March 4, 2013
The Week in Quotes
February 25-March 3
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS, GREINKE ADMITS
"It's obviously the No. 1 thing. I could play for the worst team if they paid the most. ... If the last-place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I'm going to go for the $200-million no matter what team it was."
—Dodgers newcomer Zack Greinke, divulging that money was the determining factor in his decision to sign with Los Angeles. (Jon Heyman, CBS Sports)
"The worst comment in the world has got to be when a guy who's getting $100 million says he wants to 'take care of my family.' Of course, nobody needs $100 million, or even half that, to keep their family going.”
—Greinke, who doesn’t much care for free agents who prevaricate around the financial element of their decision.
"It's boring watching American League games to me. With the Angels we had [Mike] Trout, [Albert] Pujols, [Mark] Trumbo, [Kendrys] Morales and [Torii] Hunter, but it wasn't as much fun as watching Milwaukee's team. There's much more strategy. I don't know anyone who likes the American League games better. Maybe some fans do. But if you're not an actual DH, you probably prefer the National League."
—Greinke, adding some of his other reasons for joining a National League club.
CANUCKS SOUND OFF ON COMPATRIOT RUSSELL MARTIN
"But in Russell Martin’s case, it's a little bit different just because the ultimatum was there that if he wasn't going to be able to play shortstop, he wasn't going to come, and in my mind that's not right, that's weak. I'm out there going 100 miles an hour, any position. I don't care if I'm pitching, I'm playing center field or I'm catching, it doesn't matter. Just as long as I get an opportunity to help my teammates, help my country, and these are things that don't come around very often.”
—Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, chastising Russell Martin for withdrawing from the WBC. (Sportsnet.ca)
"For myself, it's an honor and a privilege to be able to play for your country. It's not something that's really a choice for me. Guys have to do what they think is best for them, but for me, if you're healthy and you're asked, then it's not something you really consider turning down.
"There are a lot of people that would die to be in those shoes to have that opportunity. It's hard for me to see guys turn it down, but that's their choice."
—Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, offering his thoughts on Martin’s decision.
“It’s always good to have an established player like Russell behind the plate. It will hurt our lineup over all.”
—Blue Jays minor leaguer Adam Loewen, on how Martin’s absence will impact Canada’s club. (Bob Elliott, Canadian Baseball Network)
WEEKLY SPRING ADJUSTMENTS REPORT
"That's real good to see [from Domonic Brown], but I think also that comes from the fact that we're definitely talking more. We're always talking about things like working the count, getting good balls to hit, really look for balls that you can jump on, first pitch—definitely fastballs middle-in, things like that. I think that's part of it."
—Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who has a new theme for the team this spring: patience and pitch selection. (Adam Berry, MLB.com)
“[Pedro Astacio] was really good and consistent for the Rockies for a long time. He can help me. He talked a lot about keeping the ball down in the zone and not being afraid to throw inside.”
—Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio, who is one of the pitchers being tutored by ex-Rockies starter Pedro Astacio. (Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post)
"It's all going to come down to [Martinez’s] approach. The difference in him being more consistent this year is not going to be mechanics. It's going to be approach."
—Astros hitting coach John Mallee, who has been reviewing video with young outfielder J.D. Martinez in hope of better results this season. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)
"Jedd [Gyorko] is handling himself right now, especially since he's in competition for a position. Kyle seems like he's bounced back off his injury. He looks healthy. If Kyle [Blanks] is healthy, he's a threat. It's been nice to see him have some good at-bats so far."
—Padres hitting coach Phil Plantier, on the progress of Jedd Gyorko, one of the team’s top hitting prospects. (Corey Brock, MLB.com)
—Boston starter Clay Buchholz hopes to rebound after a down year in 2012. (Boston Red Sox, @RedSox)
—The Millville Meteor’s agent is not happy with the Angels’ decision to pay Trout just $20,000 over the league minimum in 2013 after his magical rookie season in 2012. (Mike DiGiovanna, @MikeDiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)
—Only 27 days until Opening Day... (Billy Hamilton, @b_ham_3, Cincinnati Reds)
"It was weird today, being in the dugout and having the uniform actually on. I walked by [Jered Weaver] and said, 'This is kind of weird.' He said, 'Yeah, it is—but I like it.'"
—Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton, on playing his first game since 2008 without the Texas Rangers insignia on his jersey. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)
"They've told us from Day One we're going to come into spring training and see if somebody can win the job. That's our mindset for now. The platoon to us is kind of like a backup plan. If we platoon, we'll figure that out when we do. But for right now, I think we're trying to win the job. For any player, I think that's what you're trying to do. Even if we knew it was going to be a platoon, I think we would still be trying to win the job."
—Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, on the spring battle between him and Juan Francisco to take over Chipper Jones’ old ground. (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)
"[The other bullpen guys] can learn a lot about [Sean Marshall’s] demeanor. Nothing seems to bother him, which I think is a must for late-inning game relievers. You have to pretend, and not show any source of fear or anxiety or anything late in the game. Hitters feed off of that. They feed off of fear."
—Reds manager Dusty Baker, on Sean Marshall’s influential presence as an unofficial captain of the bullpen. (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)
“This tattoo is like a collage of my dad. I’m not a big fan of tattoos, but that’s always something I’ve wanted to put on, and I’ve been looking the last five, six years and found a guy to do it. I’m really proud of it, because it’s going to be on myself forever.”
—Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus missed a spring training game due to “sensitivity in left arm” after he got a new, personal tattoo dedicated to his father. (Drew Davison, Star-Telegram)
"It doesn't look like baseball is going to be in my future. It's coming out my neck and my back and heading into my extremities; both my upper extremities. They say it's going to continue to deteriorate. I've got rapidly deteriorating discs up top."
—Formers Giants starter Noah Lowry, whose various surgeries have derailed a return to pitching in baseball. (Nate Stuhlbarg, CSN Bay Area)
"Just having [Todd’s] leadership out there on the field, being able to talk to him about what's going on in the game and things like that, and just watch how he plays [means a lot]. He's been playing over there forever. He's a guy you want to be at first base as much as he can, just because it's a lot easier to play your position when you know he's over there."
—Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge, on team icon Todd Helton, who will be turning 40 years old this season. (Owen Perkins, MLB.com)
Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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