Roenicke (left) surveys the field during spring training.
played in the 1984 World Series and won a championship ring as a coach
with the 2002 Los Angeles Angels. Can he bring a title to Milwaukee as
the Brewersí new manager? Before heading to spring training,
Roenicke talked with M writer Cathy Breitenbucher.
How does the
addition of starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum affect the
It doesnít change the way we go about doing things, but it
changes the attitude of the fans, the attitude of some of the players.
It excites them, because if we have the same kind of offensive year
(as in 2010) and now we have this great starting staff, weíve got a
really good chance to win.
was almost 2.8 million last year. How do you personally plan to
connect with the fans, to keep their interest strong and positive?
I want the focus to be on the guys. Iím going to get criticized
for some things I do. Thatís fine, thatís part of the job. Say we
succeed as a team ó I donít want this to be because of me. Itís
because of the guys.
fan in the stands. Whatís more fun to watch: a walk-off home run, a
no-hitter by a pitcher or a double steal?
The walk-off homers and no-hitters are huge ó donít happen all
that often. The double steals or just the plain stolen base, hopefully
thatís going to happen a lot.
said you have good people skills. How do you "coach" fun in
There are little things a manager can do, but I think most of it
is trying to get the personality out of the players. If you can just
get the players to relax Ö to laugh, to have fun and to play their
game, if you have a good team and good quality players, theyíll come
out of a slump quicker than being uptight about things.
yourself as far as someone with a passion for the game.
Iím pretty consistent in my personality. Thereís not a lot of
real highs and not lows. I try to stay positive. I need to care about
whatís going on off the field and make sure everythingís fine
there. If I can help with anything, fine. It may be just picking up a
guy, just walking by and picking him up a little bit.
Do you have a
favorite sports movie or a sports movie moment?
"Brianís Song" is one of my favorites, with the
adversity that some people go through, and keep coming back.
"Hoosiers" is just a great movie. It talked about the mental
part of it a lot, and how people struggle with different things, and
sticking with people.
Do you have
special memories of some of the old stadiums that donít exist
The first time in Detroit, our first baseman, Pat Putnam, hit
three home runs in one game. The third one, the right fielder would
have caught the ball but it hit the upper deck ó it hit that thing
that protruded out. Yankee Stadium, going out to the monuments and
looking at those things was pretty impressive. Candlestick, how cold
that place was. The elements were so tough, the wind and the cold.
You have a
sense of the history of baseball, and thatís one of those things
that connects with fans, the continuity of the game over the years.
I think so. Free agency has changed some of that, because players
move around so much. The Angels in 2002, fans got really attached to
those guys. When Scott Spezio came back, after heíd left the Angels,
there was a big ovation for him and what he had done for the Angels.
Those things are pretty neat when they happen.
planning to move to Wisconsin?
I still live in southern California. I do like the warm weather.
When we have off days, Iím looking forward to (being in Wisconsin).
I love the outdoors, I love to fish and hunt and I do play golf. All
three of those things really fit.
to get Uecker to take you out on the lake.
Does he fish a lot?
View from the Dugout
played for six teams in the majors from 1981-88. Thatís a lot
of teammates and opponents. Among those he most enjoyed
Gwynn: "Just watching how much time he put in the batting
cage and hitting and studying it."
Schmitt: "Very serious, just nobody prepared harder than he
Fernando Valenzuela: "A fun personality, you know, he just
had this great sense of humor."
Making of a Manager
Roenicke explains how some of his former bosses influenced him:
Crandall, minor leagues, Seattle Mariners: "Del is a very
intelligent guy, a very intelligent baseball mind, but he could
make things really simple so we were able to execute what it was
he was trying to get us to do."
Lasorda, LA Dodgers: "A really fun manager to play for. He
could motivate you, you enjoyed playing, you had excitement. I
donít have that same personality, so I have to kind of create
what I can with the personality that I have."
Scoscia, LA Angels: "Watching him over the years, the way
he handled the press, the way he handled players Ö whether a
guy was slumping or when heís in that great groove."