On Thursday, Los Angeles Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman and General Manager Farhan Zaidi spoke to the press in an end of season press conference. This is a recap of that press conference.
Among the topics that came up:
Both Zaidi and Friedman said that discussions with the pitcher who extended his opt-out deadline to Friday as ‘ongoing pleasant’. Friedman stated that Kershaw’s impact has been maximum from on the field and a culture standpoint. It was stated when there is ‘something to announce’ it will be.
Friedman said that talks were ongoing throughout the year that the manager would be ‘working with the front office for a long time’. Nevertheless, he re-stated that when there is something to announce the organization will do so. There is currently no deadline with Roberts’ negotiations.
Negotiations were tabled during the season – and Friedman doesn’t see obstacles in re-signing Roberts. It would appear a deal is imminent.
Friedman said the organization gets a lot of requests (in regards to Zaidi being granted permission to interview with the Giants). Zaidi stated that his plans are to work for the Dodgers in 2019, and his focus is on his current work in the weeks ahead. The GM said that he would not address his interest in the Giants job.
World Series 2018
Friedman said that with so much going on – it’s been tough to reflect back. He emphasized struggles offensively and so many guys at one point slumping made things difficult. The margin for error on the pitching side was small due to offensive struggles. There will not be re-thinking in regards to the platoon lineups or the leading home run hitters being on the bench. Friedman said they had an extremely deep lineup against left-handed pitching as well (as against RHP). He felt that both lineups were well-balanced. The World Series result simply came down to struggles in that series.
Zaidi said that strategic decisions by Dave Roberts are directly from his own gut, and conversations with the front office. The GM said that a lot of credit goes to the Red Sox for being an incredible team. He thinks the microscopes need to come down, and criticism of the manager is somewhat invalid. Blame should go around to both Zaidi and Roberts, but again he credits the Red Sox with playing well. The focus is on the roster and how they can get well but responsibility for the loss goes around.
The organization is proud of returning to the World Series while not accomplishing the ultimate goal. Resiliency of the team was praised by Friedman. Friedman compliments the core of players in place – he likes the position of the team for 2019. A great deal of turnover was asked about in regards to the roster. Friedman talked off this point to a degree without answering.
It’s not something that has been actively reviewed but there are ‘plenty of resources’ to go around Friedman stated.
The front office has not looked at it in a level of detail in regards to slumps being created by the lineup. In terms of reps and at-bats, Friedman sees the weakness more as shortening the bench (over not getting reps). Up and down the lineup, guys got to play a lot and had more opportunities on other teams.
Zaidi pointed to the World Series MVP (Steve Pearce) as a platoon guy example that had success. Again, Zaidi said the Red Sox pitching was unbelievable in the series. The Dodgers went with an approach that gave them the best chance to succeed and it simply fell short.
Machado filled a large hole when Seager went down Friedman stated. Friedman said he was better at shortstop than anticipated. In regards to the ‘not hustling’, some guys don’t hustle and don’t care. Friedman feels that Machado doesn’t hustle but does care and said it wasn’t a great look. His teammates really like and respect him.
Zaidi said that things happen in the heat of battle but Machado did care a lot.
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