TigsTown Q&A: Mud Hens Manager Larry Parrish

Larry Parrish has been participating in big league and minor league baseball for many years - and he's clearly found a profession he can excel in, as he was named The Sporting News 2005 Minor League Manager of the Year. Toledo Correspondent Tim Law spoke with Parrish about his managing style and the game he's dedicated to.

TigsTown: What is your approach to successfully managing a ball club?

Larry Parrish: It's being able to provide a balance philosophy of winning, having a good attitude and being able to properly teach the players , especially at this level how to become good ball players.

TT: In a typical game situation do you play stats or go with hunches when forced to make a crucial decision?

LP: That's a difficult question to answer, because it's a little of both. Every situation is different.

TT: What sets this years 2006 ‘Hens team apart from last years team that took home the Governor's Cup?

LP: Last years team was a slugging team. We were very strong throughout the order, especially the middle of the order. This years club has been built around pitching more than hitting. I don't believe we have the speed on this club that we had last season either with guys like Granderson moving up.

TT: How did your pro ball career contribute to your success as a manager?

LP: I think it gave me creditability to become a teacher. I think you need that before you can begin to get the trust in young players who are looking to you to provide some guidance.

TT: What do you look for in a young and upcoming ballplayer?

LP: Attitude is number one in my book. But the most important quality in a player is hitting. If you can not hit, you will not make it in pro ball.

TT: Who were some of your heroes and mentors when you were growing up who contributed to your career as a ballplayer?

LP: My father was without a doubt my biggest influence, not only in ball, but in life as well. He spent a lot of time coaching me and showing about this game.

TT: As a player you enjoyed a successful career in both the National and American Leagues. What was the difference between them?

LP: The National League when I played was a far more talented league. It was about speed, great pitching and smaller strike zone. When I went to the American League with Texas, it was all about slugging and popping home runs out of the park. Hitting was the biggest thing.

TT: You were voted the 2005 Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year. What did that honor mean to you?

LP: It is always an honor to be recognized for your accomplishments of course. But to me, that was a team award in my eyes, because without the players, a manager is nothing.

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