Quotes From Frank Robinson's Tuesday Press Conference
Compiled by Matthew Lee washingtonpost.com Staff Writer Web Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2005; 7:23 p.m. EST
Q: What are your thoughts on players reporting early? A: Jose Vidro is coming along fine. I'm very pleased to have him healthy. It's typical to have guys in here early. It's nice to see, as a manager, to see guys down here early. It's typical of this ballclub. They want to get themselves ready and in the best condition possible.
Q: How will you evaluate players? A: I always look at spring training as a new year, as a fresh start. Out on the field, you want to win ballgames, but the main concern is getting the players prepared and out of here healthy. The No. 1 thing is getting them conditioned, not winning.
Q: How is the pitching rotation shaping up? A: Tony Armas, if he stays healthy, is the key to the rotation. Armas is capable of doing some outstanding things if he's healthy. You hear other players talking about him, other players on other teams talking about him. Hitters talk about a pitcher having nasty stuff and that means he's tough to hit. That's what they've said about Armas when he's healthy.
Q: How will RFK Stadium play? A: It was a good ballpark. I enjoyed the ballpark. I think it's going to play like, what I like to call, a fair ballpark. The elements don't affect the flight of the ball because it's down low and the stadium is closed.
Q: What are your thoughts on pitcher Mike Hinckley? A: I've head an awful lot about Hinckley. I'm interested in seeing him perform. The door is open. I don't close the door on anybody by saying he's destined for Triple-A this year. I'll wait and see what happens. Some guys have come out of the blue and made the roster.
Q: On what to expect from Washington fans: A: I don't know. I don't know what to expect from the fans. All I know is, if we put a good product on the field, I hope they come out and support us. If they don't, they have a right to stay away. The main thing is, if we play good baseball, I'd like to see people out there, and I think we will.
from his press conference on Mrch 1st, a few excerpts...
Terrmel Sledge "I like everything about him. I really do. This kid is a manager's delight. He's a student of the game. What do I mean by a student of the game? He takes the game seriously, he studies, he works on his skills. He's not satisfied with what he's doing. He wants to improve and keeps working at it. He doesn't question why he's not in the lineup, but he wants to be in there. And he keeps himself ready when he's called upon to do a job. He just does everything that a manager would want a player to do, especially in his situation. He's in a tough situation right now. He's ready to start at the big league level. But right now, he's in a situation that he has no control over. He has to be, as we say, patient. And that's not easy to do. It's easy to say, but it's not easy to do. But I think he can handle it. He did last year, and I think he can handle it this year. He'll have his day. Much sooner than later."
Brian Schneider "This young man has taken big steps, huge steps since he's been the starting catcher here. The only thing that has probably suffered a little bit -- and it usually does -- is his offense a little bit. But defensively, and calling a game he's improving on that -- and he can always continue to improve on that. But defensively, catching and throwing he has to take a back seat to no one. He doesn't have as strong an arm as some catchers, but he is very accurate. And he gets rid of the ball very quickly. As we say in the business, he has quick feet and a quick release. And he's accurate. That's the key. As he puts more time in behind the plate -- and handling certain pitchers -- his game-calling will improve. And it should improve. And it will improve."
The health of Tony Armas Jr.'s arm "His arm is fine. In fact, I've forgotten that he had the injury. He's doing everything he's supposed to do, and he's doing it like the injury is not a problem. It's not a matter of him being healthy or the injury not bothering him, he's fine. He's fine. He's exactly where he should be this time of the year and hopefully, he'll continue to build on that and be ready for Opening Day. If he has no setbacks, there's no reason why there should even be questions about his condition is arm is in. He doesn't like to talk about it. He doesn't want it to be a topic of conversation. As far as I'm concerned, it shouldn't be."
some quotes from Robinson's press conference on March 2...
On today's exhibition opener:
"This is the next step. It's getting a little closer to the real thing and you do get excited about that. We're about 30 games away now, right? It as close as you're going to get to the real thing. ... This is kind of a rehearsal in a way. And this is what it's all about. And you know the next step is the real thing, and that's what is exciting about this, too."
On the hoopla surrounding today's game:
"It's very rare that you get this kind of hoopla around a spring training game. ... Not too many. It's very rare. So, you know it's something kinda of special when you have this type of coverage and this type of excitement about an exhibition game."
How does the hoopla effect the team:
"We're excited about the situation and the opportunity to play in Washington We're looking forward to playing in front of fans that are excited about have a team there. And we feel like they will give us the support that we need and would like to have over the course of a season. ... It's going to be fun. It's going to be enjoyable. And we're excited about it. I think that's the way it effects this team. They're excited about it. The players are excited about the season starting and getting up there and playing in front of the Washington fans."
On why Hall of Famers don't manage:
"When guys usually achieve, or have the type of career that I had, they usually don't want to get involved in the headaches as far as being a manager is concerned. They either want to be in the front office or things like that or they go into private business and work on the outside. They just don't want to put up with these headaches ... or put in the hours you have to put in if you are the manager of a ball club. Or they feel they can't put up with the problems that you have to deal with on a daily basis with the players. You have all kinds of reasons for not doing it, but most times outstanding players with outstanding careers just don't want the hassle."
"This is spring training, and first time through some guys are going to be sharper than others. You don't get too excited about performances this early. I want them to pitch well when we're getting ready to break camp. That's all I'll be concerned about -- the last two or three starts in training camps. You don't like guys to get beat up down here, but as long as they're throwing strikes -- no problem.
On Mayor Anthony Williams's appearance at the game:
"I saw him yesterday [in Fort Lauderdale]. It was nice to see up here. The more you see him out here the better off, in fact, maybe he can help us get some things that we need. ... He wanted to be out here [in field-level seats rather than in a skybox] to see how easy it is. Maybe he thinks it's easy. Or that he could help me out if I got in trouble. But that's good. You see the game with a different perspective when you're down lower in the stands than you do up in the boxes. It's good to see him out there. That's a real true fan when you see him out there in the stands."
On Cristian Guzman's defense:
"I've heard that's the kind of defense Guzman can play. What's more impressive is the way [second baseman Jose] Vido turned it [a double-play in the first inning in which Guzman's momentum carried him past second base]. The arm strength he showed -- he didn't have that last year. It seems like they've been playing together awhile. ... You want [Guzman] out there because he can hit and play defense. He can catch the ball; he can throw the ball; he can play defense. That's where it all starts: pitching and defense."
On Chuck Thompson's passing Sunday at 83:
"He was a very good announcer. He was one of a kind. ... He didn't copy anybody's style or anything like that. The people sitting at home really enjoyed listening to him because he made them feel like they were at the ball park. And that's not easy to do on the radio. He was a real professional. "I enjoyed the times that when I was there and heard him calling the games because I knew he wasn't going to be biased for the home team, that he was going to call it like he saw it. If you messed up out there, he's going to tell people you messed up. If you did well, then he went ahead and praised you. That's the way it should be, and that's the way it was."