Ozzie Guillen had his presser at the time time Terry Francona was talking. Why anyone would listen to Terry Francona when Ozzie Guillen is talking I have no idea. The highlights:
- Before he sits down he goes to the stenographer and asks “you gonna record me? You better get those fingers moving fast.”
- As he sits, he switches off his cell phone: “I gotta put this on vibrate. Make sure Obama doesn’t call me when I’m talkin’ to you guys.”
- Ozzie, you going to be busy during the meetings? “Ask Kenny. I’m not doin’ nothin. Kenny’s doin’ all the work.”
- Asked about Omar Vizquel’s role on the team: “He’s not going to be a coach. All you guys say he’ll be a coach or something. I got coaches. He’s gonna play third base, shortstop, second base. Joey Cora hits the fungoes.”
- Asked about Bobby Jenks: “When you got have a body like Bobby — I’m not going to use that word, fat, — but when you’re a big guy, people are going to say things when you play bad and won’t say nothin’ when you play good. That’s just how it goes.”
- Asked if he’s talked to Jenks much this offseason: “I don’t talk to players in the winter. I don’t talk to nobody. I get enough of players all summer.”
- Guillen was asked about his starting outfield, and he started naming guys . . .Quentin in right . . . Andruw Jones will play . . . and then he paused. “Ah, I don’t know all our players. Ask Joey Cora. He knows all of our players.”
- There’s this one Japanese reporter who is going to every manager and asking first, what did you think of Hideki Matsui’s postseason, and then follows up by asking if they’d consider adding Matsui this winter. Guillen: “Talk to Kenny. I don’t tell Kenny who to sign or who to release. Wait, that’s not true. I asked him to release a couple of guys.”
- Ozzie goals for the Winter Meetings: “I don’t have any goals. I come to hang out in the lobby. Talk to you guys. Stay away from my wife.”
- What’s your thoughts on replay, Ozzie? “I like to see the umps do their jobs and I don’t like delays. But if there is replay it will save me money because every time I argue it costs me $500 or $1000.”
As he leaves he says that he’s going to succeed Bud Selig as Commissioner in 2012. “And they’ll be no more Winter Meetings. And no more spring training.”
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.