Last week, I asked readers to send me questions for Jerry Manuel.
Yesterday, Kevin Burkhardt introduced me to Manuel, who agreed to do a Q&A once-per-homestand with me and SNY.TV.
My goal is to solicit questions from you, synthesize the general ideas, and bring them to Manuel’s attention for answers on items that are most pressing to fans.
Yesterday, for the initial run, Burkhardt did the interview, and asked Manuel about using stats compared to ‘going with his gut,’ and whether he ever considers being thrown out of a game for the sole purpose of firing up his team and the crowd.
Here is the written transcript, otherwise scroll down and click play to watch the full, three-minute interview:
Kevin Burkhardt: Obviously, you have numbers upon numbers, do you use them a lot when you’re managing, when you’re making out a lineup, or are you more of a feel guy?
Jerry Manuel: Well, I would hope that I’m more of a ‘feel guy,’ I try to be more of a ‘feel guy.’ The only time that I look at that particular data or history is if I know nothing about the particular player… But, for the most part, I try to read and learn our players and then try to learn the opposition… I use the statistics pretty much as confirmation as to the decision I made. I’ll look back and say, ‘At least it lines up with the stats,’ and sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.
Kevin Burkhardt: But, what happens if it doesn’t? Oh well?
Jerry Manuel: (Laughing) Yeah, oh well. I’ll check my gut again next time, you know, that type of thing.
Kevin Burkhardt: The fans always love it when the manager gets in to it with the umpire… Is there ever a situation that you go out to argue to get your team fired up, to get the crowd in to it? Does that ever come in to play?
Jerry Manuel: Not for me. I basically tell my players that I’m dealing in truth. If you’re right, I’m gonna back you 110 percent, and I’m gonna fight for you until the end. If you’re wrong, so be it…
I think it’s unfair and unfortunate to take your frustrations out and trying to use another man to get in to an argument with another man to infuse fire in to your team. I just don’t believe that that’s the right thing to do. I think the right thing to do is to fight for your players when you feel they’re right.
Kevin Burkhardt: You realize that the Mets fan will say, ‘The right way is whatever way favors the Mets,’ right?
Jerry Manuel: (Laughing) Well, I can understand that, I’m a Met fan as a Met manager. But, for the most part, if I see it a different way, I’ll go out an politely discuss it, for the most part.