Manager Tim Bogar joins the Travelers this season after spending last year as the Boston Red Sox’s bench coach. Prior to that, he spent two seasons as the first-base coach, and his first Big League job was quality assurance coach in 2008 with Tampa Bay, the 2008 AL champion. Bogar coached in the Minor Leagues with the Cleveland and Houston organizations from 2004 through 2007. He also played nine years in the Major Leagues with the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers as a utility infielder and batted .228 with 24 home runs over 701 games.
Did you always know you wanted to be a manager?
I always knew I wanted to stay in the game. Being a manager was part of my forte as player since I was a utility player. I spent lots of time watching the other managers and their thought processes.
Has it been hard or not coming back to the minors after coaching in the Big Leagues?
It’s been refreshing coming back down. I’ve always thought AA was one of the purest levels of baseball with the veteran guys and the up and comers. It’s fun to talk and teach and see what you are teaching come to fruition.
Talking with the players, they all comment how they like to play for you. What’s your secret?
My personality is more laid back and basically I’ve even keel. What I learned in the Big Leagues watching each manager was the consistency and compassion each had. The players have to know you care about them more than just baseball players. Communication is huge, and it’s important to be consistent and compassionate.
What are your highlights as a player and a manager?
As a player, when I was with Chicago, my son T.J, who turns 21 soon, was with me on his birthday, and I hit two home runs. As a coach it was the year I spent coaching with Tampa Bay because I got to experience the World Series. That was really neat.
So, how does this work with the family?
For the family, it is tough and difficult. People see the money and the glory, but the family life is very difficult. My children are grown, so my wife stays back home for their activities It’s tough, but they don’t know any different, and we try to make it as normal as possible. T.J. is working for the Travelers this year, and my younger son has come out. (Bogar has two boys, 21 and 13 and two daughters, 15 and 11). I can only do this because my wife (Wendy) is so strong.
How do you figure out where you are going to live?
The game dictates that. For a while, our home base was in Illinois because we are from that area. When I went to Boston, we moved there. Depending on my next step depends on where we will be next. We are trying to figure that out. The main thing is to make something stable for the kids.
Goals for the future?
I would love to manage in the Big Leagues, but if it never happens, that is O.K. The main thing is to help as many young players experience what I got to experience with longevity and some success.