MLB Network analyst and 11-year major-league veteran Eric Byrnes was at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. He and his MLBN colleagues are making several stops in spring training to film video segments for their annual “30 clubs in 30 Days tour.”
That’s a lot of clubs in a short amount of time, and Byrnes said he’ll be seeing 10 of them, starting with the Cubs, Royals, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Reds and now the Dodgers. He’ll be at the Brewers, A’s and Angels later in the week. I asked him for his thoughts about what he’s seen so far from talking to and watching the Dodgers. We hit on a variety of other topics that I’ll save for future posts/stories, so enjoy this two question Q-and-A.
Q: Do you see anything tangibly different about the Dodgers?
A: One of the first things I noticed was their baserunning drill. Sometimes it’s something as little as that. They’re out there and they’re busting it. This is a $230 million payroll — 230 million dollars — and these guys are going from second to home, and they are booking it. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’ve done that baserunning drill so many times where I’ve watched teams lolligag through that sort of drill. The little attention to detail, that’s something you want to see.
We sit here as media and question whether it’s going to work, but this is a business. These guys come to work every day and everyone’s — if you have a bunch of professionals that are doing their job, you might not need a Hunter Pence speech to put you over the top.
Q: So you think a team doesn’t need that one guy?
A: I don’t know if you necessarily do need that one guy. If there’s a veteran guy that the guys are able to look up to. The bottom line is, if everyone takes care of themselves it’s not an issue. Again, when I look at this team, the biggest thing for me is staying healthy. A lot of it I see with the Angels too. If they’re able to stay healthy through the course of a 162-game season, I’d be shocked if both teams are not in the postseason.