Yasmani Grandal celebrates a home run against the Angels. (Photo: Associated Press)
LOS ANGELES – Yasmani Grandal received his ring of the 2018 National League championship Friday afternoon, but did not seem too enthusiastic about this jewel.
"I already have one," he says. "These rings do not really matter. I have two now. I want each other (a World Series ring).
"Let's hope that the next time I get there, I can finish it."
The ring was presented to Andrew Friedman, president of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Dave Roberts, their manager. However, after consecutive seasons of pennants and four total years with the Dodgers, the veteran receiver now wears the uniform of the team that he beat last fall in the NLCS – Brewers of Milwaukee.
It felt odd to return to Dodger Stadium as an opponent, but Grandal downplayed that as well.
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"I spent the last four years here, so it was like going home," he said. "I do not think it sounds really strange. When I was beating at the beginning of the match (stick training) today, I felt like I was sitting at home. The only difference is that I am in the other canoe. "
Asked what he remembered most of his time with the Dodgers, Grandal highlighted the start of the 2017 season, when the Dodgers were in trouble and the skeptics came forward.
"It was my favorite moment, when we were a little down. Everyone was going crazy. Then, suddenly, we played four or five games. And, of course, we came back to the playoffs. One of my favorite memories is that we were able to get out of nowhere and continue to win the division. "
Grandal said he thought his time was up with the Dodgers after the 2018 season, despite 24 home strikes and 68 runs for a team that eventually lost to the Boston Red Sox at the World Series. Los Angeles made him a $ 17.9 million qualifying offer, but he knew it was just to maintain the selection allowance.
"In addition to the game, it's a business," he said. "Obviously, they do not want to lose their draft pick. They have to put (offer) there. I also knew that there were other guys here who had to try their luck, a lot of guys I was working with. I was in their place not so long ago in San Diego. I knew that they believed in these guys. "
Grandal, 30, entered the free agent market and soon realized he would not receive the multi-year offers with the dollars he was looking for. Just as he began to wonder how this would happen, the Brewers proposed an offer of $ 18.25 million with a mutual option for 2020, allowing Grandal to at least beat the qualifying bid.
Grandal said that he could say that the president of the Brewers in charge of baseball operations, David Stearns, was serious.
"The first time I talked to him, he kind of brought me," said Grandal. "In the first 10 minutes, I talked to him, I was in."
After a slow start on the board with the Brewers, Grandal caught fire. He took part in the three-game series against the .343 Dodgers batting with three home runs and five RBIs, with a base percentage of 400 and a return of 1.029. More importantly, the Brewers are counting on him to help feed their trio of young pitching pitchers, including Corbin Burnes.
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"The main thing is that we are making progress," said Grandal. "They get better every time they start. It's just taking one step at a time; do not think of too many things. "
In regards to Grandal's work with this trio of pitchers, director Craig Counsell said, "When you catch them, you see (talent). You see things. You understand that they can get big hitters, but this process does not happen overnight.
"When you're working with talented kids, you're happy to go with them and help them get better."