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March 7, 2011

The Week in Quotes

February 28-March 6

by Alex Carnevale

THE PRINCE

"There's not much I can say, because the last time I made a comment, I was fined $500,000. The large markets aren't allowed to give their opinions. Did you know I was fined $500,000? I made statements which turned out to be true, or at least there were various documents that were leaked after that. But anyway, the large clubs are not allowed to talk about it."
–Red Sox owner John Henry, on being fined by the Commissioner's office.

"Sometimes things don't work out in the offseason where you aren't able to fulfill all of your plans. Last year, we were able to pick up Adrian Beltre and John Lackey. I think there had to be some buzz about that. But again I think people thought we weren't going to score runs and that we didn't have enough of a lineup. But you're right, ratings were down and the buzz was less."
Henry on whether the team's offseason spending was a reaction to low television ratings.

"Larry gets worn out. He's been doing this as long as [GM Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona] combined. He could be doing other things. He could have run for Senate, for instance. He's an extraordinarily capable, talented man, and it's a tough job. Larry's job, he never stops."
Henry on his ongoing relationship with Larry Lucchino.

"The economy isn't the economy it used to be. You used to be able to say that things look good or things look bad. Now, it's more like, this sector is good and this sector is bad. It's difficult to say anything with regards to the future. Things have diverged so much. Housing still hasn't recovered. You have everything in the world going up: the price of gold hit new all-time highs today, the price of oil is $100 a barrel. That can't be good for certain sectors. It depends on where you sit in the world. Everything is inflating. That's keeping this feeling of robustness while a lot of people suffer."
Henry, on his company's purchase of Liverpool.

"We're a very collegial group. There's never been a number. We discuss things regularly so there aren't any real surprises, but when it comes to a deal of that length and that amount of money, it's even more collegial than you can imagine."
Henry, on the Carl Crawford contract and ownership approval. (WEEI.com)

HERE'S LOOKING AT $22.5M AAV, KID

"Right now, the next contract isn't really on my mind. When I hired Scott at 18, it was to help me with my career. From the time I was a rookie, people started talking about my free-agent contract. Unfortunately, it took away from a lot of things I did on the field."
–Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, on terminating Scott Boras as his agent.

"Mark and I had a very cordial conversation. Our company had the great honor of working with Mark for over a decade. It was a privilege to see him grow into one of the best players in the game, become an All-Star and a World Series champion and win a contract that recognizes him among the game's elite players. We wish him the best moving forward."
–Agent Scott Boras

"I felt, at times, I was Mark Teixeira, Scott Boras' client instead of Mark Teixeira, baseball player."
Teixeira

"He gave me everything I asked for contract-wise. I chose Scott for a reason, because I wanted the best agent for my career and for my contract."
Teixeira (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

THE TRIUMPH OF THE PROCESS

"I'm kind of the guy out front in some respects, but there are a ton of people who kill it day in and day out, and this is a recognition of all of them."
–Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, after receiving a contract extension with the club.

"I think what he does best, he's best at assembling the best team he can have around him, in the form of scouts, advisors and development people. Then, once he puts people in place, he puts a lot of confidence and believes in their abilities. That's a trait that I like in people and management: You surround yourself with as good of people as you possibly can and have confidence in them and let them do their jobs."
–Rangers president Nolan Ryan, on Daniels.

"There's no doubt early on, we tried to step on the gas before the club was really ready. Some things worked, some things didn't. Those are well-documented. We have a good group and a good process in place for making decisions. It took a lot of work, but I think we've got a foundation and a process that we're comfortable with."
Daniels (Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

THIS COULD BE SETTLED WITH ONE SIMPLE CHECK TO MANNY

"We can't say that we're happy with that. We will monitor through the Commissioner's office everything that's happening with the franchise, how they're using their revenue-sharing proceeds, whether they're complying with our contract."
–MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner, on the Tampa Bay Rays' slashing of payroll this offseason.

"We support the members of those two unions. We wish them the best. But every sport has its own history. Our guys take more cues from what our history is as opposed to what's happening in the other sports."
Weiner, on unions in the NFL and NBA.

"Anything is fathomable, so we don't either take anything for granted or rule anything out. Do I think it's likely that the owners are going to try to contract? I don't. Do I think there's a legitimate reason to contract? I don't think there is. All I would say is if that changes, if contraction becomes a goal of the owners in this negotiation, the tenor of the talks would change quickly and dramatically."
Weiner (Roger Mooney, Tampa Tribune)

COULD MIKE MAKE A TEARY-EYED SPEECH IN COURT?

"Personally speaking, I think back to the celebration they gave me when I broke the record. They treated me great. They treated my family great, my wife."
–Mets catcher Mike Piazza, on the Wilpons' treatment of his breaking the home run record for catchers.

"I'm definitely in their corner, hoping this thing gets ironed out. At the end of the day, I still think the fans hopefully concentrate on baseball and realize they still have some really good players."
Piazza on the Mets' chances in 2011.

"He's actually putting a group together? That's funny. I didn't know that. I mean, not funny."
Piazza, on Bobby Valentine's interest in owning part of the Mets. (Art Stapleton, The Record)

THE REST

"On a daily basis I would say, as much as I speak to them in Spanish, I speak to them a little more in English. I would say most of our conversations are non-baseball stuff. Besides the wife and kids and families at home, they don't have anyone else to kind of shoot the shit with. So we pretty much talk about anything that's going on, pop culture, music, anything."
–White Sox manager of cultural development Jackson Miranda. (Dave Van Dyck, Chicago Tribune)

"One of my priorities is going to be umpires. I just feel that we've given the umpires too many dirty things to do. It gets to the point where if they miss a call now, all of sudden that's on top of telling them to hurry up and this, that and the other thing."
–MLB executive vice president for baseball operations Joe Torre, on his first project in his new role. (Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times)

"We keep hoping he'll get the itch to pitch. I think the problem is that every time he gets that itch, his wife scratches it."
–Braves general manager Frank Wren, on retired reliever Billy Wagner. (Adam Gerstenhaber, WFAN.com)

"You'd like to win these games, but the work's been great. We've asked a lot of guys to try different things. That's one of the things I emphasized during my opening remarks was to try different things and see if they're working. Now is the time to take chances and do different things, so to be concerned about lack of performance while trying new things, I'd be contradicting myself."
–Rays manager Joe Maddon (Roger Mooney, Tampa Tribune)

"I already live here and I have my life here. My kids are U.S. citizens and my wife is a U.S. citizen. I'm the only one left. I feel like I've got to do it because I live here."
–Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez, on becoming a United States citizen. (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)

"I've never been pulled over in my uniform and given a ticket. Full uni, It was interesting. So I loved it when he said, 'Oh, you play for the White Sox?' I said, 'How did you guess?'"
–White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, on getting pulled over in Arizona. (Doug Padilla, ESPN.com)

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

Related Content:  Mark Teixeira,  Michael Weiner,  The Process

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