Three Cheers for
6.13.02: Grady Little (GL) on The Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI 850
with John Dennis (JD) and Gerry Callahan (GC):
JD: The role
players have done a great job, Baerga, former star, accepted role,
difficult to tell him?
GL: Key is
to communicate with them up front, end of ST, let them know what's
going on. Dominos fell just like that. Baerga great job. Doug
Mirabelli making something happen every time. Lou Merloni who might
have to be out there another two or three weeks.
JD: Do you
have to massage Mirabelli? The guy could be starting somewhere.
GL: He knows
himself, and he knows his career... he knows Doug Mirabelli, he does
the best job he can when given the opportunity. Lou Merloni, he's got
plans to do something when he gets to LA, comes up to me and just
wants to make sure he's still going to be here. They're individual
players, and you treat them all individually.
difference in managing between minors and majors?
GL: Lot more
demands on my time, I used to spend more time with players, working
with them on things... sometimes I'm not around players enough... but
I have good coaches in Tony Cloninger and Mike Stanley...
about a guy like Mike Stanley? What is his role?
something we use to try to relax each other. Mike takes things more
personal, serious... I say Mike, relax, let's see what happens, we
already made the move. I try to talk him into going upstairs to watch
game on TV to see if he can see something, warm up a little, but he
wants to stay right there... keep his eye on me I guess... he's a good
man and he's got a good future in managing.
GC: Speaking of
good guys, we're all rooting for Tony Clark, how can you get him back?
trying to put him into situation where we can get him work. Seems the
more he works, the deeper the hole he gets in. Trying to do best we
can to make him successful. When Manny is back, we're going to be
putting our best lineup on field. Hopefully he'll be part of that at
bringing Diaz up to hit against left-handers showing a lack of
confidence in Tony Clark?
really, I just had mosey (?) for that kid, Big Juan...
don't strike me as high-tech guy. When you make decisions/line-up do
you do it based on computer printouts and past performance or do you
rely on your gut instincts?
GL: I go about
80% with what I feel in gut. Maybe one position a night where I may go
to past performances to make up my mind.
JD: Who is
the biggest surprise this season? Sanchez? Hillenbrand? etc...
GL: I knew Ray
Sanchez was good from watching him play. Shea and Lowe are the biggest
surprises. Knew Derek would give us innings, but...
JD: Who would be
the biggest disappointment so far... Tony Clark?
GL: ....Personally... yes. Tony Clark has been the biggest
disappointment, we expected a little bit more out of Tony. But he's
got a lot of time left in season to be successful.
JD: Are you
compelled to keep an eye on Lowe and pitch count?
certainly. We've started that process. Not a lot of monitoring, just a
little bit. He's healthy, strong kid but in unchartered waters where
he's going more innings. Well let him go again, and take another look
beginning of August... just blister so far, but arm is fine, want to
have him pitching in late October.
GC: Handle Trot
the same as TC?
GL: Trot is
having a rough time, you've seen it before, but he'll creep up into
Sept.: hitting .280-.285, 20HR, 75--80RBI, he's a worker, competitor.
JD: Who is
your backup right fielder?
hot damn, ... with Rickey hurting? We've got Daubach... Nelson
JD: Have you
told Manny not a good idea to slide head first?
GL: I think
he's decided it's not a good idea. But the kid's been swinging the
bat fine for the past couple of days. Hopefully he'll be ready to play
some outfield in San Diego.
JD: Do the
Mets owe Clemens a fastball in the ass?
GL: I don't
care about what happens to Roger Clemens, I just want to see how Major
League Baseball handles what happened there. If they don't treat the
NY Yankee players the way they treated ours, then I'll get concerned.
I'm watching Bob Watson's office to make sure they're treating
everyone fairly and let us do what we're trying to accomplish here.
GC: You were
Manager of the Century in minors. How come it took you so long to get
here? Did it frustrate you that the John McNamaras of the world got
their fifth job somewhere?
GC: No, when you
were a player like me, I knew I had some serious mountains to climb. I
enjoyed it. It's worth waiting for to get this opportunity.
JD: Tenor of
clubhouse has a lot to do with winning and winning attitude. Have you
ever managed a team that didn't have it (good chemistry)?
GL: It's the
chicken and the egg. This chemistry has been great, but we've been
winning.... I can't come in in Fort Myers and tell this ballclub,
look, we're gonna have good chemistry, we got off to a good start,
chemistry is just there,
JD: But your
personality has an effect, the tone is calm, they want to play for
GL: It could, but
it's from the from the top down now, there's not going to be a whole
lot of excitement when things are going really good, or really bad.
GC: Come July,
will you make acquisition? What kind of player would it be?
now, in the bullpen would be the best thing for us. We'll get Manny
and Rey back, I feel real good about our position players. If we get a
chance to improve our pitching we would.
Concerned about Pedro?
GL: We would be
crazy to say we don't have concerns for this kid. It could take rest
of season before he's totally back to normal... but I'm convinced that
he will be totally back to normal.
JD: Can you
get on anytime at Pinehurst?
got connections, I go down to coffee shop, then we split up into fours
and go play (JD: Number 2?) No you can get on there, but I don't
enjoy playing that too much, it kicks my butt.