CLEARWATER, Fla. — Charlie Manuel figures he has plenty of time to see his grandchildren, play golf and travel the world during the offseason.
Manuel, who is in the final season of his contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, made it clear he wants to continue as manager beyond this year. Retirement plans haven't even entered his mind.
"I still want to manage," Manuel told The Associated Press on Thursday. "I'm not ready for somebody to tell me to go home. I'm not ready to quit managing. I'm not ready to get out of the game."
Manuel is the franchise's all-time leader in wins and only the second manager to lead the Phillies to a world championship. It's widely assumed that Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, the team's new third-base coach, will eventually replace him as the manager.
If the Phillies struggle this season, people will call for Sandberg to replace Manuel immediately. If the Phillies win it all, some think the 69-year-old Manuel would be willing to walk away on top.
That's not the case.
"I don't want anyone to think that," Manuel insisted. "I still want to manage."
Manuel has led the Phillies to five straight NL East titles, two pennants and the 2008 World Series title. The postseason streak ended last year when the Phillies couldn't overcome a slew of injuries and finished 81-81.
Considering his success and desire to keep his job, a contract extension would seem appropriate. But general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made it clear that's not happening now.
"We'll see what happens at the end of the year and go from there," Amaro said.
Manuel isn't one to make demands, but it seems he's a bit peeved.
"I'm not disappointed in it at all. I don't know if I get it or not," Manuel said. "I think they can do whatever they want to do. That's how I look at it. Actually, when you get right down to it, it doesn't bother me a whole lot because I have nothing to do with it. If you stop and think about it, I don't have nothing to do with it. I mean that in a good way."
Sandberg spent the past two seasons managing Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He previously managed four seasons in the Chicago Cubs' minor-league system before coming back to the Phillies.
When the Phillies promoted him to the big leagues last October, Amaro dismissed the manager-in-waiting theory.
"The fact of the matter is he's not the heir apparent. We made no promises to Ryne Sandberg," Amaro said then.
Manuel isn't going to let his contract situation become a distraction. He's focused on getting the Phillies back on top after finishing behind Washington and the Atlanta.
"Right now, my first thought is for us to win our division and go to the World Series," Manuel said. "Believe me, my contract won't bother me."