CHARLIE MANUEL'S relationship with Jim Thome dates back to when the future Hall of Fame slugger was an anonymous 19-year-old minor leaguer who few thought had the tools to develop into an everyday big-leaguer.
In fact, Manuel, who was a coach in the Indians' minor league system, initially paid more attention to another first-base prospect named Mike Davis.
"I used to work with Mike Davis every day, and Jimmy would always hang out with him," Manuel said. "Really, I just kind of wondered, because I didn't think Jimmy was real good at that time. Then, all of a sudden, I was talking to Mike Davis, then there was Jimmy, he had paralleled up his stance and he was doing everything I was telling Davis to do.