Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino said the news almost made him cry.
He hurt for Charlie Manuel, his former manager in Philadelphia. He was saddened to learn that the Phillies dismissed Manuel on Friday, with six weeks left in the season.
“It almost was to the point where I teared up a little bit,” Victorino told FOXSports on Friday night before the Red Sox played the Yankees. “That seven years from 2005 to 2011, that run we had in Philly, that was one of the greatest runs they’ve had in that sport, in that city.
“His contract was up. We all knew the situation. But to have it happen this way, I don’t know if Charlie came out and said, ‘If that is what is going to happen, let’s do it now.’ It doesn’t matter. It still hurts to see it end the way it did.”
Victorino, 32, joined the Phillies as a Rule 5 pick after the 2004 season. Manuel took over as manager in ’05 and led the Phils to five straight division titles from 2007 to ’11, the World Series title in ’08 and National League title in ’09.
The Phillies traded Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers last July, and the outfielder signed a three-year, $39 million free-agent contract with the Boston Red Sox last offseason.
“He deserves a lot of credit for the player that I am,” Victorino said. “He helped me. He gave me an opportunity. He stuck with me. From that standpoint, it hurts to see his great run in Phillies history, his time in a Phillies uniform, come to an end. It’s just sad.
“He was a player’s manager. You hear that all the time. But he knew how to bring the best out of us. He knew when guys needed a day off. He knew when guys needed a mental blow. He knew his players. People might think that he didn’t. But he knew what he had in the room, what he needed to do to bring the best out of that room. And he always made sure that his players got the credit, not him.”