We covered most of this in our live blog, but here are the main bullet points from today’s press conferences with Jimmy Rollins and Ruben Amaro (ignoring Victo’s because there was really no reason for him to take the podium).
– Basically, Jimmy made it clear he wants a five-year deal. Or four years and an option- “[his] option.”
– He only invoked 2007 once, by my count, which means the folks with the under won, but he did talk about how much fans are “loving” the Phillies again and how far the team has come.
– When asked by David Murphy what his gut feeling was, Rollins responded: “I’ll be reading your stories again.” Not sure if he knows they can be read from San Francisco, but he obviously believes he could come back.
– Said that other players do what’s best for them in this situation. Rollins is looking for three things: money, years, good team. Then again, aren’t we all…
– He doesn’t want shorter than five years because: "If I was older, I'd take a shorter term. I'll be 33 by time I get contract, probably about a good six years left . My dad's back there… he's in good shape.” Basically, this is the Werth I’m still in my prime comment. Of course, Werth batted .232 this year, sooo…
– More on fans: “When fans get mad, they really get mad at you and you wonder, how can you say that? … Sometimes motivation comes across as anger. When you get pushed sometimes, you strike back- that's fine. It’s healthy relationship.”
– He told Howard Eskin, very matter-of-factly, that it didn’t come down to just money. It’s money and years. Money and years.
– When Mandy Housenick asked Rollins if he had the same feeling Werth described last year, which was a sense that it was his last time pulling into lot, he said he didn’t. Thought that conversations with Ruben must have led Werth to think that. Rollins seems more positive on the whole situation.
Amaro after the jump.
David Murphy has a full transcript here – from which I borrowed a few quotes – but these are the highlights.
– Ruben was much, much more candid and direct than Rollins. Big Poker had opinions on many things, especially the lineup.
– Ryan Howard is going to see a doctor in Baltimore today and may get a second opinion from a North Carolina doctor.
– On improving players: “We fail ourselves if we decide this is what we are and not try to get better. We owe it to our fans, our players and to each other to try to change to get better, to get it to this level."
– He doesn’t see the need for “a whole lot of changes” but “we’ll have some changes.” Translation? Sweeping changes.
– He made it very clear the Phillies want Rollins back. They will see if they can get to the finish line. Called him one of the “premier” defensive shortstops in the game.
– Pence and Polanco had sports hernia surgery today, Polly on both sides. They are expected to make a normal recovery. Said age is an issue with Polly, Manuel needs to give him some down time. Would be better if he didn’t play every day. Said he wasn’t swinging bat well at end of season– no shit, just three doubles and one home run since June 28th.
– He hates Dom Brown, apparently. “Domonic has work to do in left field. He’s in instructional league. He’s got some things to work on with his hitting. I’d like… his life has changed, our needs are different…. I think for me, I’d keep him in AAA, let him get 500, 600 at-bats.”
I know Brown struggled, but the Phillies have completely cast him aside. It’s odd, almost eery.
– Madson is in same place as Jimmy with contract. Phillies want him back, but “it takes two to tango.”
Ruben believes that if they lose Madson, the closer spot won’t be able to be filled internally.
– Will see what happens with Oswalt. He has a club option this year with – roughly – a $3 million buyout.
– On Hamels: “We have internally talked about extending him and keeping him around … He is one of the more effective and one of the better lefthanded pitchers in the game. We hope we can bring him back and keep him for a while.”
– The big theme of his presser, however, was the Phillies' undisciplined offense: “We’re very much on the same page. Charlie is about getting a good ball to hit and capitalizing on it. He’s about grinding out hits. Charlie likes the home run. We all do. I do too. He’s come to the realization that its not just about the home run. A lot of different pieces of the puzzle to scoring runs. It’s not just about the home run. We just don’t have same offensive team that we had in 2008. We have to realize that and work with it … We should have more .300 hitters. These guys have the ability to do it, it’s whether they are committed to doing it or not.”
“If the guys playing on our club don’t make adjustments we’re going to have some trouble … I am challenging Charlie and GG to help facilitate that … Charlie is in agreement that we have to change the way we approach some things. If we can do that and are committed to it then we can be successful.”
It’s clear that Amaro – finally – recognizes that the Phillies need to do a better job of playing small ball.
– He wasn’t too optimistic on Utley. Said that Utley did a good job managing knee injury, but that it never went away. Acknowledged that not being able to strengthen legs affected power.
On if he can ever be the same player again: “I couldn’t tell you. A lot of it depends on how he feels during the course of the offseason and how he goes about his business … Is he going to be a 30 home run, 110 RBI guy and hit .300? I don’t know that. I hope he is. That will help us. Whatever we get out of Chase is going to help us. I know he is going to strive to get to the point where he can maximize his numbers and his production.”
Consider that a challenge to Chase.
– In the smuggiest quote of the day, Big Poker said that any moves will not come via a trade. Instead, free agency: “as you know, I’m not opposed to doing that." Translation? MASSIVE TRADE.