Fun Winter Meetings stuff: every Major League manager with the exception of Charlie Manuel and Joe Torre are being made available to the media at set times over the next three days. Today we’ve got Bobby Cox and Jim Riggleman at 2PM, Piniella and Dave Trembley at 2:30, Ozzie Guillen and Terry Francona at 3:00, Ron Washington and Dusty Baker at 3:30 and Don Wakamatsu all by himself at 4PM. Apparently he gets his own deal because the world financial markets hang on Wakamatsu’s every word or something.
I’m going to hang around and may even ask some questions. If any of you have anything you’re just dying to learn from these guys, put it in the comments. Assuming it’s not the sort of thing that’s going to get me punched out, I’ll ask it.
As for reporting it: I’m not going to parrot back all of that “we just take it one game at a time” and “we’re really excited about next year” baloney. If someone says anything interesting, however, I’ll pass it along.
The early money is on Ozzie Guillen.
The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday afternoon that former major leaguer Dan Haren has been named the organization’s new pitching strategist. The role will include working with the front office, the major league coaching staff, and the analytics department.
Haren, 36, ended his 13-year playing career after the 2015 season. He finished with a 153-131 record and a 3.75 ERA across 2,419 2/3 innings.
Since retiring, Haren has been one of the more enjoyable players to follow on Twitter. He promised to teach his disciples how to tweet as part of his new responsibilities.
For a guy who won a World Series MVP Award and has been to a couple of All-Star Games, it’s amazing how many stories have been written about Pablo Sandoval‘s off-the-field exploits compared to his on-the-field exploits. Specifically, stories about his conditioning. Or lack of conditioning. Of him getting into shape, falling out of shape and getting back into shape again. It’s been this way since he emerged as an everyday player in 2009.
And it continues anew:
There is no claim here that Sandoval is, in fact, in The Best Shape of His Life. However, longtime BSOHL fans know that the claim is not about the magic words being used. The idea is that, in the offseason, players with something to prove will routinely make an effort to create the impression that they are a new man. Often it is from claiming that one is in The Best Shape of His Life. Often it comes from surrogates talking about how many pounds of fat one has lost or pounds of pure muscle one has added. Sometimes — as here — it comes in the form of showing post-workout photos.
Whatever the purpose of the photo, Sandoval is certainly looking good compared to where he was last spring:
Or at the end of the 2015 season:
Even if this is part of a plan to get Sandoval some good press heading into the 2017 season, I’m happy to see that he appears to be recovered from shoulder surgery and appears to be taking good care of himself and is thinking about his baseball futrue.
Either way, expect the Panda Weight Watch to continue at Red Sox spring training come February.