Joe Girardi loves having Larry Bowa, Charlie Manuel in camp

Former Philadelphia Phillies managers Larry Bowa, left, and Charlie Manuel (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Former Philadelphia Phillies managers Larry Bowa, left, and Charlie Manuel (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Philadelphia Phillies greats Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel surely make their presence felt each spring training as guest instructors. This year, that is only magnified, as club’s former managers were the only two invited to spring training due to COVID-19 concerns.

During Thursday’s rout of the New York Yankees, current Phillies skipper Joe Girardi praised Bowa and Manuel while on air with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Tom McCarthy and Ruben Amaro Jr.

“I love having them. They’re such great teachers,” Girardi said. “Charlie has so much knowledge about managing the game, as well as Larry has a ton of knowledge about managing and playing the game. Charlie the hitting, Larry the defense — he’s always working with our infielders. It is great, and the stories they tell? They are priceless.”

Phillies manager Joe Girardi calls Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel ‘legendary.’

Girardi said that when thinking about Bowa and Manuel in Philadelphia, they are “legendary.” He and his coaching staff “pick their brains” and listen to the great stories they tell — often from their playing days — while sitting in the clubhouse.

If you are down at the Carpenter Complex, chances are you can find Bowa in the infield and Manuel by the batting cage.

Bowa has been particularly working on drills for staying down on ground balls with C.J. Chatham, an infielder recently acquired from the Boston Red Sox. Girardi added that even the other day, Bowa told fellow infielder Nick Maton that if he didn’t get any hits in that afternoon’s game, he would have to field 300 groundballs.

As fate would have it, Maton went 0-for-1, so Bowa kept his promise. “The next day, I said, ‘Nick, what number is that?” Girardi laughed. “He said, ‘262. I’m almost there!'”

Whether as spring training guest instructors or senior advisors to the general manager during the season, the relentlessness and accountability that the former managers bring to the Phillies, year in and year out, are priceless.

“They’re going to make sure that you’re doing your work, all the time,” said Girardi.

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