Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the Zack Greinke press conference this afternoon, but I did have a chance to watch it online.
My initial impression of Zack is exactly what I expected. Knowing that he has had social anxiety issues in the past, I figured he would look a bit uncomfortable up on stage. He definitely looked nervous and stammered/mumbled a bit when he spoke. You can tell he knows what he's talking about, though, but seems to have a difficult time verbalizing it to the large crowd. I would suspect he was well spoken when he met with the Dodgers brass on a more individual level.
Now, on to my notes. First up is Magic Johnson
- Magic spoke about the sting they felt last season by not making the playoffs. They didn't like the feeling of losing. Starting pitching then became their most important focus.
- They knew Zack would be a free agent and immediately identified him as their #1 target.
- They liked Zack's commitment to his craft and his professionalism.
- Magic exclaims that, "Dodgers pride is on the way back."
- Ned said that they set out to find the best pitcher they could find- someone who could sit alongside of Clayton Kershaw.
- A determining factor for picking a team was joining a club that would compete year after year, and finding a place he and his wife would enjoy living in.
- He prefers to pitch in a park that allows him to be a fly-ball pitcher - said his style is geared towards giving up fly-balls.
- He thought Stan Kasten was the smartest guy he has ever spoken to, and was therefore a large factor is him signing with the Dodgers.
- Mike Scioscia had mentioned that Zack Greinke loves to hit, but Zack emphasized that focusing on hitting can often hurt his ability to pitch. So, he doesn't spend much time focusing on it today.
- He spoke of writing down the lineups of every team chasing him and suddenly realized how strong the Dodgers team is.
- He enjoys evaluating prospects.
- First thing he told Ned was how much he liked our 1st Round draft pick last year (Corey Seager).
- When he was asked about his comfort level he said large press conferences doesn't bother him, but one-on-one's do bother him since he always gets the same question. He also added that each time he answers those questions the answers get worse each time.
- In meeting with the Dodgers, they went through the Dodger lineup talking about how he would get them out.
- Zack said Don Mattingly seemed kind of laid-back. Appreciates that Don strives to be better.
- Said every batter has a hole, but the Dodgers have a couple of players that have no holes in their swing. He refused to name the two Dodgers.
Ned Colletti was also asked a question, so he went ahead and described the interview process they had with Zack. He was impressed that Zack came to Dodger Stadium without an entourage. They spent 3 hours chatting and talking Baseball. Ned felt that allowing Zack to come out alone was a stroke of genius since they had an opportunity to really get to know the kid instead of the dynamics that surround him.
Later on, Zack Greinke spoke with Steve Lyons and Patrick O'Neal.
- Zack is a huge basketball fan, and enjoyed speaking with Magic about the game. BTW, he's an Orlando Magic fan.
- He noted that AJ Ellis is a good hitter, and the Dodgers have no easy outs.
- Said Matt Kemp use to be easier to get out, but is a lot harder now.
- It's clear he is very analytical when it comes to pitching.
- Mark McGwire was a favorite of his growing up and thought his signing as the Dodgers batting coach was a great call.
With that, the presentation was done. Zack continued to speak with other reporters in the room and even did a "Ask Me Anything" on twitter for the Dodgers. I haven't checked that out yet, but I'll be sure to note some of the dumb questions he received.
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