Thursday, December 11, 2008
The Transcript From WFED Tonight
Listening online tonight at 7PM, I roughly transcribed the entire hour of The Nationals Insider--Winter Meetings Edition on WFED. I got a kick out of nearly all the emails sent in were from fellow bloggers. The show moved pretty quickly with so many guests. Craig Heist was at The Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. George Wallace was in Studio. Radio Broadcaster Dave Jageler, Our Franchise Player Ryan Zimmerman and Nationals.com's Bill Ladson joined them live for five minutes each. And Heist interviewed Assistant GM Mike Rizzo, Our Manager Manny Acta and Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal for the broadcast.
Here is the rough transcript--typing it down as it played out on my computer--but the details are accurate.
Craig Heist started the commentary:
The biggest thing to come out of it is that ownership showed their fans they were serious. To me this comes down to Teixeira saying in Baltimore when he played there previously that he would love to play for his hometown team. His family is going to be involved in this decision. But, He’s 7 years in the Big Leagues and he wants to win. And he wants to come back to the east coast.
The Nationals have showed their fans they want to win at the Major League Level. The money is going to have to be there after the Sabathia signing by New York. Teixeira’s Agent Scott Boros is not going to take a back seat to anyone. And the O’s have raised their offer to Teixeira as well.
Teixeira still wants to get a deal done by Christmas.
This is a guy (Teixeira) who has never hit less than 26 HR’s in any season. Now he has the chance to make a big splash. It comes down to what he feels most comfortable with?
Will Nats go after Adam Dunn? (Email Question)
You would have to think they would. Make no mistake, JimBo’s made Teixeira his top priority, but Manny Acta has always said he wants a big left handed power bat in the lineup.
This team has got to score more runs and they can’t do that with their present lineup. Injuries helped send this team into the tank last year.
Mike Rizzo was then played from an afternoon interview with The Beat Writers.
Rizzo on Terrell Young—taken by Washington in the Major League Rule 5 Draft today from Cincinnati: Tremendous athlete, 6’3”, Washington Scouts really liked him. He’s a tremendous talent. Fastball can reach 96. Has good stuff, and his walks trend has improved over the past three years. Is known to be wild. Strictly a reliever and he will compete for a bullpen job. You can never have enough power pitchers. He’s really on the upswing. Athletic ability separates him from other pitchers.
More Rizzo on Young: He’s a power pitcher. The secret is whether he will throw enough strikes in the big leagues. We hope his improvement will continue in the big leagues. He’s still going to have to contribute to stay up here though.
Ricardo Nanita the outfielder from The Chicago White Sox Organization was taken to give depth on the AA level. He’s a left handed bat and there to provide inventory in The Minors.
Rizzo on the Winter Meetings: I think we laid a lot of groundwork for what we can do over the winter. We spent a lot of time and hours working. Proof will be in the pudding. We came in and worked diligently with every club. We had a lot of proposals and we are waiting for the fruit to bear.
Rizzo on the non-stop action: Winter Meetings are long hours. We (staff) were together for countless hours. I didn’t have a chance to even eat with a plate for any meal.
Dave Jageler then joined Craig and George Wallace live and mentioned he just returned from a family vacation last night from Mexico.
Dave on keeping up on The Winter Meetings from down south: It’s hard to read ESPN Deportes in Spanish. Left me kind of in the dark in Mexico. Every time I saw Teixeira’s name mentioned with The Nationals, I thought they had signed him. Shows you how good my Spanish is.
Craig Heist cuts in: Jags, there is always Rosetta Stone (The Language Learning Program—Chuckling). Dave responds: My language skills level revolves around “Hola” and “Gracias” (everyone laughing)
Dave on Teixeira: Believes Boros might be using The Nationals because the Red Sox have the resources and they are serious. They need his bat to protect David Ortiz, something Jason Bay did not do coming over from Pittsburgh in the Manny Ramirez trade last summer.
The Nationals Front Office Effort to sign Teixeira speaks volumes. They made a serious and positive step to sign him.
Dave continues: And this reported meeting with Boros and Ted Lerner might help down the line with a potential Stephen Strasburg signing, if Washington chooses The San Diego State Pitcher with the first pick in the 2009 Entry Draft. Boros is Strasburg’s agent too.
Craig Heist mentions: Even if they don’t get Teixeira, the relationship with The Nats and Boros is a great move.
Jageler: It gives them credibility in the marketplace. They are not throwing out money just to do it. The Tigers bought Pudge Rodriguez back in 2003 after that terrible season. No one thought he would sign there and look how he was the key person to The Tigers turnaround.
Dave on starting pitching: As the staff is composed now, I see Scott Olsen as The Number 1 Starter. The Nats don’t want to put too much pressure on John Lannan. Odalis Perez was the opening day starter last year-remember. This is a very odd off-season, everyone is waiting. The teams hold the hammer and there are going to be some pretty good bargains out there that we are not thinking about right now come spring training. We will see about Tim Redding on the team. Jordan Zimmermann--they are still high on.
Dave: Too many outfielders. Wonder what the team was thinking about in the reported Redding trade to Colorado for Wily Tavares. Josh Willingham is set in left. Do you move Lastings Milledge to right? Dukes? Kearns? They have too many outfielders. They are going to have to trade someone before opening day.
Due to the economy, there might be only one-year deals, instead of multiple years for free agents. Adam Dunn certainly is seeing that considering The Diamondbacks gave up two prospects for him and didn’t even offer arbitration—setting him free.
Dave Jageler and Producer Steve Ray have a bet about finding The Syracuse Chiefs Team Song before Opening Day next year. Jageler says Ray will not find it.
Then, Ryan Zimmerman called in and talked with Heist and Wallace.
Asked how he was doing—Zimmerman got off a zinger on Heist: I am not as good as Heist out there at The Bellagio. Heist replies: They are looking for you out here. Ryan: I don’t know if that is a good thing!! (laughing)
Zimmerman on The Winter Meetings: I don’t pay much attention to the winter meetings. There is so much coverage it’s almost like another draft. I am not checking every second, but interested.
On Teixeira: it’s nice that the owners want to do stuff like that (pay the big bucks), It shows they are not messing around. Gets people to work harder now to be better later.
It would be a good spot with me batting behind Teixeira. He’s a pretty good first baseman too.
We (The Nationals) have always had one of the toughest divisions in baseball. The Phillies, Mets and Braves are always competitive. We are young, starting to spend on some money on talent. It’s hard not to spend money if you want to win. It’s the way it is in sports today. You have to pay to get talent and pay to keep that talent. (Great Comment)
Zimmerman on The Nats offer to Teixeira: You could possibly say it’s the most money he’s been offered. It shows they (ownership) are committed to not only us, but to the fans as well.
On the off-season: I don’t do any baseball until really next week. Maybe throw, hit twice a week then. I usually take two weeks off and do nothing right after the season just to relax. I work out on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. But , there is no real off-season. It’s a fun time hanging out. The shoulder is fine. It took a week or two to get it all the way back after returning late in the 2008 season. It ‘s shown no ill effects this off-season. It’s nice to be able to work out when you want to and not have to worry about rehab.
On Olsen & Willingham trade: We are doing a lot of the right things. Willingham is a great player. He was in the same boat as me last year with injury and he’s not a bad outfielder too. Olsen pitched over 200 innings last year. We are getting better.
Zimmerman's time was up and an interview between Heist and Manny Acta was aired.
Manny on The Winter Meetings: We showed we are willing to do what it takes to win. We are going to go after someone that can help this team in the future.
On Terrell Young in the Rule 5 Draft: Our plan is to stockpile young arms and this guy is just that.
On Teixeira: It’s not a secret we need help offensively, especially a left-handed bat. We let everyone know that is what we are looking for. These Winter Meetings plant the seed for conversation throughout the winter.
Remember, a lot can happen over the winter. It’s a non-stop job. A 24/7 job for us. We can’t loose our focus.
On Teixeira being a local guy from Severna Park, Maryland: It’s a factor. He is a special player and everybody wants to be near home. He’s a smart guy and I hope he comes to join us.
Most of the other free agents are waiting for the big guys to sign. So others can follow. That’s the way it always is.
Manny on Pitching: We are working hard at it. We hope to acquire a couple of guys before spring training. Lannan has moxie. He’s legit for us and is going to be good for a long time. Olsen is also good and that was a good trade for us.
We have an abundance of outfielders--but it’s still early. We feel good about having them all. We have depth now, if injuries come up again like last year.
Manny Interview ends and Ken Rosenthal from Fox Sports joins Heist in Las Vegas.
Rosenthal on Teixeira: Boston is the leader in my opinion. Boston is the most competitive team out there for his services. Washington has made an impact with Boros and that’s not a bad thing. Washington needs to grow up as a franchise. You have got to go forward from here. When your TV ratings are that bad and your attendance is disappointing--you have to make a play and they did that here.
The Orioles are in this Teixeira thing too. No one can say they didn’t try—it’s just not going to be enough. It’s a valid effort, but they are playing in a really high stakes game. Should The Orioles lose Teixeira to The Nationals the reaction in Baltimore would be DRASTIC!!
Bill Ladson from Nationals.com came on at the end for a quick Q & A.
Ladson: I was shocked by the offer to Teixeira by The Nationals. But after that offer I would not be surprised to say his signing is 70/30 in Washington’s Favor. You would have to say Washington is in the lead. I don’t know that for a fact, but they made an impact.
When it comes to the Rule V draft, this organization takes it seriously from the time they were in Montreal. They are good at finding little known players.
Email Questions to Bill: Do the Nats plan on bringing back Willie Harris—yes, no question. He was the best player on the team last year not named Guzman.
Chances of Jason Bergmann on the Opening Day Roster: 50/50 and only as a reliever.
Is Anderson Hernandez the real deal at second base? I find it hard to believe that they (Washington) believe Hernandez will be the starting second baseman. Orlando Hudson may be in the works, but I don’t see Hernandez as the everyday second baseman.
Payroll for 2009? With Teixeira, $75 Million. But The Nationals need to get another key player to go along with Teixeira, if they sign Mark. Ladson suggested Brian Fuentes, the closer from Colorado and second baseman Orlando Hudson.
That concluded the one hour Nationals Insider—Winter Meetings Edition on WFED.