DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE?
“We’re sort of in the hands of baseball now. It’s a baseball issue now more than an A’s issue… Ultimately it has to be determined by baseball, not by me.”
–Athletics owner Lew Wolff, on where his team will pursue relocation.
“I talk to Lew periodically. Lew has to decide what he does next, and it all revolves around Major League Baseball. It’s up to Lew-and he’s always been very positive about San Jose.”
-San Jose mayor Chuck Reed
“If it’s thumbs-up, fine, and if it’s thumbs-down, fine. We don’t need to be where we’re not wanted.”
–Wolff, on the possibility of moving to San Jose.
“We have to determine the direction of baseball where they want us to be.”
–Wolff (Bobbie Ditmeier, MLB.com)
MAYBE A QUICK REREAD OF MONEYBALL WOULD DO WONDERS
“Paul is really a bright guy and a nice guy, but it’s just been an impossible situation. It was a train wreck waiting to happen. You have all these different groups reporting to Sandy, and it’s created all this division. Grady’s looking over his shoulder at DePo in the draft. It’s hard to know who makes the decisions. At the end of the day, Sandy becomes GM.”
–Anonymous Padres insider, on the dynamic between general manager Kevin Towers and special assistant Paul DePodesta.
“I don’t think there’s a real bad guy in the bunch. It’s a dysfunctional organization. It’s dysfunctional by the way it’s organized.”
“Look, I believe the statistical information definitely has its place. But the pendulum went too far. We’re making decisions on almost 95 percent of what the numbers say and only 5 percent of what the evaluators see. We’ve been signing guys who our own scouts say are non-prospects.”
“I told them I was proud to be a part of the Padres family.”
-New Padres owner Jeff Moorad, on addressing his minions. (Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune)
HIS BRAIN IS NOW FUNNEL CAKE
“My prejudice is to [hit the pitcher eighth] every day. But what started my thinking is when Glaus comes back. Glaus, Molina, [Skip Schumaker] against a right-handed pitcher, whatever you do in the outfield-Ludwick, Ankiel, and Duncan-who’s the ninth-place hitter there? There isn’t any.”
–Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
“The problem with expectations is when you’re not good enough to match them. But sometimes people put expectations on the club and you’re not that good. You’ve got this hole or that hole, you suffer an injury. It’s truly unfair, and may have been unfair from the get-go. But if you have a legitimate club … expectations are attached, and that’s part of something you handle.”
–La Russa, on the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I’m just blown away that I can call him, or that he calls me to ask my opinion on things. This is a real man of status. If he says you’re OK, you think, ‘Damn, maybe I’m OK.'”
–La Russa, on his fledgling bromance with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
KENNY POWERS IS 20 YEARS OLD
“The scary thing is he could develop a little more velocity in the next couple of years. He absolutely could be recognized as the fastest pitcher ever, at least since pitches have been clocked.”
–Anonymous National League scout, on Stephen Strasburg. (Steve Henson, Yahoo! Sports)
“There’s no guarantee drafting pitchers, but barring injury, he is as close to a surefire top-of-the-rotation starter as I’ve seen. And that’s the hardest role to fill without going out and paying $100 million on the free-agent market.”
–Anonymous MLB scouting director, on Strasburg.
“I know everybody now is asking, ‘How did you miss on Stephen Strasburg in high school?’ But we didn’t miss. He was soft in every way.”
“I told scouts not to draft me. I wasn’t ready.”
–Strasburg, on his post-high school outlook. (Lee Jenkins, SI.com)
LARRY LUCCHINO REPORTEDLY STRUCK HIM AS ‘EVIL’
“I think I always had the Yankees in my sights, and one thing that my agent and I had asked every single team is, we’re not going to negotiate through the media, and we ask you not to. The Yankees were really the only team that did that. The other teams went out and told everybody their offers, and told everybody they’re gonna talk to me, that they’ve made this call, and they made that trip, and they did that. The Yankees just kind of kept quiet. We talked with them all throughout the offseason, and when they were ready to make their final offer, it was a great offer, and my wife and I were very excited about going to New York.”
-Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira
“It did, it did. And I think in the end, it probably worked against them a little bit, because everyone thought the Red Sox were [my] number one, but in reality, the Yankees were gonna be the team, like I said all along-if all things were equal, the Yankees were the place that I wanted to go. It made the most sense for my family. It made the most sense for me and my career and where I wanted to go.”
–Teixeira, on the Red Sox’ public negotiations.
“Being a Yankee and wearing the pinstripes into the new Yankee Stadium, it doesn’t get any better than that. They had a leg up all along.”
–Teixeira (Joe & Evan in the Midday, WFAN.com)
“It’s funny. There’s such a short time between being unknown and being a superstar in this game. Who knows? By the end of the year, Johnny and Volquez could be going head-to-head for the Cy Young, and all of us could be pushing 15 to 20 wins. Those things happen.”
–Reds starter Bronson Arroyo (Ted Keith, SI.com)
“We have no intention of not monetizing them and letting them go unused. When we have something to announce, we will do so.”
-Bernie Madoff trustee Irving H. Picard, on Madoff’s premium paid-for season tickets at CitiField. (ESPN.com)
“This is not depression. This is something totally different. This is something where they saw something in my blood that they didn’t like. I’m not crazy, though my teammates might think that I’m crazy.”
–Tigers starter Dontrelle Willis, on being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
“They didn’t know each other when I hired Nolan. So I asked Nolan to trust me that Jon was who I said he was, and a bright, out-of-the-box thinking, very smart GM. And I asked Jon to trust me that Nolan was a wise baseball man and is a leader and knows people. They’ve spent a year together, and they like it. They’ve got a great working relationship. I think they’re the perfect team. There’s no one smarter in baseball than Jon Daniels, but his weakness is that he’s never played baseball. He doesn’t have that instinct that a player has, and Nolan has all the instincts in the world. So I think it’s a perfect combination.”
–Rangers owner Tom Hicks, on the relationship between general manager Jon Daniels and team president Nolan Ryan. (Richard Durrett, Dalas Morning News)
“If this is a real championship, why should there be any pitch limits? Do you think it is right that the rest of the world of baseball has to be told what to do by MLB.?”
-Chiba Lotte manager Bobby Valentine, on the World Baseball Classic. (Jack Curry, The New York Times)
“I will quit baseball if I have to go to the Major League. It is not good at all for the Japanese children. Japanese baseball needs some top players to attract children. I have no interest at all.”
-Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, on his interest in MLB.
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.