While no one in Los Angeles seems to much care about the Dodgers letting Hanley Ramirez leave, in San Francisco the Giants community is reeling at losing a beloved player and a respected coach. The more painful departure is that of popular third baseman Pablo Sandoval — nickname The Kung-Fu Panda — who is going to the Red Sox after several seasons as one of the most popular and marketable Giants. I'm struck more by the message from third-base coach Tim Flannery, who has decided he no longer wants to spend seven months a year on baseball fields and airplanes. For those of us in Los Angeles, Flannery deserves our respect for using his band to raise money for Bryan Stow, the Giants fan left with brain damage in a parking lot beating at Dodger Stadium. And now for this public decision to leave the sport after 33 years as a player, minor league manager and major league coach, following his graduation from Chapman College.
Flannery, who is 57, told the San Francisco Chronicle "that he is physically and emotionally spent, has done all he wants to do on the baseball field, wants to spend more time with his wife and family and devote his energies to raising money for all manner of causes through his music. In short, the all-encompasing parade of baseball seasons finally got to him."
“I call it the god-damned blessed road,” Flannery said. “I’ve buried friends. I’ve put friends in rehab. I’ve watched marriages dissolve. There’s a lot of collateral damage in this lifestyle I’ve had for 33 years. I’m going to send myself home safely.”
He has had surgery on many parts of the right side of his body, including his knee last year.
He revealed Tuesday that he has had double-vision in one eye since spring training and needs to take care of that.
Flannery has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Bryan Stow, the Giants fan injured in a beating in 2011. He plans to expand his fundraising in a project called Love Harder that will include shows in the Bay Area in January….
Said Flannery, “I just feel I did it in the baseball world. I was as fulfilled helping the Stow family as much as anything in my life.”
Flannery gets personal and revealing on his Facebook page, per the Chronicle:
This baseball life is a blessing, but collateral damage comes with it. After winning our 3rd World Title, (and I have no dreams of managing), I just didn’t know what else I could give as a 3rd base coach, especially at the level I demand myself to perform at….
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, to try and bring a World Championship to San Francisco. When I came there 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 going to just do my job and hide.
Well of course that didn’t happen . . . You people don’t allow that. You have become part of my soul and life forever. I will be forever grateful for your support, and love, and how you treated me, and my family.
I will love you forever San Francisco…..in tears, humbly, I thank you. You have changed my life, please know I gave you everything I had, every single moment, of every single day.