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December 5, 2023 51 mins

The Book of Joe Podcast with hosts Tom Verducci and Joe Maddon are ready for the 2023 Winter Meetings in Nashville.  Shohei Ohtani is talking to the Blue Jays and Joe thinks the international feel to Toronto and a great ballpark could make this a good fit.  Joe explains what he thinks will be important to Ohtani for his next team.  Tom looks back at the career of newly named Hall of Famer Jim Leyland, with both sharing their favorite stories.  We wrap up with Joe and Tom having differing opinions on 19 year old Brewers OF Jackson Chourio signing an $82 million deal before having any major league experience.  

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
The Book of Joe podcast is a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:14):
Hey There, welcome back.

Speaker 3 (00:15):
It's the latest episode of the Book of Joe podcast
and it's the Winter Meeting edition. It's me and Tom Berducci,
Joe Madden and Joe. We once again we never run
out of things to talk about when it comes to
one of your former players, Show Hey Otani, the talk
of the Winter Meetings.

Speaker 2 (00:33):
Where will he sign?

Speaker 3 (00:34):
And there has been a lot of buzz recently about
the Toronto Blue Jays. On the face of it, Joe,
it sounds like, well, where did that come from? But
the more you think about it, the more that it
makes sense that sho he Otani might actually wind up
signing with the Toronto Blue Jays. So give me your
first reactions when you heard about this, Joe, the possible

(00:56):
connection of Show Hey and the Jays.

Speaker 4 (00:59):
Yeah, like you're saying, it's likely, it's not impossible. First
of all, it's an international city. I think that might
appeal to him a lot. I think there's a different
vibe when you're in Canada obviously to the United States.
And I'm certain and I know there is a really
strong kind of Asian rim population there that he could
really identify with right down to the fare of the food,

(01:21):
So that does it surprise. The other part would be
that ballpark. Then he could put up some numbers in
that ballpark. Offensively, that is a hitter's paradise. It's domed
the weather. It's always going to be good. When it
comes down to the travel situation, you know, dealing with
going in and out of the country, going through all
that stuff, He's used to it. He's used to going

(01:44):
through customs and things like that, So I don't know
that that really bothersome to him, you know, the tax situation.
I don't even know what that looks like for him
coming from Japan. But nevertheless, this is another country for
him to conquer, you know, really this fan base there
and the fact that all these Canadians would fall in
love with the instantaneously, And like I said, I really

(02:06):
think he will work in easily to the culture. They're
finally the team itself hasn't went yet. There's a lot
there for him to like, so it's not surprising. Like
I said, right down to the ballpark, not the best
place in the world to pitch, but he misses bats,
that's different. But to hit the ball there. It just
doesn't come down.

Speaker 3 (02:25):
Yeah, I want to do a deep, deep dive on
this because you mentioned the fact that it's an international city.
There's no question about it's actually a very big market there.
Back in the hey day, when the Blue Jays were
winning back to back World Series, they were pumping in
forty nine thousand people a night in what was called
the sky Dompe back then.

Speaker 2 (02:43):
Fan base there, it's there.

Speaker 3 (02:45):
I think there's an upside what they've done here, Joe
is they built a one hundred million dollar training complex
in Florida, and they're in the process of a three
hundred million dollar renovation to the Rogers Center.

Speaker 2 (02:59):
You saw some of that last year.

Speaker 3 (03:01):
They're working on things this winter to turn it more
into a ballpark rather than a multi purpose sports facility. Now,
you know that Angels facility that sho Hay has been
using in spring training is one of the most outdated
in baseball, right and you also know that sho Hay
is very tech oriented.

Speaker 2 (03:19):
He wants cutting edge.

Speaker 3 (03:21):
I could see him being blown away by the facility
in Daned and Florida blue Jays have and what they
have planned for Rogers Center in Toronto. Those things matter
you're also talking about a team that is owned by
a giant I mean giant media and telecommunications company. They
essentially are They are a baseball's team in Canada. They

(03:42):
own the country essentially, right. You see when the Blue
Jays play in Vancouver, blue Jays fans are turning out,
coming across the board to watch that team. He would
be the face of the country when it comes to baseball.
And I think if you're talking about the Dodgers, yeah,
I love the fact that slided in between Mookie Bets
and Freddy Freeman. I want to see that that team
play one hundred and sixty two games to win every year.

(04:04):
The money, everything's there for show. Hey, But again, we're
talking about a guy, and Joe you know this better
than anybody. He wants to car of his own path.
I think if he goes to the Dodgers, right, And
I still think there's a chance he goes to the
Dodgers because everything they can offer him is what he likes.
Southern California, nice weather, chance to win every year.

Speaker 2 (04:23):
I get it.

Speaker 3 (04:25):
But he's just another car on the train, if you will.
Whereas if he goes to the Blue Jays, who haven't
won a championship here two decades.

Speaker 2 (04:34):
He's the face of the franchise.

Speaker 3 (04:36):
He is the franchise, And it wouldn't surprise me if
Rogers Communications can find a way to get him more
money by actually having him on their payroll as.

Speaker 2 (04:45):
A corporate entity. Who would you?

Speaker 3 (04:47):
I mean, you mentioned this, Joe, he is an international superstar.
If you're Rogers, don't you want show hey representing your
telecommunications business selling phones, cable internet, whatever it is. I
think there's a lot of reasons here corporately and from
a baseball perspective why the Jays makes sense for showing It's.

Speaker 4 (05:04):
Almost like he'll immediately cause the Raptors to become moot,
the maple Leafs, the Canadians, all the different. I mean,
actually does to be an opportunity for baseball to actually
supplant almost hockey as being somewhat of the national pastime
there just by his presence alone. I mean, what it'll
do to just the selling of the game itself. Kids

(05:27):
wanting to become baseball players all of a sudden. I'm
really curious about that. I think his influence would be
that far reaching. He's not afraid of that stuff. He
handles it extremely well. His ability to kind of remain
in his own cocoon while he's making all this impact.
It's incredible. I've I don't think I've ever seen him flustered.

(05:49):
I can't say I've never seen him at a loss
for words because he doesn't necessarily communicate in English, although
I believe he understands, but he's kind of like he's
seamless and everything that he does. So all of these considerations,
like you're saying, from the Rogers' perspective, I don't even know,
like you know, they probably think they could easily write
the biggest check because, like you're saying, the return is

(06:11):
going to be greater than possibly anywhere else, just based
on this entire country buying into the Toronto Blue Jays
talk about America's team, it's Canada's team overnight, So all
these things have to have been discussed right now. I
didn't realize the extent I might even take a ride
out to see it. Now you mentioned the Blue Jays facility.

(06:33):
Did not know that. I knew they did something new,
not that that crazy, and I knew Rogers Center, I mean,
the Old Sky was like one of the worst I thought,
right down to the AstroTurf horrible. So if they're trying
to make that more into a ballpark as opposed to
this sphere in the middle of the city, it's kind
of cool when the roof's open with the tower right there,
see an entwer was it ce in tower right there?

(06:55):
That is a great look. It's two different ballpark completely.
All these things, all these things he will consider. You're
right with your evaluation and your breakdown. And I think
is on the money. And I think from Rogers's perspective,
the know what the corporation ownership's called there. They know
their money's going to be made like way beyond what
they put out for him.

Speaker 2 (07:16):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (07:16):
By the way, they also have a huge chunk of
the maple Leafs and a lot of other sports entities
there in Canada, especially in the Toronto area where they're based.
They also own sportsnet, the company that puts the team
on the air. So again the investment in show, Hey,
if it's gonna cost you five hundred and fifty million dollars,
I mean, listen, I don't know their corporate books, but

(07:38):
you could see the return on investment even at that number,
it's pretty darn good because there this is the unicorn
because he pitches and hits. But he's also the unicorn
because he's a I think the most valuable business asset
in the game of baseball today.

Speaker 2 (07:51):
And I think it it's.

Speaker 3 (07:53):
Almost even more valuable for a team that owns the country,
in this case the Blue Jays in Canada. Let's talk
about Joe the baseball side of this. If you put
show Hey in that line put him in between Bishett
and Guerrero. It's a team that has been disappointing the
last couple of years. They've gotten the postseason, haven't made
any run in the postseason. You know, I've been a

(08:14):
ninety win team, nothing to really excuse yourself about. But
there's more on the table. Put him in that lineup.

Speaker 2 (08:21):
Where are they in the American League East?

Speaker 4 (08:24):
Yeah, of course, I mean, Okay, having said all that,
and I like that and I and I of course
I like Bishett a lot, like Bo. There's Daddy Will
and of course show It then Vladdie. I mean, these
are the sons of guys that I've actually worked with.
I like them a lot. I just I want to
see them be really good for a period of time.

(08:44):
Quite frankly, I mean I you know, Bo will swing
and sometimes when you just swing, swing, you're gonna get lucky.
Sometimes not so lucky. And then Vladdie last year the
power numbers weren't necessarily the same with any kind of consistency.
So it sounds good, but I'd have to see that
in action. I think that Show, hey, we'll raise their

(09:06):
games just by being there. There, they're going to elevate
them what they're doing. Mentally. I think maybe in the
beginning there might be like almost a feeling of a
little bit of a pressure, kind of a situation to
be better than they are, and that might relax into
something that is going to look like what's supposed to
look like over a period of time. But I think
it has to be more than just a three of them.
I absolutely do. I know they have some really good pitching,

(09:27):
and I like their pitching overall. And of course Show's
not going to pitch for at least one year, so
I don't think there's a lock on anything. Quite frankly,
I don't based on the people around him. I think
if you talked about him in the Dodger lineup, then
it becomes really dynamic, to the point that you can
hardly describe it him in that lineup in the American League.

(09:49):
Yeest absolutely outstanding, but I can't say that it has
that kind of science, sealed and delivered feeling that it
has if he had signed with the Dodgers.

Speaker 3 (09:59):
Yeah, listen, I'm with you. I like the pitching of Toronto.
I do think they need some help offensively. Don't forget
Matt Chapman as a free agent. He actually didn't have
a great year last year, at a great first month
of the season. But they'll need more than show Hay
in that offense, right, But I mean show Hey, Joe,
I mean, his offensive game just keeps getting better and better.

(10:19):
I actually think he's the most impactful hitter in the
game today. It's no slight on Aaron Judge or Ronald
Acuna Junior. They're great too, but it's just something about
show Hey. He's got no holes that the power. He
had forty four home runs and essentially missed a month
last year. So yeah, the impact is going to be
if he winds up in that lineup huge, There's no

(10:39):
question about it. It doesn't make them probably the favorites
over Baltimore at this point, but it puts some darn
close and you know that's you know when you add
a player like that to a team, Joe, what it
does to everybody in the organization that they're stepping up
to making the biggest move you could possibly make in
baseball of all time.

Speaker 2 (10:56):
It's gonna be the.

Speaker 3 (10:57):
Biggest contract of all time. He's got to be a
halo effect there.

Speaker 4 (11:00):
You're right. I just don't think it's a lot necessarily
that they're going to win everything. Because of that, I
definitely makes them interesting. They're going to be on TV
constantly in every country that watches base Paul I love
all that about it. I think for the game itself,
it could be fascinatingly like huge regarding the impact he
could have if you're really trying to again you're looking

(11:23):
for that next audience, not only the youth, but also
the audience itself, the expanding it to international audiences. He's
the one guy that has that opportunity more than anybody else.
Nobody on Baltimore does, Nobody on the Yankees does. Regardless
of you know Aaron Judges and his appeal, this guy does.
This guy is Elvis. He is the Beatles, and you're

(11:44):
talking about it before he's Michael Jordan of baseball. He's
that impactful on a game in an industry. So he's
all of that. And that's why I think when it
comes to this number, everybody's like concerned, well, it's going
to get over six O. Of course it's going to
get over six hundred million. You have to pay him
like two players. He is two players. And not only that,
what he does financially to your group, the exponential, the

(12:05):
complimentary comp effect of what he does economically is you're
gonna have to wait and find out exactly what it
is because it's going to be that severe. Yeah, so
that's why Thronto is a possibility.

Speaker 2 (12:15):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (12:16):
My last thought on show hey and you ran this
he ran into this would show hey.

Speaker 2 (12:19):
I mean he marches to the beat of his own drummer.
We know that.

Speaker 3 (12:22):
I go back to when he was coming out of
high school into the draft and MLB teams, especially the Dodgers,
were looking to sign him, and it was the manager
of his team in Japan who drafted him. I think
his name is Hedeki Moriyama, who told him basically, create
a path that nobody has walked down before, and by
that he meant, we'll give you the opportunity to be

(12:44):
both a pitcher and a hitter, and that really put
the light on and show his head.

Speaker 2 (12:49):
He had not considered that.

Speaker 3 (12:51):
He thought maybe if the Dodgers or the Rangers and
the Cubs at that time signed him, he would become
either a pitcher or a hitter, because the idea of
a two way player in Major League Baseball was not
out there at all. It wasn't on anybody's radar. And
was his manager who said, walk down a path nobody
has walked down before, and he loved that idea and
that has driven him to this day. So for us

(13:12):
to sit here and try to devine what his intentions
are or what he wants or trying to get the
last dollar from somebody, there's something appealing in whatever team
he signs with that we're all probably missing, right. Yeah,
I think I can see something with Toronto again where
it's a unique path for show. Hey, he's not becoming
a just another superstar on the Dodgers who won a

(13:35):
World Series just three years ago. The Blue Jays haven't
wanted a generation, you know. I think there's got to
be some appeal there. I think the technology, the ballpark,
the training facility, that can matter. And again I'm not
predicting he's signing with the Jays, but Joe, I think
they've got a real shot, and I'm not sure I
would have thought that a month ago.

Speaker 4 (13:53):
Again, can't argue with any of that. Going back to
the original concept with that last statement was that people
didn't believe. I swear to I mean, I was in
on the meeting. I sat on meetings with the Cubs
at that particular time, and just other baseball people that
I really respect a lot a lot, and a lot
of them were pitching coaches, and pretty much they didn't

(14:15):
believe he can do that. They didn't believe he can
do that, and that he's going to have to choose, etc.
And you know, we've talked about this in the past,
that this is something I wanted to try to do
with the young man back in the day with the
Angels in the late eighties or early nineteen nineties, because
I always thought it was a fascinating subject that you,
if you have such a great athlete, to give him

(14:35):
this opportunity to do. And part of my rationale was
if he watches out at one or the other, that
he could be one or the other. Also and still
you stub yourself a great athlete or a great Major
League baseball player. Yes, he That's part of when I
was with him with the Angels from the beginning in
twenty twenty, I was trying to get that done. I

(14:56):
was trying to get him to be able to do
both with him, and there was a lot of reticence
with it because there was a lot of actual, how
shall I say, guidance coming from other than baseball people.
Guidance was coming from medicine and training staffs and sports
technology stuff that really didn't want him to do it.

(15:17):
They did not want him to do it at that time.
They thought it would be adverse and that he would
not be able to deal or handle with it. It was
a lot too much. I thought there was too much
scrutiny involved in regards to it. Just thought enough to
play baseball. So I'm glad we've arrived at this point
with him in for him, I've not met his manager,
but i've heard about him the fellow in Japan. It
sounds like we're on the same page with that, because

(15:39):
he is obviously capable of doing all this stuff. And
you're right, there's a there's a wrinkle out there somewhere
that we're not aware of. That show he's evaluating, and
it can come down to this last point. I still
think that for him to go to an East Coast,
Midwestern Eastern team, there's got to be a roof on
the building. I think I don't know that he's going

(15:59):
to really want to be I don't think he's going
want to play in cold weather. You know that's going
to impact him physically as a hitter, and then of
course on the mail when he comes back to it.
So I think you could go east of the Mississippi.
That's one of my more recent thoughts. The location is
probably gonna have to have a roof on it.

Speaker 2 (16:16):
That's a great point. I agree with that one hundred percent.
Of course.

Speaker 3 (16:19):
That's another item in the favor of the Toronto Blue Jays.
That you're playing in the climate control facility. There's no
doubt about that. The rain, cold weather, and the humidity
in August. This is a guy who's very particular about
the way he treats his body and works it hard
being a two way player, and I think teams realized
early on in this process. I'm talking about Matt's Yankees

(16:39):
Red Sox. He was not playing there, So that's a
great point. And by the way, you deserve a lot
of credit, Joe. I know you're not going to step
up and take it, but by taking the governor's off
Show Hey back then in twenty twenty and letting him
be the full version of himself really got him to
this point. I mean, he probably gets here anyway, but
who knows. We just know as baseball fans watching Show

(17:00):
Hey play the game of baseball without governors on him,
artificial governors in some cases, has brought out the best
in him. There's no question about that. And you, and
like Koreyama, his manager in Japan, there's are a lot
of credit for letting this guy flourish.

Speaker 4 (17:14):
You know, it's thank you, but it's really obvious, you know,
and I know it comes down to the athlete himself.
He just needed opportunity. I've always felt, like I said,
I've always thought it was a fascinating concept. I never
thought it could be done at this level. Like when
I was talking about Deshaun Warren from back in the
day in the minor leagues, really fast man, real fast

(17:36):
through ninety five and he was a long ways away,
but I found that, Like I said, my biggest concern
there was if a guy washes out on one side,
he might be able to be valuable on another side
with the on the major league level. But show Ay
was different and actually quite frankly, and we've talked about
this too, when I saw a first pitch, he didn't
throw the ball well, and I actually didn't see Hi

(17:56):
hit the ball well. He was off timing and he's
coming off Tommy John and all this stuff, and I, man,
it was it was hard to under stand. But then
it just there was different, especially when I saw him
a spring training in twenty twenty one, totally different, totally
different cat. And then you could see it all coming together.
At that point you could you know what everybody had said.

(18:19):
But for me, the overarching point of all this was
when the guy signed. When he came here to sign,
he came to play two things. He came to do
two things, pitch and be a hitter, and to not
permit that, to least play it all the way through,
would have been absolutely disingenuous. And man, I don't even
know how you could live with yourself after you signed

(18:39):
the kid under those circumstances. And then I permit him
the opportunity to be that guy. That was really that
thought really stood out to me also, and all of
a sudden I become the steward of his of him
in his career in a sense, in that period of time.
So there was only one way to do that. Let
him fail, give him an opportunity to fail, but obviously
he did.

Speaker 3 (18:58):
Not, and let him stay on his own program. And
that's going to happen no matter what team he signs with.
It's not people are not going to put him in
a box because there's no one like him. He'll be
on his own schedule. When he does come back pitching
in twenty twenty five, he will pitch every six or
seventh day. You'll have to work around that. You'll have
to work around him having his own program in spring
training to get himself ready. But you never worry about

(19:21):
this guy. I mean, he's so particular, so detail oriented
about getting himself physically ready to play this game of baseball,
Eat sleeves, freeze the game. So when you say on
his own program, that's typically been a euphemism't for a
guy who's like not a team player. In this case,
it's just the detail the work that goes into being
sho he Otani is something only he knows how to

(19:42):
get done.

Speaker 4 (19:43):
You know, I had to answer those questions too. I
had to answered those questions. Yeh, yeh, I'm sharking about it.
And I was like, really, you're worried about him, you know,
being the kicker or the punter going off to the
side and working on his stuff while everybody else is
doing something else. You're really worried about that. If you
talk to this guy, if you watch this guy, you're
absolutely right. I mean, he needs that, he needs that,

(20:05):
he needs to be able to do what he needs
to do in that day because you know what, again,
slightly since Babe Ruth, nobody else has known what he's not.
So to try to coach that or come up with
the program that you think is right for this, Wow,
I am not pretentious enough to think that I know that.
Absolutely not. Uh. This is where the athlete needs to
be listened to, and obviously it paid off for it.

Speaker 3 (20:28):
Absolutely. Hey, we're gonna take a quick break, Joe. When
we come back, I want to get your thoughts on
the newest Hall of Famer Jim Leland. The contemporary era
baseball Committee voted in Jim Leland's into the Hall of

(20:50):
Fame on Sunday night, and Joe, I know, we can
look at his numbers that wins the games, the World Series,
he won with Florida three penance, but he's a rare
guy for me. When I watched him the course of managing,
I thought he was a Hall of famer. You know,
sometimes that happens with a player. You see a guy
early in his career. I'm like at Roald da kuniit

(21:11):
right now and saying, this guy looks like a Hall
of Famer. That's kind of a no brainer. But I
felt that way with guys like why Herz, Tony LaRussa,
of course, and I thought the same way with Jim Leland.
And maybe his numbers don't exactly blow you away, just
that one World championship, but I think this is deserving
for a guy like you, who did not play in

(21:31):
the major leagues, you know, worked his butt off in
the minor leagues, get an opportunity. And I thought was
always one of the best that saw at as he
would tell me tell you himself, putting players in the
best position to win. He won with all kinds of
different teams. He won without closers, he won without great
starting pitching. I'm happy for Jim Leland. Loopanella, by the way,

(21:53):
missed by just one vote for a second time. That's
just agonizing. But right now we're going to talk about
Jim Leland. What stands out for you, Joe, when you
think about going up against Jim Leland and appreciating his career.

Speaker 4 (22:05):
Wow, I did text him and I haven't heard back,
but I texted his son because then it would be busy.
But what stands out to me, and this is the
road that comes immediately, is charisma. I you know, beyond
everything else that he is and represents, which is the
absolutely the right way to have done that. How he

(22:26):
was where he began, how he worked his way up,
the different jobs that he had had, the different outposts
he had worked at, the successes and quite a few
failures with the Pirates. Regards to losing season like heavily
losing seasons and not quitting, not giving up and still
believing in what he was doing. That takes a lot,
because your your ego really gets not just takes a hip.

(22:49):
And to get smashed when you lose a one hundred
games in the season. I've done it once with the
Rays Devil Rays, and almost the second time. And believe me, man,
when you go to the ballpark every now, you got
to fight internally to maintainer sustain the fact fact that
what I'm doing is right. I know what, I believe
it is correct and good. It's going to eventually work out.

(23:10):
It's eventually going to play out, and of course it
did for him, right down to that famous confrontation he
had with Barry Bonds.

Speaker 2 (23:19):
I love that.

Speaker 4 (23:20):
That's it. I mean, that's a Hall of fame moment
for me. We're in front of all of his other guys,
the other players there, he set it up right there.
This is don't we don't act that way around here.
That's pretty much what he was saying, and I'm not
going to put up with it. And at that point
he wins over anybody else in that organization. So if

(23:42):
there's one hundred players, one hundred people in ninety nine
and then Bonds was one hundred, the other ninety nine
are absolutely on board with everything he was going to
say and do.

Speaker 3 (23:51):
From that moment on, I know I'm with you one
hundred percent. I'm glad you brought that up. If I
remember correctly, to the genesis of that, that blowout had
something to do with Bonds disrespecting the coaching staff. Maybe
it was some early work or something. And you know,
you know Jim, he's going to back his coaches all
the way.

Speaker 4 (24:09):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (24:10):
Yeah, he's one of the first guys. Joe I remember.
I remember him walking to the outfield during batting practice
and he would do that just to check in with players.
You know, Jim was like Bobby Cox. He put on
his spikes and during VP he'd walk the outfield and
check in, you know.

Speaker 2 (24:26):
What's going on today, how do you feel?

Speaker 3 (24:28):
And it was just a way like, and you've done
this so well of making sure that you begin with
trust and communication, and that happens not by just posting
the lineup, but by talking to guys about.

Speaker 2 (24:38):
Things, not even about baseball.

Speaker 3 (24:40):
And I thought Jim Lelan was really good about engendering
that trust for players.

Speaker 4 (24:43):
Go tell you, like all you're saying right there, you
go sit in the other dugout when he's in the
other dugout, right, you be the manager and this dugout
and he's over in that dugout. The first time that
happened to me, gosh, I think it was in Detroit.
God bless it. I mean, swear to God. I mean
it was a source of consternation for me that you know,
chat Jimmy's and that other dugout damn. I mean, I know,

(25:06):
he's on top of things and you're almost outmanage yourself,
just trying to keep up what you think he's thinking,
you know, which is crazy, but it works his advantage.
You'd be considering talk about what he knew and how
he ran a game, or how he developed a lineup,
or what he said and his strategical whatever. You could
talk about that all you want. But again, presence, the

(25:29):
man had presence. He has presence that is overlooked, that
is not even considered anymore. I don't even know that
it's important anymore. But he did. I think he primarily
besides his record is one thing. The years that he
did it is another thing. But good for the game
to recognize his presence and his kind of character and

(25:53):
his charisma in regards to the role that he was in.
That is Casey Stangel. You mentioned Whitey Whitey to me
is like so oh wonderful and dear to my heart.
I've often talked about Gene Mock, and you talked about
Tony and I lose next. Lo's definitely going to be

(26:14):
next after this. I absolutely believe that. But there's a
part of that that doesn't that create a lot of
interest in the game itself. The fact that these guys
could be identified with even to the point where you
don't like them at all, And that really matters too.
You have to be really good to not be liked,
and he has all these guys have all those different

(26:35):
qualities that I don't think are discussed enough. We don't
really get into intangibles. I meaning intangibles almost to become
an archaic word because you can't evaluate intangibles. Jimmy's just
dripping with those things. And furthermore, him and Zim were tight,
and that's how I got to know Jimmy was because
of Don Zimmer. There were such great buddies that Zim

(26:58):
made sure that I got to know jim and it
was beautiful. Jimmy would up to me, you call me Skip, hey, Skip.
He said that to me behind the batting cage, and
I would look forward to those conversations. And he's a
great choke teller. On top of that, he's he's he's
what a manager should look like and be like. Okay,

(27:20):
so I mean, I know Whitey, that's what a manager
should be like and look like. I know Jimmy, I
know lou. These are the guys that's what you're looking
for in the manager, all of those qualities. And yeah,
they'd all like to have win more World Series, but
these are the kind of people you're looking for to
run your team.

Speaker 3 (27:39):
I love that word that you use, Joe presence, because
Whitey did come to my mind. You know, I'm covering
the Mets in the eighties, and I'm telling you those
Mets players were aware of the dugout in Saint Louis,
the manager and the dugout that doesn't happen often. It's
rare where it's almost like an impact player. You're aware
of Whitey Herzog running the game, and I think Jim

(28:00):
Leland had the same kind of effect. I'll tell you
my favorite Jim Leland is from twenty ten to Night
when Armando Galleraga had that perfect game taken away by
the call, but Jim Joyce at first base and it
was Galrago gets the next batter completes the one hitter,
and as Joyce is walking off the field, Jim Leland,
who's as crusty and competitive as anybody you're gonna find,

(28:23):
is yelling at him, telling him, you blew it.

Speaker 2 (28:25):
Go in and look at it. You blew it.

Speaker 3 (28:28):
The kid had a perfect game, and Jim Joyce, you
know this is what happens when you're an umpire.

Speaker 2 (28:32):
You're kind of used to that. But he goes in there.

Speaker 3 (28:34):
He had the clubhouse attendant in the umpire's room queue
up that play. He only watched it once. That's all
he needed to see to see that he blew the call.
He felt terrible. Jim Joyce invited the reporters into the
umpire's dressing room and he basically stood up there near
tears and admitted he blew the biggest call of his
life and he felt terrible about it. Well Ward got

(28:56):
back to Jim Leland in the manager's office on the
Tiger's side the CA America Park. As soon as he
heard that, he got up from his seat. He walked
out of the hallway, didn't even knock on the door
of the umpire's room, flung the door open, and he
said to Jim Joyce, you and me, kid, are going
to have a beer, and I'm sorry that it happened,
but we are going to move on from this that

(29:19):
swing of events, if you will, arguing with the umpire
because he wanted to call to go his way, and
then having the heart to realize what Jim Joyce was
a great guy was going through and just dealing with
knowing that he blew the call and immediately cracking open
a beer to sit down with this guy and say
let's move on. That's Jim Lewland to me. I mean,
that's that's managing people, not just ball games.

Speaker 4 (29:42):
We listen for a second. Of all, I'm a huge
Jimmy Joyce fan. I've actually texted with him recently. He's
one of my all time favorite umpires. And that entire
story encapsulates and typify signifies why you love Jim Joyce.
I thought about that particular play that was prior to
obviously instant Replay. I really thought, symbolically when replay came

(30:07):
into play, that that call should have been the first
call reviewed by Instant Replay and reversed. I don't see
why it could not have been. I thought it was
the perfect one. I said it publicly, but of course
I was going to listen about something like that at
that time. But it would have been a perfect moment,
the perfect way to show you this is exactly what
we can fix under these circumstances. I don't think anybody

(30:30):
would have argued with that. I don't. I don't think
I'm not going to go back to Decatur's play. I'm not,
of course not, but that one was so fresh. I
thought that would have been great, and Galaraga would have
gotten this perfect game. And I don't think you would
have had one dissenter, not one if you had some.
And I'm not necessarily the symbolic dude, I'm not in
the symbolism all the time by any means, But I've

(30:51):
often thought that that would have been perfect. It definitely
would have permitted Jimmy to slave better. And I don't
dispute one second why or how Jimmy dealt with that.
I'd like to believe I'd have done the same thing
at final point, Who did Ken Griffy Junior pick up
for his commercial to be the Empire? But Jimmy Joyce

(31:14):
with Kenny and his wife's and Jimmy does a great
job with that, So all that stuff to me, that's
who Jim Joyce is. Anybody listening today, I promise you
you want to have that beer with Jim Joyce and
you also want to sit there and have that beer
with Jim Leland. It's a perfect marriage right there.

Speaker 3 (31:33):
Yeah, listen, it's a great idea, Joe, to go back
and give him the perfect game. But I actually think
he's our generation's Harvey Haddocks. A galaraga is more famous
for not having the perfect game than for having it.
But I still like the symbolism that you're suggesting there.
By the way, Jim Joyce from Toledo, Ohio and Jimmy Leland,

(31:54):
of course from Perrysville, not far down the road, both
from real blue class working families, and both earn their
way on their stripes in baseball the hard way, coming
up through the minor leagues. By the way, Jim Leland,
now it kind of completes this, Joe. It's I know,
Bruce Boccie, Terry Francona, Dusty Baker, not yet eligible for

(32:14):
the Hall of Fame.

Speaker 2 (32:15):
I think someday we'll see those in.

Speaker 3 (32:17):
You mentioned Louke Panela as well, and hopefully there's a
day where he gets that last vote and get him
in as well. But now every manager but two who's
had thirteen hundred wins and two World Series appearances is
in the Hall of Fame.

Speaker 2 (32:34):
One is Ralph Halck, who actually.

Speaker 3 (32:36):
Had three and won the World Series twice, and the
other is you, Joe Madden.

Speaker 4 (32:40):
Really so maybe.

Speaker 3 (32:41):
Someday there's there's a place for you. Thirteen hundred wins,
two World Series appearances. Everybody's in except Ralph Halck and
Joe Madden.

Speaker 4 (32:50):
Well, the major, right, the Major.

Speaker 2 (32:52):
The Major, that's right.

Speaker 4 (32:53):
I loved Ralph Halck, I mean I loved everything about that.
That dude back in the day. Number thirty five I
believe is accurate.

Speaker 2 (33:00):
I think you're right.

Speaker 3 (33:01):
He was a backup catcher basically never played Becau as
Yogi played all the time.

Speaker 4 (33:05):
Were both stunk. We both stunck. It's perfect.

Speaker 2 (33:09):
Hey, we're gonna take a quick break, Joe, and we
come back.

Speaker 3 (33:12):
I want to ask you about a player signing an
eighty two million dollar contract before he even played a
day the big leagues and a teenager at that.

Speaker 2 (33:19):
We'll talk about that next, all right, Joe. I mentioned an.

Speaker 3 (33:34):
Eighty two million dollars guaranteed contract for a player yet
to appear in the big leagues. Of course, we're talking
about Jackson Churio, the outfielder with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Speaker 2 (33:44):
There's actually two year.

Speaker 3 (33:46):
Option that club option added to that, so basically the
next decade he is under control of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Give me your quick thoughts on this, especially as a
manager knowing you've got a guy who's, let's face it,
set for life.

Speaker 4 (34:00):
I don't know. I don't know. It's it's kind of
intuitive to just things that I believe in, and again,
I'm certain that'll be get accused of being out of
touch with what's going on today. I don't know when
you acquire that much wealth before you really accomplish anything,

(34:21):
and especially in such an industry as baseball. I don't
know the kid. I'm sure they know well enough to
believe that the motivation is going to be there. I
don't doubt that. I don't doubt that. But to just
hand over that kind of dough without any production at all,
just the potential production, I mean, Wander Frankel was kind
of like that with the race too. I don't know
that it was that much money, but there's a similar situation,

(34:43):
right there so many things could happen between now and
the culmination of that contract. I think, I get it.
I don't know why. I don't understand why it was
that necessary. I'd like to know the exact reasons why
you have to go ahead and lay that all out
there in advance when you have this gunder control for

(35:04):
so many years regardless, are you attempting to persuade him
that at the end of that contract, we believe you're
gonna be that good that you got to re sign
with this at that point. I just don't I'd like
to know the exact reason why you have to do
something like I don't know the exact reason, But more
than anything, it's a dangerous precedent, I think. And it's
you know, it's going on with Nil what is it?

(35:26):
Things with the yeah, yeah, that kind of stuff. I
don't quite And again, I guess it's because I'm from
a previous generation and my method of feelings like I've
earned something that it belongs to me, that I've gone
through all the processes, that it's my time to have
something like that. But we're we're just we're creating a

(35:46):
different method of aspiring to attempt to be somebody or
when you start giving the reward before the Hayes been
put in the barn I don't quite get that. So
and I don't know the kid. You know, Maddie Arnold's wonderful.
I love the GM there. I love them of a
lot actually, and they said the same thing happened with

(36:06):
wonder So maybe you can explain to me why why
do organizations feel it's necessary to go in that direction
with so many years of control ahead, And maybe you
could explain that to me.

Speaker 3 (36:18):
Yeah, I'm going to take the other side on this,
and I know people are going to look at people
like John Singleton and Scott Kingery, Evan White, wh we
just traded to Atlanta.

Speaker 2 (36:29):
These are guys who got big.

Speaker 3 (36:30):
Deals before they really played a day in the big
leagues or hardly any in the big leagues. But I'm
talking about big deals. These are like, you know, ten
to twenty five million dollars. They were not superstar players.
This kid, and maybe just someday a team is going
to be wrong taking this bet on somebody. But to me,
if you're talking Joe about one of the top two

(36:50):
or three prospects in baseball.

Speaker 2 (36:53):
And he's a position player, the risk is very low.
And that's for me.

Speaker 3 (36:59):
If you're talking about someone who's in he's a one percenter,
he's that exceptional player. He's an Okunya, he's a Luis Robert,
he's a Brace Harper, he's a Manny Machado. Sign this
guy because if you don't, and in your place like Milwaukee,
the minute he steps on the field and that service
time clock starts running, people are counting down.

Speaker 2 (37:17):
Until it hits six years and he's gone.

Speaker 3 (37:19):
It happened to brace Harper. To me, he never put
roots down in Washington because everybody was saying, well, he's
gonna leave as a free agent when he's twenty five.
His kid gott in the big leagues at nineteen, he's
going to be out of here at twenty five. It's
incredible free agent Alex Rodriguez the same thing. So at
least with Milwaukee, now you know you've got this guy
for a decade, that that countdown clock, he can forestall that.

(37:41):
If you're a Brewers fan, you can believe in this kid.
And he's not gonna sign with the Yankees after he
puts six years in. Now, listen, there's gonna be the
team that's gonna get burned somewhere along the line on
one of these major, major contracts. I'm not talking about
twenty million dollar one. But we've seen, you know, Corbyn
Carroll sign the deal. We saw Evan Longori with the
Rais Joe sign when he got to the big leagues.
That was a condition of signing up coming up to

(38:03):
the big leagues. But if you're sure about a position player,
lock him up. And here's the other thing I like
from a business point of view, the eighty two million
dollars is similar to what Machado Harper got in their
ages twenty to twenty seven seasons. The difference is those
guys got to free agency and now all of a sudden,

(38:24):
the numbers are going to astronomical levels, and the cost
on the back end you either lose the player or
the cost of retaining him in an auction atmosphere is
just too high. This kid's two option years and we're
talking about his age twenty eight and twenty nine seasons
are only twenty five million dollars. That is cheap for
a guy you think is going to be a multi

(38:45):
year All star. So to me, that was, hey, we're
giving you this security, But to get something back. We
want your free agent years at twenty five million per
age twenty eight to twenty nine. That's where the bargain
comes in. Now, if he's not a perennial All Star
and he's just an okay player, lost on the deal.
I get that, But I do like and respect your

(39:07):
point about when you give someone life changing money, you
better be sure, as sure as anybody can be, that
your motivation is not diminished. That because you're satisfied financially
doesn't mean you're satisfied as a baseball player. So I'm
trusting the Brewers know that about this kid, that his
motor is going to rev just as hard. And you know,

(39:29):
I can actually make the point that having the security
now makes it easier for him to go out and play,
and he's not going year to year and trying to
put up numbers to win an arbitration case.

Speaker 2 (39:38):
So there's two sides to it. I get it.

Speaker 3 (39:42):
But I think to your point, Joe, it starts with
as a club, you better understand what makes this guy tick.
You better not take away any motivation.

Speaker 4 (39:51):
Yeah, go ahead, let me tell you I've without mentioning names,
I had a spectacular young player in the minor leagues.
He was nineteen or twenty in the Texas League, and
he was really good, and it was a foregone conclusion,
discussed going to be a big league player for the
Angels for years and so forth and so on. It's

(40:12):
a can't miss situation. Great personality, tremendous work ethic, played hard,
all this stuff right, and then he gets he got
injured and he was actually for his rehab. They sent
him back to Anaheim, which never happens. He always rehab
as a minor league player, wherever you're at. And so anyway,

(40:33):
he did that, came back and God, just wasn't the
same cat anymore. After the next couple of years, the
abilities diminished, and part of it was just the work.
After having been there and after having seen how much
everybody loves him, and there's a foregone conclusion he's going
to be this great, great player. Something happened within the

(40:55):
personality the person himself, the kind of immeasurable stuff that
kind of could only be diminished, maybe through security at
such a young age, wealth at such a young age.
I don't know, because I and probably you know, my
work ethic was probably born of the fact that I
had to, you know, there wasn't anything there. I don't
know I would react to having that much money at

(41:17):
that age, whereas the next ten years are kind of like, wow,
it really doesn't matter what I do. And I know
that's hard to say it that way, but wow. The
whole thing about working and earning is that you do
work and you earn and eventually it comes up better
for you. And when you when that's kind of like
totally subverted and you don't have to do this. You

(41:39):
just have to show up and play and you're gonna
get eighty so million bucks. I get the understanding. Now
you explained it, well, I didn't even know it's ten years,
so that part of it does make sense that you're
buying out a couple of years at the end. But
that's my it's more of a human side. That is
my concern, the lack of motivation. It's a special person,
especially at that age, to be able to remain motivated

(42:01):
and play at that high level when everything'sretty much mapped
out for you and your family for the rest of
their lives.

Speaker 3 (42:07):
It's a great point, Joe, And that really is what
it comes down to. What makes you know this guy
tick and for instance, Julio Rodriguez and the Mariners.

Speaker 2 (42:14):
He got an even bigger deal, right.

Speaker 3 (42:16):
He had hit the ground running when they worked out
the deal, so there was something to see on the
major league level. But the Mariners don't worry about that kid.

Speaker 2 (42:24):
I don't worry about that kid.

Speaker 3 (42:25):
And listen, I know him pretty well, but I don't
know everything about him. But I know how much he
loves the game of baseball, and I know what motivates him,
and it's not money. I mean, he's got security and
his motivation is just as strong. So the Brewers should
feel that way about this kid. Otherwise, you don't give
that kind of money if you have any doubts. Yeah,
you don't give that kind of security and allow someone

(42:47):
to go into cruise control.

Speaker 2 (42:48):
But obviously they don't think he's that kind of player.
So is it a risk. Yeah, Like I said, some point, Joe,
somebody's going to get burned.

Speaker 3 (42:55):
I mean, there was a time when Yarry Sanchez in
the Yankee system was considered a better hitter than Aaron
Judge and he was untouchable in trades.

Speaker 2 (43:03):
You know how that worked out.

Speaker 3 (43:05):
The Mets had a kid, Fernando Martinez who was one
of the top prospects in baseball, who never made it
in a game of baseball and had all the tools.
So yeah, I mean, you know better than anybody, Joe,
how fickle this game can be. When you look at
young talent, you try to figure out what's his next
ten years going to look like. From nineteen to twenty nine, right,
that's a lot of crystal ball gazing. But in this case,

(43:26):
like I said, maybe this kid is one of those
one percenters and we're going to say this this is
going to look like a bargain it went at the
end of this deal. That's what the Brewers are thinking.

Speaker 4 (43:34):
I hope it does. I swear to God, I hope
it does. It's just like everything you just said. I
understand Rodriguez. I get it, and I'm describing to a
player that I felt the same way about as any
nineteen twenty year old. It's just I never ever thought
this would go sideways because all of a sudden there
was a change in personality. You're that young and that rich.

(43:58):
I have no idea what that feels like, and that
would be somewhat of a can concern to me. If
I'm passing out that kind of dope.

Speaker 3 (44:06):
Just saying, well, he's in good hands because Pat Murphy
is his manager starting out in the leagues, and we
like that, and the fact that, listen to me, there's
no guarantee this guy is going to be on the
major league roster opening day. If he falls on his
face in spring training, I'm sure Murph and the Brewers
will have no trouble saying, you know what best for
you to go down take some ab is get yourself,

(44:27):
you know, squared away here. We want when you get
to the big leagues, we want you to hit the
ground running. I don't think just because he has this
deal that they're bound and obligated to carry him on
the opening day roster. How would you handle as a manager, Joe.

Speaker 4 (44:38):
I'm just absolutely just going to say, right there, I
prefer under those circumstances, I think it's normally better to
send him out, get going, get your feet on the ground,
start swinging to bat, get things wrong, and then bring
him up. When you come up out of spring training
to the big league team for the very first time,
I mean meaning get to the big leagues for the

(44:58):
first time straight out of camp, it's a different vibe.
It's a different feeling and all of a sudden things
can get a little bit quick, sooner, quicker, whatever you
want to say. I like the idea of a young
player getting getting it going, getting his groove back, getting
his groove on, getting down there. My swing's right, or
my pitch of my my slot's right, my timing's right,

(45:19):
my rhythm's right, whatever it is, that's right. And you
can see that as an evaluator, you know, And of
course the conversation with the kid will tell you. So
I like that better. And I know like there's been
and there's canny may be an argument now about is
the contract, because I know when kV was brought up,
he sent down for a little bit of time because
of the potential for you know, the contract and the

(45:42):
free agency and all that kind of stuff. And Longo
was the same way. Longo was brought up and he
wasn't set up there and there's always this the smoke
screen that set up. No, he really needs more time
in the minor leagues as compared to we just don't
want to get the clock running yet. Under these circumstances,
I would let him sit for a little bit. There
could be three weeks. It could be a month, it
could be two weeks, I think, but I would let

(46:05):
him get it rolling before I actually brought him up,
and I think that'd be a better way to do
it in my opinion.

Speaker 3 (46:12):
Yeah, there's actually no incentives in place for the club
to carry a guy like that opening day. If he
finishes in the top three, they can get a draft
pick if he's on the opening day roster, a top
three at rookie of the year.

Speaker 2 (46:23):
So we'll see. But I have a.

Speaker 3 (46:24):
Feeling this kid is that talented that he's going to
have a good spring training. And I think if he
just shows well in spring training, Joe, I think he's
their opening day center fielder.

Speaker 4 (46:34):
I do. I haven't seen him. He must be damn good.
He must be good. Huh, I haven't seen him at all.

Speaker 2 (46:39):
He's really good.

Speaker 3 (46:39):
It hits the ball all field. He's got a flat
stroke with power. Now listen again, it's nineteen. You're gonna
see major league pitching. It's spring training, as you know,
which is a little bit different. But I think as
long as he doesn't fall in his face, I think
he'll be on the opening day roster. That's just my guess.
And the other one to look at. Now, is Jackson
Holiday Matt Holliday's kid, same situation.

Speaker 2 (47:02):
I think there's no holding him back.

Speaker 3 (47:03):
I guess as he's going to be the Orioles opening
a shortstop. And now there's some pressure on Baltimore to
offer this kid the same kind of contract that.

Speaker 2 (47:12):
The Brewers gave Cheerio.

Speaker 3 (47:13):
Doesn't mean Jackson wants that contract, and it has not
been the Orioles.

Speaker 2 (47:18):
MO.

Speaker 3 (47:18):
We know that to lock these guys up with mega
deals or any kind of mega deals.

Speaker 2 (47:23):
But we may see it again.

Speaker 3 (47:24):
I don't want to say more often Joe, but the
very top prospects. I'm talking about the top two or
three position players. You would never do it with a pitcher,
of course, just because of the injury factor. But I
think Jackson Holiday is the next guy to look at.

Speaker 2 (47:37):
Will they get it.

Speaker 3 (47:37):
Done, Probably not, because it's the Orioles, and we'll see
what happens. But I like the Brewers doing this with
a young player to tell their fans he's.

Speaker 2 (47:45):
Going to be here for a decade.

Speaker 3 (47:47):
Go out and buy the jersey and you can grow
up with this guy's your favorite player.

Speaker 4 (47:50):
That's awesome. I mean, I said, I'll just absolutely I'm
going to be paying more attention to this now. It's
fascinating to me. It's just antithetical to how we grew
up in that And again, shoot me for being over fifty,
but it's just antithetical regarding the earning component. We've talked
about this all the time, that's all. And I'm probably
going to be wrong on this one, and I hope.
I wish him nothing but the best, But again, my

(48:13):
experience has taught me to be somewhat careful. Even with
the guy you think you got absolutely nailed down. I
know what he's like. You'll never change had it and
it changed.

Speaker 3 (48:24):
Well show hey, Otani to bring it back where we
started has definitely earned it.

Speaker 2 (48:28):
Joe, as you know, he came over here.

Speaker 3 (48:31):
If he waited another year, he could have gotten an
unlimited amount of money, but because of his age and
experience in Japan, actually had a ceiling on the amount
of money he can get as a free agent coming
in the first time, and has proved himself by playing
baseball the way nobody has in the history of the game,
by being an every dh and pitcher for so many
years like this, It's never been done before. I mean, whatever,

(48:52):
he gets and your jaw's probably going to drop with
that number. Starts with either a five or six, he
will have earned it. So I just wanted to bring
that back to full circle. And maybe it happens this week.
I think we're getting to a point where show Hey
knows what he wants and the teams know the number.

Speaker 2 (49:08):
There's no bargains here.

Speaker 3 (49:09):
It's gonna hurt to sign this contract, but you'll probably
I'm sure you'll love having him on your roster.

Speaker 4 (49:15):
I got it starting with a six. Okay, I'm starting
with a six. I think that's a lot. You're gonna
have to be there to get him. Like I said,
because just measure all the ancillaries, all the things that
he's going to bring to the table, besides just being
your dh your starting picture, it's gonna start with the six.

Speaker 3 (49:35):
I can't argue, can't argue. Yeah, we'll see and again,
maybe it's gonna happen this week. In the meantime, we'll
be on top of anything. It happens at the winter meetings,
we'll be back at you and Joe. You always do
a great job taking this out at the end of
these Yeah, and what do you got in store for
us tonight.

Speaker 4 (49:52):
Got to run on top of this again. Brother, you know,
you being there.

Speaker 3 (49:57):
I'm not surprised you being there and you being there
and everything that's going on.

Speaker 4 (50:03):
I researched the word one word, and it came down
to this. Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences. I
love that, you know, and it was a guy by
name of Norman Cousins.

Speaker 3 (50:16):
That's the definition of baseball, by the way, right, the
definition of baseball right. I mean, yes, action is great,
but the anticipation of it is more than half the fun.

Speaker 4 (50:25):
The anticipation of consequences. That loved that. I loved those
three words together. And was Norman Cousins. I guess he
was a political writer back in the day, some kind
of a writer, a journalist. Wisdom consists of the anticipation
of consequences. That makes Matt Arnold wise.

Speaker 2 (50:45):
Well said, Joe, enjoyed it. We'll see you next time.

Speaker 4 (50:48):
Have a great time there. Say ahead to my buddies.

Speaker 2 (50:49):
We'll do.

Speaker 1 (50:58):
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