As part of this blogs regular series concerning the frequent links between baseball and philosophy I will today be looking at the career of Friedrich Nietzsche. Whilst Nietzsche is best known as the philosopher who claimed that "God is dead" or for his theories on master/servant moralities it’s also true that a large part of his thinking was influenced by the one season that he spent as the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. I’ve been trawling through the archives of his press conferences and have unearthed some of his quotes that would later go on to influence his wider thinking.Here are just a few;
"All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking" Nietzsche was a enthusiastic proponent of patient hitting "I would rather my power hitter walked 3 times than hit 12 home runs" he told a perplexed Milwaukee press corps in his first interview.
"Two great European narcotics-alcohol and Christianity"- This was Nietzsche’s answer when asked the reasons for the Brewer’s slump after the All Star game.
"There are no facts only interpretations"- Nietzsche would scream this into the face of any umpire who’s call he disputed. This was immediately followed by him being ejected from the game.
"The future influences the present just as much as the past"- Nietzsche was no fan of scouting reports. One exasperated scout said "Whenever I take him information about a player he throws my report into the trash and says ‘that’s what he did last week, but can you tell me what he will do next week,that is what I need to know".
"It is always consoling to think of suicide;in that way one gets through many a bad night"- Nietzsche’s Hall of Fame speech was recently voted "least popular speech ever" by readers of the New York Post.
"I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance"- Nietzsche was forced to resign as hitting coach for the Cardinals after he refused to attend games that clashed with "So You Think You Can Dance?" and he was well known for wearing an "I love Cat Deeley t-shirt". This infatuation was to end in disgrace when Miss Deeley was forced to take out a restraining order against Nietzsche resulting in him being unable to be within 2 miles of the Fox studios.
"God is a thought that makes crooked all that is straight"- In a desperate attempt to convince the renowned fastball pitcher Bobby "Fastball" Fredericks to throw a curve ball every now and then, Nietzsche abandoned his principles and evoked the power of God.
"It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it"- Nietzsche constantly urged his pitchers to retaliate against even the vaguest of inside pitches from the opposition.In his view the opposing batter represented everything that was weak about contemporary Christian values "Kill him! Kill him!" he could often be heard screaming from the dug out.
"Women are considered deep…..women are not even shallow" Nietzsche hated the "*touch* em all" line of clothing and was furious when his own "Will to Power" brand failed to make an impact on the market.
All of the above quotes and autobiographical information have been taken from the forthcoming book " Nietzsche and the Brewers-the untold story of the worst manager in baseball history".