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November 15, 2010
The Week in Quotes
BUT JUST THINK OF THE THROWS HE COULD MAKE FROM RIGHT
"Derek had a great season at short. He turns a double play as well as anybody. He deserved the Gold Glove. Look at his statistics. And you also have to realize the flashy plays aren't really where it's at. It's great if you get to a ball and people say 'look at his range.' Derek may not have as much range, but what good is it if you get to a ball and then throw it away? Now the guy is on second base."
"Before, he was above average range-wise, and now he's just average. I don't think his defense is going to become a negative for him for quite some time. They say that great outfielders never have to dive, I think that applies to Jeter, too. Because he's older, a little more wise and he knows opposing hitters, how infields play, his catcher, his pitcher - all those factors. Good shortstops have instincts, and I put an 80 on his instincts this year. If you were going to create a baseball player, you'd want him to have Derek Jeter's brain. That's part of who he is and that's never going to change, even if he's a tick slower. He's smarter than he was when he was younger."
"It is a tremendous honor to receive the Gold Glove Award, especially since this recognition comes from managers and coaches for whom I have a great deal of respect. It is particularly gratifying to be recognized for defense, as it is something I take a lot of pride in and am constantly working to improve."
"Once you win it, you can keep getting it handed to you and they just go off who won it previous years. But I think I did a good job fielding my position and holding baserunners, doing everything involved in winning the Gold Glove."
"I hear about this UZR, Ultimate Zone Rating. And I saw Robinson Cano has a negative Ultimate Zone Rating. That is absolutely crazy. Robinson Cano is by far the best second baseman I've ever seen and he's a negative defender by that Ultimate Zone Rating. So I don't put any stock into those things."
CAREFUL, YOU MIGHT JUST GET TRADED TO SAN DIEGO
"Right-center to left-center is ridiculous. Almost impossible for a right-handed hitter to the opposite field and very difficult for lefties. It affects the hitters a lot, and you start to develop bad habits as a hitter when you feel like you can only pull the ball to hit it over the fence. You take those habits on the road."
"I don't think there's any question that it affects your thought process and your swing. I haven't played at Target, but when you play at our place, or talking to some different guys from the Twins that obviously are frustrated with the fences where they are, you can't help but to try to alter things to try to fit the park you're playing in. I've kind of learned firsthand that you're just not going to hit very many opposite-field home runs at Citi. Apparently, Target is kind of the same way."
"Home wins are the most important thing at the end of the day. But I believe we would have done that no matter what with the team we had. I think we had a team built around power and offense and were not able to take full advantage of it."
A REALLY RELAXED KID IN A CANDY STORE
"We are going to present offers in our comfort zone, given the age and all aspects of the player's strengths and weaknesses. We'll see if it works. Little Rock is an example of us trying to hit the ground running this particular winter."
"It came up. We talked about it. She loves New York. I don't want to speak for her, but I can just tell you that I don't have any fear of any of the experiences that she's had in the New York area as being an issue here. I can tell you, the feel I got from her and him is that, this is a place that intrigues them a great deal. But unfortunately there's other places that I'm sure will intrigue them as well. But we recognize things can happen in our environment just like any other environment, and I think they recognize that too. That's when you have to be willing to roll with the punches and have Plan B's, C's, D's and F's up there."
"It's a personal matter - where you're going to live, where you're going to make your living, for how long, how much money you're going to make, where your kids are going to go to school. Those are really important personal issues and to see them played out in public or see rampant speculation, to see things reported that aren't true or even that are true but that should be held in confidence can be really damaging. So it's just really a matter of respect."
"I have no reason to give any deadline. I've got nobody lining up ready to sign for anything I want to sign them for."
IT'S A LOT BETTER THAN LEAVING IT UP TO THE MCCOURTS
"Any time you have a difficult time it's like you always reach in there. I don't know how to explain it, but there's always a comfort there. I wrestle with it intellectually because of the science, but there's something there that brings comfort."
"It took a while. It still feels like a part of me. We had three boys together. I feel more comfortable, probably in the last year or so. I started to feel like I'm not trying to be guarded or anything."
SOMEONE WANTED METS STUFF?
"It was the worst-kept secret in the business. Everybody knew Charlie was the guy to go to if you want Mets stuff."
"He would do anything for you, but he doesn't seem like the type of guy who would get involved in the stuff he's been accused of. He's still a friend. This is more of an individual thing, but it's unfortunate that he [was] an employee of the Mets and makes the organization look bad."
"One thing you have to realize is no matter how much money you have or how big of a star you are, you need help to manage your life if you are a player. These guys wake up at 11, spend some time with their family, and then they are off to the park. They can't take batting practice and say, 'Skip, I gotta run some errands, I'll be back in an hour.' The smart ones hire a personal assistant who does this stuff for them. The dumb ones rely on equipment guys. The equipment guys get deeply involved in their lives."
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, HE RECOMMENDED BELTRE SIGN IN BOSTON FOR A YEAR
"I would have to say in my years of doing this, I've never had so much interest in one player. I'm not sure that the media quite understands what Boston did for Adrian Beltre, but I think his leadership has come to surface."
"We've had a number of teams contact us, vastly more than we ever expected, and we expected a good number, certainly. But there are teams wanting to move players to make room for him."
"I hear a lot of people talk about the Gold Glove voting, and the acumen, and you've got to remember that Boston's infield is one of the most treacherous in the major leagues. I've watched a lot of third basemen for a long time and I've never seen one better than Adrian Beltre. And I think a lot of teams recognize that and then you add in his offensive exponential and his leadership."
"Every player in the right deal could be traded, but we are not shopping him. More importantly, I think it would be very difficult or almost impossible for us to replace him. So the way we're planning on moving, he's a big part of our club."
"He's a guy we've always liked. He's been a well-respected guy and does everything very well. I think he's just another good player to add to the mix of players out there."
"I was not surprised by ESPN's decision. They have been taking 'Sunday Night Baseball' in a different direction the last two years and I was not comfortable with that direction."
"My kids are getting older and one's going to be out of high school real soon, and I'm not going to miss his whole high school. I want to be able to be here and see some of his stuff and you can't see his stuff playing major league baseball. I just feel like I have a big responsibility here. I have three boys. I feel like I need to be around and raise them and I feel like we're getting to that point where it's the crucial ages of their lives that I need to be around a little bit more."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.