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March 2, 2009

The Week in Quotes

February 23- March 1

by Alex Carnevale

SOMEWHERE AARON CROW IS SMILING

"It is an emotional decision that saddens me, but one that I feel is in the best interests of the two things I love most-baseball, and the Washington Nationals."
-Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, after resigning on Sunday.

"Like anyone else, I have made mistakes in all areas of my personal and professional life, but I leave here with the true belief that I have done nothing intentionally to harm the Washington Nationals or Major League Baseball."
-Bowden

"I will also carry with me the cold, hard realization that my life has been turned upside down by a news media that prints entire stories attributed solely to anonymous sources who refuse to be identified and who are free to allege anything they choose for any purpose without fear of retribution. One can only understand the impact of false allegations, insinuations, and innuendos by the press if they themselves have been the subject of those false allegations."
-Bowden

"We all believe it is imperative that we honor the integrity of the game, and that fans be able to concentrate their attention and affections on the game and players on the field. Jim has maintained his innocence, but recognized that he had become a distraction, and with great grace determined to do what was best for the team and his players."
-Nationals president Stan Kasten

"I am supporting-and continue to support-everyone who works for the Nationals. That's not lip service. I sincerely mean that. Having said that, there are many things going on behind the scenes that you all aren't privy to yet. When I'm able to talk to you about things, I will."
-Kasten, before Bowden resigned.

"I am disappointed by the media reports regarding investigations into any of my professional activities. There have been no charges made, and there has been no indication that parties have found any wrongdoing on my part."
-Bowden

"I don't want to comment on my profile. I'm part of the Washington Nationals organization, and we sink and swim together, and I'm happy where I'm at in my career. At this time, I think we have to be about 'we' instead of 'me.'"
-Nationals assistant general manager Mike Rizzo

FRANK McCOURT IS ABOUT AS LUCID AS A RABID DOG

"They asked me to respond to them, and I gave them a counterproposal within the framework of the structure we had agreed upon."
-Manny Ramirez' agent Scott Boras

"We love Manny Ramirez. And we want Manny back, but we feel we are negotiating against ourselves. When his agent finds those 'serious offers' from other clubs, we'll be happy to re-start the negotiations."
-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt

"Even with an economy that has substantially eroded since last November, out of respect for Manny and his talents, we actually improved our offer. So now, we start from scratch."
-McCourt

"You'll have to probably ask Frank."
-Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, on what McCourt meant by "start from scratch." (Jon Weisman, Dodger Thoughts)

PROFIT IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA

"Those seats are being sold at $5, not $12. I think some seats may have gone out improperly invoiced. Those are going to be corrected, but those 600 seats are going to be $5."
-Yankees COO Lonn Trost, on the new pricing scheme for obstructed seats in the new Yankee Stadium.

"We had a choice of selling it to somebody or not. ... For $12, it's a choice of taking it or not."
-Trost, on selling obstructed-view seats.

"When we built the sports bar, we knew architecturally there is an architectural shadow. And that means there are a group of seats that are in the bleachers that if you are sitting very close to either the right-field or left-field side of the sports bar, you may not see the opposite side."
-Trost

"We knew that going in, and to that extent we pre-prepared to put televisions in the wall, as well as that big screen so you don't miss anything."
-Trost (Neil Best, Newsday)

I REALLY WANT TO PLAY, BUT MY FINGERNAIL...

"If it was my decision, I was ready to go. They talked to my agent yesterday, and to me today, and said they'd made the decision. Maybe I was being a little selfish, but I wanted to go."
-Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre, on not playing in the World Baseball Classic.

"As patriotic as he is, I believe he really wanted to pitch for his country. They only have two big things [in Venezuela]-soccer and baseball. And in baseball, Johan is the cheese."
-Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen, on Johan Santana.

"I'd be angry if I didn't understand, but I do. I'm a big piece of this team, and they don't want to risk a setback."
-Beltre

"I had a daughter this offseason. With the baby and everything, it just didn't work out well for me. Secondly, I just don't think with me not necessarily locked in with a long-term deal, I'm going to jeopardize my career to go play in a three-week tournament, or however long it is."
-Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon

"And I don't have anywhere to live, either. Wherever Jack [Zduriencik] is staying, I'm going to show up at his door and ask for a room."
-Beltre, on giving up his apartment near spring training because he thought he was headed for the WBC.

"I'll be glad to give him my bed-my wife and I will move to the other room. Adrian and his whole family can come stay with us."
-Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik (Larry LaRue, The News-Tribune)

PLAY THE SEASON OUT ON PAPER AS GOD AND BILLY INTENDED!

"Delays that are both real and threatened have made it impossible for me to assure my organization of an implementation date consistent with our needs and the requirements of Major League Baseball."
-A's owner Lew Wolff, on the collapse of the Fremont stadium project.

"I think it's an opportunity we may never have again. It [would have] generated revenues for a city that badly needs revenue."
-Fremont mayor Bob Wasserman

"I thought the overwhelming plusses of having our A's in your community for the next 40 years and longer would have resonated in a more positive manner, even with those who might perceive some negatives."
-Wasserman (ESPN.com)

WOULD HE SIGN HOLLIDAY TO A NINE-YEAR DEAL JUST TO GET OTHER GMS TO COPYCAT HIM? PERHAPS

"I believe everyone has the responsibility to put your best team on the field. [Holliday] is one of the best players in the game, but I know retaining him is not a possibility in this environment. So if we lose him, we either get two first-round picks, or have the option of trading him."
-A's general manager Billy Beane

"It would be nice to have these kids play their entire careers with us. I admit the toughest part for me has been turning over very good players every year. It's not good for fan loyalty, seeing all these new jerseys every year. I love what I do. I love developing players. I just wish I could keep them."
-Beane, on the financial limitations of the A's.

"From that standpoint, it does wear on you a little. Larry Beinfest faces it every year too. Then again, I guess this has been going on throughout the A's history. Before me, Charlie Finley was selling off all his players, and before him Connie Mack broke up all those great A's teams in Philadelphia."
-Beane (Bill Madden, New York Daily News)

THE REST

"In this profession, we are all teachers at heart, and because of that we study methods and techniques of other coaches, and leaders in other fields. Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas, so we all try to find something that we think will work for us to maximize the efficiency and production in our own situations. To Joe's credit, he is doing something about it. I had never thought of a billiard tournament. That's pretty good."
-New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin, on the incredible leadership Joe Giradi showed by taking a trip with his team to play pool. (George A. King III, The New York Post)

"Then I'll just take my money and bury it in the backyard."
-Angels reliever Darren Oliver, on his new financial strategy. (Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com)

"Three times a week."
-Rangers right fielder Josh Hamilton, on how often he is tested for drugs. (Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

"He's got an interpreter who's outstanding. We haven't missed a thing. Funny story. We had physicals in here the other day, and I'm in here, and he says to me, 'Where are the physicals?' And I said, 'Not here.' So I got him directions. He said, 'One problem-no gas.' No gas in the car? 'No gas.' So I gave him the keys to my car.' He's fit right in with guys."
-Braves manager Bobby Cox, on new pitcher Kenshin Kawakami's adjustment to MLB. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"Unfortunately, in this game, if you're under the age of 35 and you didn't play in the big leagues, it's kind of easy to get classified. And it's fine, I understand, but it's not something I'm real versed in."
-Yankees scout Billy Eppler, on being tagged as a stats guy in Tom Verducci and Joe Torre's The Yankee Years. (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)

"I didn't know who he was, but I do now."
-Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, on catching a ride home after a ballgame with A-Rod's cousin, Yuri Sucart. A-Rod's cousin has been banned from Yankee facilities. (George A. King III, The New York Post)

"My defense is very adequate... It's not like I don't want to get to 'em."
-Nationals outfielder Adam Dunn (Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post)

"We have this tiny list of approved substances that includes things like Gatorade. Guys are like, 'Can I take some protein? Can I eat a protein bar?' You send it to get checked, and it takes two months to get back. It's a difficult time. Everyone is so scared-players and the union-of doing anything wrong."
-Phillies closer Brad Lidge, on his wariness towards potentially performance-enhancing substances. (Jim Salisbury, Philadelphia Inquirer)

"You can either complain that the baseball field is buried under six feet of snow, or you drive to where you can play baseball. We don't complain."
-University of Maine infielder Tyler Delaney (Bill Pennington, The New York Times)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

12 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Drew Miller

There's a lot of good stuff in here. Thanks, Alex, for compiling it.

A few notes:

1) Bowden probably did enough wrong to be fired even without the allegations of wrongdoing. But I agree completely that it is a sad world where you can be convicted in the court of public opinion without even knowing who accused you.

2) I have new respect for Adrian Beltre.

3) I would marry Billy Beane.

4) Josh Hamilton is the closest thing to a clean star that we have. Phenomenal success story--they don't get much better than that.

5) It takes two months to get whatever substance you sent to MLB back? No wonder sometimes people get caught when they didn't know they were doing anything wrong.

Mar 02, 2009 09:50 AM
rating: 1
 
jtwranch

As a Dodger Fan, I may not love Frank McCourt; but, it's about time that he went back to square one in the Manny negotiations. The original parameters of the negotiations began before the market fell to the point its at now. It would be a mistake to continue to negotiate within the parameters that existed four months ago. Scott Boras should have JUMPED!!!!! on any one of the last Dodger offers. Everyone of them was way over market.

If the Dodgers can't sign Manny for market value, I hope they maintain their financial flexibility. Unless the market for defensively challenged sluggers bounces back, this season the Dodgers should be able to pick up a couple of very useful players just by absorbing their contracts.

Mar 02, 2009 10:52 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Well, the trick is that all the defensively challenged sluggers besides Manny are off the market, so in effect, it does create a bit of demand for anyone who needs it.

I don't think this has been mentioned, but Manny might be the type of player to wait until midseason and sign with a contender. I can see him taking half a year off and signing for 15 million with a playoff bound team.

Mar 02, 2009 11:06 AM
rating: 1
 
sbrousc

Good point, Oleoay. Boras is under a mandate to get his client something north of 2/$40 or he will look foolish (and cost himself money) for declining the Boston option years. There are no competitive offers out there, so he's pretty much captive to what the Dodgers want to pay. The two face-saving exceptions I can see are: 1) the Mets or Yankees, for the "hometown discount;" and 2) a Clemens-type contract signed in June with a prorated AAV of, say, $30M.

Now, if I were Frank McCourt and in a really vindictive mood, I might just float the rumor that I'm in discussions with the Twins, Yanks or Nats for one of their excess outfielders, any of whom would be a 2-3 win upgrade over Juan Pierre.

Mar 02, 2009 13:03 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Regarding Trost's comments.. how does one be "pre-prepared"? Also, instead of all this planning, shouldn't they have gotten the big screen TVs by now?

Mar 02, 2009 11:04 AM
rating: 0
 
Kris Jensen

They'd have the TVs by now if they had been pre-pre-prepared.

Mar 02, 2009 13:13 PM
rating: 4
 
eighteen

1) How can you possibly spend all that money on a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium and have obstructed view seating? Whoever's in charge of that project is either an idiot, or doesn't give a sh** about the people who aren't in the luxury seats.

2) This whole Bowden fiasco just shows how cheap and tawdry the Lerner family is. They do nothing while Bowden runs the team into the ground for years, and then dump him the instant it doesn't cost them a dime to do so. What a classless, trash act the Lerners are.

3) If McCourt's next offer to Manny is more than $15 million for a 1-year deal, he's out of his mind.

Mar 02, 2009 13:16 PM
rating: 0
 
Richie

I think all stadia have some obstructed view seats. I know Milwaukee does. Probably impossible to build a large structure without making some use of things called poles or pillars.

Mar 02, 2009 19:14 PM
rating: 1
 
eighteen

Allow me to re-phrase: How can you possibly spend all that money on a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium and have a sports bar obstruct the view?

Mar 03, 2009 10:20 AM
rating: 0
 
Richie

Oh, and McCourt will cave before spring training is over. Boras always uses the local media to pressure owners into negotiating against themselves. If you don't know that before negotiating with him, you deserve to get taken.

Mar 02, 2009 19:17 PM
rating: 0
 
achaik

Tyler Delaney attends the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) which is division III.

The University of Maine is a division I school located in Orono, and gets in a few home games every year.

Mar 02, 2009 15:18 PM
rating: 0
 
jtwranch

I agree with eighteen. Fifteen Million is the top of the market for Manny. At first I was concerned that he might not play hard for fifteen million; but, considering he'd be playing for his next contract I think it would be just fine.

I realize Manny's the last slugger left on the market; but, the Dodgers are the last team with money to spend. I wouldn't give Manny an over market contract. I really think that there will be teams looking to drop salary long before the trade deadline; and that it will still be a buyer's market.

I don't read a lot of sports blogs but I must say the level of discourse in BP's comments section is refreshingly civil and intellectual. I have never posted to any other sports blog. Bravo BP!

Mar 02, 2009 15:53 PM
rating: 0
 
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Spring T... (03/02)

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