Here are several links from the past week that will make the second Monday of Febr-r-ruary a bit more bearable:
RG: The experience of not going on to establish the career that people expected obviously doesn’t mean that you weren’t paying attention, because you did manage in the Mets farm system afterwards and you’ve managed twice now for the Jays. Did you realize at the time, that you were in fact paying attention to details, to guys like Davey Johnson, maybe for a future role. You have mentioned Johnson as a major influence as a manager. Did you consciously pay attention to detail or was it just something that you absorbed?
JG: I’m one of those guys. As a catcher you’ve got to pay attention day-to-day. But consciously, I don’t think I was sitting there going, I want to manage in the big leagues, I’ve got to pay attention to what this guy’s doing. No, but you can tell who’s got it, who doesn’t. The thing I got most from Davey is Davey’s a very confident guy, I’m sure you know that. The players picked up on that. That helped those guys getting to the task.
He believed in it and that’s kind of what rubbed off on me. He’s very smart, always on the ball. He let you do your thing. He didn’t talk very often directly to a player. He very often came through a coach, especially for the young guys. But there was something about him, this guy’s on the ball. That was kind of it. But I don’t really remember noticing, saying ‘God, that’s what I want to be.’ I thought I wanted to get into coaching, but it could have been high school, it could have been college, it could have been professional. But, at that time it was sort of open.
RG: But those attributes that Davey has, of never letting your players see you react, never showing your players when you’re behind, staying on an even keel when times are tough in a game…
JG: Yeah, that’s him.
RG: Communicating with players, not necessarily face-to-face. I mean you’re going to have to do a lot of that with the number of Latin players this year to get the proper message across.
That’s something you said Davey already did. Being in charge, letting guys play the game, just get out of the way, you’ve said that’s one of your attributes. Are you just putting guys out there letting them play the game? Is it your goal to just not get in the way?
JG: I think so. The biggest mistake people make in this game is they try to control too many things. As a manager you have your job. You have to run the pitching staff, the bullpen and all that. There’s got to be some structure there. You call the shifts, but, eventually, guys that are control freaks, it catches up with them. The players are the show. When you bring in the type of players we’ve got this year, guys that have been successful, there’s a reason they’re successful. You’ve got to let them do their thing.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!