“The Mets are trying to win a World Series. I felt like this was the right place to be.”

–new Mets closer Billy Wagner, who signed a 4-year, $43 million contract (Philadelphia Inquirer)

“There’s a difference between winning and being competitive. In the end, I thought [the Phillies] were more interested in being competitive than winning.”

–Wagner, comparing the Mets with the Phillies

“My goal is to get to the Hall of Fame and win a World Series. There’s no doubt [Mets] ownership has resources and a competitive edge. They’ll do whatever it takes to win. That’s a huge plus.”


“I knew they wouldn’t match all the Mets had done. They were still worried about age and all that stuff organizations worry about. While the Phillies were getting rid of one guy, the Mets were buying up talent, and that’s hard to overlook.”

–Wagner, on the Phillies

“I’m sure I’ll be treated the same way everyone else is. I’ll be heckled. The fans there are passionate. They’re going to think I ran to the money–which I guess they would have passed up–but I get heckled in every park. It’s part of the game.”

–Wagner, on how he thinks he’ll be received when the Mets visit Philadelphia


“As long as we have a little boy doing a man’s job, the stadium is not going to happen in this city.”

–Miami city manager Joe Arriola, on Marlins president David Samson (Miami Herald)

“It’s not my concern how a city manager views the way we run our business. There are seven cities that are working hard to get Major League Baseball, not including South Florida. There are seven elected officials who realize what being a major-league city means.”

–Marlins president David Samson

“David is a very, very difficult person to deal with. He’s very sensitive. When we argue, he pouts. He’s pouting right now. . . . It’s going to be very difficult to do a deal while David is pouting.”


“It’s disturbing as a resident of South Florida that decisions are being made that may not necessarily reflect the desires of its constituents. . . . [It’s] disheartening that Mr. Arriola continues in vain to try to get Jeffrey Loria to sell the team to an owner that is somehow connected to him.”



“We would never, ever have signed with New York if they had said they were going to trade us. I was Miss [Politically Correct] for the Mets the entire time I was there.”

Anna Benson, wife of Mets pitcher Kris Benson (New York Daily News)

“I have no deal with Playboy.”

–Benson, responding to the allegation that the Mets are trying to trade her husband because she has a deal to pose in Playboy

“How are they going to sit there and say it’s so controversial when they sign someone like Delgado, who turns his back on our flag?”


“Playboy is all-American. Everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Cindy Crawford has posed. They didn’t turn their back on the flag.”


“We do not make moves based on anything the players’ wives do. We know she’s trying to build a career for herself and we wish her well.”

–Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz, on Benson’s comments


“I believe it’s a market that can handle baseball. I’m just not sure if it’s a baseball market yet.”

–former Marlin third baseman Mike Lowell, on the Miami baseball market (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

“Unfortunately, here we are. Four years after purchasing the Marlins, with no new stadium and no sure prospects on the horizon for such a facility.”

–Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria

“I don’t think baseball can abandon the Miami market. If MLB does let that market go vacant, I think it’ll be one of the biggest mistakes they ever made.”

–baseball economist Andrew Zimbalist, on the Florida Marlins situation

“Everybody got excited in 1997 and then they got smacked in the face. They won’t go back for another round when that happens. … If every time you went to McDonald’s there was someone there who threw water in your face, you wouldn’t go back, either.”


“I got out of Florida just in time. They’re having a fire-sale down there.”

–new Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado, on the Florida fire sale (Miami Herald)

“I’m not here to accuse anybody of trying to deceive me or nothing. If you own a store and you’re losing the house, then it’s time to do something about it, and that’s what he did.”


“It wasn’t a pleasant experience, because we had just won a championship with those players, so I don’t think anybody was enthused about that. But they were marching orders that we followed.”

–former Marlins GM Dave Dombrowski, on the first Marlin fire sale

“They were getting 50 cents on the dollar in ’98. This is not the same thing that happened in ’98. The only thing that’s similar is the unified anger of the fans.”

Baseball America and New York Times columnist Alan Schwarz, on the similarities between the fire sales

“It’s a [term] that has a connotation that is very frustrating to me. In a fire sale, you don’t need a GM or an owner for that. You actually just need a booth. You stand there and say, `Here’s our players. Come get them. First come, first serve. As quick as you can.’ That’s not what this is.”

–Marlins president David Samson, on why he hates the term “fire sale” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)


“If it will mean that I don’t have to answer any more questions, then we’re done. We’ll always play with things here and there. You certainly don’t want to disrupt what was a successful year for us; you want to enhance it. We’ll look at a couple of things here and there.”

–White Sox GM Ken Williams, on whether he’s done retooling the team this winter (Daily Southtown)

“I’d encourage all of you (media) to put down the notebooks and stop listening to the rumor mill and ignore us for a while. We would rather have people not thinking we’re doing anything out there and getting something done than a lot of talk about us and getting nothing done.”


“Each club has to do what each club has to do. I don’t think anybody should have to explain itself as to how it spends its money.”

–Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi, on offseason spending this winter (Denver Post)

“Center field is not easy to fill. That’s why I continue to say that Bubba Crosby could very well be that guy. I know he’s sitting at home somewhere saying, ‘I hope they don’t do anything.’ ”

–Yankees GM Brian Cashman, on the team’s center field opening (New York Times)


“It’s a town that absolutely inhales baseball. I’m very excited. On a scale of one to 10, I’d probably say I’m about an 11.”

–new Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, showing how this one goes to 11 (Miami Herald)

“There’s big arm strength there, but there’s not much life on the fastball. He can light up a radar gun, that’s for sure. They talk about the slider, but it’s more of a cement mixer than a real good slider.”

an anonymous major league talent evaluator, on pitcher Travis Bowyer, who the Marlins acquired for Luis Castillo (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

“It rains every day. People wake up and they have tickets to the game and they just decide, `Hey, I’m not going to go. I’m not going to go sit out there.’ And the day games, it’s so hot, it’s ridiculous to try to sit out there.”

–former Marlin Josh Beckett, on playing in Florida

“We’ve got a lot of room for improvement.”

–Reds GM Dan O’Brien, on what his team needs this winter (Cincinnati Enquirer)

“I’m not disappointed. I was glad to be on the ballot. I came in second, and I don’t make the calls or do the votes. If I would have voted, I would have voted for myself.”

–Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, on not winning the Cy Young Award (

“Just kidding. It was good to be there.”


“Tommy took great liberty to say he was at his favorite restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, but I wonder how many times a day he says that.”

–Giants GM Brian Sabean, on how new Dodger GM Ned Coletti called him from a restaurant where he was eating with Tommy Lasorda (San Francisco Chronicle)

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