“Time to turn the lights on and play some games in front of the camera…” Jody Davis Q&A

Davis, Jody.jpgYou can’t have peanut butter without jelly or salsa without tortilla
chips. With baseball, you can’t have the start to a season without Media
Day. Today in front of various local television and radio stations, the
2010 Boise Hawks roster and coaching staff answered various baseball
related questions, signed a couple dozen baseballs, and even
choreographed some sound bytes for our video log on YouTube.


When I wasn’t getting interviews set up and shaking hands (I shook more
hands today than a politician at a primary), I had a chance to sit down
and conduct a one-on-one interview with Hawks Manager, Jody Davis. Jody
is joining some elite company this season because he is only the second
former Major Leaguer in Hawks history to manage the team.

Jody was a former player with the Chicago Cubs through the 80’s. He
helped the Cubs win the National League’s Eastern Division Title in 1984
and that same year, was selected to the NL All-Star team. Since
becoming a manager, Jody has found championship success. In 2008, he
helped lead the Daytona Cubs to a 73-59 and they also won the League
Championship.

Being a roving catching instructor, Jody has been to Boise before. The
city and the fans left a great impression on him.

“Boise has been a great sports town and they have really supported the
Hawks. These kids have been working hard down in Arizona and they are
excited about turning the lights on and playing some games that count,”
said Davis.

At the Single A level, it is tough to balance winning titles and
developing talent. The hope is that both come hand in hand, but Jody
said it can be a challenge to do both.

“Developing the talent is the number one priority, but everyone that
puts that uniform on is competitive and they have been trying to win
since little league. You can never take that out of the game,” said
Jody. “There are a lot of unwritten organizational rules that the fans
don’t see or know about, but you are trying to win the game within those
organizational rules. As a manager, I feel that winning is developing.
You develop winners as well as players.”

One of Jody’s strengths as a manager is that he knows his talent and
what he is putting on the field.

“I think this team is not going to have a lot of power, but that we are
going to depend on our pitching and our defense,” said Jody.
“Offensively, we are going to have to do the little things and most
importantly, play the situations. We have a few guys that can hit home
runs, but we are not going to be a home run hitting team.”

One of the things that the Hawks provide that no other team in Northwest
League provides is host families. Host families are families that the
players can stay with during their time in Boise. Having this program
set up is a huge help to Jody.

“A lot of these kids have been in Arizona since and this is the first
time that they have been away from home for this length of time,” said
Jody. “One of the great things is that the host families bring them into
their home so they get a little bit of that home atmosphere. We really
can’t say enough and thank them enough. The fact that they are in good
homes is a big relief to me.”

13 of the players on the Hawks roster are from outside the United
States. Language barriers can present challenges, but Jody is able to
work around them.

“We have several different languages working in the clubhouse but we are
able to communicate well on the field,” said Jody.

It’s no secret that Jody had success as a player. Being a former player
turned manager, it can be a challenge to get the players to level you
want them performing at. But Jody seems ready to take on the challenge.

“We are just here to help these kids out and develop them. We are going
to go through growing pains but we are here to teach them and help them
get to the next level,” said Jody.

The Hawks will begin their quest for another Northwest League Title
Friday on the road against Yakima. Having already met these guys and
seen the coaches they have behind them, the season definitely looks
bright.  

Till next time…..

Chad Bates
Media Relations Assistant
Boise Hawks

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