MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke likes to have open lines of communication in his clubhouse. His office is always open to his players, and he prefers to keep them in the loop rather than leave them in the dark.
That philosophy was on display Tuesday night, when Roenicke went to reliever Francisco Rodriguez in the clubhouse shortly after the Brewers beat the Astros. Roenicke wanted to make sure he was on the same page as Rodriguez, who has been struggling and made a rare appearance in a blowout after warming up and not pitching in a close game the night before.
"When things bother me, I need to go talk to the player," Roenicke said. "I think it's huge. I always guessed when I played, and it's very uncomfortable."
Much has changed in terms of communication since Roenicke's playing days, he said. If a manager wasn't talking to you, you didn't question him.
And as far as going to the skipper and asking for more playing time, "You didn't even think about doing that."
"But things are different now," Roenicke said, sitting in his office at Miller Park. "It's better for me. It's way better for the player, because now if you do have something on your mind and things are bothering you as a player, you can come in. And these guys all know that they can come in here, and I'm not going to chew on them for coming in and talking to me. I understand, so I want them to be open with me and let me know what's on their mind. And good or bad, I'm going to be honest with them; they know that. So even if it's not what they want to hear, I'm still going to tell them."
Roenicke said he didn't think anything about the current state of baseball changed the way players and managers interact. Instead, he said that's just the culture of today.
"Students, kids, athletes, they all want answers," Roenicke said. "They don't want to just be told what to do, and I don't have a problem with that. I think if you explain things to them and they understand it, I think they're able to accept that a lot easier than me just saying, 'No, this is the way we do it. We've always done it this way, it's the way we're doing it and that's it.' I don't think that works out very well."