(interview transcripts for the 2018 Red Wings Yearbook article below… you’ll, of course, excuse the obvious typos and misspellings.. some grammar, misspeaking corrections were considered.. I referred to the audio to be sure of the quotes utilized- BILL FLYNN)
I lived in florida, but when my second wife died, we had a house in South Carolina on a lake , so I sold the house in florida and I kept my phone number and now live in So Carolina
Your favorite manager--- yeah, earl weaver… as players, we felt he could out-manage anybody and we felt we could outplay anybody so it was a good combination …. The other guy I respected was hank bauer for giving me my first opportunity to catch everyday in the big leagues …
Challenges in minor league managing-- players going up and coming down… only in triple A you don’t have those problems in a ball and double a.. I managed at all those spots the only place I saw a difference was triple a- where players didn’t think they should be there—they thought they should be in the big leagues …when a guy got sent down from big leagues to triple a , like Rochester, you had problems ith some, not all, .. to get them focused back on their job to get back to the big leagues ..
Triple A was the toughest job I had.
Sending players up, gratifying… true, but I felt just as good when I had a plyer in Aberdeen or Bowie or otherwise, and hey eventually they made it .. even if I wasn’t in triple a.. like Nolan Rheimold- I had him one year in Aberdeen -- when he made it I was very happy for him .. lot of guys like that- that made it to the big leagues and I felt happy for them
Triple a is a tough job –toughest I had in baseball -- .. when you’re supposed to put a decent team on the field and bring the fans in, and you don’t have a very good team and.. the general manager needs to help you at the big league level to try and get you some players to help your club so Naomi was (the owner) when I was there and I felt bad for her cause we weren’t very good ..and I couldn’t do anything about it
Not fair to give the manager too much credit or too much blame because you’re relying on the players executing, and have good players to begin with?
Absolutely.. when you manage long enough ..i managed probably each game differently .. depends who you’re facing, depends what someone’s numbers were against us ..are we gonna get one, two, three runs a game or six or seven….if we’re only gonna get one or two runs, I’m gonna manage differently than if we were gonna get six or seven.. Every game is different …
Playing with the hand you’re dealt with, or playing people that the big club says to.. you may have to do things with players that they may not be capable of?
That is exactly right, right on the nose… they tell you how many at bats they want this guy to have ..how many innings this guy should pitch .. well, sometimes it don’t work out ..i understand what they’re saying because they got money invested in these players and they won’t us to develop players with the most money, but a lot of times the players without the most money are better than the other players .. and you got no chance to play ‘em.
Affects the fans perception and the media of what is going on… yes…
A manager or coach has a tremendous amount of impact, going back to high school and college as far as how far a player goes? No doubt about that, you hit it right on the nose
Players not buying into a system, frustrating,… didn’t move up because they didn’t want to cooperate? Yes, but I’m not going to give you their names… reasons other than not playing a different position or altering their stance…
Not so much that, it would be not playing hard.. thinking that everything should come easy ..they didn’t run balls out hard, didn’t hit the right cutoff man …like all the workouts didn’t mean anything … that’s where the frustration comes in ..
There’s players in triple A today making 60, 70, 100, 120 thousand a year… my first year after leaving Rochester , with Baltimore and we won the world’s championship was 65-hundred.. and I know that was a long time ago, but .. you know, you can make a living now playing in triple A .. you couldn’t do that when I was in the big leagues ..boog everybody.. we had to get a job in the winter to support out families … that’s a lot more pressure… you better play hard because you won’t have the chance to play in the big leagues if you don’t play hard …
Strategy? Go by the book
I didn’t play it by the book .. I’m an old fashioned guy.. learned a lot from George Bamberger – when I was a coach in Milwaukee.. he never believed- except for a few times- to play on the line late in the game to prevent a double …and the reason was: so many balls are hit in the holes than down the line that they’d score more runs if you played on the line…what that does is protect you from the press as a manager …they (press) would come to you and ask why you weren’t paying on the line and you get to explain why .. now, I would play on the line, but one side or another- never both
So you trusted that feeling inside, the gut feeling… yeah, earl weaver taught me that
So you weren’t a statistics and chart kind of manager? I looked at stats .. of course there’s a lot more stats today then when I was managing , but I would check the stats everyday – what my guys were doing… what they did against the night’s pitcher ..and I wouldn’t adjust my lineup …I might take a guy out if he was terrible against a pitcher and put another guy in .. but I wouldn’t move guys up and down the lineup , because I feel guys get used to hitting in a certain place and it’s hard for them to adjust if you keep moving them 3-7, stuff like that
The fans may not realize about a minor league manager … firstly, when you manage in triple a, the fans want you to win –that’s how a triple a club makes money .. but in the lower minor leagues, it’s completely different. The fans are there to see baseball .. not they don’t care if they win or lose, they just want to see players play hard , and get better so they can move up
Do you think that it’s not a coincidence that so many catchers become managers? No I don’t .. I think that as a catcher, you’re always asking questions, working with pitchers .. bullpens.. talking with pitching coach all the time, talking to the manager all the time ..when you’re on the bench…and you learn about situations .. what would you do in this or that situation.. Davey Johnson- I worked for him in Baltimore.. he didn’t like pinch-hitting for a guy in a tough situation because he thought it took away his confidence.. he thought that if he could start him, he could hit in any situation .. that was Davey’s theory…
Minors also? Yeah, you hurt their confidence you don’t know how long it’ll take them to come back from that
A couple of sentences regarding your playing .. and managing in Rochester..
Well, as a player I really enjoyed being there.. Naomi’s dad was still there when I was playing there.. when I managed there, I had a tough road. Not that I managed any different.. we didn’t have any pitching and there’s a lot of good hitters then in the league …well, if you can’t stop anybody from scoring, you’re gonna lose .. I forget but was it Scranton? But somebody beat us 16 of 17 games that year and they were just better than we were
Update what’s going on? I’m in south Carolina, retired.. I live in Santee, South Carolina [check!] .. I live on a 140,000 acre lake … I’ve had four back operations so I can’t do a lot.. so that’s all… watch a lot of tv… try to get outside.. I ride my golf cart around.. haven’t played golf in five years, since I started with the back surgeries
Orioles still include you? Yes.. but some things… I was really looking forward to the 50th reunion of the ’66 World Series win.. and I couldn’t go—my doctor wouldn’t let me go (after neck surgery)… some things I’ve missed because of health…I’m doing okay.. I’ll never be the same like I was but I’m not gonna complain. God gave me a pretty good life ..gave me a job that I truly enjoyed doing.. I’m 74, I live in a beautiful place .. so I got no complaints…
Could be worse… with what’s going on in the world…
I can’t get over a lot of things… but killing 17 students in that high school the other day (Parkland, Florida).. I just can’t get over that… I know what I would do. I’d train the teachers with guns and have a teacher with a gun ..but you have to train them to use it … that’s the only way you’re gonna stop these guys …. I’m worried about saving kids lives.. common sense priorities…
You guys take it easy…
Marv Foley 2/9/17
Play within the cards that have been dealt—you always try to get the most out of your team.. I divided the personalities into 3 diff groups—they all fall not 3 groups…… and you mesh it in
You got total control out of all of that: you make the line-up out each day as far as how guys are doing with performance… certain guys got to play—so called “prospects” that the organization has designated as such but … but pitchers and catchers we are always prepared – we just don’t go out there and start throwing fingers down… we prepare, there is a plan .. good or bad… .. we certainly don’t call every pitch but we have the option to … you play baseball… .. and the triple –A manager, who hopefully has the backing of the farm director and goes about his business in a professional manner and gets the most out of the player as he sees fit and ten if that didn’t work then that guy’s replaced.. and you move on
Your favorite manager—tony la russa ….. I learned maybe 90% of my stuff from Tony… I played with him the first year he managed in Knoxville double aa in 78… he’s in triple A in 79… then he’s managing the club half way through…. A very intelligent man and an extremely competent baseball guy
(do you have two wills pulling at you as manager—one saying “go for it” the other “hold on, be careful”)
No… .. I’ve always been the aggressive guy… and prepared, too,, I always felt confident going into a guy regardless where it was because I felt prepared … I trained my players to play a certain way and I knew what we were up against so I went into battle I knew what to expect
Going with the gut feeling on some decision-- they talk about the baseball book—I never met the guy who read it or if it ever existed.. I think good managers got to go by their gut. . You size up the situation and then make your decisions … and sometimes the decisions aren’t popular with whatever but you go with what you think is gonna work.. And with me, it worked out more than it didn’t most of the time..
Universal for teams to make use of statistics/ charts..
I’m sure I would use it if I was a big league manager… but I had my own charts.. I watched the game, I knew the pitcher- hitter combination. I played my players where I saw the guy was gonna hit the ball… so yeah, information is good … it can help you be better but we got along fine for what, a couple hundred years without sabr metrics …. But… if you can manage, if you can see things that are gonna happen before they happen you’re gonna be fine
Execution not always there by the ball players------------
Well that’s preparation …you train your guys and obviously if they can’t perform you’re gonna lose… the players win or lose the games … the manager- his job is to put the player in the position to succeed.. and that’s why everybody doesn’t make it to the big leagues .. as simple as that: not everybody makes it to triple A—they’re not physically or mentally capable of handling the task at hand…
And that’s why it’s a difficult process to win because there’s so many variables involved and you have to adjust and adapt and have players that can do that
Manager gets too much credit for winning/ too much blame if you lose
I don’t think so,,… you got a good manager like: Leyland, Herzog, LaRussa.. the guy from Chicago Cubs…. They put their players in the position to win.. they out-fox the other guy…they go outside the box from time to time .. totally prepared for what might happen ,,, so they’re never surprised.. that’s big
Guess hitters…… there are guess hitters.. you can identify those guys ,, the guys that swing and miss at balls in the dirt and over head..—they pre-determined that the pitch--- they’ve already figured out what it is…
You got to narrow down what the pitcher can throw for strikes .. you know he’s got three pitches and two aren’t workin’, you just narrow it down to one you’re chances are better… so, a lot of guys guess but there’s a lot of talent involved, too… if you are a guess hitter, you won’t be as successful, in my opinion .. if a guy has four pitches and you guess on one, three of em , you’re gonna miss
Luck factor--- luck I s good, but luck isn’t gonna get you anywhere .. just the way it goes .. we all need to be lucky every now and again but in the long run, 6 months of baseball, luck’s not gonna be a factor
Roch is the epitome of my life in baseball. I absolutely love Rochester. Matter of fact, I came very, very close to moving there and I don’t like cold weather. So that tells you how much I love those people, the city, Dan Mason, Naomi Silver, all the people in the front office. I’ve been in the game now.. let’s see, I’m 65.. so, about 45 years.. and those (Rochester time) are the best five years of my baseball life. You can print that!
GENE GLYNN (Feb 2018)
Felipe alou, buck rodgers.....don baylor…
Coaching for don Baylor, who played for the Red Wings was one of the best experiences I ever had with the Colorado Rockies and Chi Cubs because him being a hall of famer with Roch that might mean a lot to a lot of people and it meant a lot to me too to go back to Rochester where he was a real outstanding player .. I also coached in the big leagues for Felipe – one of the guys I enjoyed playing for the most .. I think Don to me … I could name every manager and say I learned something from everyone ,,, those three were outstanding.. but Don: learning from him as a first-time coach in the big leagues was outstanding ,,, Felipe Alou I played for and coached for …played for him in the minors and coached for him in the big leagues – he was a great mentor to me like Don was..
Extra duties as a minor league manager.. in the minors and especially maybe in AAA you have to have a plan and you build a routine and then you have discipline in what you’re doing and good direction .. and that’s individually and team-wise. Those four things follow suit with just about everything you’ll do with an individual and with your team… of course, all of our minor league managers throughout baseball are there to help build major league players and to help the advancement of achieving the goals that these young guys have to get to the big leagues… so I always say: have a plan, build a good routine, have good direction and then discipline in that direction …
For me, a lot of it was: you talk about winning , you’re always talking about winning and being aggressive and the great thing about the Twins and Rochester were.. we stole a lot of bases , we did a lot of different things , we were always trying to put the pressure on the other teams to execute and we kind of played with a fearless approach that we’re not waiting for them to do anything , they’re gonna have to adjust to what we do
A lot of paperwork for a minor league manager—a lot of post game communication between what went on in the game and to the major league staff and front office.. so yeas, post game .. the paperwork prior to the game was definitely there and the resources were given to us to try and have the best approach to enter the team we’re about to play .. not only team-wise, but manager wise and position players and pitchers.. what they’re ability was , what their strengths and weakness were so we could get prepared to counter that as guys moved on and passed through our league .. so there was a routine on being somewhat educated on as far as who they were facing .. if we had played them before … cause sometimes in the minors you hadn’t played the players for 4 or 5 years cause they went to different leagues .. but when it came to scouting reports , positives and negatives , strengths and weaknesses .. those are things that we tried to bring out to every player in a team meeting prior to every series that we played.. and input from the players who may have played (against ) other players .. there is a diligent approach to trying to spread and share knowledge that has been gathered by scouts, player development people, front office.. there’s a lot that goes into it- we just don’t show up at 6:30 for a 7 o’clock game …we’re there really early – about 2 o’clock ,,, meetings and not only for individuals but as groups .. a total team meeting also
How important are stats and charts for the minor league situation…
I think the greatest thing now for the players is the video ..allows you to see a guy pitch or hit .. allows me to watch a guy pitch to other players .. see the ball come out: things like release point, velocity and seeing spin .. where is his release point? And the video allows you to have that ..you can see rotation and velocity. You can also see his delivery before he changes leagues and you’ve never seen him before. So the guys have some idea as far as who they’re gonna face..
All of the information out there now is beneficial to a player if he uses it .. we try to enforce that to be as knowledgeable as we could and be aware of who we’re facing but I found, too, that the players that have played with somebody – maybe have switched teams , they have the great insight on what this guy’s makeup is , how he approaches the game , is he a hard-nosed, aggressive player … a little passive…so there might be some insight, that hey, if you get to this guy early , early in the count, cause he’s trying to get ahead , and if we did that , because of personal knowledge , sometimes that is just as good but familiarity with a guy, to see videos when you’ve never seen them before , you can’t replace that .. with a verbal.. you can watch them
Challenge as manager, playing with cards you’re dealt… developing at request of the major league …
The greatest thing about the Minn Twins is when I was hired there, they said, we’ll develop for six innings and win the game in the 7th, 8th and 9th …they truly believed in development , everybody has to ..but to have the opportunity to win and truly manage the game with the personnel you have if it was pitching, relief pitching , with matchups or it would be pinch hitting, pinch running, a prospect or not, they wanted to develop a winning atmosphere, too.. and really to teach guys that, hey, if you’re struggling right now , even though you’re a top prospect that we’re gonna try to win for the other 24 players on the roster, then we’re gonna pinch hit , [pinch run … everybody hits slumps , the (players) got to understand that if I’m no doing really well now, then get somebody else in there .. and that it is a team sport, that we’re using the best guy we can… so I really credit the Twins for : developing for 6.. although some guys play the whole game ..but if you had a chance to win a game, they trusted the manager to make every decision to win the game in the 7th, 8th and 9th… within your resources
Gut decision in making decisions.. or do you have that little voice inside that is warning to be a little conservative …?
No way! You should be as aggressive as any player when you’re the manager .. you’re not trying to be conservative in that sense, cause you want to get the best out of that player …to a point of playing without fear against your competitor …
So many decisions.. can you put the bad ones behind you? Especially if the same situation comes up again..
The great thing about baseball is you play almost every day ..there’s no looking back ..you just think about winning that day.. we talk about playing the game as one pitch, one out, one inning for the players .. get locked in and think: one pitch, one out, one inning .. a manager, the third base coach, whoever, they have to be thinking the same way because every game can change on one pitch .. everything can change in one inning .. one out.. whatever.. and we all know: there’s errors, mistakes, bad hops—you’ve got to put that behind you and just continue to play, coach and manage.. cause those things are gonna happen and they’re gonna happen again and you try not to dwell on all the little things – even though you might talk about it with an individual.. when it comes to the team concept, you accept the things that happen out of your control and you play until the last out is made .. leave it at the park, get ready for tomorrow…you might dwell on it for 5 or 10 minutes but you gotta get over it and get ready for the next game
re: pitches are called for the batter or pitcher… I’ve never been on a team, where from the bench somebody is calling pitches in pro baseball- that doesn’t happen. The pre-game—as far as how we’re gonna attack a guy is enough, now it’s between the pitcher and the catcher -- and that’s pro baseball—that’s not high school or college where you’re really trying to teach and help someone.. because these guys at their age and time spent in the game and the relationship with the catcher and pitcher has to take over because they’re gonna count on each other when they get to the big leagues…I’ve hardly ever seen in the minor leagues , never in the big leagues where the pitches called are coming from the bench
Not fair to press for a pre-season prediction from a minor league manager—because of call ups and injuries surely coming?
I think that’s fair—you don’t judge him even on wins and losses when it comes to the team.. I would think it’s more of how they play the game, how aggressive, confident and how hard they play.. sometimes you might be over-matched because of movement and injury in the big league where people get moved up – or even in Double A , you get injuries in AAA and guys go up to help… there is a time where a player will not move because they need that time at a certain level .. but a lot of times a vet is gonna move because of either advancement or injury.. so, it’s really hard, unless you have a lot of depth and a lot of good players to continue to win in the minor leagues – especially if the big league club is pulling players because of injury .. or lack of success.. it’s hard to judge a manager in the minors and how good he really is when his roster is changing all the time
Twins-Roch connection – sending people up—is that a known thing—
Rochester, if no one gets hurt in the big leagues and there in first place you’re not going to see movement.. it’s either guys getting injured or tired and something happens where you need to have a replacement. That’s why you have the minor leagues to supplement the major league roster and keep it as strong as you can .. we don’t leave spring training intending to bring guys up unless someone fails – or if the guy in AAA or AA is really succeeding .. but injury is usually the biggest reason .. and lack of success… that’s the way it is
The major league guys, team should be the best in the organization . if it has to do with veterans already proving that they have a long contract and they’re gonna play and they’ve proven themselves at the major league level ..you sure hope you have a nucleus of players ready to supplement that team when there is an injury at the major league level – all of us are pulling for the big league team to win and as much as we hate to lose a player in AAA and go to the big leagues, believe me, the whole locker room is excited when a guy goes up (to the majors) especially for the first time .. so, as bad as we want to win every game for Rochester those guys are playing so hard so they’re the next guy called up.. they want to be that guy and if deservingly so
Say hi to the guys in Rochester .. I love that city and that team and the people there –you guys are all great
Managers are telling batters to Swing or hit: depending on the score.. late in the game, you might end up telling the guys ahead of time if they don’t represent the tying run, then maybe “take a strike”… but you prob would have communicated with before the inning starts… your hitting coach in the dugout and those things are communicated to the player… but there’s also times in the game and you just have a take sign- if it’s a 3-0 count or things like that- you have a sign whether they’re swinging or not… it’s fairly simple…
Bunting—you would give a heads up, prior to an inning ..certain situations… to be looking for it (the bunt sign) and I’ll have a sign for that, coaching third
Managers calling pitches… not very often.. these guys—part of their development- they need to take ownership… we do have pre game meetings to talk about how we’re going to deal in situations with certain players…. Dep on the hitter… we rely on the catcher to call pitchers- that’s part of their development…. Figure out on their own
Managers calling pitches… Happening anywhere?—rare there—
(new file on TASCAM ) beginning on trac phone
Using charts and statistics --- the more info you have the better you are, but you don’t want to overload the player with too much information … knowing what individual players can handle….. some players want more information, some don’t … at aaa, because there’s so much info at the MLB level, , we’re trying to implement that more at the minor league level, just so that they’re not overwhelmed when they get to the big leagues … it’s tough enough adjusting to the major leagues let alone the routines of diff types of analytical and statistical stats to attack hitters or to defense hitters…
You have a fav manager;;
The ones that used to write my name in the lineup would be my favorites, but uh… I broke in as a young player with TONY LARUSSA… enjoyed playing for him, a hall of fame – was a fave primarily because he was my first… also played for BILLY MARTIN, a lot of fun, very insightful, a very good field manager, understanding the game and the opponent.. that’s two… and then John McNamara was another manager I really enjoyed, playing in Cleveland
Gut feeling decisions… as you get more experience, you gain a feel for your environment that you’re in, that given moment, -- I think that is how some people describe your “gut”.. but I think your gut is something that , over time and over preparation.. and have info.. and experience and log a lot of games under your belt and all those things that come into the equation—I think that creates the feelings that you have in your inner self- whether that’s your gut or not I don’t know—but it’s something that you hope that your brain takes over and gives you those feelings… .. it’s not just happenstance, you know, .. when people talk about somebody’s gut.. or “fly by the seat of your pants” that’s different then the feelings you get where you’ve prepared yourself, have played the movie over in your head many a time, so as a result of all that, it does create somewhat of a “gut” feeling
No matter how you manage, still dependent on luck and the players executing…
The players still have to play.. .. you try and put them in good situations where they can succeed..
In the triple A (position).. they’re getting matched to their positions
Going into Rochester—
I’m looking forward to it..obviously it’s a new organization for me and so I’m excited about that. It’s always good to be around young players that are on the cusp of getting to the big leagues .. and you try to create an atmosphere that is conducive for them to have success