SBeeN: In your first full season as a manager, 1987, the Brewers started
13-0. What stands out about that streak after 18 years?
Everything we wanted to do out of spring training, we did and everything worked
out alright. We went 13-0, 20-3 through the month of April, then we lost (Rob) Deer, we lost (Teddy) Higereau for a little
while -- maybe even (Paul) Molitor -- I don’t recall -- but we had some injuries and just frittered away the great start…then
we finished strong and won 91 games.
SBeeN: You had the privilege of managing both Paul Molitor and Robin Yount in the prime of their careers,
talk about that.
I don’t know how I lost my job with those two (laughs), but our
pitching was always a little bit short. Those two fellas set a great tone; they were Hall of Fame players. How many managers
get to have two Hall of Famers on their team at the same time on your team? If we had a little pitching, we’d have been
a whole lot better, but they were terrific and very deserving of the awards and accolades they received.
SBeeN: You came close to reaching the post season a couple of times, ever wonder what it would have
been like with the new Wild Card system?
No, not really. We played the number of games we were supposed to play.
In ‘87 when the Twins won it, we won more games than they did in the regular season, but that’s they way it can
happen….you get a chance to get (to the playoffs) after playing 162 (games), and if you don’t, that’s the
way she goes. You work really hard to win, but if you don’t win it, you don’t win it….we went into the last
weekend in Oakland with a chance to win it -- we had to sweep and somebody had to lose one or two. On the first night, we
lost, they won -- we were eliminated on the last Friday of the season.
SBeeN: You were pretty successful as a manager (471-461), do you see yourself ever managing again?
(I have) no interest (in managing again), it’s an all consuming job you really have to want. I wanted it at one
time, but I don’t anymore (laughs)...I just have more fun as a coach than I did as a manager….I think I more suited
to have the funness involved in coaching than I am to have the funness involved in managing.
No, I felt fortunate to have the opportunity to
manage one game.
SBeeN: What were some of your managerial highlights?
When I took over in
‘86, I had major league players like Molitor, Yount and Cecil Cooper, go to Harry Dalton when George Bamberger decided
it was time to go home, and say ‘hey, this is guy is the best guy to take over.’ To have that happen and to have
that particular team go out and play they did the last two weeks or so of that season and to come out of the shoot (13-0)
the next year with the same players, that was the highlight.
fast start must have made the job seem easy.
I knew we’d lose one. When you start out like
that and everything is going the way it is supposed to and everyone is buying into it, you start thinking ‘gee, we might
win 100 games, we might win this whole thing,’ but then reality (sets in). You are never as good as you think you are
when you are going good and you are never as bad as you think you are when things are going bad -- you have to stay in between.
Zingler, August 2005