Potent quotables: 'I lost it'

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“Once it went through the lights, I lost it. There’s
really nothing else you can do. I mean, it’s not like I took my eye off
of if. People were saying they’ve seen many, many balls lost here. It’s
not the first. It’s not going to be the last.”




– The Metrodome isn’t going away without a fight, and neither are the Twins. Don Kelly lost an Orlando Cabrera flyball in the lights
during the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Due to the misplay,
Denard Span was able to advance to third base and Cabrera reached
second. Both runners came in to score on a Jason Kubel single, as the
Twins cut the Tigers lead to two games with a dramatic 6-2 win.




”I felt two hits. One was me catching it, and the second one was me
hitting the fence. And I knew when I looked up after I hit
the fence and didn’t see the ball, it was going to be bad.”




– In a play that is sure to be included on blooper reels between innings at baseball stadiums from now until the end of time, Bobby Scales gave Brendan Ryan an assist on his fifth-inning home run on Saturday afternoon.



”I see why he won a Cy Young. I like the attitude he has. He’ll help
this club. The people playing behind him better be ready. Guys should
learn from him. He prepares himself and expects his teammates to do it.
You have to prepare and back him up.”




– Ozzie Guillen reflects on Jake Peavy’s successful debut
against the Royals on Saturday night. Peavy allowed three runs over
five innings while walking two and striking out five in a 13-3 victory.

“That’s just a number. If you didn’t tell me today, I
wouldn’t realize. I would just go home, try to get some sleep and a
muscle relaxer, and forget about it. To lose 100 games in the big leagues is a great honor, to be honest.
Many people don’t have the opportunity to lose three games, two games,
or maybe none. I’m a very blessed man.”

– Pedro Martinez, upon learning that he took his 100th career loss
against the Braves on Saturday night. He gave the first-place Phillies
a bit of a scare when he tweaked his neck during an at-bat in the second inning, leaving after just three innings, but he should be on track for his next start.

2017 Winter Meetings Preview

Craig Calcaterra
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — The baseball world has descended on the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Disney World for the 2017 Winter Meetings. There’s a lot of work to be done.

The two biggest names on the market — Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton — have found new homes, but so far only 33 of baseball’s 249 free agents have signed, almost all of them minor. Still looking for a home: Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jake Arrieta, CC Sabathia, Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis, Lance Lynn, Greg Holland and many, many more. In early November we ran down the top free agents, position-by-position, to help you get a jump on who is available and what your team is looking at as it seeks to fill its needs.

It’s not just players looking for homes this week, however. It’s teams looking to make up for their failures in the Ohtani and Stanton derbies. The Cardinals and Giants both went big to get Stanton and came up empty. The Giants were likewise in Ohtani, but no dice. Baseball’s worst team in 2017 is obviously willing to spend some money to improve, and now they will look elsewhere to spend it. The Red Sox weren’t in on those two, but since it’s biggest rival landed Giancarlo Stanton, GM Dave Dombrowski will no doubt be kicking the tires hard on J.D. Martinez or Eric Hosmer to try to keep pace. The Mariners acquired a lot of international pool money in their quest for Ohtani, but they could still use a starting pitcher or two, so perhaps they may look at, say, Jake Arrieta? Lance Lynn? Yu Darvish? Well, they should, but who knows if they will.

Despite the sheer number of available free agents, this is a thin free agent class in terms of talent. That means that, for a team to improve significantly, they may be better served by making a trade. The Marlins already traded Stanton, but their fire sale does not seem to be over. Could they deal the newly-acquired Starlin Castro? Christian Yelich? Marcel Ozuna? Bet on yes, and bet on any team wishing to spend prospects instead of free agent cash to take what Miami is unloading. Other potential trade candidates: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, Rays starter Chris Archer and third baseman Evan Longoria and Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler.

Trade deals and free agent negotiations take place behind closed doors at the Swan and Dolphin. One of the major public activities of the Winter Meetings is when all 30 of the managers meet and greet the press. This year there are six new men at the helm: Dave Martinez in Washington, Mickey Callaway with the Mets, Gabe Kapler — Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager — in Philly, Alex Cora in Boston, Aaron Boone with the Yankees and Rob Gardenhire with the Tigers. I’ll be in the scrum for a lot of these guys — they do them two at a time so I can’t see everyone — and will let you know if they say anything fun. Or if any of them slug me for saying that they’re ugly.

Outside of the transactions and the Hall of Fame stuff, we have the more mundane Winter Meetings business. Indeed, the vast majority of the people at the Meetings aren’t there for transactions. They’re there to network, seek jobs and discuss the business of baseball like any other industry convention. Ever year we hear about a rule change or a proposal for future rule changes at the Meetings. The big one everyone is talking about this offseason is the possibility of a pitch clock.

The final event of the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at 8am on Thursday morning. You likely have no idea who most of the players who will be selected are, but here’s a good place to start your research on that. If your team takes someone in the draft, the most important thing to know is that he’ll either be on the big league roster all year or he’ll have to be returned to his original team. Well, they could be stashed on the disabled list with phantom injuries so they won’t have to be returned, but no team would ever do that, would they? Perish the thought.

So, yes, there’s a lot to be done. I’ll be on the scene down here at Disney World, bringing you all the best hot stove business we have to offer and, as usual, some more fun odds and ends from baseball’s biggest offseason event.