The Monday Night Notebook

beest

A day after Shi Davidi reported that the Blue Jays were pulling out of the Dan Duquette negotiations because Baltimore’s asking price was just too high, The Blue Jays made it official by announcing a one-year contract extension for Paul Beeston to stay on as president this up coming season and that Beeston will step down at the end of the season.

The release also said, “Beeston’s successor will start when he retires. We will not be commenting on the succession process or timing”.

The most interesting thing in the media release was what Ed Rogers had to say:

“Paul is one of baseball’s greats, whose passion for – and commitment to – winning is unparalleled. He is a proud Canadian and we’re proud to have him lead Canada’s team for the upcoming season,  We have been in discussions with Paul about his future with the team since his contract expired in October.  There were many rumours flying about, but it would have been inappropriate to comment on such matters publicly.  Make no mistake – we are elated to have Paul continue to lead the team for this season.”

Sure Ed, tell us how you reeeaaallllyyyy feel about bringing back the Beest for another go around. If you really were in negotiations with Beeston about his future with the ball club then why were you making phone calls to Jerry Reinsdorf and the Orioles for Duquette’s services.

More like you got your hand caught in the cookie jar trying to get another president in place and the cost became too much and the PR disaster that followed just made it worse, and you were left with no choice than to speak now about Beeston coming back in 2015.

As for Beeston, he said;

“I love this ball club and the fans.  I wake up every day thinking about the game and bringing another championship north of the border. I’m excited for the season ahead – we’ve got a great group of guys who are fiercely competitive and hope to be playing ball in October,”

As for what Beeston may have done that may have angered the high-ups at Rogers to have them search for his replacement the Friday roundtable on the FAN 590 had their thoughts, Bob McCown seems to think that the higher ups wanted to fire Alex Anthopoulos at the end of the season and that Beeston wouldn’t go along with that idea. Take it for what it’s worth but it has also been reported that with Beeston’s inner circle slowly leaving the Blue Jays that it has made it easier for the suits at Rogers to call for a change.

 

 

Dan Duquette; The Story That Just Won’t Die, And Just Who Is Calling The Shots Within Rogers?

BOB DECHIARA, USA TODAY SPORTS

BOB DECHIARA, USA TODAY SPORTS

Well, a little over 24 hours ago it sounded like the Dan Duquette to the Blue Jays saga was likely over. But as we’re slowly learning and most likely should have realized it sounds like this story is far from over at this point.

Buster Olney dropped the bomb on twitter Thursday afternoon that if a Duquette deal was finished that the compensation would be substantial and that Jeff Hoffman, who was the Blue Jays first pick in last years draft, had been discussed. The operative word there is discussed, remember the Blue Jays initially asked Boston for Clay Bucholtz when discussing compensation for John Farrell. In the end the Jays ended up with Mike Aviles and there has been precedent set when it comes to compensation for an executive.  When Theo Epstien went to the Cubs all the Red Sox was reliever Chris Carpenter.

Which makes this news of the negotiations even more strange. Bob Elliott wrote Thursday night that the Blue Jays definitely won’t be trading anyone to Baltimore. Elliott points out what most of us have thought all along and that Olney reported last week, Ed Rogers seems to be the man calling the shots in the negotiations for Duquette. Even scarier, reports out of Baltimore are saying that Orioles owner Peter Angelos’ wants more than just Hoffman to let Duquette out of the last four years of his contract with the Orioles.

The truth of the matter is Rogers has totally made a mess of this situation and deserve the ire and egg on the face that they get. The way they’ve treated current President Paul Beeston, who is rumoured to only stick around for the 2015 season, has been an utter disgrace. He has been a loyal foot solider for the Blue Jays, and is one of the original Blue Jays and in no way deserves the treatment that has come his way, regardless of what ever it is that he has done to piss off the high-ups at Rogers.

Even more troubling has been the silence from anyone within Rogers, yes Ed Rogers is the man running the negotiations, though he doesn’t have any authority on day-to day issues within Rogers. Keith Pelley, the head of Rogers Media of which the Blue Jays fall under his control, has been silent and despite his years in running sports television once walked into a meeting and once asked, “what is a relief pitcher” Guy Laurence, who is the CEO at Rogers has also been silent on the matter which I guess shouldn’t be overly surprising considering he hasn’t said a whole lot of anything about the Blue Jays since he’s been in charge of Rogers.

The bigger question that now must be asked, regardless of what pans out with Duquette, is just who is calling the shots for the Blue Jays? Shouldn’t it be the president? I know this case would be different, so one would think that it would be Phil Lind or Pelley, the fact that neither have been involved in the negotiations should answer the question that they are not the ones in on the negotiations. Which leaves us to believe that as of right now Ed Rogers, the man who has no authority of day-to-day operations of any division within Rogers, could single-handedly trade a first round pick and more for an executive. A pretty scary proposition if you ask me.

It is time for some one within Rogers to wake the hell up and fire who ever gave Ed Rogers the key to the decision-making of the Blue Jays before it is too late. One thing is true though, Rogers has sure made themselves look awful during this process and that fact can’t be denied.

The Wednesday Night Notebook

Getty Images

Getty Images

Jose Bautista made an appearance on the Fan 590 morning show, (Listen to the audio here) and was asked about a variety of questions, his future being one of them.

“It’s intriguing. It’s something I think everybody should experience once in their life if they get a chance to, Most guys that end up in free agency have somewhat of a shaky situation in their own particular club, or the money’s not there or something might happen“.

“We’ll see what the future entails for me, I’m not really thinking about that personally right now. I’m more concerned about trying to figure out a way to help the team win more games and seeing what happens after that.”

Bautista also added that he may not necessarily file for free agency when the time comes just to say that he did. Not to worry even thought Bautista’s deal runs out at the end of this season, the Blue Jays do hold a $14 million dollar option for 2016 that the Blue Jays will definitely pick up.

When asked about the moves made this offseason;

We’ve taken steps forward in the last season and we hope to continue to do that, but none of us are going to be satisfied by saying we played a little better than the year before, Everybody’s goal ultimately is to get to the playoffs and play in the World Series in any particular season, and that hasn’t changed one bit.” 

“The team and management can do whatever they want to put a great team on paper but we have to show up and play like we’re capable,”

 

Colby Rasmus took little time to bash the turf at Rogers Centre after signing with the Houston Astros on Tuesday,

“There’s no doubt,” Rasmus told the Houston Chronicle “That turf is rough on your body, especially when you’re playing 50-some games in a row. It can grind on you. I was definitely playing hard, I was diving on that turf. As we know, our pitching staff — I’m not trying to throw no rocks here — our pitching staff struggled at times, so I was on that field a lot running around. Sometimes I don’t think that was credited as much as I feel it should have been.”

Maybe someone should tell Rasmus that Houston’s pitching staff was worse that the Blue Jays staff. Get prepared to a lot more running in 2015 Colby.

Honestly, it’s getting a little old hearing every former Blue Jay on their way out-of-town harp about playing on the turf. Here’s hoping the new turf that is being installed before the season starts in April is as good as advertised when it comes to being much more player friendly than the old turf.

McCown: Beeston To Stay On As President in ’15, New Pres. for ’16

 

Image Courtesy of Sportsnet

Image Courtesy of Sportsnet

Well, take it for what it’s worth but Bob McCown said this afternoon on Prime Time Sports that he’s been told that Paul Beeston will stay on as Blue Jays President until the end of the 2015 season and will depart and that a new President will be installed in time for the 2016 season.

Of course the silence from anyone at Rogers has been very interesting, but then again, maybe the one responsible for starting this mess, Ed Rogers according to many reports, had no authority to do such a move so and maybe in the eyes of the high-ups at Rogers that it was business as usual. Beeston in December told the Star’s Brendan Kennedy that “it was business as usual”.

It could also mean that the Blue Jays have finally realized that Orioles owner Peter Angelos isn’t going to release Dan Duquette from his contract and that Major League Baseball isn’t going to be able to help them in their cause in getting Duquette that they’ve realised it’s time to give up the idee, for this year anyway.

McCown also mentioned that Beeston has pushed for a “40,o0o seat Milwaukee style stadium” which is interesting, maybe the fact that grass will be much harder to grow inside the Dome than Beeston first thought, has changed his mind to privately push for a new stadium. The other problem would also be where to build such a stadium, the downtown area would be out as the growing condo buildings have pretty much eliminated land that could fit a stadium of that size.

In the meantime, get ready to enjoy the Paul Beeston farewell season, which in the realm of things for a man that has been with the club as long as he has is the right thing to do.

The Late Monday Night Notebook

Courtesy of @BlueJays

Courtesy of @BlueJays

The Blue Jays kicked off their annual Winter Tour/Caravan over the weekend. To say it was a rousing success would be an understatement.

The Autograph signing session on Saturday at Eaton Centre on Saturday was so popular that the Blue Jays cut the line-up off before the start time of the event. The success of the event shouldn’t have been in doubt from the start. The Blue Jays were trotting out their most popular player in Jose Bautista and perhaps their most interesting in R.A Dickey, hey you never know when he’ll start politicking for Josh Thole’s roster spot, so of course you would have to believe that the crowds would be huge. But as Joanna from Hum and Chuck summed up her Winter Tour Experience as poorly planned by the Blue Jays, and left not only herself pissed, but also many disappointed Blue Jays fans who took to twitter and other social media sites.

Here is the biggest problem when it comes to the Blue Jays and how they run their Winter Tour, they are considered Canada’s team and most winters plan stops all across the country. Which leaves Toronto with only one stop and with the renewed interest in the Jays, they will run into problems like this every year.

It also got me thinking, and if any of the bean counters at Rogers are reading go ahead and use this idea, it’s time for the Blue Jays to do a fan festival in January, you could open up the Dome to the fan base for Tours of the Clubhouse, Q and A sessions with players and management and even have a bigger autograph session with more players added in. The Blue Jays could charge an admission fee of 10 to 20 dollars which could go towards the Jays Care foundation.

And for the fans in the rest of the country, you could still do the usual Winter Tour. Most Major League teams do some sort of fan festival over the winter and in my opinion it’s time the Blue Jays got on board with that. It’s almost surprising some one in the marketing department down at One Blue Jays Way hasn’t thought of the idea.

 

LATEST ON DUQUETTE

Yes, it is still newsworthy even though the faster this whole thing falls apart the better. Jon Morosi tweeted out today that MLB was not involved in the negotiations between the Blue Jays and Orioles over Dan Duquette. Morosi also tweeted out that MLB believes it is a club issue and if Angelos takes a hard-line it’s unlikely that the MLB would force the Orioles to release Duquette from his contract. If the Blue Jays trade a player off of their Major League roster just for an executive then someone in the Rogers hierarchy needs to be run out-of-town, and Lord help us if the rumours are true and it is Ed Rogers that is the one negotiating. It’s hard to imagine that AA and his baseball people within the Blue Jays management are impressed with each passing day and added rumour to the story.

The Saturday Night Notebook

Image Courtesy of John Lott

Image Courtesy of John Lott

 

Ken Rosenthal tweeted out earlier tonight that with Free Agent pitcher James Shields price falling the Blue Jays are showing interest in the right-hander. I can’t imagine that it will actually happen considering all the reports that have been floated around about the five to seven million that the Jays’ have left to spend this winter, but, stranger things have happened and who knows maybe this five to seven million is nothing more that a made up number that the Blue Jays’ have floated out there to temper expectations on the free agent market.

Speaking of that five to seven million that is supposedly left in the Blue Jays budget Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has said that the arbitration numbers won’t affect that number so I’m guessing that AA had a built-in cushion for the Arbitration process. The Blue Jays could be on the verge of going to arbitration hearings for the first time since 1997 after failing to reach agreements with Danny Valencia and Josh Donaldson. Valencia according to a tweet by Ben Nicholson-Smith, filed at 1.675 million while the Blue Jays offered 1.250 million. I would think that since they are only $425 000 apart that a deal can be reached before a hearing would occur. Josh Donaldson filed at 5.75 while the Blue Jays countered at 4.3. I would think that if they were to reach an agreement before a hearing that somewhere around five million wouldn’t be a crazy thought.

The Blue Jays annual winter tour started on Friday with a session with the media and they didn’t take long to ask Jose Bautista about the clubhouse chemistry. Bautista told the National Post’s John Lott that everything was fine and that they didn’t need to change. Rob McLeod at the Globe and Mail tweeted that Bautista had said that when the club was going through their rough patch that the players where not going to be able to smile “and party all day long like everything was roses”. R.A Dickey had a different view on whether changes needed to be made. “But it was evident that we needed some kind of shakeup,” he said. “We’d stuck with the guys that we had in our clubhouse for two years. I think [management] thought it was time. What did Einstein say the definition of insanity was? Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result?” Dickey told Lott. “I think having guys in the clubhouse all pulling the same rope is really, really integral, I think it all starts with communication and being able to deliver that in a way that is encouraging and positive. So we’ll see what happens.” 

When asked about a possible rift between he and Gibby, Dickey said, “We don’t have any problems between us. But I’m the type of player that really benefits from communication. And I’ve communicated that to Gibby, which is great. I think we have a relationship where I can go and say, ‘Hey, I love it when you communicate with me.’ ”  

When Dickey was asked about who might catch him in 2015, he was, well, very supportive of his personal catcher Josh Thole. “I’m with Josh now, like he doesn’t even have to put down a sign,” Dickey told The Globe and Mail’s Rob McLeod. “I can go a whole game without him flashing one sign. That’s remarkable. And to get to that place with another person is going to be a real challenge, but it’s not that it can’t be done.” When asked about the possibility of Russell Martin catching the knuckleball, “Nothing’s going to replace time spent together,” Dickey said. “And so, I think from the get-go we’re going to probably be spending a lot of time on the side, bullpens, playing catch, so that he can get a feel for what that pitch does and see if he feels like it’s something he can do every day that I pitch. That’s 34 starts.” he also added this, “Russell just needs to get repetitions. He’s an incredible athlete and so guys that are good athletes, they’ve got to have good hand-eye co-ordination, which he possesses. They usually have, not an easy time, but a better chance of doing it well.

Personally I’d let Martin work with Dickey in Spring Training and if all goes well then I’d let Martin catch Dickey’s starts, jettison Thole out-of-town and keep Dioner Navarro around as a back-up. As for Dickey, the more I hear him talk the more and more I think he is an overpaid diva.

 

 

The Thursday Night Notebook

MARK BLINCH / REUTERS

MARK BLINCH / REUTERS

 

The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with pitcher Brett Cecil on Thursday signing the left-hander to a one-year 2.475 million deal. The Blue Jays still have four players that are arbitration eligible, Danny Valencia, Marco Estrada, Josh Donaldson and Micheal Saunders. The deadline for arbitration is noon on Friday, and even if the Jays don’t reach agreements with all four by tomorrow’s deadline they could still reach agreements ahead of the arbitration hearings February 2nd to the 20th. The last time the Blue Jays actually went to an arbitration hearing with a player was in 1997 with Bill Risley.

The Blue Jays also signed Outfielder Andy Dirks to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Dirks was claimed off waivers early in the off-season but was non-tendered in December. Dirks could be in the mix for the fourth outfield spot with Kevin Pillar looking for a spot on the Opening Day roster as well. In three seasons in Detroit Dirks batted .276 with a .332 OBP and a .413 slugging percentage.

TURF RETIRED

With new turf going in before the start of the season, The Blue Jays and the Rogers Centre used this past weekend’s coaches clinic as the final farewell for the old turf. Having taken part in the past two clinics on the turf it doesn’t take long before it feels like your walking on cement. Here’s hoping the new turf is a heck of a lot softer than the old turf was and hopefully won’t look as atrocious as the old turf did.

LATEST ON DUQUETTE

Buster Olney had some interesting tweets today about the Blue Jays’ pursuit of Baltimore GM Dan Duquette.

 

Interesting that the point man on the Blue Jays end is Ed Rogers who has an ownership stake but since Guy Laurence took over as CEO hasn’t had a role on the Rogers board, which makes me wonder just how much clout he has within Rogers. To have gotten to this point it would seem to me that Ed Rogers has a helluva lot of clout. The biggest thing that scares me is the compensation that Orioles owner Peter Angelos is asking for is too rich for a guy who has never actually been a president of a baseball team before. Ken Rosenthal was on Prime Time Sports on Thursday night and said at this point it would seem that it’s 100 percent that Duquette ends up as President of the Blue Jays.

It should also be said that Rogers has really dropped the ball in this whole ordeal, to let Paul Beeston twist in the wind the way they have is just flat out wrong. For all that Beeston has done for the Blue Jays he deserves better than what he’s gotten since the end of the season.

The Top Ten Blue Jays Games Of 2014

Getty Images

Getty Images

We here at Blue Jay Musings have after much thought and discussion amongst fellow Jays fans on Facebook and Twitter have come up with the Top Ten Blue Jays games of 2014.

Enjoy a stroll back through some of the highlights of this past Blue Jays season and hope that 2015 brings an end to the long play-off drought that the Blue Jays have suffered through during the past 21 seasons.

 

10. August 9th, Blue Jays 3 Tigers 2 (10 innings)

9.  July 23rd, Blue Jays 6 Red Sox 4 (Sanchez’s Debut)

8. September 4th , Blue Jays 1 Tampa 0 (Jays break the curse at the Trop)

7. September 8th, Blue Jays 8 Chicago Cubs 0 (Marcus Stroman’s first career shutout)

6. July 24th, Blue Jays 8 Red Sox 0 (Stroman takes no hitter into the seventh inning)

5. May 28th, Blue Jays 3 Tampa Bay 2 (Ninth win in a row, walk-off win)

4. May 16th, Blue Jays 2 Texas 0 (Drew Hutchison’s 3 hit shutout)

3. July 2nd, Blue Jays 7 Milwaukee 4 (10 innings)

2. August 10th, Blue Jays 6 Tigers 5 (19 innings)

1. June 20th, Blue Jays 14 Reds 9 (The Comeback!)

 

I hope you enjoyed our look back at the 10 best Jays games of 2014. Did we hit the mark with our list or is there a game or two that we should have included, let us know what you think!

Winter Meetings Day 3 Tidbits

aa2

Image: David Cooper/Toronto Star

The Blue Jays were quiet on Wednesday as they didn’t make any moves, although they were in on Luke Gregorson according to a John Heyman tweet before he signed with the Astros.  The game plan now for Alex Anthopoulos is to use the trade market to upgrade the bullpen according to a tweet sent out by Gregor Chisholm. AA also told Chisholm “We knew what the prices were in free agency and we weren’t prepared to go to that price point,”

It makes sense not to invest a huge amount of money into relievers as past history shows that relievers are a risky investment. It seems to me that the Blue Jays have learned since signing B.J Ryan to a big free agent contract nine years ago. The thing that does surprise me though is that there are bargains that could be had in the reliever market, yes most of them would be risk guys looking to bounce back from injuries or off years, but Jason Motte or Mike Adams.

Realistically though, I would hazard a guess that Anthopoulos is willing to wait into January if he is going to sign a reliever when he might get good value on a Free Agent Signing, perhaps Casey Janssen. Let’s also not forget that there is also a chance that Dustin McGowan could be back at a much cheaper price then the four million dollar option that was declined,

Anthopoulos did say that by going the trade route that they will not trade their young big league ready or close to ready arms for bullpen help. I suppose that a deal that involves Dioner Navarro will most likely include a bullpen piece coming back the Blue Jays way.

Anthopoulos also told Gregor Chisholm that they haven’t ruled out adding a second baseman through Free Agency, although it wouldn’t be a long term deal. So, there’s that. I think even AA knows that with the questions in the outfield that going into the season with what they currently have at second base isn’t going to cut it.

MORE ON BEESTON

Bob Elliott had more on the Beeston drama with his latest story in the Toronto Sun, saying that the person that made calls to Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams of the White Sox was Edward Rogers, the son of the late Ted Rogers. Edward Rogers who along with his sister are major share holders with Rogers but were banished from the day-to-day operations when Guy Laurence was hired on as Rogers new CEO last year.

This story just get’s weirder and weirder by the day, let’s hope that by the time the Blue Jays are ready to look for Beeston’s successor that they are at least ready to follow the protocol that is used within baseball when it comes to hiring people from other organizations.

The better question should be is why is Edward Rogers the one making the phone calls when he has zero authorization within Rogers to do so? Is he still bitter about being banished from the day-to-day operations of the company or a little bitter that he’s not the CEO? Someone at Rogers really needs to keep this guy away from a telephone and calling other baseball people when he has absolutely no authority to do so.

WINTER TOUR

The Blue Jays announced their schedule and locations for this years Winter Tour.

It starts in Toronto Jan 16th and 17th, It will involve an appearance on City TV’s Breakfast Television, a school visit in Oakville and an Autograph Session at the Eaton’s Centre on the 17th. Jose Bautista, Dalton Pompey, R.A Dickey, Todd Redmond and Aaron Loup are the players scheduled for the Toronto stop.

The Tour will also include stops in Calgary/Banff Jan 20-22, and Vancouver Jan 23 and 24.

The players scheduled for the Western Canada portion of the Tour are; Russell Martin (Vancouver only), Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Kevin Pillar.

 

 

Winter Meetings Day 1 Notebook

John Lott/National Post

John Lott/National Post

Yesterday’s rumours about the future of Blue Jays President Paul Beeston seemed to all but fizzle out after Bob Elliot reported today in the Toronto Sun that the Beest is staying on as President in 2015. Bob McCown added on his show today that Beeston would most likely stay on as they go through the process of finding his successor for the job, McCown even hinted that Beeston might stay on as an advisor to the club, stating this is about Beeston’s retirement and not him being fired. It’s from McCown so make of it what you will. There are more stories surfacing from the potential candidates that would succeed Beeston. Current Minnesota Twins GM appeared on MLB Radio’s Leadoff Spot and told hosts Steve Phillips and Todd Hollandsworth that while he was honoured to be in consideration, he stated that he doesn’t have the skill set to be President and would rather be a General Manager out watching baseball games. As for White Sox Executive Kenny Williams, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago tweeted that the White Sox will not be granting permission for Williams to talk to Toronto. As for Dan Duquette, who was named in Buster Olney’s tweet yesterday, he appeared on MLB Network radio as well and said that he is under contract to the Orioles and is at the Winter Meetings to represent the Orioles. That and the fact that O’s owner Peter Angelos won’t grant the Blue Jays permission to talk to Duquette.

JAYS ADD COLLABELLO The Blue Jays went back to the waiver wire on Monday to claim First Baseman/Outfielder Chris Collabello from the Minnesota Twins. Collabello who had a miserable year last year dealing with a thumb injury and could be a nice insurance policy if Justin Smoak doesn’t work out real well. Collabello also has options left and could end up in Buffalo if the Blue Jays don’t have room for him come the end of Spring Training. Collabello has a career line of 214/284/364 in 401 plate appearances.

GIBBY SPEAKS Manager John Gibbons had his media scrum Monday night and had some interesting things to say. Gregor Chisholm has the full transcript here, so I won’t go over everything that was said but here is some of the more interesting things from it. When asked about the bullpen and possible closers and whether or not Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup would stay in their set-up roles Gibby had this to say;

Well, I mean ideally you get that closer that’s done it before. He’s been really good. Robertson is a guy out there right now that’s done that. But whether you can sign a guy like that, who knows. I think Cecil could do it. I think he had four or five of them last year. But still he’s untested in that. He’s pretty valuable coming in the 7th or eighth inning, too, but, what we’re able to acquire. There’s no question we need to strengthen the bullpen, that’s for sure.

When asked about if he sees Russell Martin hitting in the two hole in the line-up;

Yeah, Russell would probably be the ideal 2 spot for us. One thing about him is he’s a complete player, a real good behind the plate. And can really handle the bat. Might be an ideal spot. We haven’t figured that out yet. But we have time. But you look at our lineup, it’s pretty strong. Donaldson, another guy alluded to Russell, we didn’t know if we had a shot at him. That kind of happened real fast. I’m not sure we really pursued him from the get go, and everything started developing. But chance to acquire another All Star player.

Gibby was asked about if he would like the Jays to keep Dionner Navarro around;

I love Dioner, and picking up Russell, that’s of course that makes Dioner the odd man out as far as catching goes. But he did a great job for us. There’s definitely a place for us. He can flat out hit. I know there are teams that want him. I’m not sure where he’ll end up. If he’s here I’d love to have him.

On stretching out Aaron Sanchez in Spring Training to start and putting him in the bullpen if they need to;

Yeah, you could do that. And like I said, before, everybody is looking forward to seeing what he can do as a starter. We think he can be a real good one. Depending on how the bullpen shapes up, it could come down where we’re a better team in the bullpen, if we have to do that, we’ll do that. And time is still on his side to become a good starter, anyway.

When asked about the benefits of a change in the clubhouse;

Well, I don’t know. We don’t know those guys as teammates, those kind of things. Everything we’ve heard they’re both gamers. They’re great competitors. That will definitely help us. I don’t think the clubhouse was what cost us the last couple of years, we just didn’t play well enough. But you get some guys that have been proven winners, we talked before, this group, here, very few guys on the team, two or three of them have even been to the postseason of the you add a couple more guys, that can only help you. So we’ll see. Anytime you can sign a couple of All Star caliber players, you’ve got to do it..

When asked about Dalton Pompey being the Opening Day Center Fielder;

It’s not going to be handed to him. He’s got to compete and have a good Spring Training. But I think he was big the other question, we had no idea what he was going to do. But you don’t know what he’s going to do in the Big Leagues. This way we got to see it. It wasn’t like he was facing he was facing, as far as the pitching goes, the cream of the crop of the Big Leagues and did a nice job with it. That really kind of opened it up to everybody, maybe this guy is our guy quicker than expected. But he’s got to take the approach and show up at Spring Training, saying I’ve got to win this job.

And lastly, Gibby’s thoughts on the new turf and the old turf;

You know, that’s been brought up a lot about the turf there. To be honest with you, maybe I don’t hear it. I never really hear much complaining out of the players. I do know turf beats up your body, the give on it, the cushion or whatever it is. These guys don’t bitch and moan about the playing surface. This new stuff, I don’t know a lot about it, other than it’s supposed to be better. But really, there’s no excuse. So you live with it. If you need an extra day or two off, maybe you take that. I don’t think it’s really been an issue.

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