"If the front
office approves of the manager, and the manager approves of the players, it
seems to be a happy situation," he said. "I have a pretty free hand in
Chicago, and on the field my judgment—right or wrong—has never been questioned
by Chuck Comiskey. He might have questioned it to himself, but not to me. The
second guess is always nice to have, but it never wins ball games for you.
"Any honor or
success I have as a manager is due to the fact that my players give me one
hundred percent on the field. I tell them all the time that for me to be
successful as a manager—if there is such a thing as a successful manager—'you,
first of all, have to be successful as players.' "
PROPER BUT NOT
"I believe in
treating my players as I would like to be treated myself, and if I treat them
properly, I think I'll be a good manager. When I say properly, I mean this:
You're not in a popularity contest with your players. The only thing you want
to have is their respect. To make a guy respect you doesn't necessarily mean
that every time he steps out of line you're going to fine him. He's not going
to respect you. He's going to dislike you. You have to know each individual.
Some you pat on the back. Others you have to kick in the pants. There are
certain ballplayers who will take advantage of anybody's being good-natured.
That's when I stop being good-natured. Right then!
"When I say
'yes,' I mean yes. When I say 'no,' I mean no. I never say 'maybe.' " Marty
Marion bit out the words and there was no maybe about what he meant.
"I have no
personal feelings for ballplayers' likes or dislikes. I'm only interested in
the job they do on the field. If I hate a guy and he's a good ballplayer, he'd
be my No. 1 man. If my best friend in the whole world wasn't any good, he
couldn't play for me. I have no sentimental reasons for playing certain types
of ballplayers. I play them because of their ability.
ballplayers' personal problems interfere with their playing on the field. I
don't permit any of them to answer phone calls in the clubhouse. Once they get
in uniform, I don't want them thinking about anything but baseball.
happy at home, they tend to play better ball. I don't like to see athletes
marry glamour girls. I like to see them marry homey girls who are interested in
marriage and children.
exceptions to this rule, of course. Some guys have marital difficulties, and it
doesn't affect their play. Enos Slaughter has had five wives, and every time he
gets married, he has a good year.
figure it. A ballplayer who thinks he can go out and do things, or dissipate
and get away with it, is crazy. There is no place he can go and hide. Too many
people know you and too many people are willing to talk.