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November 28, 2005

The Week in Quotes

November 21-27

by Dave Haller

THEY'RE GRIZZLED VETERANS. THEY'VE BEEN AROUND THE BLOCK. THEY KNOW.

"I don't believe in guys being untouchables. I think there's a deal out there for anybody. If Alex Rodriguez got traded at some point, then anybody can get traded."
--Rangers shortstop Michael Young (Dallas Morning News)

"We've learned over time that when you have pieces that are working here in New York, don't waste your time trying to upgrade something that works."
--Yankees GM Brian Cashman (The New York Times)

"Spend your time working on areas that need to be addressed. We're going to embrace the guys we know can thrive in this environment."
--Cashman

"We signed him for a reason. Carl Pavano didn't succeed in New York his first year because of an injury. Physically, he wasn't right. When he's physically healthy and ready to go, we expect to see the pitcher we signed."
--Cashman

"We're not governed by what somebody else offered. To say somebody else offered X and that we'll sign with you for X minus a million dollars and describe that as a 'San Diego discount,' that misrepresents the entire process."
--Padres CEO Sandy Alderson, on rumors about a reported hometown discount on free-agent outfielder Brian Giles (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"Making that trade wasn't a mistake. The mistake was in signing Ruben Sierra to a long-term contract because of this apparent linkage between making the trade and keeping the player long term. Signing Ruben Sierra to a long-term contract was a horrible mistake."
--Alderson, reflecting on his days as the Oakland A's GM, when he traded Jose Canseco to the Rangers for Ruben Sierra

"That was a lesson learned, because whatever money we gave Ruben was money we could have given somebody else."
--Alderson

HE HITS, HE SQUATS, THE ENGLISH IS OPTIONAL.

"When we met with him [in Seattle], he made a point of using English as much as he could. That leads me to believe he will be fine. He is going to have to pick up English and Spanish to a limited degree and we have to have some patience with him."
--Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, on newly signed Japanese catcher Kenji Johjima (MLB.com)

"I think, given the facts he has started his English lessons and has a strong desire to play over here, language won't be an issue. I don't anticipate it taking him a long time to catch up. Kenji is a good baseball player, number one. And it has been my experience that good players know how to get people out."
--Mariners manager Mike Hargrove

"There's always a risk in a multi-year, high-dollar contract. But if anyone was to say the catching has been bad [offensively] and it can't get any worse, there is some truth to that."
--Bavasi

"I think communication is the most overrated buzzword I've ever heard."
--Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine (New York Times)

"He's communicated with American pitchers his entire career, and somehow they've thrown the pitch he's wanted them to throw, where he's wanted them to throw it. Understanding the use of an adjective or an adverb and figuring out verb tenses won't help you play baseball in the States. It's all about learning pitchers and teammates."
--Valentine, on Johjima

"I don't know much Japanese, but we've taught them all kinds of English slang to help lighten the mood. Like, 'What's up, kid?' 'What's up, dawg?' and 'Come on, dude.'"
--Chiba Lotte Marines pitcher Dan Serafini, on his Japanese teammates

"I'LL KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET -- FAMILY. RELIGION. FRIENDSHIP. THESE ARE THE THREE DEMONS YOU MUST SLAY IF YOU WISH TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS."

"We're still losing money; we've lost $15 million every year for the last four years."
--Twins owner Carl Pohlad (St. Paul Pioneer-Press)

"We're going to do everything possible short of bankruptcy to win. Obviously, we have to make some moves. What they will be, I don't know yet. We're looking at several options. But we need more batting power."
--Pohlad

"Baseball is no longer assured of staying in [South] Florida."
--Marlins president David Samson, reading a statement from owner Jeffrey Loria (MLB.com)

"We've worked with three different ownership groups in an effort to get a stadium in South Florida. The Marlins have won two world championships, it's time for them to get a stadium done."
--Bob DuPuy, president and COO of Major League Baseball

"There are no more deadlines. No more fake deadlines. No more real deadlines. This is about the Florida Marlins trying to save its franchise. We need a place to play after 2010, and we don't have one. Right now, the earliest [the team can be] opening a stadium is 2010. So we really don't have any wiggle room left. Discussions will begin in earnest."
--Samson

"Jeffrey will never sell this franchise--ever. He will not sell it to any other local owners because he is the local owner of this franchise. Jeffrey Loria is our biggest season-ticket holder. Jeffrey Loria is our biggest sponsor. He's our biggest supporter with the checks he's written for this franchise."
--Samson

"[Commissioner Bud Selig] believes South Florida should have baseball, but enough time has passed . . . The commissioner has decided we are going to get a stadium or look at alternatives."
--DuPuy (Miami Herald)

"There are a lot of places that want us. They are lining up."
--Samson (MLB.com)

"The Marlins cannot compete at the Major League level without a new facility. They have one of the worst leases in the league."
--DuPuy

"I will tell you now, unequivocally, that we will not sign an extension, even if it is offered, to continue to play in this building. We simply must play in a baseball-only stadium."
--DuPuy

"There will be no deal with the City of Miami."
--Samson

"I don't blame them for seeking an alternative to make their franchise more profitable. I thought with the teams we were putting together, that would have definitely help establish a tradition down here, a winning tradition that would spark some movement on the stadium front."
--Marlins patriarch Jeff Conine (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"I've got two young sons, and it's pretty disheartening to me that I'm not going to be able to take them to see a ballgame possibly a few years after I retire."
--Conine

"The whole thing is a big disappointment for everyone involved."
--Conine (Miami Herald)

DON'T YOU DARE USE THE F-WORD AROUND ME OR MY CHILDREN!

"What happened in 1998 was actually a desire to lower payroll. This is entirely different. This is a market correction to a payroll where we should have been for years."
--Samson (Palm Beach Post)

"[The term 'fire sale'] has a connotation that is very frustrating to me. You don't need a GM or an owner for that. Actually, all you need is just a booth. You stand there and say, 'Here are our players, come get them. First come, first served, quick as you can.'"
--Samson

"That's not what this is. This is a deliberate effort by the Marlins to correct what ails them and what ails us is the amount of money lost and the irresponsibility of continuing to lose that money."
--Samson

"We don't threaten. When you already put such a high contribution on the table and you still can't get a deal, it makes you wonder if people wanted a deal to start with."
--Samson (Miami Herald)

"It would have a sports complex that would have rivaled any major-league city. And the city of Miami and the elected and appointed officials decided they didn't like ownership, they didn't think we had money. They just wanted to go a different direction."
--Samson

"It's a slap in the face. [Marlins ownership was] reaching for help from the city . . . and it seemed like nobody wanted to come to the plate."
--Free agent infielder and Miami native Lenny Harris

THE HOT STOVE BURNS PEOPLE INDISCRIMINANTLY!

"I've been talking to Mikey every hour. If we go to Boston next year, Mikey is going to tear it up, mark my words."
--New Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, on his teammate-for-life Mike Lowell, before the Marlins-Red Sox trade became official (Hartford Courant)

"In the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, I signed off on the final letter agreement on the Mets. I hadn't quite got to dessert yet--which is unusual for me--when the Boston deal was done. I'm going to eat leftovers."
--Marlins GM Larry Beinfest

"It wasn't the fact that we would have to take Mike. It's that we wanted Mike. We look for him to bounce back extremely well from last year. At 31 years old, he certainly has many years ahead of him. The fact that he had an off year does not distract from his value in our eyes."
--Red Sox special advisor Bill Lajoie (MLB.com)

"When I leave the game of baseball someday, I want people to recognize that I always put my teams first."
--New White Sox first baseman Jim Thome (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"That's what I love about the game--being part of the team. I see in Ryan Howard what someone saw in me when I broke into the big leagues. And now it's time for both of us to seize the opportunity ahead of us. It's a win-win situation."
--Thome

"If we brought back the same team, it would have been difficult to repeat."
--White Sox GM Kenny Williams (Chicago Tribune)

"Pat called me just before Thanksgiving and said, 'I hate to ruin your holiday, but we're going to trade Thome.' After I talked to him awhile, I told him I was going to go sit in my bedroom and cry. It was tough to let Jimmy go. We go way back."
--Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)

"I predict Jim Thome is going to have a Jim Thome year next season. He's in top-notch shape and is still as good a hitter as he ever was."
--Manuel

"Good gracious, they're going to have a good team. Aren't they?"
--Erstwhile Mets outfielder Mike Cameron, reflecting on New York's trade for Carlos Delgado

"I like where I'm going [San Diego], and I'm in center field again. But I'll be watching for those New York Mets."
--Cameron

"It's not fun. It's almost like a cartoon, the ball is in the mitt before you see it. And the difference between Billy and a lot of closers is that he throws inside. And when he throws that slider of his that looks like a fastball, before you know it, it buries in on your back foot. No, it's not fun at all."
--Mets third baseman David Wright, on facing free agent closer Billy Wagner (New York Post)

"When my fiance told me that we'd signed him I didn't know what to do."
--Blue Jays second baseman Orlando Hudson, on the Jays' rumored signing of free agent closer B.J. Ryan (Toronto Sun)

"I know what I'm going to. When he walks into the clubhouse in Dunedin, I'm going to give him a big hug and a kiss."
--Hudson

"Why? Because I no longer have to face someone from the left side, who is 6-foot-6 and throws 93-95 miles per hour. He's tough."
--Hudson

"Bo Junior. After my dad. That's just straight redneck-ology, right there."
--Free agent B.J. Ryan, on how his given name "Robert Victor" became "B.J."

Dave Haller is a staff writer for Baseball Prospectus. You can reach him by clicking here or click here to see Dave's other articles.

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