Epstein on Manny, Sliding, Trades, and Draft
6:40pm EDT on 1510 The
Zone (WWZN): Theo Epstein (TE) on briefly with Bob Ryan (BR) and
Kip Lewis (KP) Channel 7 (caveat: he talks fast and I did not
Theo: Hello, yes I'm in SD, we had a team outing at Del Mar (?)
Beach yesterday. I've never seen an organization so tight.
BR: The big question around here is Manny's attitude, is he not in
a big hurry to return, is the org. concerned?
TE: I wouldn't be concerned about that. Because he can play in a
minor league game doesn't mean he can play in the big leagues,
whole different pace, energy. This (assignment) is a development
process. Manny needs some at bats before he can help the big
league team (sidebar thought from me: then why is he leaving after
the 6th inning every night, missing one or two extra at-bats??).
We want him with us when he's 100% confident that he's comfortable
with his finger.
BR: Has the organization put in a policy that says absolutely no
head first sliding?
TE: It's absolutely been discussed, it gets covered in drills, but
(his sliding is) it's instinct, Manny is trying to get there as
quick as possible. Trust me, we were scared when we heard the
BR: When will they teach these guys in Gulf Coast League that it's
not OK to do this. When will they be taught to slide right.
TE: Well.... it's starting already. We're working on it.
Kip Lewis: What do you think about the potential work stoppage?
Theo: ...I'm optimistic. Enough meetings scheduled between now and
potential strike date to work it out.
Bob: You believe the Yankees will do something before the trading
deadline to definitely improve themselves right?
Theo: Yeah, we assume all the competition will get better and the
Yankees, Seattle, etc. will be 100% down the stretch and in the
BR: Will you turn around and do something?
TE: If we do something it won't be a reactionary move. We'll be
aggressive, opportunistic.... a number of ways you can improve,
trade, waiver, signing release players (other examples of ways to
wheel in players). There are opportunities every day to get
better. To get a Big piece takes a lot of time and planning to
capitalize on an opportunity. We'll do both small moves that can
be done in three hours and long term planning. We're trying every
day to get better.
Bob: I know it gets asked in other sports, but what kind of draft
did you have? Did you get the kind of athletes you wanted?
TE: Yes... baseball is most difficult to predict, you have to look
through a (wide?) lens. We had no first round pick. But I think
the fans are happy with Johnny Damon :-) We had 57th pick, we
picked up Lestor (sp) mid to late first round projection, he slid,
we were fortunate to get him. Then Neighborgall was high first
round projection. We have a lot of High School players, risk,
tougher to sign, compete with colleges, Cornells, etc., but we're
working on it right now. Trying to sign these guys.