manager following eight-plus seasons, which included the 2008 World Series championship and more victories than any manager in franchise history. Few people seem to love talking baseball more than Manuel, and he acknowledged as much during his farewell news conference at Citizens Bank Park.

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"I love putting a uniform on," Manuel said. "I would have worn it over here today if I could have."

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he has asked Manuel to remain with the organization, although in what capacity is unknown. Manuel, if he decides to stay, could be a front office advisor, or he could go back to his roots as a hitting coach and work in one-on-one situations with struggling Phillies hitters.

Manuel did not commit to anything at the moment.

"I think what I need to do is have some time off and sit down and think," Manuel said. "I think I can manage for a couple more years, maybe two, three years. I'm not saying that's what I'm going to do. I want to think about it. And of course, somebody has to be interested in you.

"But at the same time, I definitely respect the Phillies and the position they left for me. They left the door open. It shows how much they care about me, how much they want me and everything. Believe me, I will take the most consideration possible for that."

Manuel turns 70 in January, and it remains to be seen what managerial openings there might be. It seems hard to picture a rebuilding team hiring Manuel, but perhaps a team that believes it is close to the postseason would consider him.

Manuel made it clear he did not quit or resign Friday. The Phillies made the decision to move forward with Ryne Sandberg as interim manager.

"Our team hasn't been playing too good, as you know," Manuel said. "I just got done telling Chase Utley in there: 4-19 ain't good. That ain't good at all. We're not talking 4-8 or 4-6 or 4-7. We're talking about 4-19. And the people that made the decisions, believe me, I understand them.

"Do I like [the decisions]? No, I don't like them. But at the same time, I think that's what it's all about and I think they do the best they possibly can, or they think they're doing the best they can for our club, our team, and what's right."

Manuel said he would continue to watch the Phillies, perhaps even Friday night.

"More than likely, I'll sit and watch the game, I'll get mad," Manuel said. "I've been coming to the ballpark for so long and I have a routine that has been going on for a long time. I love everything about baseball. I've always made the statement that I like to watch both teams play as long as we win. When I get up tomorrow morning, I'll want to go the ballpark. That's part of it and that's a good part of it. And wherever I go and whatever I do, I'll be keep up with them. Every player that ever played for me, I keep up with and I love seeing them. And that won't change a bit."

Manuel often arrives to the ballpark incredibly early, particularly on the road. Asked what he would do Saturday with no team to manage, he offered a revealing look into his love of the game and the job he did since the Phillies hired him in Nov. 2004.

"I figure I'll get up real early, get to the ballpark and get out of here before people get here," Manuel said.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for

Philadelphia Phillies