Price, Jocketty discuss Latos
Reds manager Bryan Price and general manager Walt Jocketty responded Monday to the comments made by former pitcher Mat Latos. See below for full text:
“You know… Obviously this is a distraction that we anticipated and we’re not going to allow it to become a long-running distraction, it’s obviously something we need to talk about today and address, unfortunately. To me, it’s a bunch of tabloid BS that’s unnecessary. First things first, we have a top-shelf training and medical staff and have had them for years. Their credibility is undeniable. It’s a non-issue. It’s unfortunate that we even have to address it. We universally support our training staff, they are as invested in our players as any staff I’ve been a part of and having been a staff member here for the last five years, I’ve seen fully the interest that Mr. Castellini, Walt, Dusty, myself, our medical staff, our training staff, coaching staff have taken in making sure we’re up to date with what’s happening with our players. We would not compromise the health of our players to win a baseball game. I couldn’t be more supportive of what we do here from a medical standpoint.
Had Price talked with Mat after his trade to Miami in December?
“I talked with Mat. I texted Mat. I sent Mat a nice note of appreciation for his time here. This is going to be something that should be a non-issue that has now become an issue. I’m not going to get into a he-said, she-said environment, all I can tell you is a lot of things came out that shined a really negative light on our organization and that is unfair and inaccurate. We have outstanding leadership from ownership through the front office, through the coaching staff, training and medical staff and we have outstanding, quality, high-character people in our clubhouse. We have our own imperfections, as does every other club, but this is a first-class organization and it’s ridiculous we even have to discuss something of this nature that would shine a negative light on this organization, because we’ve done nothing to deserve it.
“We’re like any other team, and last year was a year we were hit with a lot of injuries. That being said, it had zero to do with anything that would be negligent on the backs of our medical staff, our training staff and our strength and conditioning staff. We honor our players by the way we care about them and if we’re waiting for our players to be 100 percent healthy when they take the team, no one is going to field a team, I can tell you that, no matter what sport you have. 162 games in 180 days, if you’re looking for 100 percent, no one is going to field a team on a daily basis, that’s not going to happen. If that’s our goal, we’ll cut our season back to about 20 games.”
“First of all, we feel very strong that we have one of the best medical staffs in baseball from Dr. Kremchek all the way down to our trainers and physical therapists and our minor league rehabs and so forth. We follow very strict protocols after surgeries, rehabbing and so forth with the physical therapists. We treat everyone the same to make sure they are ready to go. We don’t rush anybody. If anything, I’ve always had a philosophy that if a guy says he’s ready, you wait an extra day or two just to make sure. We’ve always kind of followed that protocol.
“Then when I read the rest of the stuff and saw some of the other comments he made, I even got more upset. No. 1, it’s something that’s not true. There might have been a couple of things that were exaggerated – more than a couple. There’s just no reason to go there and we’re spending a lot of time today talking about it.”
“We have a great group of players. We’ve had good leadership. We haven’t had the vocal leaders that everybody tries to look to or point to. We’ve had a lot of guys who control things in that clubhouse and manage the clubhouse. I’ve always told some of the key players that it’s up to them because the manager, the general manager and the coaching staff can only do so much as far as managing the clubhouse. It’s their clubhouse and they have to control it. They have to manage it. It’s that way in my career in St. Louis and Cincinnati. We’ve never had any situation that was out of control. It’s always been well managed and well respected by the other players.
It’s uncommon for players to discuss stuff from the clubhouse, even after leaving?
“I think he made some comments when he left San Diego as well. You have to consider the source,” replied Jocketty.