February 28, 2011
The Week in Quotes
KENNY WILLIAMS HAS A NEW DESIGN FOR THE WHEEL
"I would say that unlike in times past, where one side or the other came in saying, 'We need to make radical or fundamental changes to the agreement,' I don't think the bargaining demands of either side are going to be looking for that. I'm not trying to predict the future, but it doesn't appear that anybody is looking to really reinvent the wheel."
"You're not going to get any disagreement from me or argument from me if the game is shut down for a while until something is put in place where there is some sort of cap on the board."
"Nobody who was in baseball in the 1970s or even the 1960s could dream that this sport would enjoy 16 years of labor peace. It's been a shock for me. It isn't a coincidence that we also have enjoyed the growth we have had in the industry. You had owners ripping owners. Owners ripping the union. The union ripping owners. And everybody ripping the commissioner. You don't hear that anymore."
"Do I want that? Who does? Come on. Come on. This is a game where millions upon millions of people watch on television and come to the ballpark to get away from some of the things that are going on in life, to have a little bit of entertainment. That's all I'm saying. That's exactly what I'm saying, is that we have to protect that. We are stewards of the game and we have to protect it."
THE METS STOLE BUD'S SUNSHINE
"In a lot of ways, I view these as positive developments. I think the answer is yes. Obviously we're not in that position currently. I have been given no indication that we will be hamstrung by any financial issue."
"I want Frankie Rodriguez to finish as many games as possible in a pennant-winning season for the New York Mets... Anytime you have that kind of money committed to one player, it's going to impact flexibility."
"Well, as the Commissioner you learn to do that after awhile. It takes a long time. I wish I knew in 1992 what I do today. I do have great affection for Fred Wilpon, make no mistake about that. I have great affection and I have great respect. I have great faith. Each year, I have a set of problems and hopefully next year, I'll have a different set of problems."
"The commissioner's office for many years has supported different franchises in different situations and that's their prerogative. I rely upon both the assurances we've received from the commissioner's office as well as the documents that we are entitled to under the basic agreement. And I have every confidence that all the obligations to players under the basic agreement and their contracts would be met and I still have every confidence that that's going to be the case."
THE METHOD BEHIND THE MADNESS
"When you come into spring training with the A's, people go, 'Is there this master plan?' In many cases, what we do is a reaction to not being able to do some things other clubs can do. If we actually got to do Plan A every year, we would look a lot like the Yankees and the Red Sox."
"I couldn't tell you if Derek Jeter is a plus player because I don't know where their spray charts tell him to play. We understand it when Aybar doesn't get to a slow roller up the middle because he was shaded so far toward third base. No shortstop would get to that ball, but if you're grading it, it's a minus."
"Moving from Stoney to Tony, my sense is they're using more of the statistical-based information. Tony seems more open to it in the GM chair than Bill was."
THEY DID MAKE IT TO THE ALCS
"I think, maybe, they celebrated too much last year. Some of the players, too busy building mansions and doing other things and not concentrating on winning. I have no problem saying that."
"I understand most of it. The house, I didn't understand. That's a first. That's funny, I think. I'm not moving, so we won't be talking about this again."
"Sometimes teams get a little complacent, they celebrate for too long. It certainly isn't Derek. Derek's got five rings. You don't win five rings by being complacent. So, it was definitely not Derek I was talking about, and it wasn't, obviously, a few other players, either. But in the end we've got to win. He knows I wasn't referring to him. It's not what I meant. That was never my intention."
"It was a generalization, a euphemism. A bad choice of a euphemism. That's all it was."
"Out of my last 10 months in baseball, I've had one bad month, and that was last April, and nobody talks about the other nine months. Nobody talks about, 'Hey Davey, think you can do what you did in May of last year?' Nobody asks me that question. Everyone asks me about April. April to me is like March. April does not determine what will happen in September. You know who I learned that from? Manny Ramirez. One year he got off to a slow start and he said, 'Don't worry. By the end of the season, I'll be there with everybody.' And he was."
"We don't miss him. Ask 30 guys out there. By the way, I was asking for his number to talk to him about it, and nobody has his number. I bet you Tito isn't going to put up with the shit we put up with here, because he did a lot of bad things last year. We lied for him. We protected him. He should look in the mirror and know he's wrong. I respect his wife. I respect his kids. I'm not even mad. I wish I was mad about it because I rip his throat."
"I always think I'm one call away from the unemployment line anyway. What am I going to do? I can't do anything differently. Shows open. Shows close. You move on to the next one. That's how I lived my whole life so I don't really think about what's happening now."
"I think Rodriguez has got too many irons in the fire right now. I think his head's not level enough to the point where he can have the kind of year that it takes in order to go past all of the records in the book. I read in the papers, he said he had a great winter, for the first time. He should have a great winter all the time."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.