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January 24, 2011
The Week in Quotes
THERE'S NO BLAMING HAL STEINBRENNER FOR THIS ONE
"The biggest component, it goes without saying, was financial."
"Vernon had to make a number of decisions along the way, waiving his no-trade rights. Talking to Vernon, this is one of the places he wanted to be. I made a few phone calls to players and coaches, and the excitement level is very high here in Southern California."
"If Peter [Bourjos] is in center with those two guys on the wings, it's hard to imagine a better defensive outfield than that. With a guy like Vernon Wells, we have great flexibility. We're a better team today than we were at any time last season."
WHEN GEORGE SIGNED DAVID WELLS BEHIND HIS BACK IT WAS A LOT CHEAPER
"I think it's certainly a sign that at times if Hal feels that he wants to go in a different direction, that could happen. I think that's certainly the case. This is their team. Does that happen often? Will it happen a lot? I just think it depends on the circumstances."
"It's a part of business. This is Hal Steinbrenner and his family's franchise. This is not mine. It's never been, obviously, and you never want to make it feel like it is. I'm charged with making recommendations. There's a chain of command. It certainly was followed. This was not something that was done without me being aware of it. I had my say."
"I'm charged with obviously winning a championship. I'm charged with building a farm system. I'm charged with getting the payroll down, and this certainly will help us try to win a championship. There's no doubt about that, so that's in the plus column, but I didn't recommend it, just because I didn't think it was an efficient way to allocate the remaining resources we have, and we had a lot of debate about that. My plan would be patience and waiting. They obviously acted. And we are better, there's no doubt about it."
"Maybe I'm too patient, but I do believe that there's a lot of choices that eventually present themselves over time. We'd still have a tremendous team."
THIS IS FOR ALL THE BURNT-OUT FIRST OVERALL PICKS WHO RETURN TO WIN MVP AWARDS
"It's not just me. I have to think about other players coming up behind me. That's what makes our association great, guys not thinking about themselves but the players behind them. I'd love to stay in Texas the rest of my career. We'll see what happens."
"Our preference is to avoid a hearing. But sometimes reasonable well-intentioned people disagree. It's there for a reason. I'd like to think we don't have to use it, but if we have to, we will."
"Health is a factor we have to consider with every player, not just Josh. You consider value on the field, value in the community, what a player has done in the past and what he projects to do in the future. Health enters into it. There is no doubt that if Josh is healthy, nobody doubts his talent. We're a better team with him. There's no one factor we dwell on. We love the player and we love being here."
GET ADAM DUNN ON THE PHONE, WE'RE GOING ALL THE WAY
"Finally, I just decided two days before the Adam Dunn signing, 'Let's go for it.' If we spend the money, the attendance will pick up. Once we committed to Dunn, we had to bring Paulie [Paul Konerko] and had to bring A.J. [Pierzynski] back. We've really taken a chance. We've really stuck our necks out. If this team bombs and we draw 2.2 million people again, we are going to lose a lot of money. We are betting that we're going to be good."
"I guarantee we [treated] Bobby Jenks better than any of the 1,000 players I managed. That's why it was surprising. It hurt my feelings when I heard that from him. When you're managing and somebody isn't going to like you, that's part of the game. But Bobby was the last person I thought would say something about managing."
"In the past, our clubhouse was a temple. Now you can do what you want to do, and people find out what happened in the clubhouse. That's not the first time it happened."
"He just didn't stay focused as much as he usually does. We talk about consistency. Every time we have a meeting, the game is about staying focused. They say, 'Oh, there's nothing wrong with us and we'll win tomorrow. We'll get 'em a couple days from now or next week or whatever.' I think, sometimes, when you get secure, you get relaxed. It's not like you mean to do that. It's just kind of human nature. And all of a sudden you've got to be woken up to how you're supposed to play."
"We found out in the past that these guys can't go out playing 162 games a year. The times when we give Kinsler a day off, Michael will play second. With tough left-handers out there, he'll play some first, and when we give Beltre time off, he'll play third base. The most important thing about getting Beltre is that we were able to hold on to Michael Young."
"I don't have a radar gun on me, but I feel the life on the ball and the arm speed is better now than it was at the end of the season. I feel like my arm is stronger now than it was at the end of the season. I was actually pleased at the end of the season. I felt like each start progressively the velocity went up about a mile per hour."
"I pulled out the old line 'Ya Gotta Believe.' And that's a true statement. You really have to believe you're good enough. And I've told every one of those guys I told Mike Pelfrey, 'Your first start is against Josh Johnson and your second is against Roy Halladay and I think you're up to the task."
"It's definitely not going to be the last mistake we make, it certainly was a mistake. We went in and signed a guy that we thought would fit in for us really well, the right-handed bat, the plate discipline, power. We knew it was a risk, we felt like it was a sensible, calculated risk. Obviously it didn't work out. ...We're going to make mistakes, but we've got to be right more than we're wrong."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.