Good morning, and thank you all for being here today. We are extremely excited to introduce this man sitting beside me today, and to bring him—and his beautiful wife—into our organization. It has been a long and arduous past four years—disastrous, even—but that’s how baseball goes sometimes. It’s a game of failure. You can fail seven out of 10 times and still be Felipe Paulino. Today, though, marks a new direction and a new era for this organization.
(Note: All real quotes from real press conferences:)
First, I want to thank our owners for all the flexibility they’ve given us as an organization (1).
Obviously, we’re extremely excited to be here. I’m excited and proud. We’re excited (2). We’re excited to have him in the fold (3). We’re very, very excited from an on-field baseball perspective (1). What equally excited us is he’s also a great teammate, and a great competitor (4). We’re excited to have an iconic player. It's a very exciting day for the community, for the region as a whole (5). Excited (6).
He checked a lot of boxes that we were looking for (7). A big goal was to improve our offense. He’s been an impact player, impact middle-of-the-order bat since the time he’s shown up in the big leagues (2). The depth of our lineup is increased exponentially now (1). Obviously there’s more power in the lineup. Power’s a good thing (2). A guy like him, combined with the guy we signed last year, is going to give us building blocks for years to come (1). Now that he is surrounded by hopefully a deeper lineup, we believe we will see more of that come out (6). A little protection for the guys in the middle of the order, that’s going to be huge (9). If we get these guys on the field and they stay healthy and they produce the way they are capable of producing, it's a heck of an offense (1).
And whether it's offensively, overall impact, we feel like he brings so much more than just a bat in the lineup (5). He brings a great defensive dimension (6). Dynamic is a perfect word for him (8). You're talking about a Gold Glove defender (5). He’s a dynamic player. We feel we've added one of the best center fielders in baseball (4). He is a little more versatile than people might think (9).
This continues what we’ve been trying to accomplish, which is to get younger and more athletic and able to play the game the way it’s being played today (6). He is a throwback in today’s game (3). He’s a right-handed, middle of the lineup guy, which is really hard to come by these days (9). Provides us with an element of patience at the plate as well as some power from the left side (7). He brings you speed on every facet of the field, whether it's defensively or on the bases (4). We're going back to the old-fashioned baseball. We've got big-time power on the corners (10).
He’s a proven performer (7). You look at him at age 30, you’re talking about a player right there in the wheelhouse of his career (2). I'm not a scientist. I can't tell you where he is. But I can tell you he hits like he's 27 (5). We think he hasn't peaked yet (6). I don't think we've seen the last great days of him (5). It was a pretty easy decision (2). His age to me is not a concern (5).
He’s had better years than last year (9).
We looked him in the eyes. We like the person (1). Given that we have a young club, an evolving club, it was very appealing what he can bring the clubhouse and the leadership he could provide (7). He's great in the clubhouse, a good leader and tough (8). He's an honorable man. I think he's a very respectful man (5). He’s been on the big stage multiple times. He knows what it takes. He’s going to be able to come in and the guys that we have on the club, he’s going to be someone they can look toward day in day out (3). The leadership, the makeup, the character of the human being, the impact in the community all of the things that he has consistently brought to the table through the years make this so much more than just a great baseball player (5). You can't have enough grinders (8).
He’s a good player (6).
This is a surreal moment for an organization that’s moving in the right direction (5). Seeing him be able to go do the things he did—leave the ballpark to all fields, impact the game with one swing, impact the game with a throw, with a defensive play—that’s a player we feel like is going to help us get to the top of the standings and play deep into October (2). We're trying to win right now (10). My owner has made it very clear, he wants to win championships, he wants to win rings (5). I think we were able to sign him because of a significant investment from our ownership. They recognized that this was a unique opportunity (4). They’re willing to give the resources and the support when we had a chance to go get a finishing piece (3). It all started with this transaction (2). Not in our wildest dreams did we think we’d be sitting here (5).
We have every statistical analysis, but the reality is, at the end of the day, people want hope. I look at this positively and I said, I hope (1). I go by my instinct. My instincts told me that this is going to work out fine (10).
[Turns to player] You are going to make my job so much easier. You are no longer a thorn in my side; you are a flower in our clubhouse (8). Now I’ll turn it over to him to introduce himself…
Player: I’d first like to thank the organization, the owner and his wife, what great people they are. Haven’t spent a whole lot of time with them but I’m a pretty good judge of character (1). There’s nothing that anybody needs to be worried about (2).
1. Josh Hamilton by the Angels
2. Matt Kemp by the Padres
3. James Shields by the Padres
4. Michael Bourn by the Indians
5. Al Pujols and C.J. Wilson by the Angels
6. B.J. Upton by the Braves
7. Adam Laroche by the White Sox
8. Jacoby Ellsbury by the Yankees
9. Billy Butler by the A's
10. Prince Fielder by the Tigers
Thank you for reading
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