Incredible morning, I don't have enough time to go over everything but wanted to get the info out that I heard from the Mattingly conference. I'll follow later with some comments about the actual prospects we went to watch. Brandon had to leave before the Mattingly conference.
- Feels the team is a little too left-sided, talked to Casey about playing the outfield, and that Casey was okay with the concept. Don said he is comfortable with Casey playing the outfield based on how well he played it when he was Cleveland.
- Dylan asked many questions including what his style will be if his laid back style does not work. Don responded by saying that he's not a yeller, and that he feels he can communicate with everyone on the team to get them to do what the team needs them to do. Wants a positive vibe in the clubhouse and will do his best to make sure it has that positive vibe.
- Expects to rest Casey more even if he is healthy
- Expects to rest Furcal more even if he is healthy
- The catching situation will be a competition all year long but that if he had to name a starting catcher today it would be Barajas.
- When asked about his last days with the Yankees he felt he could see a successful future for them because of what he saw from the likes of Jeter, Pettite, and Mariano. That was followed up with him stating that he feels this team is very much like those young Yankee teams in that they have the young talent right now, but also feels the system has plenty of talent to help in the future. This then segued into Don stating that his preference is home grown talent. When asked if that was Dodger management preference or his, he said history has shown that is the best way.
- Many questions were asked about the 2nd half slide on the offensive side. He'd prefer to remember 2008/2009 and feels that all of them will bounce back. Thinks Andre could be one of the best hitters in baseball.
- Is glad Davey Lopes is on the team, doesn't really care about the Lopes/Stewart/Kemp connection.
- When asked if he would like a 2nd left hander out of the bullpen he said he is more akin to just having the best arms and does not care as much about sidedness. Mentioned how the Angels did very well for years by just having arms who could get anyone out and survived with out left hand bullpen help.
Those were non TBLA questions. I like to think I asked him the question that he answered the longest and with the most passion.
Phil - "Speaking of the prospects, which players who played for you this fall could help the team in 2011"
Paraphrase - "all of them" , then went on to talk about just about every player.
DeJesus - most ready to hit major league pitching, might have problem with range but didn't get to see alot of him due to the position restrictions placed upon the AFL roster. Liked his bat and how he sprays the ball
Sands - power to all fields, can play the outfield extremely well, feels that as a big guy he looks slower then he is but likened him to Matt Holliday in that he actually has good outfield speed.
Trayvon - has watched him alot because he watched him play with his son. Says he has gotten better every time he has seen, and that while he's not ready yet, if he keeps up this level of improvement will be a major league player.
Elbert - Said good things about him, so I asked him specifically if Elbert could make the major league roster and he said "his ball plays" and that Yes he could and they talked about that this fall.
That is all I can remember without hitting my recorder and I don't have time right now as I need to catch up on work. His final words on the AFL players was that he liked everyone of them included Stephen Aames, and that his ERA did not correctly reflect how well he threw the ball.
At that point I started watching batting practice more then listening to the rest of conference so I missed the Manny question and answer, though I heard the whole group break up into laughter after vaguely hearing Manny's name.
Don Mattingly speaks very quietly, I'll be curious if my recorder even got his sound bites because I was three deep. His voice does not carry like Joe's. I'm feeling positive.
Non Conference Non Prospect Stuff
- Davey Lopes was there, but not in uniform so it took me a few minutes to realize he was there. He spent a good amount of time talking to Aaron Sele, then once Jim Hill finished his one on one interview with Donnie, Hill and Lopes were going over old times. Then Tommy joined them, it was kind of cool to see old threesome of Tommy, Jim, and Davey all together. Tommy looks great.
- Maury Wills ambled out of the dugout and proceeded to show a coach how to bounce a bat off the ground with style. He also told a story about how the whole Marichal/Roseboro thing unfolded, including his part in the game before. I want to check Baseball Reference to see if that rings true with his version
Took a bazillion photos hope they come out, and some flip videos.
Got a flat tire on the way back and I was not the only one. The side had three other cars over there when I pulled over. CHP did a traffic stop and pulled whatever it was that gave my tire a three inch gash in the sidewall.