Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Game 79 vs. Rockies, July 1: Joe Torre Pre-Game Talk

  • On Matt Kemp batting second: "We're struggling right now as far as putting some offense together. The fact that Furcal's not in the lineup — just trying to get some speed up top. One thing about Matt: He may seem like he's overmatched at times, but it doesn't stop him from fighting for an at-bat."

    "I'm just playing right now and just trying to get a little offense going."

  • On the Rockies putting the shift on left-handed Andre Ethier last night: "We've talked so often, I'd hate to try to have him all of a sudden try to direct where the ball's going. You just have to swing and let it go where it wants. I think basically what they're trying to encourage him to do is hit the ball the other way, which he's certainly capable of doing. Because they want to eliminate the home run. They did a good job. Not only him, but they were playing behind the bag when Loretta hit a ball. They defensed us very well last night."
  • On the obvious: "We're looking forward to having Manny back. I think he'll add something to our lineup. It's still going to take him some time to settle in. I think it'll help everybody else."
  • On the team without Manny Ramirez: "It's not until you lose someone like Manny that you realize that there's no safety net out there. They've played hard, and I continue to talk about how fortunate we've been with the number of close games we've won. We happened to be home, which gives you a slight advantage, and we've taken advantage of that. This ballclub, they feel pretty good about themselves. Again, they're in a frustrated stage right now, because we haven't scored runs and they're fighting it a little bit. But ballclubs go through that."
  • On the perception of overachieving during Manny's absence: "You can talk about overachievement, but if you look at Russell, you look at Furcal, and you look at Loney, I'm not sure they're playing over their heads. We have something coming to us. But I think as a team we've pretty much gotten — I don't want to say everything, but we've gotten a lot out of what we have."
  • Will he go back to Manny batting third and Ethier at cleanup? "That's probably what we'll do. I haven't really sat down and put it on paper yet. When Manny was here last time, Casey Blake was the eighth hitter. That's not going to happen again."
  • On the inevitable Manny-related distractions: "I'm not worried about it because you can't do anything about it. I try to worry about stuff I can do something about. This is something you have to just deal with. Manny's used to distractions anyway. I think the players will be happy to have him back, and I think they understand what goes with that. I'm not really concerned about it. Certainly if we don't win games, we're not going to use it as an excuse, that's for sure."

    "This game is full of distractions, more so now than when I played. When I played, you had three people, four people [covering games (Torre was addressing about 15-20 media members)]. And it's what it is. At that time, it was only reading the papers. Now it's listening to radio, watching television. And they all do it. There are a lot of expectations now and a lot criticisms now that years ago we never had to deal with."

    On addressing the team: "I really don't like to call attention to something unless I see that there's something that needs to be talked about. Because otherwise you're just opening a can of worms."

  • More on Manny-related distractions: "I'm looking to the All-Star break. Once we get home after the All-Star break, this period of time. And then that'll be the first time he'll be home. That'll be where stability should set in. I think for this first week or so, it's going to be new to everybody."
  • On steroid lists: "I think people are tired of it. I'm not sure if they want to know all the names, or all the people that did something, or if they'd rather move on and get past it."
  • On Dodger fans at road games: "The Dodgers to me are the Yankees of the National League."
  • The last time he talked to Manny was a couple of days ago.
  • Compared gauging Manny's condition to asking a pitcher how he's feeling. "They're always going to say okay, I'm fine."
  • On Manny's critics: "They don't know Manny the person. They're dealing with a baseball player, and I certainly respect everybody's opinion."

    "I don't know anybody out there who hasn't done something they wished they didn't do."

  • On the Manny he's getting back: "I'm going to get the same player. I think his ability goes far beyond what caused the suspension. It's going to take some time for him to get in game shape and for him to get comfortable. I think we have to just hold off any evaluation until that happens."
  • On the difference between steroids and, say, greenies: "What I know about steroids is the fact that it literally makes you stronger. To me, that's not a level playing field if some guys are doing it and some aren't. So that's the difference, I think."
  • On role models: "The players that play the game, these kids look up and try to emulate these guys. You certainly have to keep that in mind when you're thinking about doing something like this."

    "You go back to smokeless tobacco. Kids were doing it because they were watching the baseball players do it. It's a little scary to me."

    "My guess is that they want to try it because they've seen the results from the players. So I think there's got to be some kind of an educational program for these kids to understand that there may be a short-term gain for them, but over the long term, it's certainly not advisable."

  • On Manny's reception by the fans: "Manny's personality is what they're looking at. I don't think he's going to be treated any differently than he was before because they're going to love you here and they're going to hate him everywhere else. And they did that before, except they're going to yell more things now. They have more ammunition, so to speak."
  • On Manny's expectations: "The first thing he said to me when he came on board last year: 'I just want to play ball and go home.' Obviously that's not possible for someone of his ability, and now he's called even more attention to himself. I think it's going to be uncomfortable for a time."
  • Eric Stults has been optioned to triple-A Albuquerque (from the Class A Inland Empire 66ers).


Josh S. said...

"...if you look at Russell, you look at Furcal, and you look at Loney, I'm not sure they're playing over their heads."

Is there such a thing as playing "under their heads"?

That was a lot to type up! Nice work, Orel!

Alex Cora said...

Thanks for the notes Orel. Been practicing on TYPERACER?

karina said...

Typeracer contests were very fun. Who wants to try?

karina said...

Seriously, Torre really keeps everybody grounded (no matter how he gets on my nerves due to "creative" lineups or pitching management)

Orel said...

I have nothing on Erin.

Unknown said...

On a side note, being new to this blog, I must say, the name is ingenious.