Listen to A.J. Preller talk enough, and you start to realize that he’s not necessarily all there in the moment. I don’t mean that negatively—I just mean that he’s probably thinking about something baseball-related as he finishes each sentence. His mouth is saying one thing, but deep inside his baseball-obsessed mind, synapses are firing at will about Dominican prospects and such.
The Padres had a press conference for Wil Myers earlier this week. Here, I’ve tried to figure out what Preller might have actually been thinking when he said various things.
What he said: Obviously, uh, here today to announce the—you know—to announce the signing of Wil Myers to a six-year contract extension.
What he was thinking: I wonder if there are any flights to Venezuela available tonight.
What he said: [acknowledging Myers’ family in attendance] . . . Wil’s father Eric, uh, his mom Pam, uh, Wil’s brother Beau.
What he was thinking: I bet Beau sticks at third. His actions over there are pretty good. I like the arm strength and he’s only, what, 19? Not sure about the bat.
What he said: [Discussing the ownership group] . . . just showing their commitment. You know, ever since I’ve been on the job, when we’ve presented ideas, when we’ve talked about what we’re trying to do as an organization, um, you know, here today, largest financial commitment in Padre history.
What he was thinking: I wonder if there are any political ramifications to building a baseball academy in Siberia.
What he said: We think he’s just scratching the surface as far as his potential.
What he was thinking: Ninety-seven on the gun from Bethancourt. Do I really buy 97? Well, if Welk said it, I guess I gotta believe it. Shit, I knew he had 93 or 94 in him. But 97?
What he said: Wil’s always been a great talent, um, you know, he’s always had tremendous ability.
What he was thinking: If we keep Guerra in Lake Elsinore and start Tatis Jr. at Fort Wayne, we can probably move them both up a level by June. Worst-case, if Guerra struggles again, we’ll just flip-flop them.
What he said: He’s an athlete that plays baseball. You know, he’s a guy that can impact the game in a lot of ways.
What he was thinking: How many $300,000-and-under international amateur players can we get for $5.75 million?
What he said: . . . you’ve gotta have fun, and Wil has fun with it on the field.
What he was thinking: Ninety-seven. Remember to call Welke.
What he said: It’s a city that’s never won a championship, and I think that challenge is exciting to him.
What he was thinking: I still believe that if Lauer improves the change-up, he’s a legit mid-rotation guy.
What he said: I thought we were gonna do the press conference from Chick-fil-A.
What he was thinking: I wonder what those smart-asses over at Padres Public are writing about now.