…AND THE MARINERS FEEL FINE
“I would say it’s the end of the world as we know it. If Ichiro is worth $20 million a year … I am speechless by that contract. I’m hoping that report is false, because there’s no chance a top-of-the-lineup guy–forget that, anybody- is worth that much. And Ichiro, who’s led his team to zero, nothing? I hope you’re wrong, Dan.”
–Marlins team president David Samson
“We’re signing here a Hall of Fame-type player.”
–Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, on a contract that includes a $5 million signing bonus and pays Ichiro $17 million per season until 2012.
“It’s unbelievable. You know what, everybody gets what they deserve, and I guess that will be more luxury tax money, more revenue-sharing money they’ll have to give. I’m sure it can’t be true. There’s no way they gave $20 million a year to Ichiro, at his age, for five years. There’s no way.”
“I’m going to do my best to play 10 more years here.”
“Literally, it will take the sport down, that contract. We’re right back to the ridiculous contracts. It can’t be.”
–Samson (David Andriesen, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
“He may be 33, but in a much younger body. The idea is, we’re going to get a World Series and bring it to Seattle and win it while he’s here. He is going into the Hall of Fame, and he’s going to wear a Mariners uniform.”
–Mariners team president Chuck Armstrong, on the team’s plan.
“Well, signing Ichiro to $20 million a year for five years, it’s a joke. It’s inexcusable. It’s complete mismanagement. It can’t be true.”
“Also, the fans in Japan asked me to come back to Japan and play. But in the end, when coming back to Seattle and the fans asked me to stay here, that was the moment that meant the most to me. That’s when I decided…We’re at a place where all our hard work is blossoming.”
“My mother always taught me that if the only thing you have to say is,
‘(Expletive) Dave Samson,’ then don’t say anything at all. So I’m not
going to say anything at all. Is my mother the greatest or what?”
–Bavasi, responding to David Samson’s comment on the Ichiro signing.
HE CAN THANK SHAWN GREEN FOR THE THERAPY BILL HE AVOIDED
“I’m not going to lie to you. If I didn’t come out with a win tonight it would have had some psychological repercussions.”
–Mets pitcher Tom Glavine, on his 298th win.
“It’s just incredible to see a guy throwing 84 or 85 and making people look foolish. They can’t believe what’s happening to them, and the looks on their faces as they walk back to the dugout is [sic] priceless.”
–Mets third baseman David Wright
“I obviously gave up the one home run and I am not going to say I made only one mistake all night. But I didn’t make too many more than that.”
–Glavine, on the first pitch homer he gave up to Brandon Phillips in his two-hitter on Saturday. (Roger Rubin, New York Daily News)
NOTHING THEY COULDN’T DO, EXCEPT GET ALONG
“It was so incredible that he had two ballparks to hit in, and to me he was just about the most exciting player to play the game. Henry could do just about everything Willie could do, but [Willie] had to play in the Polo Grounds and Candlestick, which certainly weren’t friendly for home run hitters who didn’t pull the ball.”
–Yankees manager Joe Torre, on Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.
“Willie was made for center stage, and he was made for New York. Henry was more of a shy player, even though he could do all those things. Clemente was a little more in the shadow of Willie, where he was a sensational guy who liked to showboat a little bit. But he didn’t have the power Willie had.”
–Torre (Chris Russo, WFAN.com)
“You know what, I think so. Henry was a little put off by how much people talked about Willie and really much ignored Henry. It was too bad. It got to the point where I think, and I can’t be sure of this, but if you showed up at some function and one guy was there, the other one never showed up.”
–Torre, on the poor relationship between Aaron and Mays.
“He hit the cut-off man, which we teach our players to do. Willie never did that.”
–Torre, on Hank Aaron.
CITY OF CHARTERS
“Coming up through the minor leagues, everything is charted. How many times you go from first to third base, every time you break up a double play, every sac bunt and every hit-and-run you’re given…. This is what the Angels do. It’s easy for people to buy into it because you see the results.”
–Reggie Willits, Angels outfielder.
“In baseball terms we’re just getting this toward second base. This is just the start of the process.”
–Angels owner Arte Moreno.
“The one commodity they have that everybody wants is pitching. But what they also have now is an owner who wants to win. I mean, really wants to win. All owners would like to win, but at the end of the day there are only about four franchises where the driving force is an owner who, from the minute he wakes up, is all about whether he wins or loses that day. I would put the Yankees, Boston, Detroit, and the Angels in that class.”
–an AL GM, on the Angels.
“I bought the team for less than that. If a player like that goes down, what else can you not do because you have that much tied up in one player? The other thing is you always want to balance being competitive with affordability. That’s the Number 1 concern: keeping Angels baseball as an affordable family option, because in Southern California it’s not that you’re just competing against the Dodgers. You’re competing against the weather and all the things there are to do.”
–Moreno, on how much a team might have to pay to sign Alex Rodriguez in the offseason.
“The bottom line is that we have the best lineup chemistry I’ve seen since I’ve been here, even better than in 2002. Right now we’re able to pressure teams every inning, and it’s very rare that you see teams able to do that without the three-run homer or without really driving the ball.”
–Angels manager Mike Scioscia (Sports Illustrated)
IF THE ANGELS DON’T WANT A-ROD, YOU KNOW OZZIE DOES
“He’s unreliable, there’s no doubt. Now he has a different injury. It’s not his legs, now it’s side. It’s important for a ballclub to have a guy like him. But in the meanwhile, when you can’t count on a guy day in and day out, it makes it hard.”
–White Sox general manager Ozzie Guillen, on injury-prone outfielder Scott Podsednik.
“It’s hard to count on this kid when I know I can’t. I have to have a Plan B. And the Plan B is not the one that’s working right now.”
“I haven’t put much thought into it. We are all grown men. If that’s the way he thinks about it, then that’s the way he thinks about it. If he meant exactly the way it came out in the paper, I obviously wasn’t happy about the comments. But the comments were the comments. It is what it is. It’s not going to take away from my focus of going up there to do what I’m here to do.”
–Scott Podsednik, on Guillen’s comments.
“Nobody wants to be labeled injury-prone. I had hoped that this club and other clubs don’t put that label next to my name. What has happened is what has happened, and you can’t do anything about it. I want the White Sox to know I’ve taken all that into consideration as far as all of my strength and conditioning and what I do in the winters.”
–Podsednik (Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times)
LIFE AFTER MAKING A COLLECTION OF SUPERIOR MOVES FOR AN ORGANIZATION THAT DIDN’T APPRECIATE HIM
“I have a very different view. Most people look at Moneyball and say it’s all about on-base percentage and walks. I look at Moneyball as the never-ending quest for new ideas. The whole idea is to try and get to the next horizon.”
–former Dodgers GM and current Padres special assistant Paul DePodesta
“Part of the fun of this game is that we’ll never figure it out. We’re never going to get it right. What we try to do is become a little less inefficient in our decision-making. That’s Moneyball. It doesn’t mean we’re going to make the World Series every year. Hopefully, we will be competitive every year. It’s no guarantee for success.”
“We’ve benefited tremendously from Paul. He does more than crunch numbers. He scouts players. From the quantitative side, he’s been a major contributor to that type of analysis. The analytical approach has been pursued in the past, but Paul brings something special to that.”
–Padres CEO Sandy Alderson
“I’ve done a fair amount of scouting. I felt like a cross-checker this spring. I started scouting when I was 24. Analysis helped me organize my thoughts.”
“Anybody who gets into this end of the business with the idea of securing fame and adulation has seriously misplaced motivations.”
–DePodesta (Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune)
SILENT ALL THESE YEARS
“Like I’ve said all year, I think it’s something we need to do at the end of the year. I think it would be selfish on my part to talk about my contract status when our team desperately needs wins.”
–Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez
“The whole business sense of things, that’s something I leave up to the people upstairs. My only concern is to play baseball and to play at a high level.”
“Lucchino has never stopped wanting him.”
–unnamed source, on the Red Sox’ desire for A-Rod.
“Alex has always said he’s comfortable in New York. It doesn’t mean he’s not comfortable somewhere else, either.”
–Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras (Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden, New York Daily News)
YOU’RE EVERYTHING I’VE HOPED FOR/YOU’RE EVERYTHING I NEED/YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL TO ME
“I tell myself every offseason I’m not going to say anything crazy. I’m just going to have a peaceful season…can’t do it. I’m cut from a different cloth.”
–Tigers DH Gary Sheffield
“I know when I was there the couple of blacks that were there, every one of them had an issue with the organization.”
–Sheffield, on the treatment of African-American players by the Yankees.
“They had an issue with Joe Torre. They weren’t treated like everybody else. I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought were unfair. He had a message to get across to the whole team, so he used me to get the message across… I’d see a lot of white players get called in the office and treated like a man. That’s the difference.”
–Sheffield, on the relationship between African-American players and Joe Torre
“Derek Jeter used to come to me and try to tell you what Joe Torre is all about, he’s a good man, he’s this, he’s that, but like I tell Derek Jeter, that’s you. It’s one thing that they treat you a certain way; you don’t feel what other people feel.”
“In a million years, I don’t care what anybody says, steroids is something you shoot in your butt. I do know that… The bottom line is steroids is something you stick in your butt–period.”
“I trusted this man, he allowed me to stay in his house. I started seeing the control factor. I started seeing, wait a minute, you aren’t going to tell me what to do.”
–Sheffield, on Barry Bonds.
“I’m going to say what I got to say, and I’m going to do it how I got to do it, and I can live myself. I sleep very good at night, very good.”
–Sheffield (Andrea Kremer, HBO Sports, as reported in Newsday)
ALSO THE GUNS READ HIGHER FOR WHITE PITCHERS. TRUE STORY
“It’s a total advantage to a hitter. If I’m throwing 98 [mph] pitch after pitch, a batter can get set for what’s coming. If I’m throwing 93, they might know I’m not feeling as well.”
–Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, on his desire to eliminate in-stadium radar guns.
“Why don’t we just tell guys what’s coming? It’s terrible. They’ll know what range your fastball is and what your offspeed stuff is. I have no idea why they started doing this.”
“A lot of these guns are juiced anyway. They’re not accurate. Why give people bad information? It’s really something they should look at.”
–Papelbon (Mike Harrington, Buffalo News)
“We love Julio…We are obviously aware that he’s out there. We love him and have a lot of respect for him. We tried to re-sign him, but he went to the Mets.”
–Braves general manager John Schuerholz, on DFA’d Mets first baseman Julio Franco. (Joe Benigno & Evan Roberts, WFAN.com)
“I like the Rockies. [Their front office] has stopped doing the dumb stuff.”
–unnamed front office executive. on the Colorado team’s future prospects. (Brad Mangin, Sports Illustrated)
“Didn’t look like there was a whole lot of effort behind it to get the ball to come out of his hand well. It was a really good day. I think we thought it was going to be. That’s the way we set it up. We tried to go at a pace where he is going to, the ball is going to come out of his hand [well]. He has worked really hard and I think it shows. We’re actually kind of proud of him.”
–Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on Curt Schilling’s mound session. (Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe)
“I have always considered Gus to be a person of strong character and high moral principles. He has an unshakable love for his culture and does his best to serve as a role model for players he represents, especially Latin players.”
–former Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, in a brief written in support of Gus Dominiguez, who was convincted of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S. (YahooSports)
“I never saw him after that Series. Wouldn’t have wanted to see him. I didn’t think it was right. I still don’t.”
–former Orioles manager Earl Weaver, on getting tossed in Game Four of the 1969 World Series by umpire Shag Crawford, who passed recently. (Ben Walker, YahooSports)
“My man Okie is one of the greatest bullpen guys and teammates I’ve ever had, Every time someone warms up in the bullpen, he brings a towel and a bottle of water over to you. He’s like our personal assistant down there.”
—Jonathan Papelbon, on first-time All-Star Hideki Okajima. (Dan Shaughnessey, Boston Globe)
“The Mets picked the right guy to do that. It’s awesome. He’s funny. He brings so much energy to that team and then to the fans, it’s amazing. I could be having the worst game that night and if I hear Reyes–‘The Profesor’–I’m like, ‘Here it goes.’ It just brings a smile right back.”
–Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols, on Jose Reyes’ pretaped ‘Profesor’ Reyes bits. (Adam Rubin, New York Daily News)
“My contractual lifetime is a year and a half, and I think we have a lot of work to do. No doubt about it. I don’t know what the team’s plans are. In
2003, they were rebuilding. In 2007, you still hear the same things.”
–Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira, on his future with the team. He will be a free agent after the 2008 season. (Jennifer Floyd Engel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. He can be reached here.