HE’LL MISS THE WEATHER MOST OF ALL
“I came up here and I love it here. My thing is I want to stay here as long as possible. For now, I’m here for two more years anyway. All that other stuff, hopefully, will work out.”
–Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, on his time in Milwaukee coming to a close.
“I have to work out, or I’d be huge. That’s not an option for me. … I don’t want to turn into an obese person, because I can.”
“In the end, it’s my decision. But as my agent, he’s going to make sure that I have the most information possible about what’s going to benefit me and my family. That’s what it’s about first. My family has to be happy, and then I go from there. There’s no urgency right now as far as that.”
“He’s close enough to free agency that it really doesn’t make a lot of sense for him to sign a deal at this point. You have to be [realistic].”
-Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, on Fielder’s situation with the team. (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)
“I’m just letting it happen. I don’t sit and fret about it. I think the right thing is going to happen. I think we all know. I think we all know the ramifications if something were not to happen and it would go the other way. That wouldn’t be a good thing for anybody. I don’t see who, other than maybe some clubs out east.”
–Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on whether his club will sign catcher Joe Mauer to a long-term deal. (American Chronicle)
HE MAY JUST HIDE IN HIS OLD LOCKER UNTIL APRIL
“Whenever it is, whether I start the season with them, or whether they trade for me at the deadline, or if they sign me next year, or what not-I love New York.”
-Free agent outfielder Johnny Damon
“I hope he is not offered a 45 percent pay cut.”
-Damon, on Derek Jeter‘s impending free agency.
“Everybody knew it was a great fit, so did Cashman and so did the Steinbrenners. … My heart is in New York. I love playing there. Unfortunately, there’s some differences on what was talked about. Here I am, and I’m looking forward to another team right now.”
-Damon (Mike’d Up, WFAN.com)
“I think he can be a good player for us. I know people have talked about Randy Winn replacing Johnny Damon, and that wasn’t why we signed Randy Winn. We signed Randy Winn so we’d have depth to make sure we have depth and make sure that we have competition. If someone gets hurt, we have enough people to fill the spot. Randy Winn has been an everyday player for a long time. We’re comfortable with him in that spot.”
–Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on his team’s signing of Randy Winn.
IF YOU WANT TO CROWN THEM, GO AHEAD AND CROWN THEM
“I need to believe in and support them. If I ever don’t believe in the team, we’ll replace the team. We’ll make changes. We’ve made changes along the way. Pittsburgh needs to have extraordinarily capable leaders who are focused on the process and driving the team forward. That’s what we need to compete, to win.”
–Pirates owner Bob Nutting, on his management team.
“Do we have enough talent? Absolutely not. We need another great draft. We’ve had two good ones, and we need to do it again. And again and again.”
“Honestly, I won’t be satisfied with any season until we win a championship. Incremental improvement might be encouraging at some level but, in terms of what’s satisfactory… I’ll be pleased with a championship season.”
-Nutting (Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
I MEAN, LOOK AT THE SUCCESS OF THE COWBOYS AND THE MAVERICKS
“Our fans and our team are on the same page-we expect big things. Baseball is going to explode in this town.”
–Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg
“I couldn’t be prouder to be a Ranger than I am right now. Everything a player could ask for, we have right now. We have the ability to go out and win our division in 2010, and we have brighter days ahead.”
-Rangers third baseman Michael Young
“How do we create a higher tempo of energy in the front office? How can we do a better job of filling the stands and make an impact on people’s lives? If we succeed on the business side and continue on path on the baseball side and combine it with a dynamic market like this is, we can be-and should be-one of the powerhouse franchises in baseball.”
-Greenberg (Richard Durrett, ESPN.com)
JOSH, I HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR STAY WITH THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS
“We were close on a couple of deals that we thought were good deals for our organization. Once a lot of the right-handed bats had fallen, it has backed off a little bit. We’re always looking. Josh is a guy that we love in the clubhouse, we love in the field; he’s a guy that protects Dunn in the five hole there, so we’re certainly not in the market of looking to move him.”
–Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, on his offseason and the possibility of moving outfielder Josh Willingham.
“If it’s a good young starter that’s a long-term guy for us, we would think about it, but we’re in no hurry to trade Willingham. He’s too good in the five hole, he’s too good in the clubhouse, and a good guy to be around.”
“He has to put in his apprenticeship in the minor leagues, and his talent will dictate where he goes from there.”
-Rizzo, on whether Stephen Strasburg, the first overall pick, will open the season with the Nationals.
“He gets a little excited at times, excited and colorful when the doors are closed, but I learned a lot of things from him that I employ in my general managership today.”
-Rizzo, on Jim Bowden (Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog)
“Only one job in baseball has been open, and that was Baltimore. I was considered for it, and that was great. I didn’t get it, but that’s how it goes. … I just want to say that I hope to be back in baseball for my 32nd straight season and I’m still hopeful. It’s nearly February, but I’m still hopeful.”
-Former Angels broadcaster Rex Hudler, on trying to get back into doing television work. (Diane Pucin, Los Angeles Times)
“He’s the best pitcher in baseball right now; Cliff Lee may be a tad behind him. Of course, it would have been nice to have Halladay, Lee, Hamels, I’d be looking good. I might be buying more expensive furniture than me and the missus have been buying lately. Baseball is baseball. I have my own opinions and suggestions, but like everyone else, I have a boss. The Phillies, over the last two or three years, have made good decisions. You get into a situation where you have to make decisions. I trust them. What we got is what we will play with until we see something we need to improve on.”
-Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, on his club adding Roy Halladay this offseason. (Philadelphia Daily News)
“He was trying to manipulate the ball a little bit. Sometimes when you are good, you think you can do that, there’s a danger in that. That’s the meat of it.”
–Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson, on working with David Wright this offseason. (Kevin Kernan, New York Post)
“My play will dictate the amount of playing time I’m warranted. One of the things Jack and I talked about… I’m not going to complain. I’ve had plenty of time on the bench and I know how to deal with that role. That’s not a big deal to me. It’s about taking advantage of whatever opportunity I have. … I just needed a team to believe in me half as much as I believe in myself. Speaking to Jack, that’s what I felt.”
-New Mariners outfielder Eric Byrnes, on his conversations with Jack Zduriencik, the team’s general manager. (ESPN.com)
“He always made sure I knew what suit to buy and how to dress. He’d never holler at me. If he had something to say, he’d talk soft. When we were in California, I’d stay at his house, and when we went on the road, his kid was my roommate. Chris Durocher, he was about seven, we’d go on the road, and Leo would say, ‘You got him,’ so for two weeks, I can’t go nowhere, can’t do nothing. I think that was Leo’s way of looking after me.”
-Former MLB outfielder Willie Mays, on Leo Durocher (Bruce Weber, The New York Times)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.