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Three Cheers for Grady

6.13.02: Grady Little (GL) on The Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI 850 with John Dennis (JD) and Gerry Callahan (GC):

JD:  The role players have done a great job, Baerga, former star, accepted role, difficult to tell him?

GL:  Key is to communicate with them up front, end of ST, let them know what's going on. Dominos fell just like that. Baerga great job. Doug Mirabelli making something happen every time. Lou Merloni who might have to be out there another two or three weeks.

JD:  Do you have to massage Mirabelli? The guy could be starting somewhere.

GL:  He knows himself, and he knows his career... he knows Doug Mirabelli, he does the best job he can when given the opportunity. Lou Merloni, he's got plans to do something when he gets to LA, comes up to me and just wants to make sure he's still going to be here. They're individual players, and you treat them all individually.

JD:  Big difference in managing between minors and majors?

GL:  Lot more demands on my time, I used to spend more time with players, working with them on things... sometimes I'm not around players enough... but I have good coaches in Tony Cloninger and Mike Stanley...

JD:  What about a guy like Mike Stanley? What is his role?

GL:  It's something we use to try to relax each other. Mike takes things more personal, serious... I say Mike, relax, let's see what happens, we already made the move.  I try to talk him into going upstairs to watch game on TV to see if he can see something, warm up a little, but he wants to stay right there... keep his eye on me I guess... he's a good man and he's got a good future in managing.

GC:  Speaking of good guys, we're all rooting for Tony Clark, how can you get him back?

GL:  Keep trying to put him into situation where we can get him work. Seems the more he works, the deeper the hole he gets in. Trying to do best we can to make him successful.  When Manny is back, we're going to be putting our best lineup on field. Hopefully he'll be part of that at some point.

GC:  Isn't bringing Diaz up to hit against left-handers showing a lack of confidence in Tony Clark?

GL:  Not really, I just had mosey (?) for that kid, Big Juan...

JD:  You don't strike me as high-tech guy. When you make decisions/line-up do you do it based on computer printouts and past performance or do you rely on your gut instincts?

GL:  I go about 80% with what I feel in gut. Maybe one position a night where I may go to past performances to make up my mind.

JD:  Who is the biggest surprise this season? Sanchez? Hillenbrand? etc...

GL: I knew Ray Sanchez was good from watching him play. Shea and Lowe are the biggest surprises. Knew Derek would give us innings, but...

JD: Who would be the biggest disappointment so far... Tony Clark?

GL: ....Personally... yes. Tony Clark has been the biggest disappointment, we expected a little bit more out of Tony. But he's got a lot of time left in season to be successful.

JD:  Are you compelled to keep an eye on Lowe and pitch count?

GL:  Most certainly. We've started that process. Not a lot of monitoring, just a little bit. He's healthy, strong kid but in unchartered waters where he's going more innings. Well let him go again, and take another look beginning of August... just blister so far, but arm is fine, want to have him pitching in late October.

GC:  Handle Trot the same as TC?

GL:  Trot is having a rough time, you've seen it before, but he'll creep up into Sept.: hitting .280-.285, 20HR, 75--80RBI, he's a worker, competitor.

JD:  Who is your backup right fielder?

GL:  uh... hot damn,   ... with Rickey hurting? We've got Daubach... Nelson kid...

JD:  Have you told Manny not a good idea to slide head first?

GL:  I think he's decided it's not a good idea.  But the kid's been swinging the bat fine for the past couple of days. Hopefully he'll be ready to play some outfield in San Diego.

JD:  Do the Mets owe Clemens a fastball in the ass?

GL:  I don't care about what happens to Roger Clemens, I just want to see how Major League Baseball handles what happened there. If they don't treat the NY Yankee players the way they treated ours, then I'll get concerned.  I'm watching Bob Watson's office to make sure they're treating everyone fairly and let us do what we're trying to accomplish here.

GC:  You were Manager of the Century in minors. How come it took you so long to get here? Did it frustrate you that the John McNamaras of the world got their fifth job somewhere?

GC:  No, when you were a player like me, I knew I had some serious mountains to climb. I enjoyed it. It's worth waiting for to get this opportunity.

JD:  Tenor of clubhouse has a lot to do with winning and winning attitude. Have you ever managed a team that didn't have it (good chemistry)?

GL:  It's the chicken and the egg. This chemistry has been great, but we've been winning.... I can't come in in Fort Myers and tell this ballclub, look, we're gonna have good chemistry, we got off to a good start, chemistry is just there,

JD:  But your personality has an effect, the tone is calm, they want to play for you...

GL: It could, but it's from the from the top down now, there's not going to be a whole lot of excitement when things are going really good, or really bad.

GC: Come July, will you make acquisition? What kind of player would it be?

GL:  Right now, in the bullpen would be the best thing for us. We'll get Manny and Rey back, I feel real good about our position players. If we get a chance to improve our pitching we would.

JD:  Concerned about Pedro?

GL:  We would be crazy to say we don't have concerns for this kid. It could take rest of season before he's totally back to normal... but I'm convinced that he will be totally back to normal.

JD:  Can you get on anytime at Pinehurst?

GL:  We've got connections, I go down to coffee shop, then we split up into fours and go play  (JD: Number 2?) No you can get on there, but I don't enjoy playing that too much, it kicks my butt.

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