Differences between the levels of media attention in various markets can affect players as they change teams,writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Andrew Miller (who has played for teams like the Indians and Marlins with relatively small media contingents, as well as teams like the Red Sox and Yankees with large ones) says he prefers bigger media markets (although Cafardo also notes that Miller has enjoyed his time in Cleveland). “For me, the best thing that ever happened was coming to Boston,” says Miller. “I loved the big crowds and all of the attention paid to the team. I loved the adrenaline it gave me. But I know guys who prefer to just play baseball and not have to worry about outside things. Everybody is a little different.” Here are more quick notes from around the league.
- Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is pleased with how his organization’s rebuild is going, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. “It’s nice to see things starting to form into a team and not just form a minor league system,” says Freeman. “It’s been a tough two years; I don’t think anybody’s gonna sugarcoat that around here. We had a team where most teams said, ‘Oh, good, we’re playing the Braves.’ But I don’t think most teams say that anymore. Last year, we’d be 30 games under .500 at this point. It’s been so much better.” Kepner notes that Freeman has earned plaudits from teammates for his willingness to try third base recently to accommodate the team’s changing roster, even though Freeman himself is a veteran in the midst of an outstanding season. Freeman played 16 games at third, although he’s been back at first base recently, with Matt Adams in the outfield and Brandon Phillips at the hot corner.
- Lefty Sean Doolittle was initially distraught by the recent trade that sent him from the Athletics to the Nationals, but he says being dealt along with fellow reliever Ryan Madson helped, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Madson had already been part of five organizations before heading to the Nationals, whereas Doolittle had only ever been with the Athletics. “It was awesome for me having (Madson) here because he kept me really centered,” says Doolittle. “My emotions were all over the place, and he has such a calming presence about him. That really helped me.” Nats manager Dusty Baker chose Doolittle to close ahead of Madson or another new acquisition, Brandon Kintzler, even though all three have been closers before. Baker cites Doolittle’s experience as a deciding factor, although it’s worth noting he has the fewest career saves of the three. Perhaps that’s missing the point, though — Baker seems to view his new relief trio as three essentially interchangeable hurlers who are all capable of pitching the late innings.