Tim FlanneryOn May 5, 2000,
NetShrine was privileged
to interview former big
league infielder, current
Padres' third base coach
& musical recording artist
Tim Flannery. 

Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery played for the San Diego Padres from 1979 through 1989.  In fact, to date, only Tony Gwynn, Garry Templeton, and Dave Winfield have appeared in more games as a member of the Padres. As a result of his intense play on the field, Tim quickly became, and still is, a fan favorite in San Diego. 

After his retirement from active play, Tim Flannery worked as a television reporter in San Diego for four years.  However, in 1993, he returned to baseball working for the San Diego franchise - - serving as a minor league manager until 1995 and as a major league coach for the past five years.

As well as being known as a staple in the big leagues for the last twenty years, Tim is a celebrated musician, song writer, and recording artist.   Since 1994, he has released three CDs ("Looking Back," "Secret World," and "Pieces of the Past") while performing live at times with many noted and legendary artists - including Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, George Thorogood, Judy Collins and Richie Havens.  Additionally, proceeds from the sales of the Tim Flannery Band's last two CDs are used to purchase Padres' tickets for underprivileged San Diego children.  As a result of "Secret World" alone, over 1,200 youngsters were treated to a day at the ballpark. 

For more information on Tim Flannery, both the man and his music, NetShrine recommends that you visit his official website at www.timflannery.com.   Oh, but first, check out our interview............

When you were young, who was your favorite big league player?
Tim Flannery:  Pete Rose was my favorite as a kid.   And, to play against him, and be playing against him when he broke Ty Cobb's hit record that night in Cincinnati, was awesome.  All the other stuff about Pete, I don't listen to - no one played the game or plays the game like Pete.

Which baseball movie do you enjoy best?
Tim Flannery:  Bull Durham.

Surfing the perfect wave, playing at Carnegie Hall, or a having a World Series game winning hit - if you could only choose one, which would it be and why?
Tim Flannery:  I couldn't pick one thing.  I have surfed Tavarua Fiji, I have played great gigs....with Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Garth Brooks....and, I have been in two World Series.  The adrenaline is the same, the high is the same.  The reward of working so hard and to see it pay off - and, what you find out about yourself when the heat is on.  That is why I do so many things.  I guess it's called PASSION!!!!!!!

Who's been your most influential mentor?
Tim Flannery:  My Dad, probably, has given me the most - a lot I am just learning.  He passed in July.  Many gifts were handed down about life, love, compassion - I am just opening a few of these gifts now.

Where's your favorite ballpark?
Tim Flannery:  Wrigley Field.   Great tradition.  Mostly day games.  Old classic locker rooms.   Great fans.  Great city.

What's your most vivid memory from the 1984 World Series?
Tim Flannery:  I have more memories as a coach in the last series than '84.  In 1984, we had lots of great chemistry with the team - as well as '98.  No egos, no one cared who got the credit.  It was just perfect.  We did almost get our bus turned over in '84 by the fans of Detroit.   They brought in SWAT teams, police on horseback.  One cop car got turned over and burned.  They rioted after they won.  I have a ring though.  Great teams - both of them.

FILL IN THE BLANK: "I'll never forget where I was when _______ ."
Tim Flannery:  I heard John Kennedy had been shot.

How has being a major leaguer helped your career in music?
Tim Flannery:  Baseball and music lives kind of parallel each other.  The lifestyles are so closely related.   That's where I have met so many of my musician friends.  They seem to want to play ball.  And, a few of us want to sing.  We run into so many of them in our schedules.  I spent two cities with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young just last week.   I had the chance to hang with Graham Nash and Stephen Stills one night.  Great stories.

When turning a double play, which baserunner was the one that you least preferred having come into second?
Tim Flannery:  The toughest player, when I played, breaking up a double play was Gary Matthews.  He would try to kill you.   There were no rules protecting the second basemen back then.

Which current player reminds you most of yourself as a player?
Tim Flannery:  Eric Owens.  Plays hard, passionate, doesn't take anything for granted because he's been a victim of the business, and has learned well.  Been released, traded, benched...now he's on a survival mission.

Intermission Lightning Round:

Pamela Lee Anderson or Marilyn Monroe?
Flannery:  Not any.  I have the only one who could put up with me.  And, after three kids, she still the hottest thing going.
DH or no DH?
Flannery:  No DH - no strategy with the DH.
The Whopper or The Big Mac?
Flannery:  Big Mac.
Box seats or bleachers?
Flannery:  Box seats.

Paper or Plastic?
Flannery:  Paper.

Back to the bigger questions......

Describe pitching to McGwire in the HR Derby during last year's All-Star Game at Fenway.
Tim Flannery:  Pitching to McGwire was incredible.  The pitcher who was supposed to pitch to him bailed because he was scared.  If you throw a ball, the people at Fenway boo you; plus, it is on ESPN, so it's easy to get weird.  The guy bailed.  My Dad died three days earlier - I almost didn't even come.  But, I was the All-Star third base coach, so, I went.   Anyway, I was leaving after the workout, had two Guinness, and McGwire comes up and says his guy bailed, can you throw to me?  I said "Mark, I haven't slept in a few days, and I am on my second beer."  He says "I don't care."   So,  I redress and go out in front of a national audience and throw a few.   And, he begins hitting them a long way.  After the third, I stop and look out in the outfield.  My 14 year old son is shagging balls off the wall at Fenway, and then I see who I am throwing to - I looked into the sky knowing my Dad is watching.   It was a real healing moment.  Anyway, he hit 13....over a mile put together.

Having managed successfully in the minors for three years, and entering your 5th year of coaching in the bigs, do you expect to someday manage in the majors?
Tim Flannery:   I don't know if I will manage?  Probably not.  I love coaching third for Bruce Bochy and the Padres.  I won't take a job if you don't have a good situation - a chance to win.  There were three mangers in the hospital last year.  So, if it isn't right, it can take years off your life.

Who is the best player in the major leagues today?
Tim Flannery:  Alex Rodriguez.

Do musicians tell more crazy stories than ballplayers?
Tim Flannery:  Musicians and ballplayers tell the same stories.  They are in the same cities, working the same hours with high energy jobs.

If you could change one thing in baseball, what would it be?
Tim Flannery:  Eliminate corporate ownership.  I would demand only family run businesses.  And, all TV revenue gets split equally.  You can see I am a dreamer.  But, I have seen where this game is headed when FOX out bids everyone for Kevin Brown by 42 million.  It is "the haves" and "the have nots."

What is the most difficult aspect of a third base coach's duties?
Tim Flannery:  No one even understands what happens at third base as a coach unless you have done it.  I did four years in the minors - making mistakes from Boise to Medford.  It's the only way to learn.   Been doing it here in the bigs for the last five.  As soon as you think you have seen it all and relax, all hell breaks loose.  You just have to respect it and never think you have it wired.

If Martha Stewart was a baseball player, what position would she play?
Tim Flannery:  Martha Stewart????   The only woman tough enough to play this game is Emmy Lou Harris.  Maybe Joni Mitchell?  Everyone else is acting.

Who was your favorite teammate?
Tim Flannery:  Hard to pick one:   Jerry Royster, Bruce Bochy, Dickie Thon, Terry Kennedy, Goose Gossage, Chris Welsh.

You've released three CDs in the past five years. How long would you like to keep recording?
Tim Flannery:  I will keep recording because it is my way to capture moments.  I own my record company.  I am the CEO and only artist on the label.  The proceeds from my records have brought over 2,500 kids to Padre Games.  I get radio play.  Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, and Steve Poltz played on my last record "Pieces of the Past."  It was released in Ireland and gets great radio play there.  I toured there for two weeks last January.  I have plans for a live record to go out in February.  I don't make plans because I don't do it for the same reasons working musicians do it.  And, I believe the purity comes across in the music.  I don't make plans like that.

That's it.  Once again, our thanks to Mr. Flannery for granting NetShrine this interview!

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