“WHEN THE ODDS ARE SAYING YOU’LL USUALLY WIN/THAT’S WHEN THE GRIN SHOULD START”
“Having the highest payroll in baseball doesn’t mean you’re going to win. We’ve seen that time and time again. We’re just proud that the money that came off last year we were able to put back into the team for the fans’ sake, and made some good decisions and the team became much better for it.”
–Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, after his club defeated the Phillies in this year’s World Series.
“He was subdued during the game, but emotional, very teary-eyed. It was very, very weird not having him here. Very strange. But he’s happy now. He’s very proud. Proud of all of them.”
-Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner, on his father not being in New York for the Series-clinching victory.
“In the past, we were in a situation where on that 25-man roster, people didn’t necessarily enjoy each other. They enjoyed playing the game, they enjoyed playing in New York, but they didn’t necessarily enjoy each other as teammates, I think. We didn’t have as close a team. But this year it’s all different.”
-Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on his team’s chemistry.
“You cannot believe how Brian Cashman treated all of us scouts and the little people. It was tremendous.”
-Anonymous Yankees scout
“You could say that I guess this is the best moment of my life right now. It’s been a long road and very difficult journey.”
-Yankees designated hitter Hideki Matsui, who won the World Series MVP Award.
“It’s not a luxury every team has. Mo’s human. He’s going to make mistakes. He’s going to give up runs sometimes. But there isn’t a closer that’s in the game or a closer that’s ever played this game that you’d want to see in this position other than him. He comes around once in a lifetime.”
-Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, on his team’s closer, Mariano Rivera. (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)
NEXT SEASON, HE’S PLANNING ON BECOMING UNCLUTTERED WITH TAYLOR SWIFT
“It doesn’t surprise me what he did. The ability to become uncluttered emotionally and psychologically allowed his talent to come out.”
-Former Yankee Reggie Jackson, on Alex Rodriguez‘s performance during the 2009 postseason.
“I think support is always a good thing from family, but Alex does what he does because he’s good at it and because he’s worked at it. I think that it’s a good thing that he has a connection with some people that appreciate it with him, but this is about the Yankees. This is what they do. It’s a great thing.”
-Kate Hudson’s stepfather, Kurt Russell, on Rodriguez’s performance.
“I’ve actually been making a lot of Yankee analogies in my interviews lately because I get asked, ‘Do you feel pressure? How do you feel when someone says this? Or do you feel like you have to top yourself?’ I say I do feel like I have to top myself. But I feel like I’m Rivera. I’m a closer.”
-American recording artist Lady Gaga, on the Yankees’ relief ace.
“The goal was to come in and simplify things this year, and I’ve done that. I think that’s a format that worked this year and will work in the future. Obviously, winning is the only goal. I’ve never experienced such an amazing feeling.”
-Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez
WAIT TILL HOW UPSET HE’LL BE AFTER HE READS JOE POSNANSKI
“They were the better team this Series. Do I think we’re the better team? I really do. They just executed. I think we weren’t playing bad, but they were playing that much better. … They got the hits, we didn’t. It’s that simple.”
-Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, on losing the World Series in six games.
“I just didn’t think he was as fresh and as sharp. You know, [he’s] 37 years old, cold weather, his stuff wasn’t just as crisp. You never doubt the heart or the effort, that’s for damn sure.”
-Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, on Pedro Martinez‘s Game Six performance.
“More than anything else, we want to see what options may be out there for us and decide whether picking his option up is best suited for this club to try to move forward. He had a solid year for us, I like the man personally. He’s a great person and a great teammate, but I also believe in trying to improve, and sometimes change can be for the better. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to, but it’s just something that we’re thinking about.”
-Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., before declining Pedro Feliz‘ 2010 option. (Andy Martino, Philadelphia Inquirer)
HOPEFULLY HE DIDN’T STRESS HIS POINT BY DANGLING HIS GM OVER NIAGARA FALLS
“He’s probably one of the greatest-if not the greatest-Blue Jay to ever put on a uniform here. But he wants to win, and … we were a 75-win team last year. We haven’t met his criteria for winning, and we certainly don’t fault him for that. We certainly want to win as well, and I think he stressed that his timeline for winning and ours may not mesh and may not match.”
–Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopolous, on his plan to trade starter Roy Halladay.
“Really, I would characterize it as ‘building.’ I think when people talking about a rebuild, you would be tearing down the team and trading away a number of players. I don’t know that we have that, necessarily. I think we have a lot of good young players. I just don’t think we have enough.”
-Anthopoulos, on how he’ll build the Blue Jays into a winner.
“I would say that I would probably be more active in trades than free agency. I think trades is definitely something that I’m going to be more aggressive with overall. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to occur, but it’s probably a little bit more of a fit for our club right now.”
-Anthopoulos, on his approach to his first offseason as general manager.
“For us to be short-sighted and try to do something haphazardly and take major financial risks, and make short-sighted trades that will impact this franchise long-term and not allow us to have a sustained model of success is not the right way to go, in my mind. I think we need to set the core, I think we need to continue to add and I think we need to impact and make changes to the foundation.”
-Anthopoulos (Jordan Bastien, MLB.com)
WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE GIL MECHES?
“Our free-agent pursuit will not be as aggressive as in the past. We’re going to focus on trades first. We’re going to exhaust every opportunity to make trades. In the previous two offseasons, we’ve been more likely to pop a free agent or two early on. I look for us to exhaust every possible trade scenario this offseason before we enter into the free-agent market.”
–Royals general manager Dayton Moore (Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star)
“It’s certainly trending in the direction. The big markets are always going to be there. Whether or not they’re the only ones there I guess remains to be seen.”
–Athletics general manager Billy Beane, on the success of teams with large payrolls.
“I think it will be more of the same. We’ve obviously spent a lot of time going over the free agents, at least our evaluations of them, and I’ve spent a lot of time, especially the last week or 10 days, having some level of trade talks with at least most teams. There might be things in November that we’ll have to spend our time on, knowing that if we can be patient generally there might be some good deals available later in the off-season.”
–Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes, on his view of this offseason. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)
A BUY-LOW IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL STOP THE TEARS
“He’s somebody who has positive indicators that future performance might be better than his past performance. His minor league track record, his age, his draft pedigree, our scouting reports over the years indicate there’s a chance that he can turn into the player he was once thought to be. Certainly this is a good time to acquire him, when his value is a little bit low.”
–Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, on acquiring outfielder Jeremy Hermida from the Marlins for reliever Hunter Jones and prospect Jose Alvarez.
“This was not a blockbuster. This was a value trade, a chance to get a guy with unfulfilled potential at a reasonable cost.”
“Nobody can answer that. When you acquire a player, sometimes you acquire them because you think there’s a chance, that with a change of scenery, they might grow into their potential or into their promise. He’s somebody who had, and we feel, may still have considerable promise. This is a player who was highly sought after as an amateur, he wound up going 11th in the country.
-Epstein on whether a new situation will help Hermida.
“Our expectations were high for Jeremy. He had his moments where he was highly productive. But, given his talent level, I think the expectation was for more.”
-Marlins president Larry Beinfest
“I was one of the older guys in Florida. That’s the kind of team we had. Now I’ll be around guys who have been in the league for 10 or 11 years. I can learn a lot from there. At this point in my career, it’s probably the best thing for me.”
-New Red Sox outfielder Jeremy Hermida
“He’s about to turn 26 and about to move into his prime years. Sometimes talented young players who have struggled at the big-league level put it all together. Sometimes they don’t. When you have a chance to acquire one for what we believe to be a very reasonable cost, we think that’s the type of move that makes sense.”
-Epstein (Peter Abraham, The Boston Globe)
“It’s not really out of the ordinary. It happens every day. It was about the size of a thumb, the whole thumb.”
-Washington State Patrol spokesman Steve Schatzel on Giants starter Tim Lincecum being charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana. (Chris Haft, MLB.com)
“As bad as the car looked, I was really concerned. When I got there, she was on the phone, talking to police, and she only had a little cut. She couldn’t open her door. And I was like, ‘You need to get out of this car because if someone comes around the bend, they’re going to hit the back of your car.’ And I just kept talking to her.”
-Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on stopping at the scene of an accident on his way home from the World Series. (Mike’d Up, WFAN.com)
“I think it would be fun. Whether we make a deal or not, I don’t know. I’ve been in the room on countless negotiations with him so I think we have a pretty good idea of how each other operates. But there are 29 teams to work out deals with. Whether it’s immediate or down the road, I’m sure we’ll find each other on the phone together. It will be an interesting experience. I think we know each other’s tricks a little bit.”
-New Padres general manager Jed Hoyer, on possibly trading with former co-worker Theo Epstein. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“Unless she’s had a lobotomy since moving to LA, I don’t believe she didn’t know what she was signing. Of the two, Jamie was always in charge, as far as I was concerned. She was drafting the documents, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.”
-Anonymous Boston attorney who has dealt with the divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt, on Mrs. McCourt’s claim that she didn’t know she was signing away her ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Mark Shanahan, Boston Globe)
“Pound the strike zone. Whether your name is Fausto or Zausto, if you’re not missing bats, you better not be walking people.”
-New Indians manager Manny Acta, after hiring pitching coach Tim Belcher. (SI.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.