Interview: Davey Johnson (6-20-18)

Wes McElroy
Wednesday, June 20th

Former Nationals and Mets manager Davey Johnson joins Wes to discuss his new book, his run with the Mets to the 1986 World Series title and the use of sabermetrics.

00:11:38

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

West McIlroy fox sports night said let's bring it it's a little bit more baseball he's Davey Johnson the book is my wild ride in baseball and beyond. Former skipper of the nets the Dodgers the Mets in the Orioles joining us now on the Davie it's great to have you if we could start he had I'm curious as a manager. How are you approaching guy with a slot Abdel look is it delicate is it when you're dealing with a guy and his swing where you want to try to help him out but not pushing too far along. But the big question you know I mean the way you know let closely held harper he just thrown out trying to relax. You know he's such a gamer he beat puts a 120% into every effort and sometimes I go go over the limit he just these are election outside while the greatest hitters ever when he talked about hitting the stand mutual. And yes given that I didn't say relax relax relax a so I think that's what bush did relax and have fun. Edit yeah this it's got to be easier said than done especially when you only get four chances a data change it and then. You get into your head what you're saying is they're gets still point were I imagine I guess a point where you it's the only thing you can think about and then you get to the stage of where your most dreading going to the plate. There's no question about hitting is basically Merrill. It's yet to be mentally relaxed and not when you're relaxed meddling in you know and hitting ninth step now. Has been good fiscal recovered through. And you can just let your ability now. He's such a gamer in the end. You know he's he's he's a superstar and and all the pressure's on him in the infrastructure hard. He shaves beard the other night I sit I think used try to change up garment district has somehow nobody toy with the Yankees having no facial hair it. Is it like the movies have you ever seen a crazy stunt trick someone going to a link to try to change up. It to get out of a slump. Well he's good looking kid and I hate you know these beards. Especially this summer how in the world can have volunteers summer I mean you got to be and that's a little logic in your mind. Stalin's one they've aboard the train shape guy did to me always naturally. It would. I'm surprised but this coming from you you are the greatest mustache is in the history is forcing your man coming off facial hair right now. That it was so small it didn't make key difference at. It doesn't that was just that in an incident that turned a little gray came off. He's Davey Johnson joining us the book my allowed ride in baseball and VI it is outs in available a lot of thoughts on different things in baseball superdome harper. A guy who came on the scene of produced it a year young age who. Who is a guy or give me a couple of guys that you just saw you had dot. You and harper you could greats and you had them early in their careers who is a guy you saw it automatically knew this guy's not only good bees got staying power. Well strawberry number one. I mean tremendous power off studios ran real fast centigrade arm. You know he was number one pick in the country. Again he didn't handle pressure to go he. He he he's blundering relaxed more off the field and on the field but I thought he could no deaths in all of Famer. Striker in the same way great kids. You know just unbelievable terror. And he just got mixed up with little kids in need is great kid great father mother and and great coaching and natural but just didn't know how to say no. Then Kevin Mitchell was great athlete do I wished she'd stayed there because Kevin. Came from San Diego and he's a tough guy and he is saying though that they didn't like that he beat him to death. I my turn forty in December and I grew up around baseball I love baseball my team was the Phillies but I was the kind of guy who clicked a baseball cards or was the key to just embrace everything I. The first team I really remember embracing. Loving just because they were full personalities was your 86 Mets team. And and not knowing everything in India. You know put it altogether eight. I watched and I watched dykstra and you mentioned Kevin Mitchell and Gary Carter and doc and Darryl. How do you as a manager able sit. To make so many egos and so many personalities who work for that season. Well let me tell you it's called chemistry and chemistry doesn't come from winning. It comes from the manager put guys in in the place. Ballclub they didn't start a person on the bench in the bullpen. And then let them express their talent as everybody knows their role. Everybody's happy because they know what they do their role well and be extended. And and that's how great chemistry. And everybody accepts their role in those as a lateral to them. They knew exactly at Brooks corporate golf in the capital's Friday and he said the same thing he said it sounds cheesy but it. When you put a group of guys together and it's rare it's not rare and high school and college because you don't have contracts but he said it was rare with a team where everyone just drop the ego they put the ice time side. And that they loved each other and no matter what personality what country came from what color your skin was. When you love somebody in your willing to do that you get a lot of success in that that sounds a lot like we had an 86. Well there's no question about it and then we had we had characters from all walks of life can. Different personalities but they all accepted that job and it went about trying to do the best they could. And when you have that you have great chemistry you're gonna win a you can get the most out of the town on the ball club. I can I get a good 86 Mets story can I get gonna get like a good I knew I was dealing with a bunch of characters moment where you just looked around the clubhouse to the field and get a good story. Well I mean never I mean boy that's hard to you know what they give because. Between directive Bachmann. These personnel in the end and then it is read about civil war. Think Gary Carter very religious and you know quiet and I'd loved being on TV I mean it was just did a group of guys that would Wear unbelievably different. If I try to track him down off the field. There was a group did what we call them. We columnist so much you hope you also said that the bigger story was what we won a playoff against Houston who lives were on the plane. They trashed the plane I have tried my guys to put all the beer cans indicated at a bag the women didn't. There are older than in the course to clubs fighting is 5000 dollars but they didn't make it stick. Man Davey Johnson mile wild ride in baseball NBI he would stories like this. I'm I'm going to this and go to the media packet and I knew a little bit about this the U. You're kind of one of the pioneer guise of Saber metrics and this has been a hot topic here considering the home runs in the strike outs of the game. And you you're the first to work it in there and this is how you hope turnaround teams like the reds in the Orioles and obviously the Mets. What are your thoughts and house your metrics and legs are being used now in the game today. Well they've gone overboard they've put too much garbage in the there's no value in making a baseball decision. You know and they actually they have stepped in their discussion guys to change things warnings could make them poor hitters. This launch angle and in hitting the ball in the air that's the most ridiculous worthless piece of information I've ever heard so. The bluster of the bat. You know. The hitting is timing and stroke. You know and started as joke is the better chance you have to be a great hitter now they're talking about a lot Chamberlain getting on the same plane early in the swing is going to be bigger. You know and I it's just awful I hated. I believe and everything in moderation and I'm trying to study more about the analytical approach and and I I do see key things in there but I also totally agree with what you're saying what information did you take from the numbers and say and apply it. Well the biggest thing you know and so the lineup. Is looking guys. History and back when I was doing it you had lunch with a guy named Rashard cook could lower percentage baseball. And he was at that petition percent and he. He was the first guy that came up with on base percentage and and I thought that was very critical unsettle financial. He says if you that that number one guy on base percentage guy and followed the guys behind him. From top to bottom more guys are gonna play the stated certain percentage is that can score more runs. That was the biggest thing I got from him and that's what you said last but then you put the baseball stopped and then to go with power rhetoric can drive to and from first. Treated them Barton really high on base percentage guys and they are doing that in written mostly now even lower at 30 hitters in the second. Guy right now on baseball you just love to watch plays through. Well I love all of my you know I I don't miss any games. I really enjoy election. The nationals I like to retreat Terry goes about his business. I've always been a big fan of Murphy the effect is that they my dog after I hope we didn't take offense that sympathetic and yeah. And so I think Murphy alive during the day. But you know I really enjoy him enjoy eternal like guys know Dan. The book my wild ride in baseball and beyond Davey Johnson's out available all major bookstores Amazon.com. And as I learned about you in the match that is Saber metrics that I also learned. Pilot and scuba diving teacher if I'm about to spend a day would Davey Johnson is there a better chance are gone flying scuba diving or going to the ballpark. Well it was blue logo flying because my my my wife made it clear what it might pick up the can cover a I was doing. Changed incident and there's six you loops. Yeah I put it when there but didn't have that. I didn't have similar start follow until down. And I came out there but you're sitting on top of her parish and so is no danger can always pull the cord. But I loved scuba dive. And fish that's what little lackluster that morning and and actually don't do as much on the cameraman. Jerry and yet. That I achieved up front fly efficiently. Don't take good pictures. I've always opposed a ghost shark diving into cages anyway we can make that happen dating is that that you do accomplish that semi recommend that you were out of time. Davey I recommend reading this book Davey Johnson my allowed ride and baseball and beyond Acer take care yourself and I appreciate your time thank you so much data Johnson. You gotta rest one thing though all the proceeds go to my lectured you just scholarship program from under underprivileged girls. That are in college and help them get loans so I believe in education. Such a great cause. That's fantastic day thanks so much Rosie you find out more Amazon.com. We have a link to Davies book up and available at foxwoods Richmond dot com take yourself sir. Thank god did you Davey Johnson as pretty cool at that point errors does necessarily just your former able years. As you grow up I I just I loved a stolen base by low baseball's akin to being a die hard Phillies fan but. Now executed for thirty or Saturday Iranian satellite this week in baseball Mel out. I couldn't get enough baseball and I just remember that Mets team think again. They beat my feel is the man they look like a budget cool guys having a lot of fun now there's lot of things behind the scenes. But they were cast the characters there's a lot of personnel out of that team and made a lot of and they watch a baseball a lot of fun. Thanks to Davey Johnson good to hear from him good to hear that he's doing well. And bylaw Rodham baseball is out and available now come back we got to a final call some poll questions one on college football on Virginia Tech. One on dating and as easily things go on the show we bring up the movie topic you guys pounce on it like a cat on straying. Do it next on fox sports nine Sen.
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