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10/22/09 2:45 AM ET

Managers show mutual respect

Manuel, Torre appreciate each other's hard work after NLCS

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had already been doused in the traditional celebratory manner when he walked into the interview room after Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

Manuel had reason to be smiling after his team wrapped up its second straight trip to the World Series with a 10-4 victory over the Dodgers in Game 5 on Wednesday night. But he wasn't ready to start talking about his team yet. First things first.

"Before I get started, I'd like to congratulate the Dodgers on their season, and most of all Joe Torre," Manuel said. "Joe Torre is a class act. I have a lot of respect for him. He's one of my favorite guys in baseball, and I played in the Dodger organization for a little while.

"I've always thought they were a first-class organization, and believe me, I wish them all the luck in the world. They've got a good team, and I'm sure they're going to be back here for a long time. I look forward to playing them in the future."

Manuel has enjoyed playing them the past two years. For the second straight season, the Phillies reached the World Series by knocking off the Dodgers in the NLCS. They are the first National League team to repeat as champions since the Braves in 1995-96.

"I have to congratulate Charlie," Torre said in the interview room. "I just did out in the hallway. Getting to the World Series two years in a row is not easy to do. We gave them a fight. As I say, they just wouldn't back down, and they kept going.

"But they are certainly a better team. We don't know who they're playing. But they're certainly going to represent our league very nicely."

Torre knows about going to the World Series. He never played in one as a player but he has been there six times as a manager while leading the Yankees. He won four World Series in 1996 and 1998-2000 while losing to the D-backs in 2001 and the Marlins in 2003.

It has now been nine years since Torre won a World Series. Manuel gets a chance to win two in a row.

"My first five years with the Yankees, you win four World Series, that's nuts," Torre said. "I remember seeing Jimmy Leyland, he says, 'What you're doing now is never going to be done again.' It seemed like it was easy, but we all know it's not.

"But yeah, when you have a little taste of what it's like to go on, it leaves you empty. It leaves you empty, there's no question about it. I mean, this is what you fight for, and I think every manager talks about it in the spring because that's our job. It's still something that keeps me around and keeps me wanting to do it some more."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.