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January 31, 2024 57 mins

The Book of Joe Podcast with hosts Tom Verducci and Joe Maddon begins with the 49ers advancing to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.   Joe explains why some players are just winners and we're seeing that with Brock Purdy.  Did Dan Campbell make the right choices in the NFC Championship game?  Onto MLB, Tom explains why he likes the Tiger's deal with Colt Keith and how their lineup could be a winner. We wrap up with thoughts on Cody Bellinger and why Joe and Tom have different views on where he'll play baseball this season.

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
The Book of Joe Podcast is a production of iHeartRadio.
Hello again and welcome to the Book of Joe Podcast.
I am Tom Berducci. I am here as always with
Joe Madden. We'd like to call this the most interesting
baseball podcast.

Speaker 2 (00:25):
On the planet.

Speaker 1 (00:26):
And we're going to make a little bit of a
detour right now to talk about football and Joe Madden's
favorite quarterback in the league right now, Rock Party. His
dad obviously play pitch for Joe Madden in the minor
leagues and the Angels system and Brock Party.

Speaker 2 (00:41):
Joe keeps doing brock purty things.

Speaker 1 (00:43):
The guy picked last in the National Football League Draft
is taking the San Francisco forty nine ers to the
Super Bowl. This is now two weeks in a row
where Brock Perty it looked like a pitcher who didn't
have his a game on the mound somehow found it
late in the game.

Speaker 2 (00:59):
Two weeks in a row.

Speaker 1 (01:01):
If you look at his win over Green Bay, Joe,
now this win on Sunday against Detroit, in those critical
moments with his team down, he completed nineteen out of
twenty three passes for two hundred and eighty four yards.
And he's now twenty one and five as a starting
quarterback in the NFL. Joe, you've seen it with some

baseball pitchers and maybe you don't grade out on the
analytics numbers with over the top stuff, but some guys
just know how to win.

Speaker 2 (01:30):

Speaker 3 (01:30):
That's it. That sums it all up. That's well done. Yeah,
it's makeup, brother, it's makeup. It's competitive nature. Of course,
he has talent. I mean people will speak about him
as though he's void of talent, that he can't throw.
Whatever you watch, he made some nice throws yesterday and
some tight windows. Early on, he was not he was off.
He was off. He looked like it might have been
a little bit quick his confidence was it quite there yet,

or that rhythm was not there yet. But eventually they
showed one tight shot of him talking to Shanahan on
the sidelines, and I thought, Shanahan look like this, like
through the side of his mouth, saying something a little
bit more stern than normal, and you could see Brock
listening listening. Took it. I got it. I got it.
And then eventually he comes out in the second half
and does what he normally does. It was beautiful. I

love that and you're right, you're putting together a team,
a baseball team or a football team whatever, that's not
At some point, I think you have to almost begin
with what are we looking for here? Makeup, competitive nature, accountability.
These are the kind of things that he just drips with,
all those intangibles, and I think that's it. I mean,

he only got drafted when he got drafted because they
recognized that within him. They probably talked to somebody as
coach whatever, whomever, and this kid's got great intangibles. He competes,
he never quits. The guy's rally around him. That's probably
why he got drafted. And of course you know, his
arm's definitely good enough. And then here comes at the
biggest stage. Last year he kind of walked in there

without any expectations and kind of nailed it. This year
a little bit more expectations, and so there might have
been those moments when it was a little bit quicker,
a little bit fuzzier, but he eventually was able to
slow it down and get it done. So that's what
I see. And yeah, they went in deep breath, Okay,
we got this, Like you said, make a few adjustments.
Whereas the other team, I thought Detroit, was like looked

up and all of a sudden, like, wow, look where
we're at. One bad break and all of a sudden
it got fast and that's what happened.

Speaker 1 (03:30):
Yeah, and listen, you know his dad, Well, there was
a great shot there of his dad and the stands after.
You know, brought me at a couple of great plays
with his feet there a couple of times, even put
his shoulder down.

Speaker 2 (03:39):
He wasn't going into the slide mode.

Speaker 1 (03:41):
You could see him competing in the in the tightest
moments of the game, going for every yard that he could.
And his dad at one point got up in one
of the up there one of those runs and you
could read the lips and you heard the atta boy
right there, Joe.

Speaker 2 (03:54):
Our listeners can go back and listen.

Speaker 1 (03:56):
To our podcast with brock Perty's dad, give us an
idea of what he was like as a competitor and
a picture for you.

Speaker 3 (04:02):
I just described hi when I was talking about his kid, right,
That's that's how he was. You know, he wasn't the
most gifted by any means, but and he wasn't like
a tall right hander like you're always looking for. Not
a perfect body either, but really focus He's the kind
of guy when you had a conversation with him that
you're right in the eyeballs, had like this really deep

focused look about him, heard everything you said, highly respectful,
and was obviously always looking for an edge, always looking
to get better. So when he pitched, he kept getting better.
And I don't he never made it to the big leagues, right,
We got through Triple A, I think with the Giants,
isn't that right? Right?

Speaker 2 (04:37):
That's right?

Speaker 3 (04:38):
Yeah, and then he kind of started closing games there
because his makeup was so good. But if you're going
to go out there as a scout with the gun
and watch this and put the gun behind home plate
and see what's he doing, not, you're not going to
be blown away by anything that he's doing nothing excepting
to take it in its entirety. The guy was just
such so competitive and wanted to win and cared so

much and again full of respect and accountability. Oh okay,
you talk about Sean, you talk about his kid Brock,
same dudes.

Speaker 2 (05:08):
Yeah, that's awesome.

Speaker 1 (05:09):
And obviously, as you mentioned that, the forty nine ers
saw something in him, it did take a while to
get drafted and weren't jumping out on him early, but
they saw something there. And give credit to that coaching
staff too, because one of the great things I like
about Brock is, you know, he played a lot in college.
He had a lot of reps under his belt in
a lot of different circumstances. So playing that position, there's

nothing like the experience of reps under center from the snap.

Speaker 2 (05:35):
So give them credit for sticking with a guy.

Speaker 1 (05:38):
Again, he doesn't have anything I would say, Joe, that
grades out physically as extraordinary. He does a lot of
things well, but you know, arm strength, size, speed, those
kinds of things, nothing is going to value. So give
credit to that staff because if you've paid attention a
little bit to the NFL, Joe, you've seen that the
same thing that has happened in baseball is happening in

the NFL, where teams are putting more faith in analytics
departments and they're growing in size, and each one comes
with their own agenda and their own kind of information
and they're feeding that to the coaching staffs. Another coaching
staffs are put in a position where they know the
analytics group, you know, that's.

Speaker 2 (06:18):
All coming from upstairs.

Speaker 1 (06:20):
So to deny what they're bringing to you is to
deny your bosses essentially, So there's a little push and
pull going on there that we've seen happen in baseball,
and I think that's why you see people like you know,
Mike Vrabel getting fired that Bill Belichick can't get a
job despite his resume, because to bring in a big
Bill Belichick, you essentially have to, you know, reform or

repurpose your analytics department because they're not going to have
the same sway with a guy like Bill Belichick because
a lot of people just don't want to undo what's
put in place with the analytics department and hire a
coach who's going to have the larger say when it
comes to whether it's personnel or planning, So less similarities
there as information grows around the game and these these

groups grow larger and larger. That's why, to circle back
to brock Purty, I give Shanahan the forty nine ers
staff credit for sticking with guy and seeing that there
was something in the in the way this guy can
run a game, especially in a tight spot.

Speaker 2 (07:16):
I don't know how you measure that, but coaches know
when they see it.

Speaker 3 (07:19):
Yeah, what you're talking about there obviously too, It happens
in baseball football. Whatever the deeper the draft gets or
the likely the less tools that the player probably has,
and that's where you got to really dig into the makeup.
I think the deeper a draft gets you, you're still
gonna have a gut there with maybe one big tool,
maybe two, So they're gonna you're gonna go after that

and bet on that that that might surface and eventually
you can fill in the blanks with the other parts
of his game that may need some more work. So again,
like we're talking about Brock, you just can't discount the pact. Yeah,
he could throw the football, and he throws well on
the run, and he moves and he got great vision
and all this other stuff. So those are the things
that probably got him drafted or whether they stayed with him,

and I got to believe just the conversation with them
how to be very very impactful. Next point on the
analytical component infiltrating football. Now, Campbell gets a lot of
credit for having a lot of boldness with what he does,
and I agree. I listen, I would have played for
this guy in a heartbeat, But I also believe going
for it on fourth down like he has as often

as he has has been encouraged by the people that
works within his analytical department, so it's easier for him
to make that decision, and then when it doesn't go well,
he's okay because he's going to be supported with that.
I've talked about this before and the best way I
could describe it, and I do believe it to be
true that analytics provides a safety net for decision making.

In other words, when you are basing a decision completely
and entirely on analytics and it doesn't go well, everybody's
okay with that because it's been supported by all the
group upstairs, all the guys we've fired, this vast number
of analysts that says it's it's wise er, it's you know,
let's let's do it on this particular situation. It's it's

a good bet, let's do it, et cetera. And if
it doesn't work out, just keep doing it because eventually
it's going to That's where the safety net is provided.
So coaches that are fully bought into analytical departments can
make decisions somewhat more freely or easily because they are
being supported in that regard. Now, if there's not so

much analytics involved me if there is analytics involved, and
say the coach kind of goes rogue on analytics and
makes decisions based on even he'll admit after the game
with something I felt, something I had thought about in
the past, something that's worked for me before. And if
he provides that kind of an explanation, that does not
play well with the way front offices and information is

gathered today. So there's there in lies the rubs. So
when you get an aggressive coach that takes chances in
an NFL football game or collegiately whatever, just know that
he is being highly supported by his department up stairs,
which then permits him to make this decision more freely.
Because if it's not right, it's cool. But when you
make decisions like a Belichick or a Rabel or the

other guys that may have been looking for a job
right now, and it doesn't go right, then it's really
frowned upon and you need to start listening more. You know,
play the dots defense will wherever they is. Whatever I
tell you the players shortstop, play them on this count,
because that's what the dots say, That's what it's that's
what it's really evolved into so just trying to give
an overarching view on all this, that's what's going on.

You've got a player and a Scott, a department that
takes a chance on rock Party for all these human reasons,
and then you get a guy like Campbell taking chances
that might be part of his personnel it appears to be.
But when you're supported by front office analytical departments, it's
easier to make a decision like that and be wrong
and be good with it. John.

Speaker 1 (10:54):
I like the way you put that, calling it a
safety net when you have the numbers behind you, and
that certainly I think leads to the widespread adoptions to
some of the things we're seeing. For instance, in the end,
it has become I would say routine now that on
fourth and two or less, depending on where you are
on the field, I would say mid midfield in teams
are going to go for it. You know, we're not surprised,

and now we have I love this graphic the TV
networks will throw up there on fourth down, they'll say,
the analytics say, and they'll be Ingreen go for it
like it's coming from the you know, the voice of God,
like that's the absolute right decision. When we all know
analytics is based on huge sample sizes, right You're playing
percentages is exactly what you're doing To me, I thought

Campbell got a little bit more of a pass. I'm
going for it because, as you said, that's part of
his personality.

Speaker 2 (11:44):
They do play a very aggressive game.

Speaker 1 (11:46):
It dovetails with the analytics, but I think given that
particular situation, you have to make the best call, the
best decision in terms of those elements that are in
play at that point, not the large sample size. I
think on the road, you got to tie that game,
and I've realized the field goal was not forty something yards.

Speaker 2 (12:05):
I get it.

Speaker 1 (12:05):
I thought right away, you've got to go for the tie,
put the points on the board, don't turn the ball
over if you don't get this first down. I thought,
specific to that situation, going for it was the right
thing to do. But I don't like the idea that
just because of quote unquote analytics say it's the right
thing to do, then you get a pass, because that
takes all thinking out of the equation.

Speaker 3 (12:24):
Joe, absolutely, and again it's happened in our sport also,
where it'll be said, well, he's been doing it that
way all year, Right, we've been doing it that way
all year, Thus it's okay to do it again and
then not have it work out. That's exactly what had happened.
And it's, like I said, it's easier to accept when
it doesn't work because of that reason, I thought. I'm

pretty certain I heard after the game, I think it
was Jim Nansen said he was curious to see how
analytics would like frame this game or the different kind
of components of what was going to be said analytically
after this game. He was curious to hear that breakdown,
and I thought that was really curious. So a guy
with his ilk and all the years that he's been

doing this, all of a sudden he wants you hear
the analytical breakdown of the game. And I found that
curious because it's becoming to the point now where it's
like everything else, even the media has bought into this
so much, the analytical component that they're really kind of
almost recommending it or putting it forward right out front

because they I don't know if they really consider it
that import or they're just playing along. That's That's what
I'm having a hard time understanding.

Speaker 2 (13:32):
Yeah, it's the easy thing to do.

Speaker 1 (13:33):
You know, you put your faith in the numbers, and
we all think mathematics can't be wrong. But you know,
analytics have to choose numbers to put into the equation
and actually have to put a formula together.

Speaker 2 (13:44):
Who does that? Well, the analytics people do that. That's right,
and that reminds.

Speaker 3 (13:49):
Me, Joe.

Speaker 2 (13:50):
I'll give a little bit of a spoiler alert here.

Speaker 1 (13:52):
You and Terry Franconas sat with me and Bob Costas
recently to look at review Game seven of the twenty
sixteen World Series, and by the way, thanks for doing that.

Speaker 2 (14:02):
It was awesome when that airs. People.

Speaker 1 (14:04):
You really have to watch that, a deep dive into
the greatest game that I have seen in my forty
some odd years covered Major League Baseball, and just so
many twists and turns, and one of them this conversation
brought me back to it, Joe, was when Terry Francona
bunted early in that game with his number nine hit
of Roberto Perez. He's trailing in Game seven of the

World Series, and I went back and I checked, and
he had not bunted with a position player trailing in
a game before the seventh inning. And I think this
was the third inning, Game seven of the World Series,
so it's something he had not done all year long.
He's essentially playing for one run when he's down one,
And obviously I asked Terry about in his thinking, and

it had nothing to do with the analytics, of course,
it was about the flow of the game. Actually, I
think he was down more than one. I think it
was multiple runs at that point. You might have been
up three, Joe, but he felt like to get his
team back into the game. He wanted a point on
the board. He also pointed out that his usual starting catcher,
the better offensive hitter, Yan Gomes, was not in the lineup.

Speaker 2 (15:09):
This is his number nine.

Speaker 1 (15:10):
Hitter, backup catcher, Roberto Perez, And just the flow of
the game told Terry Francona, who has seen thousands of
games that is in his major league playing and managing career,
told him this is the right time to play for
one run. If you went strictly by an analytics chart,
you would never do that. And I thought that was
a great window into what a veteran baseball manager process

is at the time, rather than looking at a chart
at saying analytics say don't. But he did essentially what
his experience told him to do.

Speaker 3 (15:42):
He wanted the runner at third base with the next
hitter coming up. Prez was the hitter and obviously on
his great catcher but not that good with the bat.
He definitely wanted that runner move ninety fit to facilitate
him scoring, which he did following that bunning him up
to third base. So yeah, that's the whole point. Every
situation is different. You cannot manage every situation ideally, the scoreboard,

the outs, the hitter, how's he doing, who's on deck,
who's in the hole, how's this picture throwing? What are
they willing to do? They're gonna play the in field
then and play the in field back. I mean, there's
so many different things to consider, and the analytical component
just treats everything the same as a cookie cutter to
a number, to analytically speaking, whereas it's not. It's this
human element that has so many variables, nuances, layers textures

to it that has to be considered in a nanosecond.
And that's the best way I can describe it. And
that's why Tito did what he did. And respectfully, I mean,
of course, you know, we'll take the outright there. But
nevertheless he got what he wanted to and what he
had spoken about, had already brought it up in that conversation,
is that our big thing was the score first, which
we did first, that bat dex or dead center. But

all of those things are being thought of and it's not.
You just can't. You just can't put in his big
bucket of analytics and feel and believe as though it's
going to fit all sizes, all moments, aritectures, all situations.

Speaker 1 (17:06):
So for you as a fan, when you're watching these
games at home and you see that analytics says, go
for it or punts or whatever it says, keep in
mind that's just a rule of thumb. That's what the
overall largest sample size, the larger percentage will tell you
is the quote unquote right thing to do. But it
does not weigh in the specific personnel, the weather, the

momentum of the game that you know, all those things
that are difficult to quantify are not formulated in there.
So when you see those numbers what the analytics suggests,
think of it as yeah.

Speaker 2 (17:40):
That's probably, you know, the likely thing.

Speaker 1 (17:43):
To do, but it does not address the actual situation
at hand.

Speaker 2 (17:48):
Hey, a lot more baseball to talk about here.

Speaker 1 (17:50):
I know we started with football, but obviously we got
into some parallels there. How about this, Would you give
a player who never played a day in the major
leagues almost thirty million dollars? Well, one team did, and
we'll talk about that, Joey. You might have caught the

news the Detroit Tigers signed young second baseman Colt Keith,
He's twenty two years old, to a six year contract
that guarantees him twenty eight point six million dollars. They
also get three option years, so they essentially bought out
his first three years of free agency, besides all of

his arbitration years and his first six years of control.
So Colt Keith is someone who's going to compete for
the starting second base job for the Tigers. He is,
I think, probably more naturally a third baseman. But if
you want to comp to this young man, the best
one I came up with was Jason Kipness. He's a
bat first second baseman who's got a really advanced approach

at the plate. He's got popped. He's going to be
a good offensive player. He's going to be i'd say
adequate defensively and with the opportunity to get better. He's
a good athlete. He's a big guy, six ' two
sixty three about two twenty strong guy. But Joe, I
love this signing for Detroit first of all, based on
where they are in the winning curve there. This team

is coming on. They've got a good core of young players.
It's a great message that you believe in your players.
You're not going to do this with everybody. You're going
to do this with someone you feel confident about. A
is going to be an everyday player at the big leagues,
and B he's got the kind of work ethic and
makeup that you can trust him that his motivation, his
desire is all that work ethic is not going to

change now that you've given him security. What's in it
for the Tigers? They save a lot of money. I'll
give you an example. My comp to him right now
in the big leagues is Glabor Torres, bat first, second baseman,
good player, He's made the All Star team twice in
his first six years. He's going to make about thirty
eight million dollars. So the Tigers are saving money. They're

saving ten to twelve million dollars. And you also factor
in the free agent years tours is free agent years
are value between I don't know, fifteen and twenty million dollars.
They're getting this kid at thirteen million free agent years.

Speaker 2 (20:15):
So that's what you get.

Speaker 1 (20:16):
When you get security, you give up maximum value that
you can earn by going year in, year out.

Speaker 2 (20:23):
So Joe, we don't see this often.

Speaker 1 (20:26):
He's the seventh player to get a contract without having
played a big leagues that is extended for this long.
Give me your thoughts as a guy, and I'll ask
you to put your scouting hat back on. When you've
got a young player twenty two years old, he's done
well in the minor leagues and you're projecting out what
he can do in the big leagues. You're betting this
guy's going to make it, not just be a contributor,
but an everyday player. So give me your thoughts on

giving that kind of security to a young player.

Speaker 3 (20:50):
You've got to be certain, man, and I guess there
are certain players that you're going to feel that strongly about.
I'd have to be convinced about his makeup and his
accountability and that I'm not going to see anybody different
over the next couple of years because I could go
back to the minor leagues. We've talked about this had
Mark maclamourn. I'm just gonna use Fluffs as an example.
And you know, he's wonderful with great friends. But he

was doing really well as a nineteen year old with
the Angels coming up through the minor leagues. Gets hurt.
We sent him to Anaheim for a couple of weeks
to rehab. He comes back to Middland and all of
a sudden, I get a different guy. You know, all
of a sudden things have changed. He wasn't the same cat,
and things kind of went different regarding you know, this
work ethic and how he thought about himself and the motivation,

et cetera. Just was departed a bit, right. So I've
always had that in the back of my mind. But
I and again, I don't things have changed, times have changed,
and I don't know this kid. But I'm always a
little bit concerned. I'd have to be, like, really convinced
solidly that this is who this guy is. I'm not
going to see anybody different. After a little bit of success,
I got to be guaranteed of his work ethic, which

I'm sure they are. I know Scotti Harris really well
with the taggers, and I could absolutely see that, AJ,
these guys are really good. So I would have to
be convinced on that. I think, you know, when it
come down to his abilities as tools, that would be obvious. Okay, Yeah,
he's got a great swing, he shows you, got great
plate discipline, he's got the power potential that I'm looking for.

He knows what to do with two strikes, you know,
so how to make adjustments during that bat, all that stuff.
Now defensively, I'm here what you're saying there, and I
would have to believe just dor repetition and again with
getting some good information from good infield coach, that's going
to naturally just improve. I don't even know what his
arm looks like, so it would just be so much

of that to me is about his makeup and how
I perceive his personality to be and if that was firm,
because that's the harder part to ascertain. The easier part
again is the tools. The tools will be obvious, and
if I could be convinced that he matches up on
the mental tools, I'd probably be I would be all
in on that.

Speaker 1 (22:56):
Yeah, I'm with you there, and also like you you know,
I put a lot of trust in the Scottie Harris
and aj Hinch to make that decision. And his kid's
been in their minor league system for what three or
four years. They know the player well, they know his
work ethic. You don't make this blindly just on talent alone,
this kind of commitment. So I'm with you, and in
this case, I will trust that the team knows the

player better than all of us two and they wouldn't
be reaching out like this unless they were convinced that
he's the right guy to make this decision on.

Speaker 2 (23:25):
As far as the.

Speaker 1 (23:26):
Talent goes, he's played two hundred and thirty nine games
in the miners and against the miners.

Speaker 2 (23:29):
But this is what we have to go by.

Speaker 1 (23:31):
His slash line is three hundred three eighty two five twelve.
That's pretty impressive. I mean that's an ops of eight
ninety four. The swing and miss, the strikeout percentage is
about average. It's not poor, it's not exceptional. As far
as putting the ball play, it's about average, not bad.
But an eight ninety four OPS. Compare that to I
mentioned Labor Torres. Torres was seven eighty four in the

minor leagues. Nolan Gorman another guy you can compare him
to at the Cardinals, who's a big swing and miss
guy with a little more power. Eight thirty four ops.
That's below what Keith has put up. And actually keith
Is slugging percentage is higher. And I mentioned Jason Kipness
eight sixty three ops. It's very comparable to what Keith

has put up. So the numbers are there that this
guy's going to produce in the big leagues. Now, if
you're a naysayer, you're gonna say, well, wait a second.
Remember when the Phillies signed Scott Kingrey six years, twenty
four million dollars. Hey, remember when the Mariners signed Evan White,
the first baseman, six years, twenty four million dollars. Had
those workout And going back a little farther, John Singleton

with the Astros got ten million dollars for five years.
It was a bust. Here's my take on those, Joe,
It does happen. You know, you overvaluate your old players.
First of all, these guys haven't put up the kind
of production that Keith has in the minor leagues. But also,
even if you're wrong, for a club twenty four million
dollars over six years is not going to break your franchise.

To me, it's the whole risk reward here, Joe, that
you can make this investment in the young player. You
can give him security, you can believe in the player,
and if it doesn't work out, it's not preventing you
from doing other things. I think the ability to give
the player of security, he doesn't have to worry about
his service time clock, he doesn't have to worry about
his value on a year to year basis.

Speaker 2 (25:15):
Just go out there and play.

Speaker 1 (25:17):
The message you send to your other minor league players
that we take care of our own. I think that's
all worth the quote unquote risk of handing out twenty
four million dollars over six years.

Speaker 3 (25:26):
The two of those gentlemen you talk about White and
is it Singleton or Singletary with the Houston a killer.

Speaker 2 (25:30):
Singleton yeah, John Singleton, yeah yeah.

Speaker 3 (25:33):
Both first basemen. You know, these guys just absolutely have
to hit to be successful, right, and you're going to
pay for the bat. I mean, they're not gonna give
Detroit's not gonna give the kid that much money if
they did not think he was gonna hit. Your pain
in today's game, you're paying for the bat first, they're
not gonna pay because he's gonna be a great defensive
second basement. So that's always the risk there. And again

never having seen him swing, now Singleton Man, when he
first showed up, boy that was good and White. White
to me was a wizard with the glove, and he
was playing first base. He was a great la I mean,
he made plays against this all you of those unreal
So there's all of these things they consider. And again,
at the end of the day, you brought it up
to me, the most important factor there is knowing the
guy and your player and all the coaches that have

come in contact with him. And you know Garko, Ryan
gark was he had been in charge of the minor
league system and Gark's pretty good at this stuff too.
So all these evaluations are there, everybody's on board, and
when everybody's on board like that, it's so much easier
to go ahead and make a decision like this. And
then we said something there that I think is really important.

The example that it sets for the rest of the group,
the other young Detroit players coming on up and in
the future, the loyalty that you may be able to
purchase by doing something like that. I've always I wrote
a paper in nineteen eighty something about something like that
where ownership I thought, should pay more attention to minor
league players and actually go out and see minor league

teams during the course of a season in order to
buy some kind of loyalty. Potentially it might be impossible anymore,
but I mean, I like the kid that that matters too.
If the kid that recognizes, hey, these guys had this
kind of trust in me. Shoot, the owner showed up
in some a ball town in the middle of June

one year and he came out and talked to all
of us, and he came up to me specifically. Doesn't
that have some kind of cachet eventually or is it
just totally about money and the way the thing is
constructed now? But that matters. I want to believe that
that matters. That this kid's got to feel the loyalty
and the confidence that they have in him. At some

point that's got to pay off.

Speaker 2 (27:42):
Yeah, I agree with you.

Speaker 1 (27:43):
And by the way, you're right, Evan White, defensive skills
are tremendous, but at first base man you got to
bring the stick. Yeah, it doesn't matter how well you
can pick it over there, correct, And it's a great
point about and I said, I think Joe, especially for Detroit,
I mean, seventh straight losing seasons, they had a really
nice finish to the year last year, and there are
to me a dark horse candidate to actually win the
American League Central this year. I think that highly of

what Scotty Harris and aj Hinch are doing there.

Speaker 2 (28:08):
They've got a good, really good core of young players.

Speaker 1 (28:11):
Now when you think about you know, Keith, we just
mentioned him, Jase Young, Josh Young's brother is probably going
to be in big leagues this year. Another infielder hits
left handed. You got, of course Riley Green, the former
number one pick. You've got a Carpenter, You've got Parker Meadows.
They've got this core jo of young left handed position

players who are either ready right now or just on
the doorstep of being ready. And it really reminds me
a lot of what Arizona and Baltimore have done in
the last couple of years. When you look at how
those teams turned it around, made it in the postseason
last year, each of them Arizona.

Speaker 2 (28:45):
To the World Series.

Speaker 1 (28:47):
They were loaded with good young left handed hitters, and
if you want to have an imbalance on your team.
I've always thought it's much better to have more lefties
than righties, just because the preponderance of right handed pitching.
And I kind of like what Detroit is building here
would not surprise me if they're on the you know this,
this really quick trajectory now to get into postseason play,

if not this year, the next year.

Speaker 3 (29:11):
And sometimes winning within the city is contagious. Right. That's
right right across the street from from Camerica is Ford Field,
where the Lions play. And then you got the Tigers
right across the street.

Speaker 1 (29:21):
Hey, Michigan did pretty well this year in college football.

Speaker 3 (29:24):
And Michigan wasn't that bad. You're right, how about the
hockey team. I don't even know what's going on with
the Red Wings, but sometimes that happens cities. Cities catch
on fire athletically with their sports teams, and all of
a sudden it becomes a contagion. I mean, that's what
you're just almost. You're talking about the Tigers, and I'm
thinking about Lions right there, and I think, exactly, you
know how they got to where they've gotten to so quickly,

And there is that that that epiphany. That moment's almost
like the point where Detroit might struggle a bit early
in the season next year, but by the middle and
end of that season they should pretty much get their
act together. Based on all these players you're talking about,
they have been through their struggles somewhat. They know who
they are right now. They their identity, their personal philosophy, philosophy,

and you'd like to believe that at some point it's
going to take roots. So that's I'm always aware of that.
I always look at that stuff, you know, Baltimore Orioles
this year, Baltimore Ravens. Of course, too bad that Baltimore
Bullets still aren't there in that little arena downtown Baltimore.
But all this stuff, somehow it happens. It just happens
that way.

Speaker 1 (30:26):
Yeah, it reminds me back in nineteen sixty nine with
the Mets, the Jets, and the Knicks.

Speaker 2 (30:31):
That's right, called back aways for that ancient history.

Speaker 3 (30:34):
But it happens against Bullets, Bullets, Colts and the what
am I missing? Orioles, The Oriols, right, so they beat
them in all three.

Speaker 1 (30:42):
It's probably their young listeners are like who Bullets, who
are the Bullets.

Speaker 3 (30:45):
The Baltimore Earl, the Pro Monroe folks, Bobby dan Ridge,
Jack Marin. But that was good stuff, really good.

Speaker 2 (30:53):
Hey. That reminds me of the the Orioles.

Speaker 1 (30:56):
We talked about the Orioles with their the way they've
come on, your buddy Brandon Hyde, taking them to the
best record of the American League last year, hadn't been
swept all regular season and that's how.

Speaker 2 (31:05):
They wound out, went out in the postseason to Texas.

Speaker 1 (31:08):
But Joe, I look at that team and you talk
about locking guys up.

Speaker 2 (31:12):
First of all, let me ask you this, it's a
quick question.

Speaker 1 (31:15):
Locking up a position player at that age you probably
just can't do it right because of the injury factory.
I mean talking about pitcher rather than a position player.

Speaker 3 (31:23):
Yeah, with the pitcher, it's tough. It is tough. It's
a lot easier to open up your check book if
the pay to the order two is with their position
player over a pitcher.

Speaker 2 (31:34):
Yes, yeah, I agree with that. Okay.

Speaker 1 (31:36):
So I look at the Baltimore Orioles and to me,
they have potentially, if not right now, four franchise players.

Speaker 2 (31:41):
Grayson Rodriguez, he's got a great arm.

Speaker 1 (31:44):
Personally, I'm a little concerned about his mechanics, but this
kid has got terrific stuff, really good makeup. Had to
really breakout year last year, especially in the second half
of the season. Of course, you've got Attlee Rushman behind
the plate, You've got Gunner Henderson, the rookie of the year,
and now you have Jackson Holiday coming on. So Brandon's
got a nice problem to have. He probably pushes Gunner

to third and Holiday at short in the perfect world,
but both the great athletes can go back and forth
if they have to. You know, my question is, you've
heard the Baltimore Orioles. You got the foundations here for
these guys to play it together for a long time,
and with position players, let's say Grayson out of the
equation for a minute. With position players, these guys are
so good, Joe, and in the cases of Rushman and Henderson,

you've seen it on the big league level.

Speaker 2 (32:27):
Man, don't go year to year with these guys.

Speaker 1 (32:29):
You know, make sure your fans can buy a jersey
one of these guys and realize he's not gonna wind
up playing for the Yankees or the Dodgers, but he's
gonna be the next Cal Ripken commit to these guys,
send that message that we talked about to the rest
of the people, not just on the major league team,
but on the minor league teams, that you take care
of your own, that you're building something long term. I
think this is a real opportunity for the Orioles, who,

let's face it, they don't go out there and sign
big free agents.

Speaker 2 (32:55):
They just don't. They don't make long term commitments.

Speaker 1 (32:58):
This is an opportunity now to believe in the right guys,
because I think they have the right guys there. I
wouldn't worry about giving extensions to any of those guys.

Speaker 3 (33:08):
Yeah. I went through the same thing with the Cubbies too, right.
I mean, you know, we win a World Series actually,
and we still had a possibly what the youngest team
that ever won the World Series average age wise, But
then again that group was not kept together. So I again,
I don't even know when it comes to the evaluations
of front offices and how they look at things like this,
that would be a better question for them to answer

them for me, because that group than the Cubs, we
thought that that group was going to be together for
a long long time, and then of course it was not.

Speaker 2 (33:36):
Well. I know this, Joe.

Speaker 1 (33:37):
I know that THEO made efforts to get every one
of those guys locked up.

Speaker 2 (33:41):
We were talking by Rizzo, Bryant Schwerber.

Speaker 1 (33:45):
They could never get it done, and in some cases,
if not all of them, they didn't do so well
on the open market once they got there afterwards. Yeah,
I mean, everybody thinks the grass is always greener, but
it's not because THEO and that crew did not want
to keep those guys around. It just never worked out.
And you're right, those are the type of players you
do want lock up.

Speaker 3 (34:04):
Well, that's my point I mean, is Okay, we weren't.
They weren't able. The Cubs weren't able to lock these
guys up for a variety of different reasons. The oriole
players that you've just described, are they going to be
any different? Do they want to be locked up? Do
they want to spread their wings? Eventually? How does that
all play out in the long term, Because when I
was there with the Cubbies, I mean, everybody's talking about
this is a dynastic situation, and of course it never

turned out to be that. So we're looking at the
Ools almost through the same lens that we looked at
the Cubs at that particular time, and eventually, like you said,
these guys went different places with the varied degrees of success.
So yeah, listen, I get it. I understand it. But
again I'm always in the back of my mind for
as much as I see a young player and think

he will never change, sometimes they do. So i'd have
to be boots underground inside the doors in the clubhouse
talking to these guys to give you a better opinion
on that, because I have seen guys change that you
thought would never change.

Speaker 2 (35:01):
It happens. They're human beings.

Speaker 1 (35:02):
And the other thing I'll add to that, Joe, is
that because a player is good at a young age,
and I hear this all the time, and it's just
not true. People will say, well, he's going to get better, right,
you know what happens when he gets better. It just
does not work that way, folks. Sometimes you're at your
peak at a young age. I remember when Dwight Gooden

set the world on fire at nineteen and twenty years
old in nineteen eighty four, nineteen eighty five, you know,
and people will say, my goodness, what is this guy
gonna be when he gets experience under his belt? And
he's twenty seven, twenty eight, the typical prime of a career.
And it was the late great Bob Gibson who said,
you know what, this may be as good as he

ever is. You never know, it's hard to be better
than Dwight Gooden was in nineteen eighty five, first of all,
and it was true. I mean, he had this youthfulness,
this suppleness to his delivery. The ball just exploded out
of his hand. Everything lined up at the right time.
Of course, he had some other problems issues off the
field later on. But don't fall into the track people

thinking just because a guy is good at twenty one
and twenty two, my goodness, I can't wait till he's
twenty eight, twenty nine. He's going to be even better.
Is not a linear growth path in Major League Baseball.

Speaker 3 (36:15):
And conversely, the guy that has not shown so well
early on. I don't know how many times I've had
the conversation within meetings that sometimes you're the lucky team
to be the second or even the third team to
get a particular player. And the classic example for me
was always Carlos Penna with the Rays. When we got him,
he had been with the Open A's and the Detroit
Tigris to that point. And I remember the offseason Andrew

and I are talking. I'm in Brea, California, probably just
got off a bike ride. We're talking about Carlos Pinya.
I love I said, I love Carlos Paine because I
just saw him like just pretty much annihilate some baseball's
great first baseman. But it never really took root for him. Okay,
that happens. And what happens I think is that guys
that are kind of of that ILK when they're younger,

there might be high expectations. They come out with a
lot of fanfare, and they just never settle in their minds,
never really settled down. They're not able to breathe and
see like they had done in high school or college.
But eventually they do. And sometimes they got to get
away from that original parent and get out of the
house and go to high school and then go to college,

and all of a sudden, you see that everything differently
and everything kind of slows down. And now all those abilities,
all that talented everybody has spoken about that you definitely
have had, now it comes to the forefront because you're
just able to think differently. You see things differently. So
sometimes the dude that was supposed to be the prodigy
and is not, just give them a little time and

maybe a team or two later, this guy is going
to be everything you thought he was going to be.

Speaker 1 (37:47):
We've talked a lot about locking players up and growth
patterns of players as they develop. I want to ask
joe about his take on one of the biggest free
agents that's still out there. Why has he not signed,
and in my opinion, why has he not re signed.

Speaker 2 (38:04):
We'll talk about Cody Bellinger.

Speaker 1 (38:06):
Right after this, Joey talked about locking players up and
finding the right spots and believing in someone's talents. Cody
Bellinger is a sort of a mystery as to why

he has not been signed yet. After a great, I
mean a great bounce back season last year, it looked
like he was lost as far as a hitter of
the last couple of years with the LA Dodgers, he
had a terrific season last year at the Chicago Cubs.
Cody Bellinger last year had the second highest batting average
with two strikes in Major League Baseball. Only Luis Ries,

who's just a magician with the bat, had a higher
batting average. Cody Bellinger hit two seventy nine with two strikes.
It's the highest buying outfielder since Mookie Betts in twenty eighteen.
Talking about two strike hitting with Cody Bellinger, when did
you ever talk about that?

Speaker 2 (39:04):
But I think it spoke Joe.

Speaker 1 (39:06):
To the adjustments he made in the off season. It
wasn't like the Dodgers were trying to fix him, but
as you know, sometimes you need a different voice, and
he dove into his swing in the off season at
home in Arizona, made some really key adjustments in his
set up. I think the whole key for me was
he got his hands in a better position and he

got into a ready position earlier.

Speaker 2 (39:29):
Cody is a guy who used to never move.

Speaker 1 (39:32):
Anything until the ball was literally coming out of the
pitcher's hand. And you can do that when you have
incredible batspeed, which he has in quick twitch muscles. But
just getting ready a little bit earlier and then especially
with two strikes, putting the ball in play and just
taking a single when it was an order, that's what
he did.

Speaker 2 (39:49):
So I love the adjustments that he made.

Speaker 1 (39:51):
I do think it's sustainable, but he's still out there
as a free agent. I think because teams are having
a hard time valuing what he is Joe in terms
of a guy who's gone through some ups and downs
in his career. But to circle back about extending people,
I just think Cody found a really good place both
physically and mentally last year. As they said, he lives

in Arizona, the Cubs trained there, He did a lot
of work at the complex in the off season last year.
So this to me Joe as a marriage that somehow
has to work out Cody Belger going back to the Cubs.
It still hasn't happened yet, so that puts some doubt
in your mind, But I still think this is where
it should and will wind up.

Speaker 3 (40:28):
I had a couple thoughts. Let me just see if
I could, in no particular order. Analytics has something to
do with that, the fact that you just described his
two strike approach, which was outstanding, in which I love,
But analysts might look at that as being lucky. They
they'll view that as being more luck than actual talent.
And so I think a lot of the analytical departments
at kind of pushing back on such big numbers based

on that, and they have a lot of jack when
it comes to obviously the signing of somebody. So I
think that's part of the landscape right now regarding why
he's not been signed, why that number seems to be
so high that particular reason number two.

Speaker 1 (41:05):
Okay, let me go to dive into number one, because
that's a great point, and you're right. If you looked
at the numbers, you will see that in twenty twenty two,
with two strikes, i'm batting average on balls in play.
When he did put the ball in play with two strikes,
he had only two sixty four, and in twenty twenty
three that was all the way up to three eighty six.

Speaker 2 (41:24):
And it kills me as you and you referred to
this Joe when people will say he was lucky.

Speaker 1 (41:28):
People look at a high average on batting average on
balls and play and say, well, he was lucky.

Speaker 2 (41:33):
It's going to reverse next year.

Speaker 1 (41:36):
If you looked at the guy how he played the game,
he had a very different swing with two strikes in
twenty twenty three.

Speaker 2 (41:42):
That was not luck.

Speaker 1 (41:43):
Did a couple of balls drop in, Yeah, of course
they did, but more dropped in because he cut down
on a swing.

Speaker 2 (41:50):
So just to look at a number and say you
were lucky. That's just lazy.

Speaker 3 (41:54):
Yeah, And it's almost generated on your your your desires
or your like of the guy. In other words, if
his number was really low, they would say that he
was unlucky, that it's going to come back up, it's
going to be eye nick year. But because it was
so high, he was lucky. And of course he's got
a regress to the mean.

Speaker 1 (42:08):
I'm sorry I cut you off there, Joe, but no, no,
he drives me.

Speaker 3 (42:12):
But it's exactly what's going on. I've heard that so
many times. So I think that's why he's still available
number one, number two, why he was better. Watching him
swing different swing, I mean, he's not as big. He
will get big on occasion, probably more than likely when
he's ahead in the count, but I'm not seeing as much,
you know, dipping with the back shoulder, just trying to

lift the ball all the time, a much flatter approach
into the zone, and the ability to drive the ball
probably the left center more consistently, or just that dug
fart to left field that's really wonderful with two strikes
and runners in scoring positions. So I think there is
a physical difference for me compared to the year before,
which would give me reason to believe that he can
do it again. The other point was, like these numbers

and where he's gonna end up to me, part of
the I would think trepidation. And with the Cubbies, is
that to give him that big of a number, he's
going to go back there and he would be the straw.
He's the straw that posed to stir the drink. And
I think that concerns them a little bit. I do,
Whereas I think if he went to the Yankees, it's
more it's tastier because he's part of the group, and
he's gonna get lost in this group, and there's more

probability that he's going to play to the level that
he did last year, whereas all of a sudden he's
going to be the guy. And then furthermore, just giving
him a lot of number he was so motivated by
by not having done well, I got to reestablish myself.
He goes out and works at the point where he
does re establish himself. So now if we give him
a big number, is that going to change anything? So
I'm just I'm just saying these are parts of the

conversation that groups have to analyze and then knowing the person,
try to come to terms with what they believe and
what they don't believe. So that's where it's at I
think with him. For me, i'd like I understand what
you say about the Cubs. I think the ballpark's good
for him. But if I think if you put him
in a place like Yankee Stadium in centerfil where he
becomes part of the group, I think you have your

better chance of him re establishing what he had done
last year, as opposed to if you actually put him
out front a little bit more because last year was
a part of the group. Under this circumstances, he will
be the guy.

Speaker 1 (44:11):
Yeah, it's funny because I look at it completely differently.
First of all, I believe the Yankees truly needed someone
like Bellinger, like a guy who can legit play center field.
I cannot believe they're going into the twenty twenty fourth
season thinking Aaron Judge is going to play center field
four or five times a week.

Speaker 2 (44:29):
That's just madness.

Speaker 1 (44:31):
For a guy with an injury history who's six foot eight,
two hundred and eighty pounds, that's just crazy. I would
never do that, but that's what they're planning on That's
why I thought, and I thought when Grisham was included
in the Sodo trade he would fill that role. But no,
they're not talking like that. So Bellinger, yes, skill set,
he's that guy. I think New York would be a
disaster for him. I think he's a complimentary player. I

don't think he would want the expectations walking into New York.

Speaker 2 (44:55):
It could be another Joey Gallo.

Speaker 1 (44:57):
And I love Joey Gallo, but he will be the
first one to tell you he did not handle that
environment well. So coming in as a free agent, you know,
big number, big ticket, big name into New York, that
takes a certain guy, a certain mindset.

Speaker 2 (45:12):
That to me, that's not Cody Bellinger.

Speaker 1 (45:14):
And I think returning to the place where he had success,
the expectations are not as great. I mean, when you
switch teams, the expectations to me ratchet up. And I think,
you know, there's enough around him in Chicago that yeah, yeah,
he's probably going to be the highest paid player if
he goes back there. Yeah, But I don't think he's
the aircraft carrier that people would expect.

Speaker 2 (45:34):
Him to be in Chicago. I really don't.

Speaker 1 (45:36):
I think he is a complimentary player with a great
skill set that earns him a lot of money because
he's a fabulous base runner and defender as well as
a guy who's not the same power hitter he.

Speaker 2 (45:45):
Was back in twenty nineteen.

Speaker 1 (45:47):
He doesn't have to be, because he's a better overall hitter,
but I think the expectations would be a lot worse
than New York.

Speaker 2 (45:54):
That would be in Chicago.

Speaker 3 (45:55):
He's just a good baseball player. That's you're you're describing
right there, and again it's almost like a left handed
KB Chris Bryant. I mean, you describe the same kind
of skill set, very athletic, able to play more than
one position and do it really well, and then offensively.
You get this up and down chart flow with these guys,
both extremely talented, but you just don't know quite what
to expect regarding New York. I had the idea of

this pleasure now, but I had his daddy, Clay with
the Angels for a bit, and Clay of course spent
some time in New York. I don't even know if
that would permit or allow him to understand that a
little bit better. Just having that kind of experience within
the family. There's got to be a lot of conversations
with that, etc. And again, I don't even know if
there are any kind of offers going on there, but

I see, I understand what you're saying. But I say,
if you put him in a lineup with Judge and
Soto and that particular group at that ballpark too, is intriguing.
I think he's a very he is a very good
center fielder. And you're right, I mean a play Aaron
out there often you're looking for problems with that. I
really do believe that also, So yeah, your logic is outstanding.

I just think that in my mind's eye, you put
him with that New York group, le Mayh, Rizzo, all
these guys Rizzle keep them straight, you know, Judge will
keep them straight. And then you got Soto. It's just
gonna all the spotlight's going to be him on him
the whole time. I think he could actually just morph
into there very easily.

Speaker 2 (47:18):
Yeah, you know, and people will say, well, you know
what's so hard about New York? And I think I
can put Philly and Boston in the same umbrella.

Speaker 3 (47:24):

Speaker 1 (47:25):
It is different because the word I use is accountability,
where there's hyper accountability.

Speaker 2 (47:32):
If you go zero for for opening.

Speaker 1 (47:33):
Day, You've got to gaggle in front of your locker
asking you what happened. You need to explain yourself. And
if you don't explain yourself, that's even worse. That doesn't
happen in other markets. It's the volume of the media covering.
It's the fact that you know, back pages need to
be filled, stories need to be written all the time,

so you don't have the kind of literal breathing room
you have in other environments. Not everybody is cut out
for that. Wan Soto, I think, is going to be
absolutely fine. I remember, you know, when the trade was made,
the guy who signed him for the Nationals, Johnny Depulio,
the scout, was there and he told me Wan Soto
has wanted to play in New York since he was

a kid.

Speaker 2 (48:17):
He's built for this. Those are the kind of guys
you don't worry about.

Speaker 1 (48:21):
Cody Bellinger living in Arizona a little more late We'll
definitely a late back kind of character that he is.
You know, I don't see him responding to that sort
of energy and day to data accountability that you have
to withstand in New York.

Speaker 3 (48:37):
That's point I mean in Chicago. I mean I felt
a higher level of accountability in Chicago also, sure, and
I really I think it's great. I mean that's what
I think. Sometimes it's misconstrued. Whereas when you have a
highly accountable fan base and media that really should bring
out the best in you. I think agreed to be
in a more lazier setting where you know, bad day,

bad week, whatever, there's you know, people aren't really getting
on your near as badly or as much. It gets
a little sleepy. So I'm telling you, man, I love
Chicago for that. You know, the fact we had not
won in one hundred and eight years, and all of
a sudden you do something like that, and even after
you win, and then you're saying, you just go through
a bad moment, even after you win for the first
time one and eight and all of a sudden, it's like, well,

it's almost like you forgot everything you had done to
get you there. You're not as good as which you
had done before. Now it turns on you could turn
on you rather quickly, but but you go to the ballpark. Man.
That's why the one twenty afternoon game in Chicago kind
of works because you're not tired. The moment you walk
into Wrigley Field for a day game, it's ten o'clock.

I hated day games because I hate it getting up
that early. You got to talk to everybody. You gotta
be on from the first thing in the morning. But
once you get used to it, it turns you on too. Man.
So there's something about the accountability of a fan base
and a media that I think should bring out the
best in an hour.

Speaker 2 (50:04):
That's a great point.

Speaker 1 (50:05):
The energy that comes with all the accountability is something
that should work in a positive direction. Now you just
have to understand that you can't take things personally.

Speaker 2 (50:15):
And it was Greg Jeffries. I don't know if you
remember Greg Jefferies.

Speaker 1 (50:19):
Yeah, okay, Greg Jeffries started obviously in New York, and
he did really well, especially his first year there. But
you know, listen, there are times that happens to everybody.
You go in a slump and New York doesn't care
what you've already put in the bank. You know, they
want to hit that next time up and they'll get
on you. Lots of great players, Derek Cheeter has been
booed in New York. That's not a surprise. But what

Greg Jeffries said, is then when he went to both
Saint Louis and Kansas City, he said, it was startling
the difference because when you were slumping there, they cheered
harder for you. They thought of you as one of
their own and wanted to pull you through by supporting you.
Totally different the way different fan bases react to it.

Speaker 2 (51:02):
So each you just have to understand.

Speaker 1 (51:05):
I think when you're playing in New York, Boston, Philly,
that's going to happen that they care so much about
it that it's frustration that they're going to voice and
you try not to.

Speaker 2 (51:15):
You shouldn't take it so personally.

Speaker 3 (51:17):
Trey Turner, right, last year with the Philly fan.

Speaker 2 (51:19):
Base, there you go, that was great.

Speaker 3 (51:20):
They went Bizarrow Philly. Right there, they went the exact opposite,
They went George Costanz on it. They did the exact opposite,
and all of a sudden it worked for him. I
get that, but I'm just here to say Man worked
in Anaheim, worked in Chicago, and of course worked in
Tampa Bay. By far, the most electric feeling you have
on a daily basis the one that really wakes you up,

the one that makes you really rely on everything you've
learned at that particular moment is when you walk into
Wrigley on a Monday afternoon. I've talked you about this
before Monday afternoon makeup game Cleveland Indians Kluber versus Lester,
forty thousand people come on.

Speaker 1 (52:01):
Yeah, And I've always said that's why those teams, to me,
they have a little bit of an edge when it
comes to postseason play because they've played in hostile and
energetic environments all the time. So, just finishing up on
Cody Bellinger, I do think he will resign with the Cubs.
I think that's his best place. We'll see what happens.
It's no guarantee, but I just remember he was a

couple of years ago, now a few years ago showing
up Philly's spring training. Pitchers and catchers already been there.
I think the position players has showed up. And that's
when Bryce Harper was signed. Remember spring training camps had
opened up. Bryce Harper, coming up one hundred RBI season
as a free agent, wasn't signed until camps had opened up.
Of course, Bellinger and Harper both have the same agent,

Scott Boris, so it's not a surprise that Scott Boris's
clients are out there this late.

Speaker 2 (52:52):
It's just the way things go.

Speaker 1 (52:53):
Until he gets the number that he wants from the
team that he wants, he'll continue to wait. It wouldn't
surprise me if, like Bryce Harper, Cody Bellinger doesn't sign
until the middle of February.

Speaker 3 (53:03):
Had Dexter Feller walk out onto the.

Speaker 2 (53:06):
Field, that was great. I was there, Okay, so.

Speaker 3 (53:10):
We've actually had that. I was given the heads up
right before it had happened. And of course Dexter was
so important to the success of that group and during
that period of time not given nearly the credit. I mean,
I've never been around such a consistent personality through good
or bad on a daily basis. Turned out to be
a really good friend. But he was that important to

the success of the Cubs during that beautiful moment that
we had from twenty and fifteen till nineteen. So it happens,
and it can be very stirring for the group too
when it happens like that, especially whenever whenever the players,
the entire group feels as though the front office has
done something to make you better. Wow, it's an uplifting moment.

Of course, that happens during the trade deadline during the
course of the season. But it actually, like we're describing
right now, can happen in spring training. So it comes
down to that moment and you bring the guy out
and you're having a nice camp, or the camp just
begins and you're pretty good to begin with, but all
of a sudden, here comes this piece, and I'm telling
you it's exhilarating and it could definitely stir it up

in a positive way for the group.

Speaker 1 (54:18):
Well said, And as I said, I remember being there,
and that was one of Theo's proudest accomplishments because Dexter
looked like he was signed, sealed and delivered to Baltimore,
and no one in this day and age, it's shocking.
No one had any clue that that deal was going down,
and when Dexter showed up, even the players were surprised.

THEO somehow was able to keep that one under wraps.
And I do remember how much he meant to your club, Joe,
and that boost your team got because he completed your team,
especially at the leadoff spot.

Speaker 2 (54:50):
So we'll see where Cody Bellinger winds up. In the meantime.

Speaker 1 (54:52):
This has been fun Joe talking about football, baseball and
when to commit and who to commit to in time.
So you've always been great. I'm counting on you again
to take us out with some words of wisdom to
finish up this latest edition of the Book of Joe Well.

Speaker 3 (55:07):
I was. I was in the football frame of mind.
I watched pretty much both games and then in their
entireties and Dan Cambll I've been locked in him. Man,
I don't know the man. I'd love to meet him.
I think he's exactly who we think he is by
watching him and listening to him, and I think that's wonderful.
Authenticity always plays, sincerity always plays, Accountability play always plays,

and I think that's who he is. So I was
looking for something along those lines. He was criticized for
going for the touchdown as opposed to the field. I mean,
going for the first down from Arthur Ash. You've got
to get to the stage in life we're going for
it is more important than winning or losing, and I
think I've always thought in order to win, you can't
be afraid to lose. That's what was exemplified by his

thought process. And again I've talked about it being analytically protected,
but nevertheless, that's who he is. I don't even know
to what extent it is analytically protected. It just might
be exactly how we think. But it's more important than
when you're losing, and that's going for it. Whatever you
believe in, you got to go for in your stage
in life. Flast Point Playoff game playoff series against the

Red Sox two thousand and eight at Tropic Cana Field. JD.
Drew is going to the right field corner pop up.
Fernando Perez on a third base taging up. So we
thought that Drew was going to let the ball drop,
and he did not. It was relatively shallow, but Fernando
could fly, so Fernando tags up. He comes across the scores,
raids win, and afterwards Fernando blurted out the phrase, we

air on the side of aggressiveness. God that I love that.
I wanted to kiss him on the lips when he
said that, that is the attitude you have to have
to be a champion. You cannot be tentative, you can't
be mealy, you can't be wishy washy, however you want
to describe it. Dan Campbell is not any of that,
and Fernando is one of the brightest players I've ever

had in the big leagues. Columbia University said, we air
on the side of aggressiveness, and I love it till
this day. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (57:06):
I was going to say I love that line too,
and especially coming from one of the most literate players
you'll ever come across in the big leagues, Fernando Jim.

Speaker 2 (57:14):
It's been fun.

Speaker 3 (57:15):

Speaker 2 (57:15):
Thanks, we'll see you next time. Great job, Thank you brother,
you too.

Speaker 1 (57:24):
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