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February 18, 2013

The Week in Quotes

February 11-17

by Pete Barrett, Hudson Belinsky, Jonah Birenbaum and Andrew Koo

MICHAEL IS BOURN AGAIN IN CLEVELAND
"It was a long offseason, but it was fun for me. It taught me patience. It was interesting. I landed in a spot where I think that I'm wanted, where they're committed to me and I'm committed to them, and that was my main focus. ... I'm ready to rock-n-roll."
Michael Bourn, who was introduced as the newest member of the Cleveland Indians on Friday.  The 30-year-old signed a four-year, $48-million deal that will have him play center field for a team sporting a revamped roster featuring offseason acquisitions like Nick Swisher, Drew Stubbs, and Trevor Bauer. (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"Michael brings you speed on every facet of the field, whether it's defensively or on the bases.  He's going to save runs, he's going to create runs with his legs."
—Indians new manager Terry Francona, on Bourn, who leads all players with 257 stolen bases since 2008.

"Signings of this magnitude typically don't happen at this time of the year largely because teams have set their budgets. We were able to sign Michael because of significant investment from our ownership. They recognized this was a unique opportunity to bring in an unbelievably talented player at a unique juncture."
—Indians general manager Chris Antonetti.

FELIX SECURES SEATTLE KINGSHIP
“I’ve always been comfortable here. At some point, I knew it was going to happen (becoming the franchise face) but I’ve always felt comfortable here. Maybe there was one year…but it’s always been on my mind. I’ve got to do my best and be the face of the franchise.”
Felix Hernandez, who finalized a seven-year, $175 million contract extension with the Mariners this week. (Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times)

"It was hard not to cry. After coming out of the elevator and then all the people there, then to see my wife crying, it was hard for me. ... It was tough. It was a tough week. But finally we got this thing done and it's time to play baseball."
—Hernandez, on arriving at the press conference to announce the extension. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)

“Some guys have said good things about me, some guys no because I said no to the WBC. You know, it’s my own decision. I just want to be here with my teammates after this and they’d better understand. It was my decision. I felt the best thing for me was to stay here with my teammates. Because this is a big deal. This is a big deal. So, it’s better for me to be here with those guys.”
—Hernandez, on the decision to decline participation in the World Baseball Classic.

NEW SEASON, NEW POSITIONS
"Third is the most comfortable. And then first base. I'm still working at the outfield to get better. The hardest part is reading the ball, knowing where to go get it when you go back. That's what I'm working on during BP."
—Mariners’ Alex Liddi, on familiarizing himself with the outfield, where the team plans to play him more often this season. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)

"He's primarily an infielder. But I see him—especially for his career, and for us—if he could be a super-utility type guy, where he can play some second and play some third. We're not going to just throw him in there. He's going to run around the infield, take some ground balls, see what that looks like and how he feels. Maybe that's an option for us, to get what he does in the lineup."
—Rockies manager Walt Weiss, on speedster Eric Young’s role this year. (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)

“The first time he has to go into another position, there’s a lot of pride that comes into play, especially considering how good of a center fielder he is. Therefore, I know how difficult it’s going to be his first couple of times out there, not only in a game in a different position but doing work at a different position. I’m very understanding of that but he knows what’s expected.”
—Athletics manager Bob Melvin on new outfielder Chris Young, who won’t be permanently displacing Coco Crisp in center fielder. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

TWITTER

—Never say what word? (Jenifer Langosch, @LangoschMLB, MLB.com)

—Cubs’ closer Carlos Marmol vehemently denied accusations that he abused a 24-year-old Dominican woman in October. (Laurence Holmes, @LaurenceWHolmes, 670 The Score)

Ryan Dempster, who signed with the Red Sox this offseason, joked about seeking revenge against third baseman Will Middlebrooks. (Scott Lauber, @ScottLauber, Boston Herald)

—Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli spoke to reporters about his connection to trainer Anthony Bosch. More recently, Cervelli and other players were reportedly involved in monetary exchanges with Bosch. (Andy McCullough, @McCulloughSL, Star Ledger)

—Hamels only got $144 million; King Felix got $175 million. (Danny Knobler, @DKnobler, CBSSports.com)

—Vizquel retired after last season and joined the Angels’ coaching staff as a roving minor-league infield instructor. (Mike DiGiovanna, @MikeDiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)

—Phillies manager Charlie Manuel talked briefly about his contract status after 2013. President Obama won’t get an explanation of Manuel’s resume. (Matt Gelb, @magelb, Philadelphia Inquirer)

—How many days ‘til Opening Day? (Scott Miller, @ScottMCBS, CBSSports.com)

THE REST
"I completely understand the timing. It's unfortunate that it happened that way and that it got interpreted that way now, but that's not what it is. I have no hard feelings toward the Diamondbacks. I enjoyed my time there. I have no hard feelings toward Miguel Montero. I would just like to now move forward."
—Indians prospect Trevor Bauer, insisting that his new rap song, entitled “You Don’t Know Me” is not directed at Miguel Montero, who served as his catcher during a brief, albeit turbulent stint with the Diamondbacks in 2012 before Bauer was traded to Cleveland this offseason. (Jordan Bastian, MLB.com)

"I work one inning at a time, but I have to be able to attack both sides [of the plate]. If you can move the ball one way, then show them you can move it the other way, things get more difficult. I think that's going to help me out a lot. And I feel comfortable with the pitch because I can throw it like my fastball."
—Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri, on picking up the cutter this season. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

"That was my thought, why am I putting myself through the torture I was when I didn't really want to do it? I mean, I enjoyed playing. But everything else around it, I didn't. ... I was having anxiety coming to the park every day. I didn't have any family at the time. I didn't see any reason to put myself through it. Maybe if I had two kids and I had to support a family, it would have been different. At the time, I didn't see any reason to keep pushing through it."
Zack Greinke, on the struggles of his anxiety order seven years ago with the Royals. (Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

“I don't know what you would call me. But I don't like being called a coach. I don't think I'm quite to that extent yet. This is just kind of a carryover from mentoring these guys when we were playing. And that's not going to stop just because I'm not playing."
Chipper Jones on not wanting to be called a coach as he serves as an instructor at Braves camp. (Paul Newberry, Ledger-Enquirer.com)

“Not that I’ve got this wealth of knowledge and experience but it’s pretty fresh in my mind some of the challenges that come up with a guy stepping into this situation, so, yeah, we’ve talked quite a few times.”
—Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny on offering advice to Marlins first-year manager Mike Redmond. (Rick Hummel, STLToday.com)

"It’s all in the rearview mirror. The family is in great shape. The family really is in great shape. Sometimes luck is the residue of design."
—Mets owner Fred Wilpon on the state of the Mets’ money woes. (Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com)

“We did it several times before Stephen, and we’re going to do it several times after Stephen,”
—Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo on his philosophy of shutting young pitchers down during the season. (Harvey Araton, NYTimes.com)

“I don’t get mad at things I really can’t control. But I was very surprised I didn’t see my name. I thought I was getting punked when I heard about it. That’s the way it is.”
—Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips on not winning the Gold Glove award for his defensive efforts last season. (John Fay, LancasterEagleGazzete.com)

"They had a routine. It's not just about how well they practice but how efficiently they practice. It wasn't about quantity, it was about quality over there. You hear about why people have success and you see the results. Most of the time, you don't have the chance to see how it's done."
—Pirates catcher Russell Martin on the Yankee way. (Seth Livingstone, Newsday.com)

Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jonah's other articles. You can contact Jonah by clicking here
Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Andrew's other articles. You can contact Andrew by clicking here

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