Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hot Stove Update: Tim Flannery Announces His Retirement From Coaching Baseball

Today, Giants 3B coach Tim Flannery posted a message on his Facebook page announcing his retirement from the position.  While he is retiring from coaching the Giants, he is not retiring from life as he plans to continue recording and touring with his music band, the Lunatic Fringe, as well as continue his charity work.  Prior to coming to San Francisco to coach 3B under Manager Bruce Bochy, Flannery had spent his entire baseball career with the San Diego Padres as a player, minor league manager and coach.  His playing career spanned 11 seasons, mostly as a scrappy reserve infielder.  He then went into managing and coaching and was the Padres 3B coach until 2002.  He remained out of baseball until 2007 when Bruce Bochy called and asked him to do "one more  ride" with him and the Giants.  The first season, was rocky as the Barry Bonds era ended in a metaphorical pile of rubble.  2008 wasn't much better and both Boch and Flan wondered how long the ride was going to last.  Well, it lasted 9 years and brought 3 World Series Championships, the only ones of the Giants San Francisco era.

Flannery was not just the Giants 3B coach.  He became part of the community, performing with his band which he even named after a local inside joke spawned by Brian Sabean's infamous "lunatic fringe" comment.  Ha!  Maybe Flan will name his next band the Cockroaches?  It was Tim Flannery who took the lead in raising money to help Brian Stow and his family after Stow suffered permanent brain damage in a beating in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.  Yeah, Tim Flannery may have spent his playing career in San Diego and started his coaching career there, but he was born to be the Giants 3B coach.

In retiring, Flannery wrote an eloquent farewell on his Facebook page.  You can read the full text on several Giants related websites.  I recommend sfgate.com, the article about Flannery explaining his decision.  Here are some key quotes:

"I've buried friends.  I've put friends in rehab.  I've watched marriages dissolve.  There is a lot of collateral damage in this lifestyle I've had for 35 years.  I'm going to send myself home safely."

"I had no desire to manage…..so then you ask yourself, what else are you going to do?  Keep coaching third till you drop over?"

"I need to stay home a little while and enjoy what we have just accomplished, or else it doesn't mean anything."

"I just feel like I did it in the baseball world.  I was as fulfilled helping the Stow family as much as anything I've done."

Then to me, this is his money quote.  I've read it at least 5 times today and I'm still getting tears in my eyes:

"With a heavy heart, I want to say something.  I left everything 9 years ago to chase a dream.  I left my home, my family to follow my leader and friend, Bruce Bochy, to fight another battle and bring a World Championship to San Francisco.  When I came here, I wasn't going to let anyone in on who I was.  I wasn't going to let anyone break my heart by getting too close to who I am.  I was just going to do my job and hide.  Well, of course that didn't happen…."

"Honored to be a Giant."

No Flan!  WE are honored that you are a Giant!


I don't know if Tim Flannery plays this song in his shows, but it would be a good one for a guy who has been happy to play a supporting role his entire 35 years in Major League Baseball:


He wants to dream like a young man
with the wisdom of an old man.
He wants his home and security.
He wants to live like a sailor at sea.

Beautiful loser.
where you gonna to fall
when you realize
you just don't need it all?

He's your oldest and your best friend.
When you need him, he'll be there again.
He's always willing to be second best,
a perfect lodger, a perfect guest.

Beautiful loser…….

Bob Seger

The only difference between Flan and the character in this song is Flan is going out a beautiful winner!


  1. Nicely done. Agree that the SFGate article is a good treatise on the trials and tribulations of baseball and life itself. Good for Flan! A Great Giant!

    And very nice touch with a very cool Seger tune.

    Well done sir.


  2. My favorite Flannery memory will still be his National Anthem performance with Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. A total class act, and he will be missed.

  3. Great post DrB. Flannery windmilling is a beautiful sight. The fact he decided to take on the Lunatic Fringe moniker speaks miles for the man's sense of humor.

    Like pygalgia said above: his national anthem with Weir and Lesh is simply... the best.

    Good Giant. He will be missed dearly.

    1. Thanks Shankbone,

      Enjoyed your comments over on Minorleagueball.

  4. this was more shocking then the pablo announcement

    i think everyone, including bochy and sabey sabes, thought flan was gonna stick around till bochy decided to hang em up

    im sure he will return to sing the national anthem on opening day and to get his ring

    wish him and his wonderful family all the best

    a true giant and a gentleman


  5. Wow, this man will be missed. I have loved watching Tim waving in our guys for the last 9 years, and I can hardly imagine what it's going to be like for someone else to fill those shoes. HONESTLY - When was the last time you looked at a retiring third base coach and said, "Well, now THOSE are gonna be tough shoes to fill! Good luck, next guy."

    Man was as deep as he was wild, and as honkey as he was jock.

    Damn proud to have a Tim Flannery out there, somewhere, rep'ing San Francisco with a total air of grace and character.

    You will not be forgotten around here Flann. Roll on, you old stone!!!

    1. Yeah, you know I was thinking yesterday. I don't think they have a wing in Cooperstown for 3B coaches, but Tim Flannery would be a great one to get one started. Maybe he can at least make the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame someday. There is one of those, right?

  6. Flan's comment about the Giants staff, "I already told the best coaching staff in baseball how I feel about them. Enjoy them, they are the last of the breed."


  7. I think he is the best 3rd base coach that the Giants have had since I have been following them since 1981. You really appreciate how much he studied and his exuberance down the line to keep coaching runners all the way to the plate. He was so much better than guys like Sunny Jackson. I wonder if there are stats on third base coaches (percentage of runners thrown out at 3rd and home or something like that). He always seemed to know what it was right to take the risk and when it was right to be prudent.

    Gotta love what he did for the community and for Bryan Snow. All the best Flan!

  8. I found a page that shows baserunning stats for teams. I looked at 2 categories. OOB3 and OOBHM. These are the number of times we were thrown out at 3rd and Home on a hit or a sac fly. OOB3 was 14 times which was right in the middle of the pack. However, we were only thrown out at home 12 times which is tied for 3rd place. Not too shabby. I guarantee most of those were Morse and Posey trying to stretch it. Anyways, Flannery is a good third base coach and obviously a good human being. Sad to see him go. It would be nice to see a Giants guy there such as Shawon Dunston


  9. Seems like the Giants might somewhat be victims of their own success... Panda wanting a new challenge, and now Flan wanting to reflect, enjoy, and go out on a high note (pun intended). Flan certainly deserves to do whatever makes him whole- heart and character like his are sorely lacking in sport and I hope that the young Giants under his tutelage have learned as much about life from him as they have about baseball.

    1. The Giants are definitely nearing the end of a cycle. Management's challenge is the transition to the next cycle.

  10. Wow. Diamondback just signed Yasmany Tomas. 6 years/$68MM. I have to say that I am pretty disappointed unless they have other wheels turning. He was by far the best offensive player out there without a QO and we need offense. Hopefully they saw a flaw in all of their visits and not because they got outbid. Where do we go with LF from here? Markakis? Trade for Justin Upton (previously reported they asked about him)? Rasmus? Melk Man? Yeah, those options don't sound so good to me either.

    1. That's quite a bit less than projected. Hmmm, if that was the best offer maybe the many teams who saw him work out didn't believe he was as good as the hype made him out to be. In any case, time to move on...