THE BOY CAN RAKE
“I don’t know what they’ll use when they vote for the award. It’ll be interesting. I definitely made more errors than I wanted to.”
—Brewers third baseman Ryan Braun, on his NL Rookie of the Year candidacy.
“I think at the end of the day, if you’re going to talk about a rookie of the year and ask that question about every other candidate and if you have a quick answer, they’re not complete players. And I would think we’d like to have the best complete player represent the National League as Rookie of the Year.”
—Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, on Troy Tulowitzki. (Jack Etkin, Rocky Mountain News)
THAT FEROCIOUS CLEVELAND MEDIA HAS GOTTEN TO LARRY
“There’s nothing sophisticated about it. If we win, I’m smart. If we lose, I’m dumb again.”
—Indians owner Larry Dolan
“If [Shapiro] thinks he’s got something that really would help but it’s above anything we’ve talked about [financially], then we sit down and talk it over. Sometimes we make a movement. Sometimes we say, ‘Mark, we love it, but it just doesn’t make sense for who we are and where we are.'”
“You can’t put X number of dollars into one player. It’s foolish. And there’s multiple examples around the league where that has occurred.”
–Dolan (Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com)
CABRERA TO THE METS?!?
“I’ve always had a great relationship with Larry, and I’ve always worked well with him over the years. He’s pretty straightforward: ‘This is what it is.’ I like that. That’s why we’ve been able to accomplish deals.”
—Mets general manager Omar Minaya, on the straightforwardness of Marlins GM Larry Beinfest.
“I think there’s a familiarity to it. A lot of it is trust. I trust Larry. I think he trusts me. We’re very direct, both of us. ‘This is it. Got this? Got that? Let’s get it done.’ It’s easy.”
“When you trade really good players, you want really good players in return. The Red Sox return was obviously excellent in that deal. All you want is value, whether you’re taking back money or inexpensive players, you want talent for talent.”
“Larry is fair, blunt, knows what he wants. If he feels he can get it from somebody else and he doesn’t want to do it, that’s OK. He’ll tell you. That way works best with me.”
—Cubs GM Jim Hendry (Mike Berardino, South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
LET’S HOPE BOBBY VALENTINE WASN’T MAKING CRANK CALLS FROM TREY’S OFFICE
“I talked to him for the first time the other day. He sounds like an awesome individual, sounds like someone who’s going to go out [and have] no favoritism, play the game, put the best team on the field, and go about it his way…”
—Mark Grudzielanek, on incoming Royals manager Trey Hillman.
“Chemistry is one of the underrated and often overlooked things in the clubhouse and on the team. I think he’s going to fit right in with the chemistry of the team, and he’s going to be a leader.”
–Royals hurler Brian Bannister, on Hillman.
“I was definitely happy to see that kind of a manager come in. I had spoken to Dayton [Moore] about it. I wanted a manager to come in here and be energetic and kind of take the bull by the horns.”
—Gil Meche, Royals ace (Dick Kaegel, MLB.com)
MR. JONES AND ME/TELL EACH OTHER FAIRY TALES
“I wouldn’t have been disappointed had someone like Feliz or Ramirez won it. I’m a little confused by the final tally–that’s a head-scratcher for me.”
—Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, on David Wright being awarded this year’s Gold Glove.
“When I found out I was speechless, for quite some time. Certainly the guys with the least amount of errors and best fielding percentage quite obviously didn’t win it.”
“Then [Miguel] Cabrera should have won it, if that were the case.”
–Jones, on those who speculated that Wright’s offensive prowess may have factored in the voting.
OTHER OPTIONS INCLUDE BODY ARMOR, ROBOT THIRD BASE COACHES, AND HALO 3 TRAINING
“We’re going to come back in Nashville with some options: liners, hard caps, helmets without flaps, helmets with flaps.”
–MLB senior VP of baseball operations Joe Garagiola, on the discussion regarding protection for coaches in the field at the Winter Meetings.
“For me, if you’re considering putting a helmet on someone, it probably should be the pitcher. They’re the most vulnerable and subject themselves to line drives off the head.”
–Red Sox player development consultant Dick Berardino (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“I’d rather see a course or training for fans to learn to protect themselves from line drives in the stands. They get hit a lot more than coaches do.”
—Orioles bench coach Dave Jauss
WE SHALL CALL IT ‘JETERMETRICS’
“There’s not many people in the game that do the things that he does. We’re trying to win, but it takes more than one person. We’ve had teams that have won and we haven’t had numbers like that put up, so you don’t necessarily have to have those type of numbers in order to win.”
—Derek Jeter, Yankees shortstop, on former Yankee Alex Rodriguez.
“I’m not worried about it. I think they’re coming back. It has nothing to do with what I’ve talked to them about, but if you asked me, I think they’re coming back.”
–Jeter, on free agents Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.
“I don’t have to sell the Yankees to them. They’ve been here long enough. There’s nothing I can tell them that they don’t already know.”
–Jeter, on Mo and Po.
“Comfort is a big thing. You want to get in there, have it fit and feel good. It’s important, because then you have to go somewhere and try to feel worthy again. That’s tough to do.”
–Jeter (Peter Abraham, The Journal News)
“I didn’t have any problems with him. I had him and I know what he did for me. He’s a great player and a smart player. He really understands the game of baseball. I loved having him.”
—Joe Girardi, new Yankees manager, on popular perceptions of Miguel Cabrera. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)
“That doesn’t make sense to me.”
–Brewers GM Doug Melvin, on Geoff Jenkins netting the Brewers nothing in the way of draft pick compensation when he signs with another club. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
“Is he the ideal first baseman? No. Can he play there seven days a week? We haven’t had him do that for a while. He’s too good a player to do anything but play. He’s not a bat off the bench, I can promise you that.”
–Brian Cashman, on Jason Giambi (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)
“He’d get four years on the open market. No question. He’s a great defensive third baseman. Our scouting reports indicate he can still hit and still catch up to a fastball. As long as he can catch up to a fastball, he’s going to get the money. Right now there’s no sign of decline. Everybody realizes the type of player he is and what he means in the clubhouse. Nobody wants to go four years with a 33, 34-year-old player. But if you have a need I think most teams would do it.”
–NL executive, on free agent third baseman Mike Lowell. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“We put our chips on the table at the July trade deadline when we traded Kenny Lofton and Eric Gagne. We pretty clearly defined the direction we are going. You see more clubs winning with young players, and they are holding on to their prospects. We have a core group of young players that we like, and we want to add on to that with players that can grow with our team.”
—Rangers general manager Jon Daniels (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)
“You did the general managers’ work for them. You did what they could not do in a room together.”
–Union official Gene Orza, blasting New York Times columnist Murray Chass for a column in which he asked GMs to predict the offseason fate of Alex Rodriguez. (Murray Chass, The New York Times)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.