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December 9, 2008

Ned Colletti

Ozzie Guillen

Torii Hunter

Joe Torre

Ken Williams


NED COLLETTI: The Dodgers are very pleased to be moving west for spring training. They left a historic site in Myrtle Beach, maybe the most historic site in the history of spring training.
But the idea to move west and become closer to the Dodger fans was something that we've talked about, at least in the three years that I've been there, perhaps longer than that. I think it'll help our club. The proximity between one spring training site to another will be much, much closer, much more convenient for getting work done, playing games, also for having meetings and doing a lot of extra work each and every day.
I spent 24 years with club spring training in Arizona. I'm looking very much forward to being back.
JOE TORRE: I'm just the opposite from that. Hopefully that's the only time I'm opposite. Just the fact that I've never trained in Arizona, I am looking forward to it. We got a little taste of it last year after starting in Vero and of course going to Beijing and then of course finishing up in Arizona.
To me as a manager, and I think Ozzie will tell you the same thing, in spring training you have so many players with so much to do, a lot of times you lag behind on bus trips because you want to watch some guys work out at home and then jump in a car to go to the game.
With the way it's situated in Arizona, it's a lot more concentrated. To me, that's going to be the biggest advantage, that we're not going to spend as much time on a bus and more time on the field. To me, that's a terrific experience for us and advantage for us based on the fact that you get a lot more chances to see a lot more players do a lot more things.
KEN WILLIAMS: Well, I'd like to echo the thoughts expressed so far, and to welcome the Dodgers to Arizona. It's all the things that you said about proximity and the facilities out there. I think you guys are just going to love it. We personally, the Chicago White Sox organization, couldn't be happier to share a facility with the class of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
One thing I would be remiss if I didn't say, is we were in Tucson for ten good years, and I really want to thank the people of Tucson for what they gave us, how they treated us, both with regards to the stadium and issues in the stadium and also out in the city.
We had some people there that were just champions for us, and we will miss them. But we are excited to be going to Glendale. I personally have been out to the facility a number of times, and it is not your average spring training facility.
It is, I think, going to be something that is going to be kind of the new wave of spring training facilities, and you'll notice such things as a lake that separates the two facilities, a walk of fame that the fans will be able to walk through, both complexes, and see the players work out in a way that you don't often get to see and the comfort in which they'll get to see it.
It's a facility that you will notice in a city. The City of Glendale has been proactive, as you know, in bringing USA Basketball to the area. Everyone knows that the Cardinals play in Glendale, and it is just a progressive city. It is growing, and I think that if any of you get the opportunity to make your way down there, you will see just how state of the art the spring training facility is.
OZZIE GUILLEN: Well, I have a couple things to say. Finally I don't have to be on the bus for three hours every other day and watching games. I think it's going to be a privilege to open that facility next to Joe Torre, one of the best managers in the game, and share with them and play against them most of the time.
That's something I was looking forward to, and I think in a facility like Ken said, it will be outstanding. Hopefully I'll be long enough there to enjoy it a lot (laughter.)
There's only thing I just told Joe and I just told Ken. There's a bad thing about it. My wife is going to be there every weekend because it's only a straight flight from Fort Lauderdale. Hopefully the people of Glendale is happy to have us there. I love Tucson. It was a great few years as a manager, and hopefully everything works out well for both organizations there.
THE MODERATOR: I know the White Sox released their spring training schedule last week. Ours went out today. March 1st will be the first game at Camelback Ranch, and it will be the Dodgers against the White Sox.
For anyone interested in going out prior to that, the 17th of this month we will be giving a tour of our facility to a couple od players: Andre Ethier from the Dodgers, Paul Konerco and Matt Thornton from the White Sox will get kind of their first look at it.
So if anyone is interested in taking part of that, let the Dodgers and White Sox' PR departments know.
With that, we'll take any questions that you have.

Q. Ned, what are some of the pros and cons, do you feel, of sharing a complex with a team?
NED COLLETTI: I've never been with an organization that shared a complex before. I've talked to teams that have, and I think there's more pros to it than disadvantages to it. I think that you have -- if you need a B game, you've got somebody right next door you can always schedule a B game with.
I think Kevin Thomas told with the Seattle situation with him and San Diego, that as long as both organizations understand the needs that each other have, it's far more beneficial because you've always got access to another team for another game.
Our relationship with the White Sox has always been solid, so I think it's more pluses than minuses.
JOE TORRE: And the fact that you share a facility with someone in the other league, you know, I think that as a manager, I think we spend a lot of time not pitching the same pitcher against the same team if they're in your league when you're ready to start a season. I think the fact that we're in different leagues certainly helps.

Q. How do you think Manny will like this Glendale facility?
JOE TORRE: I think Manny will like it. I think a lot of the players who play there will like it. A new facility is going to be really appealing, there's no question about it. I know you're perfect for these types of press conferences, but I'm well-rested. I can handle it (laughter.)
But another advantage for our facility is when we have injured players, disabled players, we have someplace they can go and it's concentrated and they can be tended to and won't cause distractions. So there are a lot of advantages to being closer to the West Coast.

Q. Do you worry about Manny being hurt already?
JOE TORRE: Manny, he usually takes pretty good care of himself injury-wise. He's already. Once in a while he'll have a malady. We're certainly interested, no doubt about it. I think you've got a long way to go.

Q. Can you comment on how much non-spring training operations the rest of the year will take place in this facility?
NED COLLETTI: This will be practically a 12-month endeavor for us. Player development is moving its headquarters there. We'll have your instruction league obviously. We may double up on the instruction league. We may double up on some specific clinics for players in the fall months.
For those players that reside in Arizona all year long, in the wintertime, they'll have an opportunity to work out any day of the off-season. We'll have extensive video, we'll have extensive hitting opportunities, pitching, fielding, and a lot of former Dodgers will be invited back to partake in it to be there both as instructors and as people who can teach a little bit about what the game is all about.

Q. I want to know about why you don't want your wife anywhere near the spring training site?
OZZIE GUILLEN: We'll get to that.

Q. What is it about the transition from Vero Beach to Arizona that you might be able to bring over with you so there will be some kind of carryover tradition and people want to see something from the past? Has there been a lot put into that?
NED COLLETTI: There's been a lot of thought put into the design. One of the beauties of Vero Beach was the quaintness and also the closeness of the fans. We're going to continue to be accessible player-wise. There will be opportunities for the fans to get up closer during workouts.
That was part of the charm of Vero that you rarely saw any other place, and we're going to continue to do that.
JOE TORRE: And a pretty good chance that you'll see Lasorda on a golf cart somewhere. But you're right, I've never been in a facility like that where you go through the fans to get through what field you're going to. I know that's the one thing the McCourts wanted to make sure they held onto.
I mean, the history of the Dodgers, I grew up in Brooklyn, and I certainly appreciate the history of this organization. In Vero Beach it was very special, all the pictures on the wall and Sandy Koufax showing up. I'm sure he won't show up as often in Arizona as he would if we were right down the street.
But just the fact that the facility is really going to be conducive to being fan friendly, and I know the fans really appreciated that unlike any other place I've ever been.

Q. Kenny, just to follow up on a question I asked, will the White Sox also be using this as a year-round facility?
KEN WILLIAMS: No. For a while we are going to keep our short-season teams in great falls, Montana, and Bristol, Connecticut, so we will not have a rookie league presence there. But we will have a medical staff there for rehab players, things of that nature.

Q. You spoke about Glendale being proactive. Can any of you say what incentive they provided? Was this a public-private partnership, public money used for the facility as well as any other financial incentives that were offered by Glendale?
THE MODERATOR: It's built primarily by the city with some dollars from both teams, but it's probably a little complicated. I can certainly talk to you a little bit more about that if you'd like.

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