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David Samson | Former Marlins President/ Current CBS Sports HQ MLB Anlayst

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August 17, 2022 6:10 am

David Samson | Former Marlins President/ Current CBS Sports HQ MLB Anlayst

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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August 17, 2022 6:10 am

 Former Marlins President and current CBS Sports HQ MLB anlayst David Samson joins the show to talk Fernando Tatis, massive contracts, and MORE.

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We're excited to welcome David Sampson, former president of the Miami Marlins, now analyst on CBS Sports HQ. He's got the Nothing Personal Podcast and he always wakes up early with us whenever we ask.

David, it's good to have you for a couple of minutes. Let's talk about Fernando Tatis a little bit. Because you spent so many years in baseball, I'm interested to know what was your reaction when you first heard about his 80-game suspension? I think that Tatis Jr. knows his way around steroids. I think that Tatis Jr. had $340 million guaranteed and wanted to get back as quickly as possible to help his team and took a calculated risk.

And the risk failed. And he still has $337 million guaranteed. He's only going to lose $3 million in this 80-game suspension. And his reputation, his Hall of Fame trajectory, I'm not exactly sure that Tatis Jr. and Tatis Sr. care one iota about that. So his dad went on a radio station in the Dominican Republic and talked about how baseball is tarnishing his son's reputation, destroying it, and in fact ruining baseball. He says millions of people will tune out because his son isn't playing.

And I get it, he's obviously on his son's side. But my question to you would be, is there any room at all for baseball to investigate this on a case-by-case basis, just in case he might have actually been using the medicine for ringworm? Well, listen, even if he were using the medicine for ringworm, which I don't even want those words to come out of my mouth because then your editor could somehow make it believe that I said he was using the medicine for ringworm. He won't, I promise.

He was not clearly using the medicine for ringworm. It's the biggest horse hockey story of the season so far. So baseball has to be consistent, and it hurts.

When we got a call in 2016 that D. Gordon had been caught doing steroids, the same thing as Tatis Jr., I couldn't believe it. I asked Dan Hallam at the time, the deputy commissioner, I said, I need a recount. I need you to stop the count. I need you to do something because this can't be happening.

I want to know every process. So a couple of things on that, Amy. The Padres didn't know about this when they traded for Juan Soto. The Padres didn't know about it when he first tested positive. They only found out when the appeal was dropped and the suspension was going to be starting.

Then the phone call comes in. It is the one area in Major League Baseball where there's no leaks. It's the one area where the front office is totally blindsided by the phone call they get.

Because I've gotten it for a star player. First it's disbelief. It's like the three stages of grief they talk about. There are three stages of someone caught doing steroids when you are president of a team.

The first one is denial. Like you've got the wrong guy. Somebody mixed the tea. We have to go back from the beginning because there's no way my guy was dumb enough to do this. Then MLB shows you the proof and says, no, it is your guy.

We tested not once, not twice, but thrice. And there's no appeal. And then you say, well, what do you mean? Of course he's going to appeal because he didn't do that. There's no way my guy on a long-term contract who I just signed, who's going to help our team win, did not appeal because he'd never do steroids. That's the second sort of level of grief. And then the third one is when you go to the game and you talk to your team and you have to tell your team what happens. And you have to explain to your players that this good player is not going to be with you for 80 games.

It's a horrific process, might I add. And the Padres just had to go through it and they were riding such a high with the acquisition of Juan Soto. And Tatis coming back and the thought of him being with Machado and Soto and them competing to win the World Series. And then, pfft, it just disappears. And the Padres have not played well since.

It's really something, Amy, I must tell you. I appreciate that insight and your personal perspective as a guy who went through it with the Marlins. Former president of the Marlins, David Sampson, is with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio. I also found it interesting that we heard multiple Padres, as well as the general manager, come out and say how disappointing this is and how much they can't trust him right now. And this probably includes the December motorcycle accident that he didn't have the surgery for with the broken wrist until March. Just how poor his decision making has been.

But does it even matter, David? Because, as you point out, he still has nearly $340 million owed to him and a full no trade clause at 23 years old with 12 and a half years on that deal. So that's the thing. So all these players can say what they want and the manager and the owner and the leader of the team, Manny Machado. But guess what Fernando Tatis cares or hears?

Both things. He cares not and he hears little because he knows that he's not going anywhere, that he can buy a house, raise family in San Diego because he's in control of his destiny. He's going to be there longer than every single person who criticized him. He's going to be there longer than the manager.

No question about it. Maybe even longer than the owner. And if they do want to trade him, he gets to control exactly where he wants to be traded because he has a no trade clause. So he looks at the situation, talks to his father and says, wow, I'm in complete control.

There's not one thing that can be done to me that I do not either do to myself or want myself to have done to me. And that's the power that we give a 23-year-old player when we give him a 13-year guaranteed contract for $340 million. That is our fault. And we do it time and time again.

You cannot create the monster if you're Frankenstein and then be upset when you get eaten. I just want to remind people that you have given a contract of 13 years to a player in the past, and we've talked about it, but since Giancarlo Stanton and the 13-year deal that he signed with the Marlins, how much has your perspective changed on contracts that last longer than a decade? How much has it changed, Amy?

Zero. When we signed Giancarlo Stanton, Giancarlo Stanton and I laughed. We laughed. We looked at each other. And I said to him, you wanted to say no, didn't you? You wanted out of Miami so badly that you wanted to say no to that deal, but you couldn't, could you?

And he smiled. I said the reason you couldn't is that you just got $325 million guaranteed, not like any other sport. I'm talking about guaranteed. You are set for life. You, your family, grandchildren, your parents, everybody. You get hurt. You can't play.

You stink. Whatever the case is, you've got that money. In return, you had to get married to me in Miami. And he said, you did it.

And I said, gee, you did it. And what we were talking about is that we each found a place where our comfort no longer mattered. It was getting the deal done that mattered. So our comfort in going out 13 years was not very high. His comfort in staying in Miami was not very high. We had to have him on the team because we did not want any of our media or fans to believe that we were going to let him go because we had let everybody else go who was great in our organization. The previous owners had let every other great player go in fire cells led by Huizinga or John Henry, by us previously. So we needed Giancarlo. Giancarlo needed us because he didn't know what position he would be in after he had been hit in the head with the pitch. He just wasn't sure what he would be like as a player. And we were giving him the biggest contract of all time.

Right. So there was no way he would say no. There was no way we would say no. But there was also no way that we each thought that he would be a Marlin for the entire contract. And he wasn't.

So every situation is different is my point. That was a long true story of giving you insight into that negotiation. And it was never there was never an argument. It couldn't have been. It was my most friendly contract negotiation because the player had so much leverage and so did the team.

And when both sides have a ton of leverage, deals get done very, very quickly. David Sampson is with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio, former Marlins president. And now as we talk to him every time we talk to you, actually, David, we get stories like this that you've never told before.

So thanks for sharing that insight again. Giancarlo is one of the Yankees who is hurt and trying to get back to the field. And certainly their offense has taken a major hit. How confident are you in the Yankees now at this point where they've lost? Let's see, 17 of 25 since the All-Star break.

Well, I've hired personal security here in New York, which is not normal for me because I'm so small that people could generally not find me. But the fact of the matter is that months ago, I explained that the Yankees weren't good enough. And I implored Cashman Steinbrenner to bring in one to two top level starting pitchers. And I was mercifully, mercifully, what's the word on Twitter?

Not just teased, but I was put through the ringer. I was, what does this guy know? He only has one World Series ring.

This guy doesn't know one thing about building a team. You were roasted? He's roasted.

Thank you. Mercifully roasted. You used to act like my producer, Coco, when I can't come up with a word. He's right there, right there with it. But you were like eight seconds later than Coco would have been.

But I appreciate you being there. So I got mercifully roasted because Yankee fans at that time, the Yankees were, as you recall, were going to set a record. They were going to be the best team in history. And now all of a sudden the starting pitching is not as good. All of a sudden the hitting has gone in a bit of a slump. They're not scoring runs and they're not winning games. Now people are saying to themselves, are they possibly not even better than the Astros? And oh, my God, they may not be better than the Mets, which is, of course, the worst nightmare of the Yankees to ever say those words. If George Steinbrenner would hear you say that you thought your team was worse than the Mets, he'd fire you up spot like on the spot. Right now, the Mets do have the better record, which is something that you probably and by you, I mean you collectively probably wouldn't have thought once they were on that meteoric first half. So that is true, though they still have a nine game lead in the American League East because the teams behind them are all kind of fighting on even ground. What impresses you most about the very young Cleveland Guardians? What what they're taking advantage of a situation where I thought and everyone else thought the Chicago White Sox, despite Tony La Russa at manager, that they would find a way to win the division sometime in May was my projection.

I thought their magic number would be one somewhere around May 15th. They they clinch it May 16th and the division has not turned out that way because the White Sox are one of the most disappointing teams, in my opinion, in baseball this year. And Cleveland and Minnesota take advantage of it. And they were always going to be fine teams.

Right. People thought Cleveland, Minnesota, Minnesota added a lot of pitching. They got gray at the thought was they had a chance to be competitive and they're playing fine. The Guardians sold off players. They got rid of Lindor. They have some injuries.

They had a window of winning that in my view was closed. But yet they're playing around 500 baseball, which means you're still in it. And that division where you shouldn't be.

So I think it's pretty exciting if you're in that that division. But how do the White Sox not win it with their talent and their lineup from an outsider standpoint? That's a division you win and you have time to win.

But every time I think the White Sox, maybe last night, beating Verlander was the beginning of them waking up and saying, all right, it's time to go now. Because they're the team that is the most likely to get hot despite schedule, despite home road opponent. When you're a player, you're not focused on that at all. You don't look at ease of schedule. You don't look at home versus road.

That's very much a media created statistic. Players inside the clubhouse know when they're going well. There's no team that they will lose to, whether they're home on the road, whether it's an afternoon game or a night game followed by an afternoon game.

Players don't focus that way. Here we sit mid August, about six weeks to go in the regular season. So we're getting close to that stretch run. Who is one of your favorite stories or maybe a favorite dark horse, a team that has been a lot of fun to follow and could make some noise come October? Well, I'm sorry to say this, but I'm looking at the last two games of Atlanta, New York in this pivotal four game series.

And we're going to know a whole lot more in 48 hours. If to Grom and Scherzer do what they're supposed to do for the Mets and they come out of this series with a split with the Braves. I think that that means the Mets go on and win the division and become really the team to beat in the national league playoffs. If, however, the Braves can just sneak in one of these two games, somehow just beat either Scherzer or DeGrom and then be three and a half games out after having gone through the Mets. I think the Braves say to themselves, we're a better team, which I think they are from one to 26.

We're deeper. We're winning a lot. We can catch these New York Mets and we can win this division. And it doesn't happen often that in the middle of August, when you're five back or three and three back, four back, it doesn't happen often. But believe me, it can happen with the Braves.

That's how good they are. And now on yet another streak, this one at eight games. So yeah, there's a lot happening in that division as always. And so far the Mets have shown staying power and tenacity, but with two injured starting pitchers in the last two nights.

I mean, you're talking about potentially the deck being shuffled yet again, even as they get Scherzer and DeGrom back. All right. You can find David Sampson on Twitter at David P Sampson, S-A-M-S-O-N, former Marlins president. He's on CBS Sports HQ.

He's got the Nothing Personal podcast. Do I dare ask why you only had 90 minutes of sleep? No. OK, I won't. We need a little mystery in our relationship.

We will leave it at that. But thank you for not blowing us off, even though this was an extreme turnaround for you, David. Amy, I must tell you that I'm about to start recording today's Nothing Personal at 6 a.m.

Sexy. And I must say that I love when you call. I love being on your show.

I always do it live and I will never say no to you. Oh, thanks, David. Well, we'll look forward to that new podcast, especially if your voice sounds like it does right now. That's just by the way, that's me on a normal Wednesday morning. Good to talk to you. Take care of yourself. We'll talk again soon. Bye, Amy.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-30 07:32:59 / 2023-01-30 07:39:43 / 7

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