A look back: Sox extend Manuel's contract through 2004

Tribune staff reporter

Jerry Manuel's contract was extended through 2004 on Sunday, though the White Sox manager is not yet in the high-rent district of peers such as Bobby Valentine and Dusty Baker.

"I didn't get A-Rod money," Manuel said with a laugh. "I asked for it though."

Terms of the deal were not revealed, though the average annual salary is reportedly about half of the $2 million-per-year deals signed by Valentine and Baker last winter. The Sox have a club option for 2005.

Manuel was named American League Manager of the Year after last season, his third. He was signed through 2001 with a club option for 2002. New General Manager Ken Williams first approached him about an extension back in October, but Manuel balked.

"When Kenny was announced he mentioned he wanted to get together and do [a deal]," Manuel said. "I told him `I know you've got a lot of things to do.' It's something I'm not really concerned about."

At the time, Manual wasn't sure he wanted to remain in the Sox organization on a long-term basis. He was willing to go through 2001 without a deal to see if the organization was serious about competing year in, year out with big-money teams such as the Yankees, Boston and Cleveland

When the Sox traded for Toronto ace David Wells last month, Manuel took it as a sign that Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was willing to do whatever it takes to win a championship. He was also encouraged by the team's warm reception at SoxFest.

"This is a tremendous situation for me," Manuel said. "It's a tremendous city. It's a tough city, but for the most part I think it's fair."

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