YOU THINK IT WAS TOUGH FOR YOU-KEN ROSENTHAL’S WIFE WAS SO BORED SHE WATCHED THE ENTIRE RUN OF ‘BABYLON 5’
“This was one of the more miserable winter meetings I’ve ever been to. Between the lack of activity and the volcanic (free agent) market, it was tough.”
—Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, on the winter meetings.
“We’ve laid some plans. This could serve as a springboard. It’s not by design; we wanted to get things done here. Sometimes when you get away and get back home with your own people, you talk and you can get things done. Technically, the meetings aren’t over. But I don’t remember a quieter winter meetings.”
–Bavasi (John Hickey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
HE MAY HAVE SIGNED JUAN PIERRE TO A MULTIYEAR DEAL, BUT WHAT OTHER EXECUTIVE WORKS HARDER TO SCREW OVER HIS TEAM?
“Cracked my old one in the Dominican Republic a couple of weeks ago. Kept it together during the winter meetings with Scotch tape.”
—Ned Colletti, laying it all on the line for the Los Angeles Dodgers, regarding getting a new cell piece.
“If it takes a kid or two to acquire somebody we really like, then we’ll do it. If there’s a player out there who can make a difference, and if we can have him for a little while, we’ll do it.”
–Colletti, on his philosophy about prospects. (Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times)
CAN DODGERS FANS FILE A SUIT TO ADDRESS ALLEGED TAMPERING IN NED COLLETTI’S BRAIN FUNCTION?
“If I can ever figure out how this thing works.”
–Colletti, on his really complicated cell phone.
NO NEED TO LAUGH, HE’S GOT A LOT ON HIS PLATE RIGHT NOW: NEW CELL PHONE, JUAN PIERRE BOBBLEHEAD NIGHT, DECIDING WHERE TO SHIP LOGAN’S HEROES
“That’s not true. There’s nothing to that.”
–Red Sox GM Theo Epstein (Ballbug)
EVER HEARD OF SCOTT BORAS? REALLY, NO? WELL HE HAS ONE PARTICULAR M.O.
“I don’t think he’s the kind of player who would walk away from $33 million without some idea of what was out there.”
–unnamed MLB executive.
“I did my due diligence. There were a number of teams that need a 3, 4 or 5 hitter, and J. D. was the only center fielder. I went to the Dodgers a week before the opt-out date and had lunch with Colletti. I had not yet met with J. D. I said if you want to talk about it, we are prepared to talk because J. D. has enjoyed his time in L. A.”
–hero to millions, superagent Scott Boras
“This is nothing other than a standard, customary free-agency evaluation for me. I thought it was a very easy decision.”
–Boras. (Murray Chass, The New York Times)
A MYSTERIOUS SOURCE FROM NO ORGANIZATION IN PARTICULAR
“There’s a lot of animosity between the organizations right now for a lot of reasons, but if (the Dodgers file tampering charges), they better realize that they’re coming right back at them.”
–Boston Herald source, implying that the Dodgers spoke directly to Manny Ramirez during recent talks.
“Actually, most GMs feel it was a stupid sign and they did the Dodgers a favor.”
–source, on the J.D. Drew signing. (Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald)
THE AUTHOR OF THE ADAM EATON DEAL SPEAKS! WHAT SAYETH PAT?
“Clubs have to make decisions based on their financial position as well as … the quality of the talent. Maybe some of the clubs don’t believe the quality is there. They don’t want to sign a contract, basically, that they might regret a year from now.”
—Phillies GM Pat Gillick, on the activity at the winter meetings. Gillick signed Adam Eaton to a three-year, $24.5 million dollar contract.
“If you put players in a certain level, or category, it’s probably better to set the market as opposed to follow it.”
“Coming into the winter meetings, it was much more difficult for teams [to gauge it]. Our point of view is pretty much akin to what has happened. My theory on this is it’s much easier for the market to speak rather than me on value, and that has proven to be true.”
–Boras, on his client Barry Zito‘s market value.
USUALLY THE ROYALS JUST PLAIN BLOW, SO THIS IS AT LEAST DIFFERENT
“We had a nice offer on the table, but Kansas City just blew us away. Gil is a 28-year-old and can still get better and pitch a long time, so I’m not surprised [by the five-year offer].”
—Lou Piniella, on the massive four year deal the Cubs offered Gil Meche, who ended up signing with Kansas City.
“Look, we could have gone out and spent 4 to 6 million dollars on a fourth or fifth starter. That’s how much those guys cost now. But we didn’t want to do that. We look at Gil Meche, and we think he’s a guy who could be ready to take off and become an upper-echelon pitcher. He has dominant stuff. He has tremendous makeup. And he wants to be here. To me, it was a no-brainer.”
—Royals general manager Dayton Moore
“Is there a risk? Of course there is. … But my philosophy is this: Get the player. We think Gil Meche is the right guy for us.”
–Moore (Joe Posnanski, Kansas City Star)
THE RICCIARDI FOR COMMISSIONER MOVEMENT STARTS NOW. WE WILL BE MEETING IN MY BASEMENT. THERE WILL BE SUN CHIPS
“When a guy talks about coming to our place where he has a chance to win and compete against the Yankees and the Red Sox, and then he goes to a place like Kansas City, that’s an eye-opener.”
—J.P. Ricciardi, on Gil Meche signing with the Royals for 5/55.
“(Ricciardi) is an interesting guy for all that he’s done in the game. He’s a little guy with a big mouth and all he does is whine. And you can write that. That’s the kind of crap in this game that drives me crazy. He knows nothing about our situation. You’ve got to be kidding me. Every time I hear this guy talk, all he’s doing is whining.”
“He fits in with our long-term plan. He’s the guy that we focused on. He’s the youngest guy out there with the best raw stuff entering the prime of his career.”
–Dayton Moore, on his affection for the 28-year-old righthander.
CLIFF CAN DRIVE US ANYWHERE GIVE HIM THE KEYS HE CAN DO AS HE PLEASES IT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE EASY
“Cliff Floyd will probably never be off our radar.”
—Gary Hughes, a special assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, on his team’s interest in the lefty slugger.
“People are saying, ‘You guys got any money left?’ People are aware that we have done a lot of things. And for a while, we were driving the bus for the whole industry. And now that has slowed down a little bit where other people are making the moves that they have to make, too.”
ACCORDING TO PECOTA, JOE CUB FAN SHOULD BE ON HIS SECOND STINT IN REHAB BY YEAR 6 OF THE SORIANO DEAL
“We feel a tremendous obligation. When you look under the term long-suffering, you see a Cubs fan. It’s really important for us to win for them. We belong to these guys.”
“We have jokingly said that anybody can have a bad century.”
–Hughes (Jack Curry, The New York Times)
SHOW HIM THE MONEY MEOW
“It’s certainly our intentions to make sure the athlete’s true intentions are communicated to the club. And that will be done personally, by phone, to let them know his mind-set about what’s going to happen. And I think it’s important to communicate to the fans and people in Japan what Daisuke’s personal position is after review of the economics, the rules, the model, and his understanding of the negotiation to date. It’s his decision in the end that will drive this.”
—Scott Boras, on the seemingly stalled Daisuke Matsuzaka negotiations.
“When I see midlevel pitchers perform, and when they’re being paid, they’re being paid $40 million, $50 million over four or five years, the fact is, this player’s abilities are better. And everyone knows it, everyone admits it, and I’m not being an advocate for the player when I say that. I’m merely repeating the observations of most trained baseball observers.”
–Scott Boras, on lowball offers from the Red Sox.
“The greatest evidence of that is the numerous teams who bid not $10 million, not $20 million, but $30, $40, $50 million dollars to acquire the player and his rights unilaterally.”
–Boras, on what kind of contract Daisuke should expect to receive from the Red Sox.
“The gravity of the harm to the Japanese player really was never evident to the magnitude that it is here. Ichiro was an MVP in his first year, but the truth of the matter is no one really knew how Ichiro was going to do. The fact of the matter is, Ichiro proved that for the Japanese player, this is not something that should happen again.”
–Boras (Gordon Edes, Boston Globe)
MIKE PELFREY AND PHILIP HUMBER ARE LIKE, “OMAR, WHO KEEPS CALLING YOUR CELL PHONE?”
“Some guys have emerged who I didn’t know were available until I got here.”
—Mets GM Omar Minaya, on what happened at the winter meetings.
“I’d approach me on that one, too.”
–Beane, on whether he’d consider dealing Joe Blanton.
IS NED COLLETTI AWARE OF THIS? HE HASN’T SET UP HIS VOICEMAIL YET
“There are guys coming out of college who are 22 years old.”
–Minaya (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)
GOD MUST HAVE KICKED IN A SIGNING BONUS
“My elbow feels pretty good. My wife and kids have no desire for me to retire right now. They don’t want me to be at the house. I thought they would.”
–Yankees millionaire Andy Pettitte, who signed a one-year deal with a player option to return to the club.
“Was it tough to make that decision? Yeah, especially after being in Houston in this laid-back lifestyle. I know New York is where God wants me and where he’s put me for this year. I’m just looking forward to helping them win another World Series. That’s the goal.”
THIS GUY COULD HAVE MADE BENITO MUSSOLINI SMELL LIKE MOTHER TERESA
“You get to the Hall of Fame mainly through the voting of baseball writers. I just hope that the writers judge the players on what they did on the field.”
—Donald Fehr, head of the Player’s Association. (ESPN.com)
“It’s a shame what happened with Palmeiro. I think the owners and the players’ union are making every effort to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. The program we have in place is really good.”
“After the numbers are there, you’ve got to accept them. Players in the past went out and played drunk and did their job. And for me, alcohol is a drug.”
–former Blue Jays OF George Bell
“If we had to go to spring training next week, we have our rotation and we are close to putting our bullpen together. We have enough talent among our position players to be competitive. . . . On paper, we can compete with everybody.”
—Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd (Tracy Ringolsby, Rocky Mountain News)
“The biggest thing is just kind of making what was the poster everything you want it to be. I liken it to how Tivo has revolutionized what you always wanted your VCR to be. People bought posters to get in the game, to feel like they were there with the players. With Fatheads, they’re lifelike. Ortiz has a dirt mark on his leg because he was sliding in the game. Rivera is ready to whip a fastball at you, and it looks like he’s coming out of the wall. It takes your poster and makes it lifelike, gives it action — three-dimension — that you just don’t get from a normal poster.”
—Brock Weatherup, CEO of Fathead.
“There is a lot of hard work involved in developing a player and I think you’re copping out if you take a kid like Rickie just because he’s struggling a little bit (and move him). You’re telling the world that you don’t want to work with this kid and make the kid better. ‘Send him to the outfield where it’s easier.’ I don’t do that.”
—Brewers manager Ned Yost, on leaving Rickie Weeks at second base. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
“I can unequivocally state that nonwood bats are no more dangerous than their wooden counterparts. Baseball is not without risk. If New York City were to ban nonwood bats for high school players, those kids would be no more safe than when they take the field today.”
—Mike Mussina, member of the Little League Baseball executive board. (The New York Times)
“We’ve had a lot of dialogue, and we’ll continue to talk. There are a lot of moving parts in the market at this point. For whatever reason, it looks like the market is not going to play out until late December.”
—Rangers GM Jon Daniels (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)
“Some teams have asked me about playing. The reason I was home was the (three) kids. But if I have to go on the road I might as well try to play…they asked me and I am going to start working out.”
–former Yankee catcher Jim Leyritz (George King, New York Post)
“Regardless of how the votes come out, over time we have to address the story as it unfolds. We’re collecting information. Eventually this era will have to be explained so that younger generations have the same understanding about McGwire as they did about Ty Cobb. It’s just that it is premature right now. But we would never take the stuff down from McGwire. We’re not revisionists. Steroids, while a black eye for society, will be addressed at our museum…How do you explain this to little kids?”
—Jeff Idelson, HOF VP of communications and education (Filip Bondy, New York Daily News)