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Managers Prepare for Spring Training

With the hot stove cooling off, and with pitchers and catchers reporting to training camps in just two weeks, Major League skippers have begun tweaking their cliches, flushing their last few Marlboros down the toilet, and shaking the dust out of their fogey folds.

The NotGraphs Quote-Gathering Seals, an elite, highly-trained yet unpaid team of erstwhile Humanities majors is on the job, surprising managers in their foyers, cars, showers, and storage facilities to gather the most inane candid quotes possible regarding each manager’s preparations. Here are a few choice selections:

Bruce Bochy, World Champion San Francisco Giants


“One thing that was successful for us last year was a clean bullpen. We had a no-tobacco/no-candy wrapper policy in the bullpen last year, and Sergio [Romo] developed into a star. He’s a very tidy guy; it helped him mentally.

“This year, we want to bring that to the dugout, too. A big boy’s pants are a clean pair of pants. We want to set an example for the younger guys.

“This, ah, whole cleanliness thing, though — it doesn’t apply to the manager’s office. Now get out of my Pert-Plus!”

El Mike Of Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim


“So much of managing a Major League baseball team is about being counter-intuitive. We’re going to see how [Mark] Trumbo looks at shortstop this spring. We do want to run the football. We’re going to try fasting as a team. Now get out of my nightstand.”

Fredi González-Upton, Uplanta Uptons


Upton & Upton upton, upton upton upton upton. Heyward-Upton!”

Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays


“I’m pretty happy with the Kelly Johnson acquisition. He most definitely gives me the freedom to let Zobrist shuffle out to the outfield, be it to sub for Sam Fuld or Matt Joyce. [Johnson] may log some outfield innings of his own…. He’s willing to do so, and I love guys like that. If we need it, we could play Zobrist in the outfield full-time and run a conventional last-name platoon of Johnson and Ryan Roberts. But it’ll also be nice to have Fuld’s glove out there. Also there’s this Wil Myers guy we acquired in the offseason.

“Welcome to my breakfast nook.”

Images adapted from John Corum/New York Times, from the work of Steve C. Wong, which was talked about here.