Slyde thinks he’s sooooo cool, because he was at a private party to kick off the Winter Caravan. Well, I’m at least as cool because tonight I was at an invitation-only party as part of the Northern Leg in Findlay. The local radio station that carries the games had a very nice dinner (roast beast, chicken, veggies – the works), followed by a question and answer period and finally autographs; because we advertise on the station, I was invited.
No Cowboy – they left him "at the loading dock" according to Welsh, because of his strep throat.
Welsh: Sean Casey is going to do about 15 TV games; George Grande is going to fill in for tHom during football season; the only way Joe Morgan does any games is as a "guest in the booth".
- When asked about Chapman’s role, he was direct – "8th inning"; I don’t think that surprises anyone. He did mention that Chapman’s been on a workout regimen because "in Cuba, they don’t use one".
- Alonzo’s role on the team – "It’s up to him. If you hit well enough, a team will find a spot for you".
- Similarly, when asked about Frazier, he said "It’s on Todd to take a job. He isn’t going to be handed one, he has to take it."
- Again similarly, said he likes to keep one spot open going into spring training for that one guy who surprises everyone (though he also said that one spot usually goes to a pitcher).
- He’s excited about going to Goodyear. Evidently, the training facilities in Sarasota were pretty shoddy – he said guys had to wait around to use the weight machines because there weren’t enough and wasn’t room to add more.
- Hopes to have Morgan at spring training, because someone like him can turn a young player’s career around with one piece of advice that sticks. Told the shocking story that when he started managing the Giants, one of the young players asked if Willie Mays was "really that good."
- On Renteria, he said the things we want to hear. He talked about Renteria being 36, "not the shortstop he was", "injured a lot lately"; of course, he talked about what a "clutch hitter" and "winner" he is, too. He also reiterated that Janish is the starter. He sounded like he regretted not giving Aurilia the starter’s job earlier in SF; "We kept bringing in these veterans instead of giving him the job".
Homer: Something you don’t think about – he said it’s tough for a starting pitcher to get back in game shape after an injury because you’re used to pitching every 5th day so it takes forever, unlike a position player or reliever who’s used to playing every single day. Also said he’d prefer a 4 man rotation, because it’s tough to stay on top of your game when you only pitch once most weeks.
Frazier: Was given the rookie treatment – had to introduce himself with a little history, and (since he’s from Jersey) sing a little Sinatra. I asked him about his position, and he said he preferred to play 3rd but is willing to play anywhere he has a chance to make the bigs. While the little brother was getting his autograph, I told him to take the backup IF job from Renteria and he thanked me.
It was certainly fun, Dusty didn’t say any of the things we fear hearing (other than Chapman’s role, but that wasn’t a surprise), and Frazier at least sounded like he’s willing to do what it takes to take the next step.