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Omaz Vizquel, Former MLB Infielder

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2023 5:05 pm

Omaz Vizquel, Former MLB Infielder

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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October 4, 2023 5:05 pm

Former MLB Infielder joins Zach Gelb to talk MLB Playoffs.

Zach Gelb Show
Zach Gelb

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Thanks for it. How are you? Hi, Zach. How are you?

How you doing? Yeah, we are coming into the celebration of baseball right now. This week has been a little drama for a lot of teams and very exciting to be watching the games now on TV. When you watch baseball now in 2023, I know it's a lot different. It feels like it's home run or strikeout. I know that they've tried to change the game with the pitch clock this year and also with the bullpen limits and things like that. How do you kind of process baseball now in the year of 2023? Well, it's a little different to what the baseball we used to see, you know, with the bunt and the steals and everything that went on in the old school baseball, should I call it.

But it's very exciting. You know, you still see a lot of stars racing in the game. Not everybody can hit home runs. Not every team can survive hitting home runs. So obviously, they have been adjusting their team to make runs, to manufacture runs, and everybody can do it in different ways. But there is no doubt that you cannot have a baseball team building just home runs. You also need those guys that get on base. You need the steal. You need the fast guys. You need guys that know about the strike zone.

And obviously, that makes a huge difference when you get to the playoff. I know you coached a little bit, but I'm surprised that you never became a manager. Is that something that you're still interested in getting back into the coaching game?

Yeah, no doubt. I did manage in a little league. You know, after my coaching career with the Detroit Tigers for four years, I went to manage the Chicago White Sox organization.

I managed there for two years, single-A and double-A. And they were asking a lot of different things for us to do according to the cyber metrics and all that stuff that's going on right now. And we saw a little change in the game going back to those, to the years that we played.

But you know, you have to evolve. I think every front office tried different things to improve their baseball games, their players and everything. And you know, we just have to go along with whatever is being teaching these days.

Yeah, and I feel like as Omar Vazquez is here with us, especially with the passion that you played with and the knowledge that you played with, it's now as if you were to become a big league manager, right? The front office executive walks up to you and go, here's the lineup for the day. This is what the computer basically told us.

I'm not against analytics, but I don't think we should live and die with them, Omar. Yeah, I mean, you have to learn how to get a balance from both sides. You know, it's hard to get a lineup every day and change guys around the lineup when you know that you have guys in the top of the lineup that are going to do the job. Guys that are hot, that are swinging the bat hot in that moment. And then all the sudden you're going to tell them, hey, you're hitting six today because the numbers show that you did not hit this guy. So, you know, there are different things that brought the different way with the players.

That's why you have to be in constant communication with them, letting them know what is the situation, why are you doing the things that you're doing so they don't get down on themselves and lose their focus. I know you're probably tired of answering this question, but when it comes to the Hall of Fame, how have you kind of processed it the last few years, as I'm sure you're still hopeful to one day get in, but so far you haven't got that call yet? Yeah, I mean, it's fun to be in the process. You know, this is my sixth year now and I'm glad that people still compare my numbers to Luis Aparicio, who is the only Venezuelan that is in the Hall of Fame.

And then maybe O.C. Smith, who is the shortstop that everybody followed, you know, when we were growing up. You know, I like the interaction of different reporters talking about why does he belong or why he doesn't belong and the comparisons that they come out. I'm still learning things nowadays, things that I did on the field, things that have to do with the evaluation and how they actually evaluate a player. So it's kind of interesting to see all those numbers thrown back at you.

And, you know, it's kind of fun. But yeah, I'm still on the ballot and I'm glad that I still have the opportunity to be there someday. When you hear that you have 11 gold gloves, that would suggest that you were a great elite player and that you should be in the Hall of Fame. Do you feel as if the voters just don't prioritize and care for a great defense? Well, it's hard to say because, you know, the Gold Glove is a very proud thing for any infielder and you talk to any infielder, they would like to get a Gold Glove in their cabinets or in their house. You know, the fact that I have 11 is amazing because the coaches and managers vote for Gold Glove and they obviously recognize who are the guys that are the best on the field. And, you know, I felt pretty proud for that. I'm too proud on getting Gold Glove every year. And, you know, you play with guys against Jeters and Alex Rodriguez and Tejada and Garcia Parra and all these these power hitters. And then, you know, on the fielding side, they recognize me as one of the best. So, you know, I feel pretty proud about those awards. Do you ever sit back and go, man, if I just had one hundred and twenty three more hits, I'd be at three thousand.

And then, you know, every writer with all these wacky standards would be like, oh, Omar Vasquez, he would definitely be in the Hall of Fame. Yeah, I mean, when you look back and you know, I took over. I took advantage of every opportunity they give me.

You know, don't get me wrong. I play, you know, for 24 seasons. I was able to jump from one one position to another at the end of my career. And, you know, I was a team player. I took pride of what I did on the field, keeping my body in shape because it's not easy to just play that many years and be bouncing around, be like another coach for the younger generation of guys. And I think that's why you get that opportunity to play in different teams. Omar Vasquez here with us. When you look back at some of your postseason memories, I remember the hit to extend the series up against the Yankees.

Just what comes back to mind? Excitement. You know, you have to give it all on the field. I know that in playoff and we're serious. The numbers kind of get lost in there because people analyze one way and another one.

What team is going to win? But it's just a matter of how strong you are mentally in those situations. I think the players that that know how to handle the pressure and how to put away all the bad thoughts, negative thoughts have an advantage. And, you know, that's what I love to see so much playoff games because it doesn't matter what the people are saying out there.

You have a responsibility and you have a level of tough mind that you can just go through. So, you know, the predictions are great, but I know there is a lot of things that get out of hands. When you look at the AL and you talk about that experience and that mindset, I kind of feel, even though they're not the top seed, until someone takes out the Astros, just with how much experience they have, I kind of just expect them to be back in the World Series this year. How about yourself in the AL? Yeah, me too.

I feel the same way. You know, a team that experienced World Series already, they have been in that situation already. They have a little bit of edge and advantage over the other teams. They know how to handle things. And you can see how the last three games in the season, they needed to win in order for them to advance. And they did it.

You know, how they do it, I don't know. But that experience will take you there. And I really believe that this team is going to be pretty tough at the end. And, you know, they're going to be hard to beat. And in the NL, we know that it's World Series or bus for the Braves. The Braves have been the most dominant team in baseball. There's a lot of other good teams in the NL, like the Dodgers.

We see the home field advantage that the Phillies have, what's going to go down between the Diamondbacks and the Brewers as well. But I wonder how the Braves respond to pressure. They got that World Series a few years ago, but now everyone's going after them. And it's going to be fascinating if they lose the game or two, how quickly they could bounce back.

Yeah, that's going to be the question for them. I think that they shouldn't lose any confidence at all because they have, I think, the best team in baseball right now. They have it all. They have the pitching. They have the hitting. They have speed. They have just about everything. And just the fact that they have two MVP candidates that, you know, if one goes down, the other one can come and supply the power or whatever they do.

I think it's going to be a very hard team to beat. So for me, the World Series should be the Astros and the Atlanta Braves. I know towards the end of his career, you were teammates in San Francisco with Barry Bonds. We were talking about your Hall of Fame status.

It's a lot more complicated with Bonds. Personally, I think he should be in the Hall. He's one of the greatest baseball players I've ever seen. I know that you have all the steroids stuff, and it's part of the conversation, but I don't ignore greatness.

Where do you lie on Barry Bonds? Do you think you should get the call to Cooperstown one day? Well, all these guys have been involved with steroids things. You know, they have been great players. You know, they obviously, Roger Clemens and all the other people that are, you know, are not in the Hall of Fame. It's very sad to see because they represent baseball for a long time. And, you know, they make mistakes just like everybody else.

And I think they realize it. But yeah, you see guys like Barry Bonds swinging the bat, and everything that followed Barry was greatness. How much he did for the game those days and, you know, the home run chase and all that stuff. I actually had the pleasure to be with him for four years. And yeah, no doubt that he has been, I think, the best player overall in the history of the game.

You know, I didn't see all the other Roger Mary's and all the other great ones. But I think taking a look at Barry Bonds playing every day, it gives you that feeling. What are your thoughts when you see Otani play now? Because I've never heard about Babe Ruth, obviously growing up, but I never saw him play. But to see what he's doing on the mound and also at the plate, I know he just had the injury, but it's ridiculous.

Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, these type of players don't come out very often once every 100 years. And we should be acknowledged a lot of things that these guys do, because not only he can throw the baseball and have some great numbers with the pitching, he can also go long ball, he can hit for average. He's a complete player in every aspect of the world. Great.

So amazing to see a guy like this on the field. Well, Omar, I got about 30 seconds here real quickly. I know you have a big passion for art now. Just tell me a little bit about that. Well, I'm still hitting the art very hard. I'm working on a baseball collection that is going to go up pretty soon and trying to get the right people and the right places to go to. I'm thinking about Miami because of the Venezuelan people that follow the Miami Marling who congratulate them, by the way, because being on the playoff is not easy and they did it. And I think it's going to be a little different thing. We got to have some fun with that.

Like I said, he's going to be focusing on baseballs and gloves and bats and stuff like that. So take a look at my website, take a look at the Instagram because we're going to be posting a lot of things about this art show. Well, we'll definitely do that.

Omar Vischel, good luck. Thanks so much. We appreciate the time. Thank you so much, sir, for the opportunity. You got it. There he is, the great Omar Vischel with us on CBS Sports Radio coming on back, talking a little Chicago Bears.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-04 18:16:33 / 2023-10-04 18:22:18 / 6

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