STARTING TO LOOK MORE LIKE A DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAITING ROOM THAN A PITCHING STAFF
“We were willing to pay John as much or more than the Red Sox to pitch. We just weren’t willing to pay him as much as the Red Sox were to not pitch.”
–Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren, on letting free-agent pitcher John Smoltz walk away.
“We’ve taken some educated gambles on pitchers that are geared to build that depth now, at the right price, rather than during the season, when it’s very difficult to do and you have to give up prospects.”
-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, on signing Smoltz to a one-year contract.
“We couldn’t pin our hopes on the surgically repaired shoulder of a 42-year-old pitcher.”
DAMMIT THEO YOU MADE MIKE BOWDEN CRY AGAIN
“We feel like if we build a really deep stable of pitching it will serve us well throughout the year. If we build up enough pitching depth, we can trade someone to possibly fill one of the other spots on the club.”
“We view Clay as a starter, but the potential to use him as a reliever has not been ruled out. If we feel that using Clay as a reliever makes us a better pitching staff, I’m sure we’ll discuss and consider it.”
-Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, on Clay Buchholz‘s future with the organization.
“One of the things we’re trying to do this offseason is accumulate as much pitching depth as we can possibly have. There’s not a team out there during the season that isn’t looking to gain some pitching.”
THE DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE GROWS STRONG IN THIS ONE
“I’ve been given an incredible gift, and I believe that I have yet to tap my potential and I’m trying to get better, I’m trying to find ways to get better, so I know there’s a lot of responsibility, but you know my character says, ‘hey, I’m trying to get better, I haven’t accomplished anything yet.'”
–Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, at his press conference.
“This process was so confusing at some times. Sometimes I told Scott, ‘hey stop calling me,’ and then I’d call him five times a day, ‘hey what’s going on, what’s going on.'”
“I’d been asking her for weeks and weeks, ‘Where do you want to go? Where do you want me to play?’ And she said, ‘I want you to be happy. I just want you to be happy.’ And finally, she said, ‘I want you to be a Yankee.’ So that’s when it was done. And once we got the contract figured out, it was a no-brainer. The Yankees hadn’t made their decision yet, but that’s when we made our decision.”
–Teixeira, on how he and his wife decided to sign with the Yankees.
AND IF HE DOESN’T GET IN, BY GOD KEITH LAW WILL PAY
“I’ll be available at 2 o’clock, and that’s important: That’s when the phone will ring if there is a phone call coming.”
-Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice, on waiting for a call from the Hall of Fame today.
“I’ll be watching The Young and the Restless. It’s over at 1:30, so that will give me a half hour. But I never miss The Young and the Restless, and I’m not going to start now.”
“I’ve been watching it for 25 years. When I was playing for the Red Sox, we met some of the cast one day in Oakland. They were playing a softball game at the ballpark. Two or three of them were big Red Sox fans. I met the cast later on in Anaheim. I started watching the show and I was hooked.”
“Miss Chancellor’s coming back. She’s this billionaire on the show. She had a look-alike that they buried, and everyone thinks it’s her. But it’s not. It’s all incredible stuff.”
–Rice (Boston Herald)
NEGATIVE VORP WALKING
“When you put everyone’s evaluations together, from our scouts to our coaches who have had experience watching him day in and day out, or from the other side of the field, I think sometimes guys just need the right situation or the right chemistry of the club that they’re on to go from being a utility guy to an everyday player.”
–Royals manager Trey Hillman, on his club signing infielder/outfielder Willie Bloomquist.
“I’m not saying this is going to happen with Willie in Kansas City, but this is certainly something that, with all of the opinions put together, and with the character we want on the field, in the dugout, and in the clubhouse, I think it’s certainly a possibility with him.”
“There were times that I’d play a month or so at a time when somebody got hurt or something, but if I got told once, I got told a hundred times there: ‘It’s a double-edged sword for you. The fact that you can play so many positions is your biggest asset, but it’s also your worst enemy in that we don’t want to put you at one position, because there isn’t anybody else that does what you can do and play everywhere. We need your versatility and what you can do.'”
-Royals infielder Willie Bloomquist
“I’m not a guy who comes and complains about my role on a team. I understand a team needs that, and you can accept that, but you don’t have to be really happy with it.”
“My record speaks for itself as far as power numbers. I really don’t have a ton of them yet, although I think I’ll develop more. I can’t have much less.”
“He knows how to draw a walk, knows how to run when he gets on the bases. Pretty good awareness of the strike zone, both with fastball and secondary pitches. Not afraid to work the count. Situationally aware. As far as what you want in a headsy player, from all reports, this guy is the full package.”
–Hillman (Dick Kaegel, MLB.com)
OF COURSE HE’LL PLAY 100 GAMES IN THE FIELD, WE’RE PAYING HIM $10 MILLION
“He’s at a point in his life now where I think he’s got it together real good.”
-Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, on his team’s new outfielder.
“I’ve taken to a workout regimen unlike anything I’ve ever done. Mark O’Neal can attest to that. He’s seen the program I’ve gone through, seen the strenuous workout I have scheduled. My health is not an issue.”
“I didn’t have any issues with my knee last year, and I don’t anticipate any this year.”
“In the past, he’s been a good outfielder. Nobody saw a lot of him last year, and one part of the medical story that isn’t told, and the Texas people told us this, he probably shouldn’t have played last year as early as he did.”
–Hendry (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)
“There were always a lot of negative stories surrounding Rickey over the years, but I’m telling you, he was one of the most professional ballplayers I was ever around.”
–Tommy Harper, who was Boston’s first base coach in 2002. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“Carl was a great fit for them. The most important thing is that the general manager [Mark Shapiro] and manager [Eric Wedge] really want him there.”
–Carl Pavano‘s agent Tom O’Connell (Ken Davidoff, Newsday)
“He said he’d do it for [White Sox General Manager] Kenny Williams. Stay tuned. Maybe he could.”
-Rod Blagojevich’s representative Lucio Guerrero, on the governor naming a street after Jim Hendry. (Chicago Tribune)
“It seems to me, as an internist, that’s a disproportionate number of adults with ADD requiring stimulants-roughly 10 percent of the league. I’ve seen a lot of adults, and I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve seen with ADD. Since so many [players] received [therapeutic use exemptions], it’s crying out for close examination of the TUE process for baseball and how it stacks up against the international standard. I don’t know that there’s an epidemic of ADD in baseball.”
–Dr. Gary Wadler, who is chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List and Methods Committee. (New York Daily News)
“Randy had many of the best years of a Hall of Fame career as a Diamondback. Over the last two years, he received more in salary than any other player on our roster. To his credit, he was willing to take a pay cut, but we could not make the finances work.”
-D’backs GM Josh Byrnes, on watching Randy Johnson sign with the San Francisco Giants.
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.