November 10, 2008
The Week in Quotes
BETWEEN BARACK AND A HARD PLACE
"There are some very real issues in the global economy. For any of us to believe this isn't going to ultimately affect our business, you have to have your head in the sand."
"If the perception internationally of the United States improves by virtue of his election, then I think the US stature in international sport of every type will be enhanced. I don't think the United States has the international stature in sport that it once had."
"I think clearly how the world looks at America is going to be different with Barack Obama in the White House. And that will be initial. And then how he leads and how he governs will determine how they look at us over a sustained period."
"I think it's a great opportunity for us to get back in. I don't know if the election in and of itself would do that. We've got some big problems."
"I think what will help us get back in the Olympics is to get the IOC to understand that baseball is a global sport with significant appeal and that any other reservation about it is a red herring."
"President-elect Obama's interest in sports and specifically in baseball, combined with the efforts of other world leaders, is the kind of thing we need to return baseball to the Olympic program. It's important that we have his support, but it's also important that we have the support of the many countries that participate in the game. It's clear we have to identify that it's a global sport, and not just a sport in the United States."
PAY OUR CLIENTS
"I think Senator Obama's election is an event of profound significance to a lot of people around the world, and I would be surprised if it was not received that way in Olympic circles, also."
"Both in the NLRB and the situation of the union's relationship with the federal system, it's going to be greatly improved."
"Baseball didn't invest in derivatives and sub-primes. Baseball has long-term contracts with national and local TV networks. ... As I've said all along, the hay is in the barn."
"I know we're sensitive to the softness of the economy and frankly are taking it into account as we do our planning for next season. We're bullish about next season on the one hand, but we recognize that especially on the corporate partnership side, that there could be some direct impact."
HE IS BUT A WITNESS TO WHAT THE YANKS ARE ABOUT TO SPEND
"I'm sure they'll make good moves, but we don't plan our off-season strategy around what they're trying to do. We'll deal with the Yankees when we play them 19 times during the season."
"Our approach to the Yankees has always been just to respect them and sort of admire them from afar during the offseason and assume they're going to win somewhere between 95 and 100 games. We try to build an organization that can field a team each year that has a good chance to win 95 games. We figure that will be enough to get into the playoffs, and it has been five of the last six years."
"I have no idea where this ride is going to take us."
"We felt there would probably be better opportunity for him elsewhere. Carrying someone in the pen in addition to our top five guys, we'd probably want somebody a little younger with a little more projection left. Maybe there are internal candidates to take over the role, but we're also out there looking."
"There's no player you can add to make up for an inherent weakness in your organization, a foundational weakness. You need to build the foundation up to get to the point where you don't need to add that one player. I mean, you can pursue that one player-and yeah, he'd be a great fit. But if it doesn't work out or if the money gets ridiculous, you can turn to a different player and be in just as good a shape, almost."
"He's a nice luxury to have for us, because if we happen to make a trade or add a reliever, we know that maybe frees him up to start. And if we make a trade for a starter or sign one, we know he's not going to be pushed out of the rotation and off the team, and he'll have a chance to impact us in the bullpen."
"But both options will be open for him, indefinitely, because we feel he can do both and make an impact in both. The more options we have, the more flexibility it gives us. The goal is to build a pen that won't need reinforcements through trade in the middle of a season."
TREVOR WOULD LIKE TO LET JOHN KNOW HOW MANY SAVES HE'LL BLOW NEXT YEAR
"Trevor would like to talk to them about the direction of the team and whatever his role is."
"Trevor's always had a tremendous respect for John, and I think that's part of why he'd like to meet with him. He's always had a great relationship with John and his family."
"Trevor is the all-time save leader, a guy who has been the face of the organization for years. This is a first-ballot Hall of Famer who deserves a tremendous amount of respect as well."
"I left Hoffman a voicemail message last week on his cell about Sandy and I being accessible to meet with him, although we couldn't guarantee John Moores' presence due to him more than likely being out of town."
"Three years ago, Trevor took about $11 million less to stay in the Padres uniform. Trevor's desire is to continue to pitch in a Padres uniform. How long he'll pitch, who knows? He's got the body of a 25-year-old."
DOES KEVIN TOWERS EVER WANT TO TASER ONE OF THESE GUYS?
"We're not in control of the speed or the train. The only thing we've got is a brake."
"He said to me at one point, 'Gosh, every kid growing up dreams about the pinstripes.'"
"He wouldn't even be intimidated by pitching in Yankee Stadium-he is not Ed Whitson. He would go back there and face up to the challenge and the fans would love him, even though he is a country boy. They would love that competitiveness."
"We've been spending a lot of time thinking about what's happening with other ballparks, especially in New York. We'll be watching closely how that affects their revenue. There is no reason why we couldn't play here for some time to come, but ultimately, it will be rebuilt just like any other park."
"If you saw the bid, it's nothing that we're embarrassed by. We said, 'Think about it for a while.' It's not going to be there forever."
"It's laughable, really. If strength and conditioning coaches were an effective currency to lure free agents, we'd have 10 or 12 strength and conditioning coaches right now."
"It would be too facile for us to simply say, 'Hey, we can get to the World Series next year because Tampa Bay did it this year.' They accomplished something extraordinary."
"It does have a lot of similarities to the Montreal Expos one, but if you look around the league, too many uniforms look alike."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.