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.”
In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.
Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.
In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.
In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.
Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.
The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.
MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.
Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.
“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”
Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.
MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.
It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.