DAVID ROSS REUNITES WITH LESTER IN
SAN DIEGO CHICAGO
“It was a really weird day. I went to sleep and got up the next morning and my agent told me the Padres had made another offer. I told him I was going to workout and we would talk when I got out. I literally got out of the gym, turned on my radio and they said David Ross had committed to the Padres. I couldn’t believe it. So I got my agent on the phone right away to try and figure that out. For about two hours of my day, it was crazy.”
—Catcher David Ross, on hearing about an incorrect report that he had signed with San Diego. The 38-year-old catcher had told the Red Sox that he was going to verbally commit to the Cubs earlier in the day, and signed a two-year, $5 million deal with Chicago shortly after. (Rob Bradford, WEEI.com)
“I think the two-year deal … I don’t know what pushed the Red Sox out, but I think the two-year deal may have been a little more than they wanted to go, to be honest with you. They didn’t say that, but I think that’s where they were at. I don’t know if Lester had anything to do with it. They told me it was independent of Lester. They didn’t stop their pursuit of me after Lester signed. But they might have been more aggressive if Lester came back. I don’t know that, but if I were them … I think about that, trying to take me out of it and trying to be real and see what an organization would want or what would I give me if I were an organization.”
—Ross, on why he didn’t end up re-signing with Boston.
“Kind of the deciding factor with Chicago was that I have some friends there, Joe Maddon’s approach to the game and how he treats players. That is a really good dynamic for my family. If you get in at midnight you’re not expected to be at the yard at 2 o’clock. Those sort of things weighed on my mind a little more. The day game, talking to [Ryan] Dempster was more of cool thing that I thought. You get to have breakfast with your kids and then also have dinner with them. But the two-year offer, and [Eric] Hinske is a good buddy of mine … Knowing how the Red Sox treat their players and how they do everything first-class made it a tough decision. They try and take as much off their plate as possible so they can just focus on baseball, and I know Theo is big into the mindset of how they think and what they should focus on … To me, there were more positives in Chicago for me and my family.”
TREVOR BAUER CONTINUING ANALYTICAL APPROACH DURING OFFSEASON
“I'll know where each pitch ended up and I'll color code each pitch [on video], if it's a fastball or it's a slider or whatever, and I'll know exactly what it looks like. What pitches look the same for a lefty? What pitches look the same for a righty? Are they the same? … Like, maybe a slider and a fastball to a lefty look the exact same because of the angle he's looking at, but to a righty you can see a difference. So, then I can tailor-fit what pitches I throw and where to make them all appear the same, make my delivery appear the same, things like that.”
—Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, on one of his detailed setups he’ll utilize while pitching during the offseason. Bauer has a camera set up in each batter’s box mounted at eye level in addition to a camera mounted from the center-field view, and he will overlay the pitches on video to analyze the variance in movement. (Jordan Bastian, MLB.com)
“He was working on the axis of spin. So they had that one pitch looping on a big-screen TV in there over and over and over again, just for a visual-type aid. I think Trevor values the break, the late movement and the speed.”
—Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, recalling Bauer studying a specific two-seam fastball thrown by Marcus Stroman last year.
"I don't think he can add any more pitches. He's already invented some.”
—Callaway, on whether Bauer has been working on adding any new pitches to his repertoire.
“I think they've not only been open to what I'm doing, there's been a sharing of information. Me getting information to them. Them giving information to me. It makes the conversation progress more rapidly when there's sharing from both sides.”
—Bauer, on working with Derek Falvey, Cleveland’s director of operations, and with Eric Binder, an assistant to the player development staff.
“I'm blessed in a way that I can process information. That's just how my brain works. If I wasn't processing information about baseball, it would be about building a quad copter or audio engineering or whatever else has interest to me.”
—Bauer, on not worrying too much about information overload.
“The last at-bat in the 2011 playoffs. I knew it the second — immediately — as soon as Ryan (Howard) grounded out. After that game, my parents where in town, I told my dad, 'It's over, that's it.'”
—Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, on when he knew that the club’s window had closed. (Jim Salisbury, CSNPhilly.com)
“I got released without the team even calling me. I looked on the Internet and saw my name next to 'Transactions' — five days before I was supposed to report," Holdzkom said. "Yeah, that was bad.”
—Pirates reliever John Holdzkom, who recalls being released 5-6 times, on being released by an independent team, the Laredo Lemurs. (Tom Singer, MLB.com)
“I said something a little sarcastic and I guess it got taken a little further than it needed to be taken,” Miley said. “They did not require you to be gluten free. They would like you to be a little healthier than I would think, than I would expect, but no, they definitely don’t require you to be gluten free. They just really worry about your health a lot. … I’m a big fan of old-school guys. You can’t tell me Babe Ruth ever stopped eating gluten.”
—Red Sox starting pitcher Wade Miley, clarifying previous quotes about himself and the Diamondbacks butting heads over his diet. (Jerry Spar, WEEI.com)
“If he were Cuban, he’d get $100 million.”
—Agent Alan Nero, on his client, Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang. The Pirates won the bid for Kang’s exclusive negotiating rights (Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
“Starlin was cleared of everything. Castro’s been cleared and not implicated at all. The police didn’t detain him. They didn’t arrest him. He went in to make sure they knew he wasn’t involved.”
—Agent Paul Kinzer, on his client, Starlin Castro, who was questioned by police in the Dominican Republic regarding a shooting at a club (Becky Schlikerman and Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun Times)
“It's been hard on us, the extreme outcomes. Obviously I like the upside, but the downside is hard to deal with, painful for everyone, and it's not at all what we want to be. It's not at all what I've said we want to be in the past. We want to build something that's got a chance to sustain and be good every year.”
—Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, on the ups and downs that his club has experienced over the past three seasons. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)
“It's something that's been ongoing for four or five years. Every winter I would get an MRI to see where it was, and it would be a case where surgery would be recommended, but I held off because it's a newer surgery, and I could play through it. This year in the second half, it really started bothering me — to the point that when I'd get out of bed, I could barely walk. I wasn't bouncing back the same way.”
—Cardinals outfielder Peter Bourjos, on how his hip injury impacted his play in 2014 (Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com)
“I started off with [Tom] Candiotti and Charlie Hough. I talk to Charlie Hough a lot. I work with Tim [Wakefield] and talk to him a lot during the season, and in Spring Training, I talk to him every day when he is down there. I talk to R.A. [Dickey] a little bit. He's still in our division, so it is a little different. I know if I picked up the phone and called him he would answer, I just don't want to bother him. He's still in the game, so when you have Wakefield and other guys that are out of the game, I feel like it is easier to find time with them and help me out.”
—Red Sox reliever Steven Wright, on his experience with fellow knuckleballers. (Quinn Roberts, MLB.com)