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December 12, 2023 50 mins

The Book of Joe Podcast with hosts Tom Verducci and Joe Maddon reacts to Shohei Ohtani signing with the Dodgers.  Tom looks at how Ohtani's deal is structured and how it allows the Dodgers flexibility to sign other talent.  Joe believes Ohtani's agenda is only to do the right thing.  We discuss the false narrative around the Angels trading Mike Trout.  Plus, why did a deal with the Blue Jays not work out and where does the franchise go from here?

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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 1 (00:16):
It's the latest edition of the Book of Joe Podcasts
with Me, Tom Berducci and Joe Madden. And this is
a special and I mean a special Show Hey Otani
edition because Show Hey Otani is not just baseball news,
he is international news. And to me, Joe, there is
there's no two people better to talk about mister Otani

(00:39):
and his new future with the Dodgers than you, the
manager who took off all the governors on this guy
when he's with the Angels and just said go play.

Speaker 2 (00:47):
And we're seeing the results of that kind of freedom.

Speaker 1 (00:50):
And I've known Shoe Hay since he got to the
big leagues and have done one of the very few
sit down interviews he has done in the States for
an in depth piece for Sports Illustrated back in twenty twenty.
So I think we have some really unique insight into
what makes this guy tick. And Joe, I'm gonna start
off with I'm gonna call it a monologue, okay, and

(01:13):
I'm curious to get your reaction to it, because I
really there's something I want to say about this signing
with the Los Angeles Dodgers. We found out seven hundred
million dollars for ten years, and all but twenty million
dollars of that is being deferred ten years down the
line with zero interest. And what I want you to

(01:34):
do as a listener right now is put away your cynicism.

Speaker 2 (01:39):
Check it at the door. I know that's hard to do.
In the world.

Speaker 1 (01:42):
Is sports big time money. Everybody's looking for an angle.
Everybody's looking for a shortcut, a workaround, a hidden agenda.

Speaker 2 (01:52):
Stop it. Put all that away. Pretend that you are.

Speaker 1 (01:55):
Naive at that point, because a lot of people ask
me what was the golden age of baseball, and you
hear different answers to that. And the golden age of
baseball is whenever you were ten years old, because that's
when you look at baseball and fall in love with
the game, with what Joe Madden calls first time eyes,

(02:16):
where the world is full of wonder and you don't
question what you see. You just bask in discovery of
something that makes your heart skip a beat.

Speaker 2 (02:25):
That's baseball when you're ten years old.

Speaker 1 (02:28):
Call me naive, but I look at Shoeotani and I
see someone who's the best player in the world, probably
the most talented baseball player who ever played this game,
and he is still looking at baseball.

Speaker 2 (02:42):
Like a ten year old with first time eyes.

Speaker 1 (02:45):
There is a youthfulness about shoe Heotani and whatever his
agenda is, that to me is different from everybody else
and all that we are used to. And that's why
I say check your cynicism at the door. Because when
people heard that Shoeyotani was deferring ninety seven point one

(03:05):
percent of his money, first reaction was, well, this is
a workaround. Dodgers are trying to skirt the competitive balance tax.
This is nothing but fuzzy accounting being counting at its best.
It's not this idea originated with Shoeotani. He went to
every club that he talked to, especially the Dodgers. He
first started with his agent and he said, what if

(03:27):
I defer all of my money? The agent looked into
the competitive of the collective bargaining agreement and he saw, well,
you can't play it for free. You have to take
at least minimum salary, which next year is seven hundred
and forty thousand dollars. They decided on two million dollars.
Nice round number. That number next year Shoeyotani, who's the
best player in the world, will be paid less than

(03:48):
Austin Barnes, the backup catcher for the Dodgers. Why did
Joeyotani do that?

Speaker 2 (03:54):
Again? We go back to what we talk about.

Speaker 1 (03:56):
A lot on this podcast about pure intentions. When your
intentions are pure, when there's no hidden agendas, and it's
not about self serving intentions, when it's about the greater good,
about community and in this case team, those are pure intentions.
Shoe Aotani did not want to hamstring his next team,

(04:16):
which in this case is the Dodgers, by having seventy
million dollars a year attached to a luxury tax figure,
which prevents a club from.

Speaker 2 (04:25):
Building around him.

Speaker 1 (04:27):
And he told the Dodgers, you can take this money,
defer it without interest, ninety seven percent of it, and
I'm cool with it. He actually said meeting with Dodgers,
he thought the whole number was somewhat laughable. That's the
way he put it. He's not about the money. He's
got plenty of it. If you want to be a cynic,
you can say, Shoe Aotani next year, and this is true,

(04:49):
he's going to make fifty million dollars next year in
endorsement money and probably for the next ten years. He
will be even with a two million dollar salary in
twenty twenty four, the highest paid player in baseball by
a lot because of what he makes off the field.
So yes, he does have a nice backstop to this,
but the fact is he did this to make sure

(05:11):
that Dodgers can feel a competitive team around him. What
this is doing is putting another twenty three point nine
to four million dollars in the Dodgers' pockets that they
otherwise would not have to spend. And that's why after
signing it Otani, they met with Yashinobu Yamamoto, the top
free agent pitcher coming out of Japan, and they have

(05:34):
Josh Had Josh Hater, the relief pitcher, best relief pitcher
on the market on their radar. This is all possible
because Otani is deferring ninety seven point one percent of
his salary. So this is a case. And Joe, I
want your reaction to this because you know this guy
so well. Where it's a unique player. We know that
a two way player, but he's also a unique person.

(05:56):
I cannot recall anything like this in my lifetime in sports.
This is someone who is the best at what he
does in his sport. And when it came down to
the absolute leverage of free agency for the first time,
because remember the first time he came over, when the
Angel signed Otani, he was limited because he was not

(06:17):
yet twenty five years old and he can only sign
a minor league contract with a bonus limited to two
point three million dollars. He left two hundred million dollars
plus on the table rather than waiting two years to
be twenty five and be unlimited free agent. So this
is a guy I've never heard of it before, and
I don't think we ever will reaches the top of
his profession and he's a free agent, and what is

(06:37):
important to him is not asking for perks, not asking
for incentive clauses. If I'm the MVP, I get this much.
Not asking for luxury boxes, private planes, trips home.

Speaker 2 (06:50):
Whatever it may be that we always hear about when.

Speaker 1 (06:52):
People have the leverage for the first time at the
top of the market to demand individual perks. Instead, he
asked that the money be paid down the line so
that in present day dollars, the Dodgers can build a
team around him you can call me naive, and in
this case, I'm happy. I'd rather be naive than cynical

(07:14):
and find hidden agendas that are not there.

Speaker 2 (07:16):
That's my monologue.

Speaker 1 (07:18):
I know it's a lot, Joe, and I know you
know this guy well, but I think when you're talking
about shoey Otani, you're talking about a unicorn of a player,
a unicorn of a person, a unicorn of a contract.

Speaker 3 (07:30):
Well, I mean, there's really little to add to that.
You've nailed it pretty well, like you typically do. As
you're going through all of that, I had written a
note down. I didn't even know this, but you kind
of covered it. His agenda is to do the right thing.
That's what he does. I mean, that's he wakes up
in the morning. I don't care if it's baseball, his life, friends, whatever,
whatever it is, I don't know. I don't even not

(07:52):
met his family. I've heard about his baseball coach. But
to me, the impression he made upon me was his
agenda on a daily basis is to do the right thing.

Speaker 4 (08:02):
What does that mean?

Speaker 3 (08:02):
I mean, whether how he interacts with people, what kind
of work he is he gonna put in today? I'm
gonna do the best I possibly can today to help
my team win. I got to get better at this
particular pitch. Who do I need to speak to about
that by hitting him off a little bit? What kind
of work do I need to do today? In the
banding cage. I can't speak to his personal life and

(08:23):
regarding what there is important to him, like baseball is
important to him. But regardless, and like you've covered with
the way he thinks, his agenda is to do the
right thing. And then my second thought was, and had
you covered again? They had to have known. He had
to have known or the Dodge had simultaneously knew that

(08:43):
this kind of contract would be amenable to both sides.
He had this in his mind. I don't know if
he had heard about it before somebody put in his head.
I can't take this something that he thought about on
his own, but he definitely was there and he mulled
over for a period of time until he decided, Yeah,
this sounds good and I this is very workable.

Speaker 4 (09:02):
Makes all the sense in the world.

Speaker 3 (09:03):
Is really is going to permit our team to be
the best team they can be for a long period
of time. We win as much as you possibly can,
which has been is agenda from from Jump Street. So
those two things the right thing, and he did his
research and I'm sure Nez did too.

Speaker 4 (09:18):
Regarding how the Dodgers.

Speaker 3 (09:19):
Would react to all of this, last point, I will
get it back to you, was like, okay for those
that don't believe it. And again, I just have a
fraction of his lifestyle, but the guy really doesn't.

Speaker 4 (09:31):
He's not as gravy.

Speaker 3 (09:32):
You've already mentioned that he's not an extravagant personality or
person I don't know what his home looks like in Newport.
I have no idea what the maybe the compound looks
like in Japan. I have no idea, but I would
bet that it's nice, but it's not over the top nice.
And I would bet I know there's not parties all
night long. I know that he's, like you said, he's
not flying all over the place. I know that even
after a game on the road, he's not, you know,

(09:53):
frequenting the best nightclub in town.

Speaker 4 (09:56):
He doesn't do those things.

Speaker 3 (09:57):
So whatever amount of money he's made, how much he's made,
how he's going how much he's going to continue to make,
I'm curious eventually where that's and money's gonna end up
with what the altruistic component is to all that with him,
because there that's it. I mean, it's about him being
a really great baseball player, a the best ever. That's
what he wants to be. He's on his way. It's
hard to argue that he's not already. That's number one.

(10:19):
And then how many people can he help along the way?
Those are the two things that I think that he's
made of. Again, I love to sit down with his parents, teachers,
somebody that could describe young show A in junior high school,
high school, and of course his coaches that he's had
in the past, because I know I'd have to bet
one hundred thousand percent that nothing has changed. He's been

(10:40):
this particular fellow his whole life, and I'm here to
tell you, I don't care how much money you pay,
He's not going to change from here on out.

Speaker 1 (10:47):
That's so well said, Joe, because I think you hit
on something here when you mentioned that, even you as
his manager of for three years, you really don't know,
like what's a big part of his life other than
baseball obviously, And that's also what strikes me, Joe, is
that shoot is the most expensive if you will, or
the richest athlete in the world individual athlete. And he's

(11:11):
done it without selling himself. In other words, his value
is completely wrapped up in the fact that he is
a two way baseball player with elite skills. There's not
a brand associated with his personality. We don't know a
lot about him, you know. I don't think he's trying
to get a million followers on TikTok. He doesn't do

(11:33):
a lot of interviews. He is completely dedicated to the
game of baseball. He's got two hobbies, playing baseball and
training for baseball, and ya he likes to play video
games too.

Speaker 2 (11:45):
That's about it.

Speaker 1 (11:47):
So it's not like he went out there and tried
to sell himself as some kind of personality or brand.

Speaker 2 (11:55):
I think that is so refreshing.

Speaker 1 (11:58):
This year the Oxford English Dictionary, every year they pick
one word to be the word that it's most symbolic
in terms of what people are really researching and using
and trying to decipher.

Speaker 2 (12:10):
The word.

Speaker 1 (12:11):
This year they chose was authentic. Think about that, Joe.
We live a day and age where people are finding
the word authentic as unusual and what does it mean
and what's the true definition of it that used to
be a given that that's where you began.

Speaker 2 (12:30):
Now we're trying to get back to authentic.

Speaker 1 (12:32):
And when I think it's joey Otani, I think of authentic.
He's not trying to craft and image a brand and
then capitalize on that. He plays things close to the best.
I think he's mostly an introvert. He's an incredibly gracious,
humble person. You've seen him in the dugout, Joe. If
there's a gum wrapper on the floor, he picks it up.

(12:53):
He's a neat freak besides everything else that he does.
So that's why I say you really have to check
your cynicism. Nobody's perfect. I'm not saying that, but I'm
saying this guy is driven by I think altruistic means.
And by the way, in terms of you know, what's
the charitable component to this. I'm sure he'll do more,
but he recently gave gloves baseball gloves to just about

(13:17):
every elementary school in a huge area. We're talking like
sixty thousand baseball gloves, and that is so show he
as well, providing others and hoping that they can find
the same joy in this game that he has.

Speaker 3 (13:33):
Well, a couple of things there. Yeah, it's days easy
because he doesn't have to fabricate anything. He just wakes
up and he is himself. He doesn't have to think
about any kind of like you're saying, branding any again,
any fabrication. Authentic is the correct word for him. And
with that duff tailing, maybe we already know everything about
h we're looking for other things to know about it.

(13:54):
Maybe we know everything. Why does it have to be complicated?
Why doesn't have to have so many layers? Why can't
it just be exactly what we're seeing?

Speaker 4 (14:01):
Who he is?

Speaker 3 (14:02):
He is developed this easy way of living, just like authenticity.
This is who I am every day. When I go
to the ballpark. You ask me a question, I answer
it straight up. Went down to the cage and do
my work. I get ready for the game. I talked
to the pitching coach, the bullpen coach, my catcher. After
the game's over, I win, I go back home. Certain
kind of food I want to like to I like

(14:23):
to have he payperrings it by might call his family,
who knows, But I mean every day I believe is
wrote there's there's an absolute rhythm to his.

Speaker 4 (14:32):
Day that he loves.

Speaker 3 (14:33):
I would think that if you try to throw like
a little wrench in there at some point, that would
be the one thing that would possibly show something about
Showy that we don't realize. But maybe we know everything.
Why are we looking for anything else? Believe it, this
is who this fella is. And like I said, and
we could all think about that too, the day's easy

(14:54):
if we just go about being ourselves.

Speaker 4 (14:55):
It's very easy.

Speaker 1 (14:56):
Well, I had some great advice, and maybe there's not,
you know, some hidden side of a show a Otani.
If we take him for what we do know, why
isn't that enough? And it's certainly good enough? I think,
And Joe, you've seen this. He's so intentional about everything
that he does. I see him on his throat days
with Epey, you know, basically measuring the speed or rpns

(15:20):
of everything he throws. Everything is done very purposefully and yes,
part of a routine as well. And I think in
this case now he's coming to the Dodgers not as
the highest paid athlete in the world, not as a
seventy million dollar a year player, but as a two
million dollar a year player. Not literally, I understand the

(15:42):
money's coming at the back end, But in terms of
what he did for his teammates, he is not coming
in as this is my team.

Speaker 2 (15:49):
I'm a seventy million dollar player.

Speaker 1 (15:51):
He's coming in already established as an authentic teammate, and
it's a great group of guys they have in that club,
bout with Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Will Smith.

Speaker 2 (16:02):
He just slide in there.

Speaker 1 (16:04):
And it's weird to say this, Joe, but as a
complimentary player, listen, his star is brighter than anybody. He's
the only international star that this game has, truly international,
So it will be about him, don't get me wrong.
But in terms of the framework or the chemistry of
the club, he's a true teammate right now and not
some higher gun coming in to take over as his team.

Speaker 3 (16:26):
Inadvertently, you already described something that I think is absolutely
beautiful about him. In any great athlete, and especially in
today's twenty twenty three world, he combines tech with feel
as good as anybody.

Speaker 4 (16:37):
He does like everything.

Speaker 3 (16:39):
When he's doing things, epay will fall him around with
like these little mechanisms that are measuring different with it,
he said, spin, You know, I don't even know exit
velocity when he's hitting backspeed, all this stuff. They're always
checking it up. But when the game begins, nobody has
better feel than he does. Nobody from what I seen
when I watch him pitch, and his ability to create
game and progress as ability to watch a hitter and

(17:03):
make an adjustment based on what he's saying and based
on how I feeling that day, What do I got today,
I'm gonna use more of this less of that. Again,
he can't demphasize this enough, and I think that's the
beauty of him. And again's not maybe spoken about his
ability to combine new world with old world ways, because
after all, his personality cannot be more old school than

(17:24):
any personality you've met in the recent I don't know,
fifteen twenty years. And then again, when you watch him prep,
his prep really does utilize a lot of the things
that are happening today. But when the game begins, When
the game begins, this fella here is as for me
as as old school as against.

Speaker 4 (17:40):
He's out there to beat you.

Speaker 3 (17:42):
He's out there to help his team win, and that's
probably the only two things that matter to him on
a daily basis.

Speaker 2 (17:48):
I love to hear that.

Speaker 1 (17:50):
And if you watched him play in the WBC going
down to the bullpen to warm up while being the
DH and coming in to close the game out and
how badly he wanted that. And if you rewind the
tape before the game, he was the one who stood
up in the clubhouse and told his teammates on the
WBC Japanese team, we know all those players on the

(18:11):
other side, we've admired them, but the admiration has to
stop here. We cannot be intimidated by the names that
we're playing against. And he took charge. And I think
he saw the way he struck out Mike Trout with
that last pitch. He took charge there. So now you're
looking at a Dodgers team that has not played a
meaningless game in eleven years, eleven straight years in the

(18:33):
postseason show. He has played six years in the big
leagues and has never finished less than ten games from
first place, never been in a postseason game, has played
way too many meaningless games.

Speaker 2 (18:46):
And that's what I'm excited about.

Speaker 1 (18:48):
This is great for baseball for him to be with
the Los Angeles Dodgers competing for World Series.

Speaker 2 (18:55):
Yeah, I'll say it every year. The Dodgers should have
a chance to win.

Speaker 1 (18:58):
Every year for the next ten years with their resources,
the way the organization has run, and we're gonna see
show Way at its best when the games matter the most.
We're going to take a quick break, But I really
want your take on something that came up during his
free agency when there was believe it or not, belly
aching that he wasn't running some dog and pony show
as a free agent.

Speaker 2 (19:19):
Back right after this.

Speaker 1 (19:30):
So Joe, I mentioned I wanted to ask you about
his free agency, but I know I cut you off
there before our last break. You had something to say,
and I always want to hear whatever you have to say,
especially when it comes to show Hey.

Speaker 4 (19:40):
Well, the thing is that.

Speaker 3 (19:43):
Whether you like the WBC or not, and I'm definitely
on the fence of that, I know you like it
more than I do. That one event probably catapulted him
more than anybody else At this point, at least, I'm
watching that whole thing inferral and write down when I
heard about the speech. Something he's not doesn't normally do
like this leadership opponent of him, This actual visible leadership

(20:07):
component begins to show through, and then the moment he
punches out troudy and fires his glove in the air.
I've never seen that kind of well, first of all,
he's never had anything to celebrate like that with the
Angels up to that point. But the combination of all
of that and the fact that that stage was really
important to him, and again it's not that he was

(20:30):
contrived in any way, but it wasn't lost on him.
He knew the impact that that could have on this
upcoming year for himself again, his place in the game
as you know, the best baseball player in the world
right now and down the road, and then anybody that
wants to draw comparisons back to the guy number three back.

Speaker 4 (20:48):
In the day, Okay, here we go. This is this
is what I got.

Speaker 3 (20:52):
So yeah, it's not like it's a it's definitely it
comes from a sense of humility, but there's also a
lot of pride in there that he wants to be
the best ever. And so I think that platform there
could not have been more perfect for him regarding his
opportunity to speak up and then to throw the last pitch,

(21:13):
the last out of the game and celebrate in a
way that he hasn't had a chance to to this
point and showed you all the emotion that he actually
has built up inside.

Speaker 2 (21:22):
It was a great moment. No offense to the Texas Rangers.

Speaker 1 (21:24):
Their run was incredible, undefeated on the road the postseason,
but Shoeyotani is striking out Mike Trout to end the
WBC in a one run game. That was the best
moment of the twenty twenty three baseball season. There's no
doubt about that. And there's big moments coming with that.
LA Dodger team for Shoeotani was this was something that
was bound to happen. I believe Joe since he was

(21:46):
in high school and the Dodgers thought he was going
to sign with them, and it was Heideki Kordiama, his
manager with the Fighters, who I called the Joe Madden
of Japan because he connects with people and he's not
afraid to think outside the box. He was the one
first of all, he wore purple underwear would go meet
Otani because that was Otani's high.

Speaker 2 (22:06):
School color was purple. That's the way he thinks.

Speaker 1 (22:09):
And he gave Otani a shirt and it had a
bunch of birds flying on a T shirt and it
basically said spread your wings, dare to dream.

Speaker 2 (22:17):
And he challenged him.

Speaker 1 (22:18):
He said, walk down a path, and nobody has walked
down and that meant being a two way player. But
do it in Japan first, establish a bona fides is
a two way player. And when you're ready, go fly,
go fly to MLB instead of signing with an MLP
team at seventeen or eighteen, you're probably going to get
specialized pretty quickly in the major league system.

Speaker 2 (22:39):
And he did that.

Speaker 1 (22:40):
And when it was time when Otani wanted to leave,
Koreamo was true to his word and he said, go ahead,
you're ready.

Speaker 2 (22:46):
They didn't try to keep him. They could have.

Speaker 1 (22:48):
They posted him, let him go, and that kind of
mutual trust he's trying to establish now with the Dodgers.
But this gets me back, Joe to the free agency
of showe Aotani, because there were people in the media
complaining that it was not good for base that his
free agency was so secretive. I guess people wanted the

(23:08):
dog and Pony show. They wanted the daily leaks, they
wanted mystery teams involved, you know, the usual bs that
goes along with free agency, and people think it's fun
to follow on a daily basis when actually nothing's happening.
And it's it's basically a fictional narrative to create a
market for a player. If you've been watching show a
Otani for the last six years, folks, it's not who

(23:29):
this guy is. Again, He's basically an introvert who loves
to play baseball.

Speaker 2 (23:34):
That's it.

Speaker 1 (23:34):
He's not going to do anything self serving as a
free agent that he hadn't been for six years. I
could not believe the criticism of Otani and the agent,
nez Bulelo, that they weren't running some you know, leak
fest if you will. It's not good for baseball. You know,
that's not his job as a free agent. His job
is as the agent to get his client the best

(23:56):
possible deal and to do it in a way that
the client wishes. And for Otani to have it be
a public spectacle, that's not who he is.

Speaker 2 (24:05):
I just did not understand that criticism at all.

Speaker 3 (24:08):
Well, and then I think this is driven by social
media as much as anything, because there's such a emphasis
on being the first one to report something. So that's
been my take Over the last several years, it's become
increasingly more important. It seems that whoever gets the credit
to be the first person reports something win somehow, and

(24:31):
of course more recently we've seen that there was some
kind of wrong information giving.

Speaker 4 (24:35):
With all this. So that's the vehicle.

Speaker 3 (24:37):
I think that drives us kind of a narrative regarding
criticizing show Ay and Nez, because yeah, you're right. I mean,
this is like so personal for me. You should be
willing to accept what the person or the group's willing
to share. There's no other it's there. They should be
he should be in control of this. Humanizations should be
in control of this. If they're more comfortable with more
information being put out there, fine, and if they're not, fine,

(25:00):
But I do that's the one part that I this
is my I don't know if it's just my personal opinion,
but I'd prefer not having that be part of the landscape.
Or it's so important it seems to be. There's almost
like a you get credit, get you get credit in school,
you get you know, you get a better degree. If
in fact, you're able to report something first, it just

(25:20):
means you might have more sources than somebody else. All
that means. But I think that's it, And to their credit,
they didn't cave under it.

Speaker 1 (25:28):
That's a great point Joe, and I'll kind of flip that.
What you said is, you know, people looking to get
credit for basically being first. I get that it can
be wrong. I understand that completely. But what's missing here
is the flip side of that is that when you're wrong.
Remember when you were in school and you saw that
ritting from your teacher on whether it's a math test

(25:49):
or an essay that you wrote. Man, all about you,
but those hurt. Man, You're being told no, that's wrong,
and you wanted to do better the next time. So
there was a price from making mistakes. In this case,
I think we've lost the price associated with being wrong.
With things like this, people just like, uh oh, well
he was wrong. It was entertaining, you know, Shoey O'tani

(26:12):
never got on a plane to Toronto. How do you
write that when the sources are saying can't confirm or deny,
But I wouldn't write that.

Speaker 2 (26:22):
I mean, how do you miss that?

Speaker 1 (26:25):
I get it that the race to be number one
to have something interesting, and Otani, as I said, is
the only true international star in baseball. So anything associated
with him, you realize, is going to be viral. His
name is going to get you more clicks period. Totally
understand that. But I think Joe, we've reached a point

(26:45):
where being wrong doesn't even matter.

Speaker 3 (26:49):
That's awesome because that's true. And what happens is you
kind of alluded to it. It's just the big old
situation where you say, oh, my bad, my bad.

Speaker 4 (26:58):
You know I was wrong.

Speaker 3 (26:59):
Okay, let's move on, but you don't even consider potential.
Heard it did for the person that you put in
that situation again, you say, did it?

Speaker 4 (27:09):
Well? I understand.

Speaker 3 (27:10):
I mean if I'm competing in a sense, and this
isn't a journalistic sense, yeah, I want to be ahead
of everybody else, of course I do, but not to
the point where I could be a little bit out
of control, not vetted enough. Again, as you describe that,
that's the part that's really dangerous. And then on top
of that, the speed of information today really encourages you

(27:32):
to attempt to be first even more, and then probably
encourages the potential to be wrong even more. You know
that better than I do. I'm just talking from a
distance right now, so I listen. The non vetic component
of social media is will always be a sticking point
for me where amateurs get to play professionals. And that's

(27:53):
the part that I don't know that you know, people
that really follow closely enough really step back and analyze
whether or not there is validation to what I'm reading
right now, or do I just accepted blindly. That's my
big concern with all of that. And then again, when
in a situation like with Showhay, the reports go sideways
wrong or or critical, like you talked about, just playing

(28:16):
critical based on you know, your own personal opinion, your
own personal perspective, which you have quite a podium for,
whereas the player or the in this situation, he does not.
And then and then how about he gets up and
apologizes for taking so long? And I would I would
bet that part of how that all came down motivated

(28:37):
him to think that he had to apologize for him
for in his mind and as his mind, doing the
right thing. That's that's where all this stuff, to me
gets skewed. And that's where I really encourage people to
make up your own mind about what you see and
what you read. We're all influenced, Listen, We're all influenced.
So we always we all have a little bit of

(28:57):
a play reist in our lives because we get. We
learn in a sense and by other teachers, things that
we have read, observations we make based on our own
life experiences. I get that. But at the end of
the day, please, I might encourage everybody. I encourage my
players and I actually we're in the shirt today. No regurgitation.

(29:19):
Tell me what you think, not what you've heard. And
I think there's so many people that just have to
be able to regrigitate what they've heard because they really
don't know what they think.

Speaker 1 (29:27):
I always love the way you put things in the
right context, Joe.

Speaker 2 (29:31):
False narratives.

Speaker 1 (29:33):
I wanted to talk about one of Otani's former teammates now,
Mike Trout, and we'll get back to Otani in a minute,
but this also came up in the course of Otani's
free agency since the season ended. Mike Trout being traded,
completely false narrative has been out there, People ran with it.

Speaker 2 (29:51):
People start making up fake trades.

Speaker 1 (29:53):
Perry Mansian came out at the winter meetings and said,
one hundred percent, Mike Trout's not being traded.

Speaker 2 (29:57):
You never was going to get traded, Joe. You told me.

Speaker 1 (30:00):
Something about Mike where you you hit the nail completely
on the head with Mike, and that is all he
wants to do is please people, Please his family, please
his employer, please his teammates.

Speaker 2 (30:12):
That's Mike Trout.

Speaker 1 (30:14):
The only way Mike Trout is going to be traded
if he walked up to Artie Moraine and said get
me out of here.

Speaker 2 (30:21):
There's no way Mike Trout's doing that.

Speaker 1 (30:23):
This is a guy who sat in the draft room
in Secaucus for I don't know how long, but it
went through twenty one, twenty two teams, whatever it was.

Speaker 2 (30:31):
Angels finally took him.

Speaker 1 (30:33):
He has never forgotten that the Angels have taken care
of him with extensions twice, never allowing him to get
the free agency, and Mike was happy each time the
way he was treated. I you know, the idea of
Mike Trout being traded, there's a complete fabrication, complete false narrative.
People got a lot of miles out of it. But
that's the way the world works now. And then the

(30:55):
GM comes out and says the obvious one hundred percent
not being traded. But I'll give you credit, Joe, because
I think you nailed Mike and who he is so well,
this kid from New Jersey who still hangs out with
his high school buddies.

Speaker 2 (31:08):
I don't think Mike's going to change either.

Speaker 4 (31:10):
Nothing wrong with that.

Speaker 3 (31:11):
I mean, I mean, when you say a statement like that,
some people might think it's a negative. It's there's nothing
negative about that. I'm from up the road. I have
that those same kind of qualities about me, and I
think any good human being pretty much has those qualities
about them. And I think some of that bleeds to loyalty.
We're pleasing, there's a trust component, and there's definitely a
loyalty component to those that really are attempting to police

(31:34):
somebody else. Of course, you you you don't like the criticism.
Nobody likes criticism, so you can't even say that. But
I think that when somebody describes somebody as being kind
of like I describe my goal needing to.

Speaker 4 (31:49):
Be like we all do. We all do.

Speaker 3 (31:52):
But when you come from where he came from, small town,
small town values, You were raised, you were raised by
the entire community.

Speaker 4 (32:00):
There's I was.

Speaker 3 (32:01):
I still if I look at my window right here,
that's the golf course I used to play Michael jack
one in the nineteen seventies, and all of his buddies
and they had a great influence, sam Mee. You go
up the hill todays in high school. I lived right
across the street from that, and I used to just
literally walk across the street to get to school in
the morning, and all those teachers and coaches that were

(32:24):
in there heading an influence saw me and if I
run into them, there's still some around and they still do.
Mister Mussolin the other night here at the Valley Country
Club and then they needed a favor.

Speaker 4 (32:36):
He needed a favor with his son in Milwaukee.

Speaker 3 (32:39):
What do you do? You drop everything and you pick
up and you do that favor based on the people
that you are tied to, and you're based on your history.
And you could say it's because you want to be liked,
and that's possibly true, and it's probably true, but there's
a loyalty component that you'll do anything for these people,
as you're talking about Michael. Michael will do anything for

(33:01):
these people, whether it's the people back Noble. I think
he's building his cool golf course down there, or like
you're suggesting that Artie was so good to him. Uh,
you asked me, I think before somebody did. Should Mike
go walk into the office arties or Perry's and demand
to trade.

Speaker 4 (33:16):
He can't do that. You can't even he can't even
imagine doing something like that. You don't do that.

Speaker 3 (33:20):
You might walk you in and say, listen, what's going
on here? You know, I really want to win. I
want us to do better. What can I do to help?
What is the what are the plans? And those kinds
of things would be probably his tact, but not to demand.
And again I'm speaking for myself, Mike, as a major
league manager, my tact has been to try to participate,

(33:43):
and it has been to participate. I'm going to give
you my suggestion, and it's going to be straight up again.
That's that's not being disagreeable. You just asked me a question.
But at the end of the day, we all have
to work off the same sheet of music and and
that's what he wants to do, and I cannot agree
with him more.

Speaker 2 (33:58):
No, you nailed it again.

Speaker 1 (33:59):
Jo dead on with with Mike Trout and the Angels
are trying.

Speaker 2 (34:04):
I think they just really don't know how to win.

Speaker 1 (34:08):
I think they want to win, they don't know how
the process has worked to make it happen.

Speaker 2 (34:12):
We'll see if that changes.

Speaker 1 (34:14):
We are going to get back to show Aotani after
this break because we need to talk about what the
future holds. Is he going to pitch again? Can he
be an ace again? What about the Dodgers? Are they
the team to beat major League Baseball? What about the
Blue Jays who thought they had a really good chance
at show Hey, we'll dive into what's next right after this.

Speaker 2 (34:45):
Okay, Joe, I know the Dodgers aren't done. You know
that as well. It's all about pitching at this point.

Speaker 1 (34:51):
And I was told that they're in on Yamamoto. They
love Sasaki, Roki Sasaki. If he's posted, I almost think
they'd rather have him than Yamamoto.

Speaker 2 (35:01):
Yamamoto.

Speaker 1 (35:01):
The number is gonna probably get near three hundre million
dollars or above, including a posting fee.

Speaker 2 (35:07):
They're also in on Josh Hater to be their closer.
We'll see how that goes.

Speaker 1 (35:11):
They are not putting resources at this point into offense,
and I looked at their outfield and thought, well, maybe
they could use a right handed bat to really platoon
with Jason Hayward and right field. Mookie Betts is going
to play second base. They're cool with the Inventoria hitting
they have. They have some good young right handed bats
coming up. Andy Pajs probably the biggest name there. And

(35:31):
we saw the way Josh Autman played center field and
broke through as a rookie this year.

Speaker 2 (35:35):
Give credit for the Dodgers man.

Speaker 1 (35:37):
That farm system just does not stop churning, and they're
loaded with good young arms. So yeah, the Dodgers to me,
once again, as they are every year team to beat
in the NL West, do they win a world championship?

Speaker 2 (35:49):
I don't know who knows, Joe right, Yeah, I mean
it's hard to do.

Speaker 1 (35:53):
But I think what we're looking at now is the
game used to always be about the haves and the
have nots. Right in terms of resources, we're looking at
now at a new game that has three levels to it.
You have the super teams, the super resources, the haves,
and the have nots. I would put the Dodgers and

(36:13):
the Mets in that category.

Speaker 2 (36:15):
Unto themselves.

Speaker 1 (36:16):
With payrolls pushing three hundred plus million dollars, the Yankees
could be there, and maybe when all is said and
done this winter after getting once or they will, But
the Red Sox are no longer in that category. Angel's
not in that category Cubs not in that category.

Speaker 2 (36:30):
The Dodgers have moved the bar higher.

Speaker 4 (36:33):
Now.

Speaker 2 (36:33):
Listen, they did this on purpose.

Speaker 1 (36:34):
They basically took the last fifteen months to create some
payroll space for showey Otani and they wound up getting him.

Speaker 2 (36:42):
Good for them.

Speaker 1 (36:42):
It's a great plan and going forward, we'll see what happens.
But yeah, I think this team is loaded offensively. How
about Joe filling out a lineup bets O'tani, Freeman, Smith, Munsey.

Speaker 2 (36:56):
On and on it goes. That's pretty darn good.

Speaker 1 (37:00):
And don't get me wrong, they're gonna get more pigeoning
to add to the group of young pitchers they have coming.

Speaker 3 (37:04):
Oh yeah, listen, I'm I'm thinking as a manager as
you're talking all that, not as running one of those teams.
But how do you play against them? That was my
you know, because I back in the day with the
Angel team with the Rays American League East coming up
in two thousand and six, two thousand and seven, Hey,
you guys need to get out of the AL East.
There's no way the Rays could pete with the Yankees
and the Red Sox at that particular Junctu, they're spending

(37:25):
way too much money. You guys are spending forty million
a year, they're spending two hundred million year, whatever it
was at that particular time, And that's all I ever heard.
And listen, I'm guilty in naive. I have a naivete
about me sometimes. But I thought, why does money matter
for Pusk Gonna play a better game tonight? That was
my thought, and that was the thought I attempted to
sell to the players at the organization at any time

(37:48):
I was able to speak on TV or radio. So
the group that's not the supergroups that you've described, because
after all, the Diamondbacks were there this year, and you
could say that the Rangers are really good, but they
weren't there this year. I mean they were there this
year also, So some teams can like slip through the cracks.
And for me, if I'm running these other teams that
have to compete against these super teams, man, it's it's

(38:11):
so much about playing good baseball on a nightly basis.
That's where I think it's really important to develop your
own method, her own system of play.

Speaker 4 (38:19):
Not unlike again with the Diamondbacks.

Speaker 3 (38:21):
The d Backs went in there and they had some
nice young players, but not expected to do what they did,
but they got there because their methodology was unique to them.
Was it was actually it was a combination of old
and new. They had power, they had speed, their pitching
came up at the right time. But that's where I
would have to focus right now, because I got to
beat the Dodgers.

Speaker 4 (38:40):
I gotta beat the Mets, and how do you do that?

Speaker 3 (38:42):
That's kind of interesting, actually, that to me would be
kind of fun to all the keys of the of
the other cars as opposed to the keys of the Mets,
the Dodgers, and if everywhere else you want to describe
as a super club, I even know if the Yankees
is based on salary. Whoever the superclubs are, I want
to play against them.

Speaker 4 (38:59):
That's what I want to do. I want to I
want to compete against the superclubs. And I really think
it's a.

Speaker 3 (39:06):
Wonderful opportunity for those organizations to really focus on developing
who we are, how we do this, and really understand
on a nightly basis, it's up to our guys to
play a better game at baseball than their guys, independent
of dollars spent.

Speaker 2 (39:22):
Man Joe, I love hearing that.

Speaker 1 (39:24):
It's no surprise coming from you, that's why you were
such a great manager. You can boil it down to
that simple challenge if you will, but it's actually a reality.
When you talk about payrolls, it doesn't matter on that
particular night. Can we be better than that team? And listen,
go back. You mentioned this Arizona playing against the Dodgers
last year in the postseason. Huge difference in there one

(39:45):
hundred and sixty two game seasons, huge difference in their payrolls.
But with Brent strom As, they're pitching coach, and they
were able to execute a plan and they shut down
Mookie Betts, Freddy Freeman and that Dodger offense and took
three straight from him. So on a nightly basis, yes,
that's the great equalizer in this game. Talk all we
want about. You know, the game is tilted towards these

(40:07):
high revenue clubs. The great equalizer is the postseason. And
you'll see this in four or five years when baseball
expands adds two more teams will probably expand the postseason,
and people will say, well, how do you put the
brakes on the Mets and the Dodgers. You put the
brakes on those teams by strapping it on and going
in the best of five or best of seven.

Speaker 2 (40:26):
That's it.

Speaker 1 (40:27):
Short sample size is going to really I don't want
to say take out payrolls, but it'll mitigate the impact
of payrolls in a short series.

Speaker 2 (40:35):
And that's the fun and that's the excitement of the postseason.
So the Dodgers are not guaranteed to win anything. I
like them in the.

Speaker 1 (40:41):
Playoffs every year again for the next eleven years. Sure,
why not, especially if they expand. It doesn't mean they're
gonna be rattling off championships.

Speaker 3 (40:49):
When I'm on the other dugout the other team that
maybe doesn't have as much money. I really think on
the on the front line, your frontline guys you have
done a good job, really have a chance to play
well against the other frontline guys that are getting paid
more money.

Speaker 4 (41:01):
I think what it really shows up is in depth.

Speaker 3 (41:03):
With depth, when you don't have as much money, there's
a lot of pressure on you to not make mistakes,
whereas teams with a lot of money have less pressure
and not worry so much about making mistake, whether it's
a free agent acquisition, a trade that they might want
to make, whatever there is more, I think there's more
latitude to make mistakes. I think that's where money really

(41:25):
is a difference maker with all this. So if I'm
that team, and again I'm just continuing along that train
of thought, yeah, we could beat those teams. I really
believe we can't with this group that we've acquired and
accumulated put on the field. But while while we've done that,
I would really, oh my god, would I pay attention
to depth right there?

Speaker 4 (41:43):
And I know it's not easy. I get it.

Speaker 3 (41:45):
It's becoming more difficult with the with expansion, it's going
to become even more difficult. But again, this is why
it's so important to create your own methods. I think
that separate you from the other guys. And when you're
able to do that, that again could could keep you
playing latter part of the season, can permit.

Speaker 4 (42:02):
You to beat these better teams.

Speaker 3 (42:03):
So it's a combination of selling your guys on the
fact that we have to play better random baseball tonight,
and then from the front office perspective coming on down
to me, you just gotta be constantly focused on who's
who's our depth, who's coming next?

Speaker 4 (42:17):
And I know the good teams do the same thing.

Speaker 3 (42:19):
I get it, But I'm all about teaching and teaching
it in a way that I believe we're gonna play
better than they're gonna play tonight. We're gonna take different
risks or chances that they're not willing to take. The
real dangerous team is a really good team or expensive team.
So it goes out there and really plays it like
caution to the win. That goes out there and it's

(42:39):
not afraid of making mistakes and takes chances. Whether it's
on the basis you know, whether they might push a
pitch a little bit farther, I don't know. There's different
areas that you could take chances on it a nightly basis.
That makes you even more difficult to contain. This is
this is how I think when I'm looking at the
haves and the have nons, how do you beat them?
What it's important depth versus money, making mistakes or no mistakes,

(43:03):
and don't be afraid to take risks. This is how
I look at it.

Speaker 1 (43:06):
Yeah, and to me, you just describe the Houston Astros
and that's why they play over six hundred baseball in
the postseason. Talent plus they're not afraid to make mistakes
real quick Toronto Blue Jays. Their fans thought they had
this guy. They thought Otani was on a plane to
Toronto to sign a contract and play alongside Bogashett and
Lad Guerrero for the next couple of years before those
guys contracts are up. It didn't happen. I think they

(43:28):
were a legit contender. We talked about this last week.
I didn't think this was a complete stalking horse. But
to me, what it comes down to, Joe, is that
in these eleven years, the Dodgers have been in the
postseason every year.

Speaker 2 (43:40):
The Blue Jays have been in the postseason five times.

Speaker 1 (43:42):
Their farm system is ranked twenty fifth in baseball.

Speaker 2 (43:46):
You could be walking into another Angel situation.

Speaker 1 (43:49):
If you're Showy Otani and you signed the next ten
years with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Speaker 2 (43:53):
Is there an upside?

Speaker 1 (43:54):
Absolutely, But look at track records as simple as that.
The possibility of playing in a World Series, of being
in the postseason every year is much higher with the
Dodgers than it is with Toronto blee Jays. So where
they go from here, I don't know. I give them
credit for getting in the game. They were in on Soto,
missed out on him. They got in on Otani missed

(44:15):
out on him. They still need a left handed bat.
Good luck finding another impact one.

Speaker 3 (44:20):
Yeah, I think that's exactly what happened. I do believe
they were viable. I do believe that was because I'm
just just trying to think as though show might think,
and I think that might have been interesting to him.
A whole new country, Like we talked about before a
team on the rise of fixing up the ballpark. One
thing I talked about. I don't think he would have
gone back east without a dome. I don't think he

(44:40):
wanted to contend with that kind of weather. The Los
Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Angels, the Saniel Padres play
outside with a dome. It's just the weather's always that good.
And I thought that would be important to him too.
So I think at the end of the day, the
overarching overwriting factor was I want to go someplace that
they have a chance to win on an annual basis,

(45:00):
And part of that was to be to prove to
me that you've won in the past. So when I
would almost better, they're sitting down there in the room.
At the end of the day, they're going all over
the pros and cons, and that had to really pop
up because that was so important the show to not
be caught up in another like you said, Angels organization
where there's a lot of hype, blood to talk all
the time, but nothing really happens where I think you

(45:21):
could have, Like you said, John, those comparisons with the
Blue Jays too. So yeah, at the end of the day,
what am I talking? Why am I even considering this?
I said, I wanted this, this is what I've been
looking for all along, and I'm gonna run away from
this Dodger team that permits me everything I'm looking for
in an attempt.

Speaker 4 (45:41):
To rise or erase this other team up.

Speaker 3 (45:43):
That was what I eventually thought, even though I was
touting the Blue Jays for a bit. But if you
really had listened to what he had said in what
you thought, Yeah, the Dodgers made the most sense.

Speaker 1 (45:54):
And finally, to wrap things up, here we're talking about
I believe the most talented player to ever play this game.
No one has ever been a two way player for
this long. This will be showy Otani. In the last
three years, he is second among hitters in slugging. Only
Aaron Judge has a higher slugging percentage. He is so fast.

(46:17):
Only Ahmed Rosario has more triples. It's the same guy
second in slugging, second in triples, and oh, by the way,
when it comes to ERA, he's third. Only Max Freed
and Max Scherzer have a lower ERA. The same guy
who's second in slugging and his second in triples is
third in ERA.

Speaker 2 (46:37):
We'll never see this again.

Speaker 1 (46:39):
This contract is not applicable to anybody else, so don't
tell me if it's setting the bar for anybody. This
is the Unicorn and we should be sitting here today
saying this player, the most talented player to ever play
this game, put what's best for the Dodgers ahead of
what's best for himself. I'm sorry this This is a
magnanimous move by Otani. The fact that it was his

(47:01):
idea to defer so much money is a sign of
his humility, and I think instead of looking for ulterior
motives and hidden agendas, we should be celebrating this guy.

Speaker 3 (47:12):
Yes, exclamation point one hundred percent on the money. Cannot
disagree with any of that, you know, in retrospectively, it
seems like a lot of it's obvious. I think we
have talked about a lot of this in advance of
it actually occurring. But again, when it's all wrapped up
in a nice little bow, that all makes sense. There's
there's there's nothing about it that isn't congruent. It's it's
as it should be, uh, in front of the way.

(47:33):
I mean you Andrew with the Dodgers. I know Andrew
very well, and I know some of his lieutenants too,
and of course the resources that they have.

Speaker 4 (47:41):
He's very good too. It's sitting in the weeds.

Speaker 3 (47:43):
He'll sit in the weeds and he's not going to
say anything either. And this whole time he's he's that bright,
his conversations are that intricate, and he's really grown over
the years and I'm very happy for him. So that's
another part that I think that the Dodgers had an
advantage with was the fact that Andrew was sitting the

(48:04):
orchestrating a lot of this.

Speaker 2 (48:05):
That's a great point as well.

Speaker 1 (48:07):
And think about it, the O Tommy basically fell into
the laps of the Angels, right, We didn't see that
coming back then, correct, Now he's essentially fallen into the
lap of the Dodgers. Not so much because we didn't
think that would be a fit. We've thought that all along.
But the fact that he went to the Dodgers and
said I'll play for you at two million dollars a year,
I mean, you talk about falling into somebody's lap.

Speaker 2 (48:27):
That is amazing.

Speaker 1 (48:28):
And again I understand sixty eight million a year ten
years down the road, but the Dodgers can fund that
and will fund that with interest until they have to
start writing those big checks for him.

Speaker 2 (48:41):
This is a huge win, a huge win for the
La Dodgers.

Speaker 1 (48:45):
So in a way, yes, as a two million dollar
year player, he fell into the laps of the Dodgers.
So Joe, I know you already gave us a great
saying there with the shirt you wore today, But you
know me, I ask a lot out of you. I'm
gonna ask for something else to take us home on
this show. Hey, edition of the Book of Joe yea.

Speaker 3 (49:04):
And it's always about anticipation, right.

Speaker 4 (49:06):
We knew.

Speaker 3 (49:07):
I knew that Tommy wanted to talk about show today.
I did know exactly which direction he wanted to take it.
But again, I have to be prescient and then try
to figure this out in advance. So we already touched
on it. He said the word today. I've said it too.
It's almost like Raucho marks the duck coming down with
the word of the day on it, right, And this
is effective. Altruism is about asking someone asking, how can

(49:29):
I make the different the biggest difference I possibly can?
How can I make the different biggest difference I possibly can?
And that's all he thought, how can I make the
biggest difference I possibly can in this entire scenario period?
And so I believe he works from pure intentions, believe
he has an altruistic spirit. I believe, yes, he's motivated

(49:50):
by being the greatest of all time.

Speaker 4 (49:51):
I don't think that's narcissistic. That's just that's his drive.
That's his drive.

Speaker 3 (49:55):
I mean, there's a lot of great members of the
human race that have benefited society just by being motivated
to the point to be great or the best what
they have done.

Speaker 4 (50:05):
So he just it's about how can they make the
biggest difference possible?

Speaker 3 (50:09):
And that's when it all came down to him for him,
and I think he thought it all the way through.
He had probably some different thoughts. They weigh different, they
weigh different organization.

Speaker 4 (50:18):
Cities at the end of the day.

Speaker 3 (50:20):
It became very obvious at the end and all roads
pointed towards Chavez Ravine.

Speaker 1 (50:26):
That was fun, Joe, well said as always, and look
forward to our next time chatting on the Book of Joe.

Speaker 4 (50:32):
Thanks Tomy, have a great day, buddy.

Speaker 1 (50:40):
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