GO WEST, OLD JOE, GO WEST!
“I’ve seen the pictures in the paper with the superimposed Dodger blue on him. Certainly, it’s different. They’ll get a heck of a manager. I don’t think anybody doubts that.”
–Yankees general manager Brian Cashman (Anthony McCarron, New York Daily News)
“How funny is it that for the last 12 years my sisters and I have rooted like heck for the Yankees, and now we’re going to be rooting like heck for the Dodgers. Vero [Beach] is only about an hour from where I live, and I’m excited for the opportunity to be able to visit Joey and my longtime friend Tommy Lasorda in spring training. Tommy is the greatest. We need more people like him in baseball.”
–Joe’s brother, Frank Torre
“There are things about Joe Torre, if I wanted to come out and say, would show how cold and calculated he really is… Joe Torre is for Joe Torre. … The graveyard of Yankees coaches is loaded with bones of coaches Joe Torre did nothing about.”
—Michael Kay, Yankees broadcaster, on his ESPN 1050 radio show.
“I mean, the worst thing he did, I guess, was to win so quickly and so consistently that people in the organization raised the bar to a ridiculous level. It’s pretty tough when you win 94 games and you lose your job, but he’s proud of the 12 years with the Yankees and that he returned them to a level at which they had once been and belonged, and he’s about as loose and happy as I’ve seen him in quite a while. The last two years were just not that much fun because of the win-or-else expectation that some in the organization put on him.”
–Frank Torre (Ross Newhan, Los Angeles Times)
“The track record speaks for itself. I hope he gets us back to the playoffs. This speaks volumes about what the team is willing to do to win. I talked to Scott Proctor today. He said to be ready to pitch a lot. He likes to use the bullpen. That’s fine with me.”
—Derek Lowe, Dodgers pitcher (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)
“I get asked whether the Yankees will miss Torre; all I can go by is my own experience and all the places I’ve managed. They miss you for about a week, and then they move on.”
–former major league manager Jim Fregosi (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“TIME TO MOVE ON/TIME TO GET GOING/WHAT LIES AHEAD I HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING”
“I appreciate your patience in the process because I know that your jobs are extremely difficult having to cover what is such an important decision making process. Obviously the Yankee manager, whoever it is, is an extremely important position in all of sports.”
–Brian Cashman, on a conference call after hiring Joe Girardi.
“We’re still the Steinbrenner Yankees. We’re still big game hunters.”
–Cashman (Filip Bondy, New York Daily News)
“There are growing pains with every new relationship, but hopefully growing pains won’t really exist.”
–Cashman, on hiring Joe Girardi as the Yankees manager.
“My father hasn’t spoken in a month. And when the lady who takes care of my father–he has Alzheimer’s–showed him the picture of me as the new Yankee manager, my father said, ‘Oh, yeah.’ This means a lot to our family.”
–new Yankees manager Joe Girardi
WE’RE LOOKING AT A STARTING POINT OF $500 MILLION OVER 15 YEARS, AND WE’D ALSO LIKE A SMALL NATION TO BE NAMED LATER
“They knew when they acquired him that this contract was intended by both parties to be a seven-year deal. Only if A-Rod was injured or malperformed, then the deal would have gone on to the full term. They knew that and they did nothing about it.”
—Alex Rodriguez‘s agent, Scott Boras
“I’ve known George for 25 years and I’ve never heard him use those words. I don’t know what those words mean. But I do know I have a player who is held accountable for winning in the postseason, and there’s concern that the direction of the New York Yankees has changed.”
–Boras, on comments by George Steinbrenner about the changes to the team. (Wallace Matthews, Newsday)
“We wanted him to stay a Yankee. We wanted to let him know how much we wanted him. The bottom line is… do we really want anybody that really doesn’t want to be a Yankee? How the heck can you do that?”
–Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner
“That’s what we’re trying to set up–a situation where Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez are together, and it’s about baseball and hitting and not anything to do with Alex’s contract.”
–Scott Boras (Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com)
“Compare him with [Derek] Jeter. Jeter, since he was a little kid, all he ever wanted to do was play shortstop for the Yankees. That’s what we want.”
“Everything that goes on about the description of how and why, it ultimately is noise. The fact of the matter is, he’s not our third baseman. That’s the fact.”
A-ROD DON’T COST A THING
“This is not a baseball decision, it’s a business decision. The Mets are in a rare situation where they can add a player of Alex’s performance and he doesn’t cost them a thing. To me, this is an easy, easy call.”
“Finances are definitely going to be involved. You want to make the best decision for your club. I’m sure Alex wants to make the best decision, and if the two jell, something can get done.”
–Tony Reagins, Angels GM
“I also have trouble envisioning places where A-Rod can go. What teams have the financial wherewithal, as well as the specific need? If you survey the field, there aren’t that many places. Now I know it takes only one other place, and there may be somebody out there who is willing to sign on to some astronomically long, burdensome contract.”
—Red Sox president Larry Lucchino
“I can’t say that because I don’t know what the numbers are going to be. Arte and I talk about a lot of things, and the most important is improving the club, bringing a quality product to the fans year after year. If something makes sense, we’ll take a strong look at it.”
–Reagins (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)
“You guys are putting me in a tough spot. I know Mike does [fit in]. That’s the only way I can answer it. Mike’s a great player. He was even better this year. I can say that.”
–Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, on the possibility of Alex Rodriguez coming to the Red Sox.
FOR KENNY, THE FUN IS JUST BEGINNING
“I have a definite plan. The one challenge is our free agent list and how much we can afford and how those players fit. But once those dominoes start to fall, things will start to fall quickly.”
—White Sox GM Kenny Williams
“I’m not a six-year-old. It would be nice to talk to someone and find out why I’m going there and as to how it will benefit me, instead of someone saying, ‘You are going down there.”
—Brian Anderson, White Sox center fielder
“I’m sure he’s disappointed over the opportunities he hasn’t maximized.”
–Kenny Williams, on Anderson.
“We have an idea who we match up with.”
–Williams (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)
THE SON OF STEINBRENNER SPEAKS! AND SAYS THIS
“If someone came out twenty years from now and said they released those bugs on purpose, I’d believe it.”
–Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, on the dramatic ALDS Game Two loss in Cleveland.
“I heard Bernie for 11 years playing the guitar, so I can go a little time without it.”
“In ’05, who’d we lose to?…The hottest team wins, we haven’t been the hottest team.”
–Jeter (Mike and the Mad Dog, WFAN.com)
“We could certainly go that route. That’s why you engage the 29 other clubs, to see what develops and what makes sense.”
–Yankees GM Brian Cashman, on whether or not the team would consider moving one of their outfielders. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)
“I’ve never looked at it that way. I’ve never said I need to sign a player because he will bring us greater attendance. The way I look at it is that winning brings an attendance boost. We have to put together a good baseball team that fans like to watch.”
–A’s GM Billy Beane, on the possibility of signing Barry Bonds.
“I cried like crazy in the clubhouse, and Jeter saved me by pouring champagne over me.”
–Joe Torre, on the significance of his last season with the Yankees. (Mike and the Mad Dog, WFAN.com)
“After all of the analysis and testing, I can only conclude that a nutritional supplement I was taking was tainted. Unfortunately, the actual supplement is gone, and therefore cannot be tested. Without the actual supplement in hand, the rules are clear, and I must accept the suspension.”
–free agent Mike Cameron, on his 25-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. (Michael O’Keeffe, New York Daily News)
“They [Marlin officials] know what they want and they don’t make many mistakes in evaluation. I suspect, like with Beckett, they will target a few teams they know have what they want. They are not going to open this up to 29 teams. This will not be an auction. They will ask a big price, and if anyone says yes, they will do it.”
–anonymous NL executive, on the Marlins moving Miguel Cabrera. (Joel Sherman, New York Post)
“Boston now is one of the best cities ever.”
–Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez (The Tonight Show With Jay Leno)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.