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December 13, 2010

The Week in Quotes

December 6-12

by Alex Carnevale

THEY HAVEN'T RULED OUT MOVING THE TEAM TO LITTLE ROCK

"Everything that needs to be done has been done. There's not much more Ron Washington can do. It just comes down to waiting on Cliff Lee and his family to decide what they want to do. ... Since we're in the mix, I can wait."
—Rangers manager Ron Washington on his team's pursuit of Cliff Lee.

"For somebody of that stature, it would certainly behoove him to be a Yankee, which would probably be for the rest of his career. I think that would be a great move for him but, of course I'm prejudiced."
—Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner.

"I haven't had a problem knocking on Hal's door and asking for more money. I have a problem sometimes of Hal saying yes. I know my title is general manager, but I consider myself the director of spending for the New York Yankees. I don't make it, I spend it."
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

"I understand he needs time to make the proper decision. Whatever time he needs, we'll give him. When he decides, he'll decide. He has all the information he needs."
Washington. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

BE A TEAM PLAYER AND CONSIDER SENDING A CHECK TO THE RANGERS

"We're going to start a mid-Atlantic Division. Frankly in our view, Boston was a powerhouse and a force going into 2010 and suffered injuries that are almost inconceivable, and still had a pretty good year. Now, when they get Pedroia healthy and they get Youkilis healthy, they add Gonzalez and they add Crawford. Oof. Oooof."
—Orioles president Andy MacPhail on the Red Sox signing outfielder Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million dollar contract.

"Carl's been on our radar as a potential free agent acquisition for a while, and actually since he signed his last contract really. We started to get serious about it this year. We assigned Allard Baird, one of our top scouts, to follow Carl basically for the whole second half of the season. We did a lot of research and background information. As soon as the offseason plan started, we started to discuss it internally."
—Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein.

"I just want to win. If Carl Crawford is the type of player that gets $25 million, so be it. You're going to get paid no matter what. Carl Crawford is someone I want on my team no matter how much money he makes. That's the truth."
—Angels right fielder Torii Hunter.

"A left-handed hitter's park. I think we've found that Fenway is, for the right kind of left-handed hitter, it can be a tremendous, tremendous place to hit. For a long time, it seemed like there were a lot of big, slow, pull-power hitters on the roster, and that led to deficiencies in other areas. So if you can get more dynamic, more athletic players or more dynamic hitters who are left-handed who can drive the ball to the opposite field and use the wall, I think that's a better use of the dimensions than a right-handed pull hitter."
Epstein on how Crawford will fare in Fenway.

"I think I already made a huge splash with Takahashi. Some people don't think that. But he adds a lot of value to our club."
—Angels general manager Tony Reagins on signing lefthander Hisanori Takahashi.

LIVERPOOL IS HAVING A BRIDGE YEAR

"We also have to look at our situation where we're competing within a division, especially with a team, that has significant resources, so we have to do the best to compete. I know this is a significant long contract, I don't think this is an irresponsible spend at all. If you look at it, our discipline over the years, our reliance on young players, the acquisition of someone like Adrian Gonzalez making $6.3 million, puts us in a position to do this."
Theo Epstein.

"If you look at the biggest contracts in the history of the game, you have to go really far down the list to find one that we've done. This is the first contract of this nature that we've done since I took over as GM and since this ownership has been here. We've tried to do others in the past and we've walked away because of limits, and we would have walked away because of limits on this one as well. But one contract like this one in eight or nine offseasons I don't think is irresponsible. I think it's the aggressiveness that complements the framework of discipline of value and reliance of young players that we have."
Epstein.

"Nothing that we did at these meetings, or may have done, or will do shortly was the product of a last-minute idea. It was all a product of, hopefully, well-thought-out over a long period of time, and well-documented, with lots of scouting and following players over the course of whole half-seasons, white papers written up about how the parts all fit together, a lot of thought and a lot of commitment and belief, commitment to winning and belief from ownership."
Epstein.

"I've worked in a small market where you can't even consider acquisitions like this, and that's part of the equation down there. This is part of the equation for teams and and markets like ours and given that we've been really selective over the years in showing restraint over the years. This one made a lot of sense because of how we were positioned, adding the players of the caliber of Gonzalez and Crawford, who are 28 and 29-years old, respectively, and in their prime years. It makes a ton of sense for me. We're not going to apologize for this."
Epstein. (Rob Bradford, WEEI.com)

HE LIT A FEW HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS ON FIRE TO EXPRESS HIS ANGUISH

"To hear the organization tell me to go shop it when I just told you I wasn't going to — if I'm going to be honest with you, I was angry about it."
—Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, signing his three year contract with the team.

"There was a disagreement in the process from their perspective about worth that just comes down to what the market would bear. And the only way to do that is to go test the market. It's not supposed to be insulting. It's supposed to speed up the process. We were very honest with each other. That's the way it's going to be. Sometimes, honesty is difficult. But we're all professionals, we all know what our jobs are and what our interests were and are. It's all good as far as I'm concerned."
Brian Cashman.

"You'd like to think that last year was a hiccup, so to speak, but it's my job to go out there and prove that it was. I understand any concerns that anyone has, especially from an organizational standpoint. I'm sure they have concerns about a lot of people throughout the year, so they're entitled to those concerns. It's my job to go out and change that opinion."
Jeter.

"He can play shortstop still for us, right now. There's no doubt in my mind about that. We signed him to a deal that, if we have to move him from shortstop, if we believe that's the case, if he plays himself off the position, we'll adjust. But I don't need to talk about that now because that's not an issue now."
Cashman. (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)

THIS OUGHT TO ENDEAR YOU TO THEM

"A long time ago, it became apparent that the Hall sought to bury me long before my time, as a metaphor for burying the union and eradicating its real influence. Its failure is exemplified by the fact that I and the union of players have received far more support, publicity, and appreciation from countless fans, former players, writers, scholars, experts in labor management relations, than if the Hall had not embarked on its futile and fraudulent attempt to rewrite history. It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out."
—former head of the MLBPA Marvin Miller in a statement after he fell one vote shy of induction in the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

"Every person who has benefited in the past half century from baseball's prosperity - player, owner, executive, manager, coach, or member of the media - owes a debt to Marvin."
—MLBPA director Michael Weiner.

"We just kept DaVinci out of the Louvre."
—agent Scott Boras on former head of the MLBPA not getting voted to the Hall of Fame this week. (Jim Armstrong, Denver Post)

THE REST

"He was not born here. That's my belief. I was born here. If someone accuses me of not being born here, I can go — within 10 minutes — to my filing cabinet and I can pick up my real birth certificate and I can go, 'See? Look! Here it is. Here it is.' The man has dodged everything. He dodges questions, he doesn't answer anything. And why? Because he's hiding something. You know what? People who have bad intentions, people that are deceivers or are not of honor and integrity — that's how they act. I've seen it in every — it doesn't matter what level. It can be in politics, it can be in business, it can be in sports, it can be in the construction field. Doesn't matter. It's all the same attitude. It's the same thing."
—Orioles designated hitter Luke Scott on whether Barack Obama was born in the United States. (David Brown, Yahoo! Sports)

"I am hopeful, yes, that we can get something done. Why? Well, I haven't talked directly with Carlos, but I know he likes it here. And as a player, I would like to know that Troy Tulowitzki is going to be hitting behind me forever. And I would like that I don't have to play center field every day because we already have a gazelle out there. But there is a roadblock."
—Rockies owner Dick Monfort on Carlos Gonzalez and his agent Scott Boras. (Troy E. Renck, Denver Post)

"It is possible for the media, particularly in this market, to become a distraction and a deterrent to actually getting other work done - and I'm finding it out, and have found it out over the last six weeks. But it's also important that our message be understood, because perception is important - for me to lock myself away for 8-10 hours a day would be the worst thing I could do. With all the platforms that are available, together with all the outlets in a place like New York, it is something that one has to manage. One of the things that's happened to me is dealing with all the beat writers from print media. There are so many that it's difficult to have a conversation with each one without creating an appearance of favoritism. On the other hand, I'd like to promote access. I'd like to be as accessible as possible because I think it's important that people hear my point of view, but it has to be managed in a market such as this."
—Mets general manager Sandy Alderson on handling the media. (Caryn Rose, MetsGrrl.com)

"The reason that Ryan Theriot was traded for is we have a chance to win, and Brendan because of his year opened the door. I think it's irresponsible as an organization to go into the group next year if you have a chance to improve at that position and hope that Brendan got back, so now we don't have to hope."
—Cardinals manager Tony La Russa before trading Brendan Ryan to the Mariners. (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"I have managed Chris Coghlan for four years now, so I know not only his physical abilities of what he's capable of doing but also his makeup. Don't tell Chris that he can't do anything because he will take that personally, and I'm sure that he knows that there's a lot of concern about him playing center field. I'm sure right now that he's getting ready, not physically, but mentally ready to play the position, and I have no doubt that because of his baseball sense, his instincts for the game. He's going to be a very solid center fielder."
—Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, on moving Coghlan from left field to center. (Juan C. Rodriguez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

"I think we're going to leave the mechanics to the Washington Nationals. There's a lot of things that are said. But we've been through the Tommy John situation with a whole host of pitchers in my career. To suggest that a young thrower with all of that ability, to determine when that occurred or why it occurred, I think it's a difficult [conclusion that poor mechanics caused the injury]. Certainly the medical staff has, with the certainty that so many prognosticators have put out there, they're not quite so certain that's the case."
Scott Boras on Stephen Strasburg's recovery from Tommy John surgery. (Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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Winter Meetings: Cliff... (12/11)
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The Week in Quotes: No... (12/06)
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