DODGERS CONTINUE FRONT OFFICE OVERHAUL
“I don’t think that’s necessarily fair. I think all of these guys are incredibly well-rounded and appreciate all that goes into making players what they are and evaluating players. So we’re going to have really strong, good evaluative voices that are more focused on the subjective and couple that with the objective information that we’ll be able to generate. For us, information is king and it’s about having people that appreciate that and can synthesize that information to put us in the best position to make decisions.”
—Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, on any characterization that the front office had been assembled primarily on numbers crunching. Within the last week, the Dodgers hired Farhan Zaidi as the club’s general manager, Josh Byrnes as its senior vice president of baseball operations, Gabe Kapler as its farm director, and Billy Gasparino as its amateur scouting director. (Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register)
“I view any new stat, any new metric with an inherent skepticism. My view of statistical models … they are our attempt to create this mathematical representation of a real world that’s impossibly complex. Every mathematical model is a gross simplification of reality. So every time you see a metric you’re always asking yourself not just what it’s telling you but what it’s missing – because there’s always something it’s missing. That’s something we’ve talked about a lot – having an awareness of the limitations of those things, knowing what they tell us but also what they’re missing.”
“Our quest isn't just evaluating how good players are, it's how good players are going to be," he said. "How are you going to identify guys that are going to break through? How are you going to identify guys that make a mechanical adjustment and turn into a completely different player? That's why you need this sort of holistic approach in baseball operations, because otherwise you're going to miss out on a whole swath of opportunities.”
—Zaidi, on player evaluation. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)
“We need to be the best at everything. I don't think we're in a position to make trade-offs of saying we're a stat organization or a scouting organization.”
“Farhan will focus a lot on the major-league roster and acquisitions. Josh will focus a lot on the scouting and player development part of the operation. But both guys are going to touch everything,” Friedman said. “It’s a massive operation and our vision is to be as good as we possibly can be in every facet—on the development side, domestic, international scouting, the way we use information throughout, the way we prepare at the major-league level. All of those things are incredibly important so having all three of us touching different things at various times puts us in the best position to be not only the best we possibly can be but to do it quickly as well.”
—Friedman, on how he, Zaidi and Byrnes plan to distribute tasks.
RULE 7.13 TO BE REVIEWED DURING OFFSEASON
“If anybody doesn't like it, I want them to stand at home plate and get run over and see what they think.”
—Formers Reds catcher Johnny Bench, on the merits of Rule 7.13, which bans runner-catcher collisions at home plate. (Doug Tribou, NPR)
“I think every foul tip is different. You'll get a good — you know, some bells in your ears, a loud ringing," he says. "And if you really get a good one, you feel your head snap back a little more. A little more neck is involved, and you'll definitely feel it the next day.”
—Red Sox catcher David Ross, on the danger to catchers of foul tips. Though Rule 7.13 was designed to reduce catcher concussions, 11 catchers were diagnosed this past season, equal to the number diagnosed in 2013.
"We're all trying to hit homers when we swing or get base hits. You can't play a professional sport at 100 percent and do away with every injury there is. Things are going to go wrong."
"Where was the catcher positioned? Where was the batter positioned? What type of pitch? What type of foul tip? There are a lot of things that can be done to better understand the problem and then perhaps there can be effective change for the problem."
—Micky Collins, a clinical psychologist and head of the sports medicine concussion program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, on potential concussion-reducing equipment and gameplay changes.
“I wish they would just say it's back to normal and if you go out of the way to run the catcher over, you're suspended.”
—Yankees manager and former catcher Joe Girardi.
“You don't run over shortstops and second basemen. Just because they're not wearing a little shin guard and a chest protector? You ruin careers.”
“It’s kind of interesting to hear all the pitch framing things and how it developed into the big leagues. I really didn’t think there was that much that went into it. For me, my philosophy was, as far as a receiver, just making sure that I was quiet behind the plate, just trying to receive the ball where it was pitched. Not so much trying to drag balls into the zone or out of the zone.”
—Newly acquired Houston catcher Hank Conger, on pitch framing. (Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle)
“It's funny, because my goal is to be a major leaguer, to win a World Series, to win a ring for Cincinnati—hopefully more than one ring—and be an MVP and stuff like that, that's my goal. But at the same time the Reds have a plan for me and I'm just going through the process. I'm not slamming on the gas pedal to rush anything. I know there's a plan drawn out, it's my job to go out and get better every day and everything else will take care of itself. I've never been one to look ahead, even though that's my goal.”
—Reds outfield prospect Jesse Winker, on not looking too far ahead. (C. Trent Rosencrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)
“Seeing that there's been so much change this offseason already, they might not want to bring in further change. [Martinez] would be the guy that could kinda of smooth things over.”
—Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who told MLB Network on Friday that he thought long-time bench coach Dave Martinez would bring a sense of continuity to the team if he was named the new manager. (Bill Chastain, MLB.com)
“I did see the Orioles turned down the (opportunity to extend a) qualifying offer for Markakis. I always thought he was a stud. There’s a bunch of good players out there, but I think we have a bunch of good players on our team at the same time. We’re all young, we’re all trying to make names for ourselves.”
—Houston starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel, on the possibility of the Astros making a splash in the free agent market this offseason. (Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle)
“I never knew how hard it was to play every fourth day. I think pinch-hitting is one of the hardest thing to do in all of sports. Try to make the most of it and by the end of the fourth game, I've been comfortable with it.”
—Padres shortstop prospect Trea Turner, on starting irregularly during the Arizona Fall League. Turner went 5-for-5 for Surprise on Saturday night. (Cash Kruth, MLB.com)
“We are deeply troubled by the charges filed today against Everth Cabrera. We will defer to the judicial system to resolve the legal aspects of this case. As it relates to his future with the Padres, we will make a determination in the near future.”
—The San Diego Padres organization, in a statement to the Associated Press regarding charges for resisting arrest filed against shortstop Everth Cabrera. (Matt Synder, CBSSports.com)