Saturday, July 31, 2010
Spent several hours of my life today (hours I won’t get back), sitting in the baseball conference room (with many others, including the MLB Network crew) waiting for something to happen. Nothing did.
Disappointing for all the work the baseball ops guys put into preparation and research. I’m not sure I am disappointed in the end result. I like our team. I like our chances. And I think we are better than we were a few days ago in terms of winning the 2010 division title.
Some critics have offered that adding Edwin Jackson only makes you marginally better, but in a division that has gone to a 163rd game the last two seasons, marginally might be all you need.
We shall see.
GM Kenny Williams’ comments to the media after the trade deadline:
“It was very quiet this morning and all of the things that had been reported were mostly false.
“The players that we were interested was a small, targeted group. The players we were interested in we had zero dialogue with today. Our offers had been out there for quite some time and we just never really engaged, not for lack of effort on our part.
“I wasn’t trading Gordon Beckham in any of these deals and pretty much the conversations started and stopped with that and never got any further.
Are you satisfied with the way things are right now?
“Well, you know, I feel fortunate that we’re in the position we’re in. We had a nice run, and we’re starting to play some consistent baseball, so absolutely. I feel good about where we are and where we’re headed. The deal that we made the other day, I’ve heard described as marginally better. I think that no matter what your business industry occupation is, if you become marginally better, that can result in success to a greater degree. We got marginally better in ’08 and ’05 and it helped us win championships – one division and one World Series. We’ll look to continue to see what the possibilities are over the waiver wire and we’ll go from there.”
Anything come down to the wire today?
“No. I wasn’t even in the room after 2:30. That’s how active it was. I came down here to talk to the coaching staff and hang out with them.”
The Joke’s On You
Once in the clubhouse, Williams decided to have some fun with Gordon Beckham and manager Ozzie Guillen.
“I wanted to have some fun with Gordon, and I knew he had been worried about some things even though I had talked with him previously about it. He was eating in the lunch room and I was sitting there and I called him over.”
What Williams did not know was that Paul Konerko has just been giving Beckham a hard time, saying, “This is about the time when Kenny gets ansy and decided to just throw Beckham into the deal to get it done.”
So Beckham heads off with Williams. The duo walks into Guillen’s office and closes the door. Guillen is shocked.
“First off, when you walk in on the trading deadline every player is looking at you out of the corner of their eye,” said Williams. “So I walked in and called him over, and he had this look like, ‘No, really?’ And I called him into Ozzie’s office and Ozzie didn’t know anything about it but he saw Gordon walk in and then he saw me walk in and close the door behind Beckham and he went ‘No!’ and the other coaches went ‘No!.’
“Ozzie closed the door, and I sat Gordon down on the chair and I said ‘Well, I really would like to say one thing to you before I get into the nuts and bolts of this stuff.’ I said ‘That at-bat you had last night, where you pushed across that run, was one of the best at-bats you’ve had all year and I just want to say nice job.’ And I shook his hand and he said, ‘Is that it?.’
“‘That’s it,’ I said.
“He had a sigh of relief. Ozzie had a sigh of relief and started cursing at me, and then I walked back into the lunchroom and Konerko says “You won’t believe this but about one minute before you walked in, I told Gordon that this is about the time in the show when Kenny Williams says ‘To hell with it, I’ll give you Gordon Beckham.'” So when I walked in there and called him out, it was perfect timing. We had a little fun with it.”
Some commented that we seemed to offer a little rough love to last night’s starter and winner Lucas Harrell by optioning him out immediately after the game.
Lucas had a big day yesterday. He woke up in Louisville expecting to pitch that night for Charlotte. Was told he was coming to the big leagues, hopped on a plane, flew here, made his major league debut, pitched, won the game, got doused with beer during a postgame interview on the field and still managed to call out hello to his mom and dad. Pretty cool.
Truth be told, Lucas was informed before he pitched that he would be sent down again afterward, so we hopefully didn’t rain on his parade last night too much.
Now, there is a game to won here tonight.
Had a chance to say hello to Edwin Jackson in the clubhouse before the game as he got situated. We’ve heard nothing but great comments from the PR staffs of the Tigers and Dbacks about Edwin and how great he is to work with.
Ozzie stopped by and told Edwin not to put too much pressure on himself.
“I talked to him for a few seconds,” Guillen said. “I already explained to him about what we need from him. He’s not the savior. He’s not the guy that has to come here and be THE GUY.
“Every five days, he just needs to go out there and help us win. We’ve got 25 guys on our roster. It’s not about one guy.”
Is beginning a rehab assignment with Class AAA Charlotte tonight.
See episodes 3-4 tomorrow night at 8 pm CT on MLB Network. Today was their last day of shooting with us, and a crew spent the entire week in the war room, filming scouting conversations and all of today’s non-action.
Not sure how those hours will do in conveying a behind the scenes look but they were with us every step of the way.
Now it’s up to the editors to make it sing.
You’ll see today’s footage in episodes 5-6, set to air next Sunday as The Club’s run ends.