© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Sound-bytes from Wednesday's second round of managerial press conferences at the 2007 Winter Meetings.
Terry Francona, Red Sox:
(On the state of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry) "Well, in December, it's not at its height. I'm not going to run over there and hit Joe Girardi."
Dusty Baker, Reds:
"I'm very motivated. It was a wonderful '07. I did a lot of healing, emotional healing. You know, whenever you have scars, scars heal back stronger than the skin that was there the first time, so [I'm] stronger now than ever. But it's time for me to get back."
Mike Scioscia, Angels:
"We've always had personality in our clubhouse. There's been a presence of good chemistry, and Torii [Hunter] will bring another piece of that puzzle. I think he's just more important than being an outstanding ballplayer. He's a terrific person. I think if you spend any time around Torii, you can see that right away. He has a great passion for this game. He loves people, and he's going to be a great addition to our club."
Ned Yost, Brewers:
(On fans "panicking" about Derrick Turnbow reclaiming the closer job after the departure of Francisco Cordero) "I mean, come on. He had eight bad outings out of 77, and we're going to dwell on the eight? Coco [Cordero] might have had more [bad outings] than Turnbow did, but when Coco was on, he was lights-out. Derrick made it a little more exciting, but he would get it done."
Ron Gardenhire, Twins:
(On Hunter being gone, perhaps other key cogs going) "Everybody keeps talking about us like [we're] trying to shelf everybody and get rid of everybody and clean house and get ready for the new stadium. That's why we haven't parted with [Johan] Santana up to this point. We have to get back people that are going to help us win in the Major Leagues. Everybody thinks we're just launching people. That's not the case, or Santana would have been traded [by now]. I'm just rolling with it."
Clint Hurdle, Rockies:
(On what the fabulous 22-1 run into the World Series has given his players) "They have a team identity. They know all the benefits of playing unselfish team baseball -- the confidence that was gleaned from playing high-drama games in challenging situations with a limited experience. They've got that in the bag now. That is in your pocket."
Dave Trembley, Orioles:
"We have someone in charge now in [president of baseball operations] Andy MacPhail. I think Mr. MacPhail has given us a sense of direction. There's a purpose and a plan [of] what we're going to do, and I believe we established some principles and foundations of how we're going to play the game and what our expectations are."
Willie Randolph, Mets:
(On recovering from having squandered a seven-game NL East lead in the final two weeks) "I'm still dealing with it and flushing it out. You do it in your own way. I've talked to my players briefly, but we didn't address anything about last year. We'll get to that in Spring Training. But for the most part, we're not going to go into Spring Training harping on last year and thinking about, you know, what happened. We have to learn from that experience, get better from that and really just focus on the future. We all should have learned something from last year."
Charlie Manuel, Phillies:
(Admitting to some Mets paranoia) "I look at the Mets right now, and I say to myself, 'When are they going to do something?' Because I know they're definitely going to go out and try to win next year probably as much as anybody. I feel like that they got something up their sleeve."
John McLaren, Mariners: (On the Florida-Detroit eight-player blockbuster deal) "Pretty big trade -- seems like the American League is getting a little stronger. Some young talent went from Detroit down to Florida, and I'm glad [Miguel] Cabrera didn't go to the Angels. So that's one thing I'm glad about. Dontrelle [Willis] ... I had him during the World Baseball Classic. He's a joy to be around."
Lou Piniella, Cubs:
"Our club right now is incomplete. [GM Jim Hendry] promised me that by Christmas I'll be very happy. Things take time to materialize. We have a fairly good game plan. Just have some patience, and it will come to fruition."
John Gibbons, Blue Jays:
"You always shoot for the postseason. Back when [GM] J.P. [Ricciardi] first arrived, it was basically clean the house up and get everything in order. Then we kind of took the turn, and now the talks have been, 'Hey, we want to be a competitive club.' We're past the rebuilding."
John Russell, Pirates:
(On how to turn around a culture of losing) "Basically you play the game the right way. Might sound easy, a very boring statement, but that's how you get to the players. Get them to understand what is right, what the game is supposed to be and that it always deserves command and respect. Baseball doesn't care. You don't do it right, it doesn't care. It's going to move on. If you work hard and you do the right things, it can be very rewarding. [Pittsburgh is] such a sports-oriented city. You can tell they have a lot of pride. They love good sports. I think they're looking for good baseball."
Ron Washington, Rangers:
"What happened to us this year is it gave us an opportunity to understand that we can win without hitting the ball out of the ballpark. If we can bring that into next season, and we end up getting some players in some positions that can help us offensively, I like our chances."
Tony La Russa, Cardinals:
(On a prospective trade of "adversary" Scott Rolen) "I think he should be with our club. I think we need him. We need him to reassert himself as an impact player. I don't care what anybody wants in a trade. We need him, and we expect him to be productive."
Bruce Bochy, Giants:
(On the NL West's rising profile) "We'll get a little bit more attention I'm sure with Joe [Torre] coming over to manage the Dodgers. Our division gets forgotten sometimes. I think it's the toughest division in baseball right now as far as the balance."
Fredi Gonzalez, Marlins:
(On life without Cabrera and Willis) "You know a part of me is sad. We hate to see those guys leave, for many reasons. They are character guys and the face of the organization. The other part, I'm excited about what I've been hearing in these meetings about the players we've got from Detroit. Not only are they very talented players, but they have good characters -- and they have got to give us a chance to win in '08 and the future."