Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi On Injuries, Coaching, And More

There was a different feeling that was roaming around Chavez Ravine a week ago.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were competing in their first World Series appearance since Tommy Lasorda’s team won it all in 1988. Things didn’t go that way a week ago after the 2017 ball club was defeated in a Game 7. However, the electric barrier that buzzed throughout the area has suddenly busted and spewed out several particles of optimism that are scattered into the foreseeable future.

This was the case at Dodger Stadium Tuesday morning when Andrew Friedman (President of Baseball Operations), and Farhan Zaidi (General Manager), took the podium to address the media for their first press conference since that loss.

At first, the intriguing pair took the podium, and looked like two adolescents that were ready to admit their wrongs during a parent-teacher conference, but their smiles depicted their enthusiasm to honestly make things right once again.

The first question was if they had gotten over the bitter disappointment of Game 7 in the World Series, and Friedman simply responded by saying “I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it.” It was the truth, and I’m sure he’s had a hard time dealing with the aftermath, but he’s moved on from it, for now. “It’s been really difficult, but one thing that has helped is just being around the guys.”

It’s daunting for about 24 hours, just to think about where you were 12 hours earlier, but I think it also motivates us. We’re extremely competitive, it’s about how to get back to that point and finish it off. – Andrew Friedman

You can tell that everyone within the Dodgers organization is focused on improving in every aspect, getting back to the World Series, and winning that title that the city of Los Angeles rightfully deserves. It’s scary, but there’s a certain mindset that separates them from executives around the rest of the league.

Farhan Zaidi is a guy that’s appreciative of those moments during the 2017 season, but he won’t allow himself to feel content with the results. He definitely believes that the opportunity was there, and that it will help in the long run. “We feel like it’s something to build on, just like last year. I think as we look back on this year, we’ve been there, we know what it’s like and we’ll be even more prepared for next time.”

It was exhilarating for us to get to a Game 7. To see how the fans responded to it [was motivating]. Our goal in a year, is to say that [the loss] was another stepping-stone. – Farhan Zaidi

After the sentimental questions were wrapped up, the topics shifted towards the element of business. As far as team orientation goes Adrian Gonzalez, and Andrew Toles, are expected to arrive at Spring Training healthy and ready to compete for everyday roles (with regards to playing time).

It’s too early to predict the outcome for Corey Seager’s situation, but it seems like he’ll be alright – barring any unfortunate setbacks after further examination. Free agents like Andre Eithier, Yu Darvish and Chase Utley weren’t discussed much because they have the right to explore options while the front office also decides what the right decision will eventually be.

Kenta Maeda is still looked at as a starter, but will see time in the bullpen after taking his game to another level during the postseason. The bullpen will be adjusted, but Yimi Garcia is apparently in the mix to be featured next season if things go according to plan.

Zaidi compared this current predicament to a pickup basketball game. “We really believe in this team, we believe this is a championship team, you’d love to run it back, but that’s not the business side of things.” There’s always a certain amount of human emotion that gets placed onto their plates, but it won’t keep the Dodger architects from doing what’s best for the team – per the norm.

Individuals shouldn’t have to deal with speculating about any changes to the coaching staff though. Pitching Coach Rick Honeycutt will be back and the only opening available is an assistant to Hitting Coach Turner Ward. Dave Roberts hasn’t received an extension yet, but both of the front office leaders believe he’ll be around for a long time.

Friedman loves the working relationship that Roberts has with the front office, and that plays a key component in having an aligned outlook. Everyone is on the same page, and it just makes things easier at the end of the day.

I think Dave, our coaches, do a great job of preparing for a game and putting players in a position to succeed. Our coaches, and Doc, are a great part of our strategy. They’re a great dynamic to our group because our goal is to win a championship. – Andrew Friedman

It’s also a great feeling for a manager when the people at the top support managerial decisions, regardless of how they or anyone else might feel about them. Roberts definitely made some questionable decisions at times, throughout the entire season, but he still has substantial support going into 2018. They’ve still got his back through tough moments, because they go through the same thing on an annual basis, and that’s what anyone would want to hear.

I think that’s the great thing about baseball. There are going to be things that we do this off-season that people are going to second guess, and challenge. There’s things that go on in a game where people second guess it, that’s not unique to the Dodgers. That’s great. Everyone has opinions but we’re obviously around the group the most, and have the feel [understanding] of the day-to-day rhythm. – Andrew Friedman

At the end of the day, AJ Hinch [Houston Astros] and Dave Roberts, were the best at managers. As these moments come up, it was their decisions. You face a lot of 51/49 decisions, and you have to decide, in that moment, what’s best for your team. – Farhan Zaidi

Things didn’t go the way they had planned for the 2017 season, but that’s alright. Both masterminds of the front office reiterated that there’s no time to dwell on what happened. It’s time to move forward, and bounce back towards another championship run.

Andrew Friedman isn’t the head honcho for no reason, and fans should expect significant improvement heading into Spring Training. The baseball world knows that he’ll do whatever it takes to turn their product into a masterpiece. If anyone is wondering how a 104-win/World Series appearance team can improve, just know that he asked reporters this question: “what’s a luxury tax?”

You can check out the entire press conference below!

What moves would you like to see the Dodgers make in the offseason? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Dodgers should pursue Freddy Galvin, if he becomes available. He will be a fine replacement for the soon-to-be-retired Chase Utley. Galvin is a Gold-Glove type shortstop who can also play 2nd. He’s only 27. He’s a switch-hitter who could platoon with Forsythe. He’s faster and covers way more ground than either Utley or Forsythe and plays a better shortstop than Seager. If something goes wrong with Seager’s back, Galvin would be a great back-up. His .382 on-base percentage is outstanding. He should come relatively cheap.

    1. I think you meant Freddy Galvis and agree that he is very good defensively but his on base % is a little low because he doesn’t walk enough.

      1. I don’t know where you got Galvis’s on base percentage of .382 as I just checked and his on base is indeed pretty low percentage of .287 for his career.

  2. I would like to see Utley return as a coach, I’ve heard there is a opening. I think he will excel as a coach, stealing baseball values on his tutelage.

  3. 1st off THEY should get Didier I don’t care how many prospects THEY need to give up. This includes Urias,DeLeon,and. Buhler!! 2nd trade a package of Gonzo,Grandal,Baez and Avilan to the Mets for Harvey, Degrom or Syndergard, there probably gonna have to pay all these guys salary for 2018! But who cares!! Next trade a combo of Baez,Stripling,and Avilan. For anything THEY can get for these 3 pieces of crap. Next get Bells head on straight to one hit or bunt to leftfield and lay off those inside insane curve balls in the dirt!! As well as Are far too.They both have tremendous opposite field power just going to waste!! Tell that moron Roberts to hit and run more. Well this would be a GREAT START TO 2018, BUT THEY REALLY NEED TO FIRE THAT MORON IN CHARGE INCLUDING FREECRAP AND DATA CAN WHO KNOWS LESS THAT MY GRANDSON ABOUT BASEBALL!!

  4. Would like to see the Dodgers keep Morrow, Watson, Darvish and Utley. Would like to add Otani. I think 2018 will be Joc Peterson’s break out year. Puig and Forsythe will have good years. I can’t wait until next year!

  5. Dodgers should pursue Stanton of the Marlins. That big bat in the middle of that line up would make them favorites. He would thrive in Los Angeles with a core of young talent. Trade away a few pieces in the farm system and someone else. Taylor, Puig and Stanton would be awesome. The Dodgers would lead the league in attendance for sure.

  6. The Dodgers need;
    1.Good right handed hitter
    for left field, probably a
    platoon player
    2. Try to trade some of
    pitching surplus(Kaz,
    McArthy or Ryu)
    3. Restructure Maeda
    contract so they can use
    him in the bullpen
    4. Find a quality minor
    league 2b to replace
    Forsythe after next year
    5. Solidify the bullpen

    1. Let Darvish find another home. We have good options down on the farm and a pretty stable starting crew as it is. Would love to have both Gonzales and Bellinger in the lineup which can be done by having Taylor play 2nd on those occasions. A .225 hitter (Forsythe) shouldn’t have a lock on that position.

      1. I agree they have some great options for starter and help coming from the farm in possibly Buehler, Oaks, Alvarez, and others. If the salary is low enough and the years not too bad they might want to think about Darvish. We need a dominant right-hander and he seems to have regained his arm strength.
        If Gonzo regains his health and his bat then Bellinger goes to the outfield until Gonzo’s contract runs out end of 2018. This means Toles fights for a platoon position with others as Bellinger may play CF as he is faster than Taylor and may be our best Center Fielder.
        Will Verdugo need another year? Buehler? Does Barnes win starting job? What do they do with Grandal?

  7. 1. Pitching stats will never be the same, but give starters a little longer leash, for own confidence if for nothing else. With Doc’s strangle hold on them, we’ll never find star pitcher who would want to come via free agency.
    2. Solidify bullpen.
    3. Trade McCarthy
    4. One more consistent bat w/ a little pop in it as well

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