Tuesday 20 November 2012

Live Presser

9:30-- ...until I have to go to work in an hour and a half.

Starting off with AA and Gibby sitting at the table.  AA thanks Rogers.  Cheap fucks.

AA stresses importance of scouting and development, saying that none of the prospects that they moved were automatically impact prospects.

Talked about Melky a second, but not much about that.

AA thrilled to have Gibby.  Good at managing bullpen, communicating with the front office, and keeping players in check.  AA says that he has more conviction in this move than with any other move he's made to this point in his tenure. That's bold.

Gibby will wear number 5.  "Fits a little better this time."

9:40-- Gibby: "Thrilled to be back.  Followed the team since I left.  Last few weeks, I've been following the manager search.  You guys (the media) were way off."  Gibb laughs at Bob Elliott, specifically for being so terrible, in jest.

Wasn't an easy decision for AA-- lot of qualified guys out there, but Gibby thinks he fit the criteria.  Ultimately, it doesn't matter what kind of resume someone has, because it all comes down to what you do on the field, as far as wins.  Get out of the way, and get the most out of these guys.

9:45-- Barry Davis "When did Gibby's name come up?"
AA "These jobs have shelf-life, but we always spoke about how good a job he did, even after he left.  Manages bullpen well, good evaluator of talent.  Had respect of guys in the clubhouse, and could put his foot down.  Connected well with FO.  Always thought it would be nice to have him back in the organization in some way, but first and foremost was the roster, not the manager."  AA also confirmed the alleged Sunday night dinner that Elliott mentioned.  Hmm.

JG "AA went out of his way to build a team, JG was just kind of a right place-right time kinda thing."  Assumes he'll have his critics at the start, but the team record ultmately means everything.

9:50-- Q: Anything you'd like to improve upon from your first go-around?
JG: "Minors vs. Majors, teams are different.  A lot of guys won't make it from minors.  In the majors, it's different.  Big deal is getting the most out of them.  Get out of the way, let 'em do their thing." (Wat?)

Griff-- "Is this a bigger surprise than it was the first time you were hired?"
JG "At least I was a member of the staff that time."  JP (Ricciardi) held him aside after a game and told him.  This gets everybody's attention.  Serious stuff.  Who wouldn't wanna be here? (assuming that means 'look at this team!') "Bigger shock than last time."

Wilner-- "AA, you wanted someone with managerial experience, but hadn't contacted Gibby.  JG, tell us about your relationship with AA."

AA-- "Gibby's been on my mind, but there were a lot of internal candidates.  Gibby was the right fit.  A lot of people can manage and GM, but Beeston thought I (AA) was the right fit, in the same way that Gibbons is the right fit here.  I wasn't going to shy away from experience, but two main criteria were connecting with both players and management."
JG "JP is a close friend, I'm indebted.  AA is tireless, always talking baseball.  Successful org's bounce things off of each other and come up with a solution.  He's ambitious, and has some guts.  Not afraid to take some risks.  All good GM's that are successful takes risks, go with what they believe in, take risks."

10:00-- Q- Compare this trade with Alomar/Carter.

AA- I hope we're talking about this trade that way years from now.  Franchise changing, led to 2 WS's, HOF GM (Gillick).  Hope it works for MIA too.  It was never "let's make a trade, a splash."  It was "let's improve the team."  If we're giving up some good young players, let's expand this.  It developed from us inquiring on Johnson.  MIA is early and aggressive, and they don't play games.  Was going to get serious.  It moved fast.

Gregor-- Major differences between 2006 team and this one?

JG: AA wanted to address rotation-- brought in JJ and Buehrle.  Combined with Morrow, Romero and whoever, it looks pretty good.  Bring in All-star SS/leadoff hitter, plus Bautista and Edwin, Melky is a good hitter. Combine all that, good team speed, big guys in the middle and throughout the lineup.  Don't wanna forget defense either... very good defensively.  (All in all, Gibbs yammers a lot).

Q- Why the big jump in payroll now?

AA- I wish we could have contended in year 1.  We always thought that if the right opportunity presented itself, for the right payroll, we'd have the opportunity to do that.  This was the right deal.  Met with MIA to talk about Josh Johnson and only Josh Johnson.  Eventually talked about Reyes, Burhle, Bonifacio.  It's a lot of money.  Beeston immediately said to stay on it.  Would have been fine with a two-player trade, but that's how it worked out.

Q- Gibby said bringing him back was possibly risky?  Any decisions re: coaching staff?

AA- Always reflect.  Even after this season, you reflect.  Where did things go wrong?  Things I've regretted most were spots where I didn't follow my instincts.  Made a few decisions based on optics-- media and fan reactions.  Certain transactions I thought "we're going to get killed for this" but we made it anyway because it was the right move.  It isn't about perception; I'm in this chair to do what's right.  Right for the organization, and if the results are there on the field, that's how I'll be judged.  I know this was the right decision.  If I'm going to be wrong, I'll be wrong doing what I believe in.  I've done good with my instincts so far.

Coaches-- we're going to move fast.  Other coaches have been waiting, so we're going to move as fast as we can.  Hopefully next week or two.

10:05- What was the thing that tipped the scales?  Are you still planning on being aggressive?

AA- Deeper we went in to this, I had a better idea of what the costs were going to be.  Burnett and Ryan deals went to December and we offered more years and money.  We could have lost those deals.  re: Melky, clubs have been used (as leverage) a lot, only to lose them.  Then a guy becomes attractive as a contingency plan, and that's where the bad deals happen.

Plenty of time left in offseason, and until the end of January, we're not going to stop trying to improve.

JohnLott- Are you still in on top pitchers on the FA market?  Back to regretting; do you regret Farrell?

AA- Internet! sometimes talks about stuff when I leak info, so meh.  We can still use depth behind the guys we have now.  We can always get better in the bullpen too.  We like the offense, but if we can improve, let's do it.

I don't regret John.  Felt that it was right at the time.

Q- French question: Gibbons has no fucking clue what's being said.  Hahahahah. They just went to commercial.  Basically, the guy was just asking questions that had already been asked, about the trade and payroll commitment, but in french.  AA answers in french, talking about the new payroll commitment being incredible, thanks to Rogers.

10:15- Not sure what the question was, but it sounds like AA is answering something about the new players and their excitement levels about being traded one year after signing.  AA says that they're all excited and whatever.

Gregor asks about the catching glut.

AA: JPA starts, Buck backs up.  Buck for Mathis was a big holdup in the trade.
Travis is off an injury and hasn't had a full season at AAA.  He'll start in the minors, and we'll worry when the time comes.  Nobody's being shopped at the moment.

Q- Given payroll and expectations, are you comfortable with this team?

AA "I am, but I like to worry.  Keeps you on your toes.  We're better, but we've seen what's happened.  OAK and BAL are two examples.  Gotta constantly look to get better.  Right now, we can contend.  Everyone's going to say the same thing, caveat is health.  Not flawless, and we can still improve.

Drew Fairservice- Switch hitters and positional flexibility, concious effort?

AA "Yes and no.  If you can get a player that brings something else, you can pay a little more for them.  Boni was hurt, but the energy level that they brought... we were really drawn to them.  Asked Pat Gillick (re: Pence) can you have too many high energy guys?  Loves the switch-hitting and contact+speed factor.  More contact means less K's.  Tools are there, flexibility is there.  Excited.

Q- Tension and controversy last time around.  Anything change?

JG: Entertainment business, family venue, etc.  No room to get physical with someone... wish it hadn't happened.  Intense guy, play to win.  Confront things head on, good or bad.  Right and wrong way to do that, but you make your bed.  Passionate, everybody's gotta be pulling in the same direction.  Gotta be a team, no matter the talent.

AA doesn't have a problem with those incidents.  Hillenbrand acted like a twat, and he should have been confronted.  JG's a great guy, but if you push, he'll push back.

10:25- Q: Melky... risks, past, transition from Yankee to present.

AA "Suspension is important.  Everyone likes Melky, despite what happened.  Spring training, we'll address it once and that's it.  Nobody condones PEDs, but people have been given second chances (Giambi, Pettitte, Roberts).  We give 2nd chances, not 3rd or 4ths.

JG "Melky was a young guy in Yankees lineups, and certainly wasn't the easy out.  Always in the middle of things.  I fell in love with the kid.  Good hitter, PEDs or no.  Could be CF, but should be LF here.  Fans will love him.

Griff- JG, who are you maangerial role models, and how many wins is a manager worth?  AA, hard-ass like Gibby on purpose?

AA: He's not a hard-ass.  If you can't play for him, you can't play for anyone.  Respectful, fair, etc.  Nobody wants to win only 73 games.  Had a town-hall style meeting at the end of the year and said that "I don't wanna go through that again."  Tough times lead to good times.

JG: Played for Davey Johnson.  Loved the way he did things.  Gets the most out of his guys.  Confident, quiet, expected results.  Very smart.  Darryl Johnson too.  Used to just go around and talk about the game.  About the wins, Griff says "+2, -6", JG agrees somewhat.

Wilner: Melky #2 or middle?  Run in to Reyes when you were in the Mets' system?  Dream job?

JG: He (Reyes) was there, never managed him though.  Could hit Melky in the middle, but he's better up top.  Tough to say right now, but let's get a lot of AB's out of him.  "Dream job was last year, coaching at home, but I left to take this one, so what's that tell you?"

Q- Lot of speed in this lineup.  How's that work for you?  You're a proponent of stealing.

JG: Certain guys, you can't stop them once they get on base.  Steal a base and get in to scoring position... there are more singles than anything else, soo.....  At the same time, you can't be stupid about it.  You're going to get thrown out sometimes, and that's just part of the game.  You gotta be smart about it.  It's a weapon, but you've got guys in the lineup who can knock them in too.  It's about balance.

That was fun.

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