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November 24, 2008

The Week in Quotes

November 17-23

by Alex Carnevale

YOU THOUGHT HE WAS COCKY BEFORE

"I called Andre and said, 'I won the MVP, dude. I've got to go home.' It was one of those things. Me and my wife, we're so excited. We never would have thought this would happen, especially this young into my career. We're thrilled."
-AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, on calling buddy Andre Ethier.

"Obviously I'm motivated. I'm not the biggest guy in the world. I don't have that many tools. If you look at me and I'm walking down the street, you obviously wouldn't think I'm a baseball player."
-Pedroia

"I think that's the biggest thing that drives me to be a good player. I've had to deal with that my whole life. I think that's just been instilled in my mind-that I have to overcome everything to prove people wrong. So far I've done that."
-Pedroia

"'Youk' had an unbelievable season. He's as deserving as anybody. I get firsthand to see him every single day and how much he helps our team. He had an incredible year. ... I already talked to Youk today. He's excited. He can't wait to get out to Arizona and start working out."
-Pedroia (Ian Browne, MLB.com)

HE'S ROBIN HOOD, PRETTY MUCH

"When I negotiate contracts with players in good economic environments, I don't ask for 20 percent more. I always look at baseball revenues, and in the last seven years they have gone from $3 billion to $6.5 billion. If baseball revenues drop off, that's something we'll look at, but if there is a drop-off, it is not going to be dramatic."
-Superagent Scott Boras

"There has been a lot of profit-taking these past couple of years. There's a lot of 'hay in the barn.' You don't say that just because the automobile industry is bad that the pharmaceutical industry is bad as well."
-Boras

"You can't say just because one sector is bad, all others are as well. Baseball is doing very, very well."
-Boras (Boston Herald)

IS HE AWARE SCOTT IS HIS AGENT?

"I don't want to put a timetable on it, but Christmas morning, I want to know where I'm going to be for the next couple of years. So hopefully, by Christmas, it will be done."
-Free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira (Randy Youngman, Orange County Register)

"Think about it. The Angels have been waiting how long to have a hitter like this to protect Vlad Guerrero in the lineup, and they'd let him escape?"
-Anonymous AL general manager

"[Maryland] is his home. In some instances, I think players often tend to look at that in a different light than other franchises."
-Anonymous source, on where Teixeira might end up.

WIN-WIN

"He's somebody with a lot of experience, been a part of championship teams, has the ability to play center field, and has had success at the top of the lineup. That was very appealing for us."
-Royals GM Dayton Moore, on acquiring Coco Crisp from the Red Sox.

"I think it gives us more weapons, no doubt about it. I hate to lose Noonie [Leo Nunez] and I hate to lose Ramy [Ramon Ramirez], but it gives us an opportunity to do some things offensively, and we'll see how we can fill in the holes those two guys vacate."
-Royals manager Trey Hillman

"Center field is a very important position, especially in our ballpark. It's a huge ballpark, and there are not a lot of home runs hit here. So we felt it was obviously very, very important for us. ... We felt that Coco Crisp was the best available player for us in center field."
-Moore

"He helped us win a lot of games with defense in 2007, the year we ended up winning the World Series. He's a guy who can do a lot of different things well on the baseball field: plays good defense, runs the bases well. He gives you a switch-hit bat that has a little bit of sneaky pop, so he's definitely a good player."
-Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, on Crisp.

"I don't really pay much attention to the radar gun during the game, but I know he was getting guys out."
-Anonymous, on Ramirez. (Dick Kaegel, MLB.com)

WE SHED A TEAR FOR THE HANK THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

"I realize it's a great responsibility. My dad is, needless to say, a tough act to follow."
-Hal Steinbrenner

"He's been slowing down the last couple years. Really, for the last two years I have been intimately involved with all aspects and all departments of the company. It's what I've been doing day-to-day. My duties aren't really going to change and my workload isn't going to change much. So, I mean, it's as much a procedural thing within the family, I think, as anything at this point."
-Hal Steinbrenner

"I'm not going to ask the people in the family why they picked one against the other. I get enough trouble as commissioner. I don't need to get into family squabbles."
-Commissioner Bud Selig, on why Hal alone will take the reins of the Yankees.

"George is still going to be involved. This is really just a codification, with the commissioner's help and input, of what's been going on the last several years."
-Yankees president Randy Levine

ARE THEY EVEN TALKING ABOUT THE SAME GUY?

"We've made (Sabathia) an offer, but it's not going to be there forever."
-Hal Steinbrenner

"We're still talking to people. It's just that nothing's going to happen anytime soon. The free-agent market always develops slowly."
-Brewers GM Doug Melvin

"Players who are free agents have gained the opportunity and the right to check around and make the decision whenever they make their decision. We don't hear anything other than what we read in the [media]."
-Melvin (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)

SWEET MOTHER OF GOD DON'T SIGN HIM

"There are pros and cons. If he gets four years and is playing left field, I don't know if he can do it. He might, but for that length, is the American League a better fit because of the DH?"
-Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa

"I know what I saw after he got here. He was going first to third and running hard and hustling. He made a great impression on our young kids. He was a leader in the clubhouse."
-Bowa

"To be honest, when I first heard we were going to trade for him, I said, 'Oh, OK, this ought to be fun.' I had seen it from the other side when Joe [Torre] and I were in New York. I saw Manny being Manny, and it upset me."
-Bowa

"It was 180 degrees different. He took a lot of heat off the kids. If there's one team out there who needs him for that reason, it's us."
-Bowa (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

THE REST

"The more I talked about it with Jack, the more important it became to have the best guys, not my best friend. We have to ask ourselves what staff is going to get the most out of the players we have."
-New Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu

"I am aware he tied for the league lead in hits, led in runs scored, and was second in batting average. But in the stats that to me suggest production and clutch hitting, he was dwarfed by the other players on the list."
-Evan Grant, on leaving AL MVP Dustin Pedroia entirelly off of his ballot.

"Absolutely, who wouldn't? It's an opportunity of a lifetime. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that whole experience?"
-Bernie Williams, on playing in new Yankee Stadium

"My job is not to tell Kenny Williams what to do, but it's something I want to do. We've been talking about this since May or June of last year. When you are a manager, you always want to have superstars, but let's give these kids a chance."
-White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)

"If I had to vote for myself, I would probably vote yes."
-Retired Yankee Mike Mussina (Mike'd Up, WFAN.com)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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