Buster Posey just laughs.
“Flan is Flan,’’ the Giants’ catcher said. “He’s pretty old-school.’’
Tim Flannery is roaming the clubhouse and one couldn’t tell if the Giants were close to another title or wrestling with the Padres to avoid the NL West cellar.
He encourages a player here, offers advice there and works the room as if Monday’s game is the most important one in a disappointing season.
Flannery, the popular former Padres player and coach, does it with amazing regularity.
“He always comes to the ball park, every day, with a smile on his face,’’ Posey said. “The best way to explain it is he’s a true baseball man.’’
One could talk baseball with Flannery for hours. Or his love for surfing near his longtime Leucadia home.
I could even argue with him about prep baseball. When Flannery was at Anaheim High and I played at Orange, for some reason he was selected All-League at second base. Maybe Flannery hitting .740 and me checking in at .250 had something to do with it.
But Flannery is more the baseball and beaches. His passion for music is aiding a family that he never knew before the 2011 season’s opening day.
Now Flannery can’t imagine ever forgetting them.
“I get these amazing texts out of the blue from the family and I just shake my head,’’ Flannery said. “They want to make sure I’m doing all right. I’m going to keep helping as long as I can do it.’’
His new family is that of Bryan Stow’s. He’s the Giants fan savagely beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after a game, suffering permanent brain damage. The former paramedic emerged from a lengthy coma, but continues to need care and the assistance that people with the conscious of Flannery provide.
“Bryan can talk a little, but the short-term memory is gone,’’ Flannery said. ”He was getting all these treatments, all these exercises and having access to amazing rehabilitating services and the insurance ran out. And they just sent him away.’’
That’s where Flannery started plucking to produce funds. He did six concerts which raised $200,000, many with former Grateful Dead singer Bob Weir lending a hand.
“People found out about the music and said, ‘We really like it, we are going to put our stamp on it and we are going to help the cause,’’’ Flannery said.
Soon Flannery will release “Outside Lands” his 12th CD. Weir is on it, as his Jerry Jeff Walker. It’s a tale of the Giants’ amazing journey last year, when they survived six elimination games to win their second World Series in three years, this after going 56 seasons without one.
Guess where the CD’s proceeds are headed?
“All the money will go to the Stow Foundation,’’ Flannery said, with a tinge of pride and sadness. “He’s run out of insurance money and had to be taken out of the rehabilitation centers and brought home. But they don’t have what they need to take care of him.’’
Flannery, a third-base coach for 15 years, knows all about sending people home. But this is different.
“You can tell he has a good heart,’’ Posey said. “Even though he cares so much about the success of the team, he can separate baseball from other things going on in his life and the world. With the Bryan Stow tragedy, he has done a lot to help his family out.’’
Flannery wants to do more. ”Outside Lands” allows just that, with numerous Giants promising to match whatever it raises.
“It’s my way of helping,’’ Flannery, 55, said. “I love the family so much. They became caregivers the moment it happened and their lives were changed forever. Not one of them has walked from the responsibility of taking care of their own.’’
Knowing Flannery for some 38 years makes me smile. And you can make Flannery, and the Stow family, do likewise by buying “Outside Lands.’’
Jay Paris can be heard talking Chargers football on 1090 AM on Monday and Friday mornings. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter, @jparis_sports.
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