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All the time these negotiations were going on I was dragging around the three weeks' clothes that I'd brought from L.A., and Ed still hadn't told me anything. Finally, at 6 p.m. on the last day of the season, he called me in Boston and said to meet him the next morning at LaGuardia Airport. He was in New York talking to another client. When I got there he told me the deal was set for me to manage the Indians. I just had to say yes or no. We'd better not print exactly what I said, but what it came to was pleasure and consent. We tracked down my bags and flew to Cleveland, and the next day I was fielding questions from more than 100 press people from around the U.S.
I've never had such a fuss made over me. I understand it, but I don't like for a manager to appear bigger than the ball club. This is no knock on Ted Williams, but I don't want it to be like it was when he managed the Senators, with all the attention on him.
I do think that a manager is more important to a team than people give him credit for. I've heard it said that a manager makes the difference in only five games a year. That's ridiculous. But a ball club should be like a family. Everybody should have a voice in it. Sometime on an off-day next season I'm going to say, "We're not going to hit, we're not going to run and throw, we're going to sit around together and you can ask me questions about how the team's being run. Fire away." I don't think that is ever done in baseball because managers have been afraid to have their authority questioned. If there's a team meeting and somebody says pitch a guy up and in and somebody else says low and away, managers don't like it. "Too many voices," they say. I like to hear voices.
If a player's doing something different from the way I like, I'll call him over and ask him why. If he's got a valid reason, O.K., boom. But if he can't justify it—in the family, the manager is like the father. I won't be treating them like kids, but it's like in a family when the kid says, "Can I go out tonight?" and the father says, "No." And that's that. That's what I like about being a manager.
But talk about it first. With today's ballplayers, you have to explain things. These days you can't go around pounding "I am the boss" into people's heads. One day last year with the Angels, Bobby Winkles chewed a lot of us out. "I've been very lenient," he said, "but now I'm going to have to crack down. There's only one manager here and that's me."
And all the Angels looked at each other and shook their heads. A manager wants to avoid causing his players to do that. They're saying, "You don't have to tell us you're the manager. We know that." It sounds like the manager is telling himself, because he doubts it. Then the players start doubting it. I guess Winkles was afraid of losing his job. He thought I was trying to take it away from him. First he told me to help him by talking with the other players. Then he said I was talking to some of them too much. So Rudy May walked by and I didn't say anything to him. "Hey, you mad at me?" he said.
"Winkles said you complained that I was getting on you too much," I said.
"I never said that," he said, "and Winkles never said anything about all this to me."
I went to Winkles to talk it out. Finally, he said, "I know you're friends with Harry Dalton, and if it comes down to it he'll choose you over me."
You've got to feel secure in yourself as a person. You've got to know you can lose the job and still feel secure.