World champion edition: What they said, what they meant

Today is a return to an oldie but goodie – What They Said, What They Meant. As always, an Astros related quote is posted followed by what they really meant to say.

GM Jeff Luhnow on the false report that the deal for Gerrit Cole was complete.

  • What he said. “We do not have a deal. We are working on multiple things but nothing is imminent.”
  • What he meant. “Until the Pirates remove two words from their vocabulary, Whitley and Tucker, there is no deal. Meanwhile I can piddle around with the Rays on Archer or talk to Darvish’s agent and wait on the Pirates front office out.”

Joe Musgrove in his sweet goodbye letter to the Astros and their fans.

Carlos Correa talking about proposing to his girlfriend on national TV after game 7.

  • What he said. “I was like OK, so we have a championship caliber team, so let me wait it out to see if we can be champions and do it at the big stage. So, we were able to win the game, which was the first part of my day to accomplish, and then I was able to do it.”
  • What he meant. “You know how young people feel invincible like nothing bad could happen to them. It never occurred to me that we were not going to win that game. I had no Plan B…..”

Jose Altuve on winning the AL MVP award.

  • What he said. “That’s what I love about baseball, that every single guy can play the game. There’s not a rule you have to be six feet tall to play baseball and become a good player.”
  • What he meant. “You may think that my height has been a challenge to me, but in truth it is the fuel that drives my engine. The chip on my shoulder about this is taller than I am…..”

A.J. Hinch about his team after winning the World Series.

  • What he said. “The players are really what makes the sport go. And the more you can get out of them, the more you can get them to trust in you, believe in you as a leader, the better you’ll be as a manager.  I’m not sure you know that right out of the chute when you first get one of these jobs. At least for me as a young guy, I didn’t appreciate what it took to put your heart and soul into the players and let them see you for who you are, and in return ask them to be themselves.”
  • What he meant. “I wasn’t a very good manager the first time around. I certainly didn’t have the talent with the D’Backs then as I do with the Astros now, but I also was not the leader I am now. I was not comfortable in my own skin and did not let the players know who I really was. That’s over now and I’m ready to dive in deep again in 2018.”

Jim Crane during the lead up to the Gerrit Cole trade.

  • What he said. “I’ve been told, on paper we have the best team in baseball, but paper doesn’t win titles.”
  • What he meant. “I understand how sports really work. I understand that keeping the status quo is equivalent to taking a step backwards when everyone else is improving. I loved the taste of winning and we are going for it again.”

Bonus quote. You get to interpret this tweet from Kate Upton to her new husband Astros pitcher Justin Verlander.

  • What she tweeted. “Which is better: winning the #World Series2017 or a honeymoon with @KateUpton?”
  • What she meant. ?????

32 comments on “World champion edition: What they said, what they meant

  1. Dan, I really like this post. Can I please say, though, that I’m sorry to hear of several deaths in your family this year. I can honestly say I know what it’s like, maybe not your particular case, but I know. You have a son and, as I understand it, a brother who for different reasons tug at your heart. I’ll try to come back to today’s subject later. Hope you had no Shingle Bells at Christmas at least. I’ll be thinking of you.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Regardless of whatever Crane did or didn’t do before he bought the Astros, he’s not only the best owner the Astros have ever had, I think he might be the best ever out of the 3 major sports teams in Houston.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What Altuve meant to say: I noticed that the MVP trophy was just the right height.
    What Luhnow meant to say: The Astros train left the station last season. Pour on the Cole and anything else that will burn red hot.
    What Jim Crane meant to say: What am I supposed to do with an extra $50 million, reinstall a hill in center field? I’m buying, who’s selling?
    What Justin Verlander meant to say: I have never grinned so much in my entire life.
    What AJ Hinch meant to say: Did you notice me taking notes in the dugout every day? I am not going to forget what the hell I did, right or wrong. I kept a journal. And I made sure Cora doesn’t have a copy of it.
    What George Springer meant to say: I was a center fielder this season, and we won the World Series.
    What Alex Bregman meant to say: Some people were talking about me being traded for Chris Sale. I wanted to send them a very clear message about that.
    What Brad Peacock meant to say: I settled on my salary because all I want is a chance to throw a baseball.
    What Correa meant to say: I’m so glad she said yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What Brian Cashman meant to say: The Astros traded for Gerritt Cole to keep us from getting him. So we signed Wade LeBlanc to keep them from getting him. Touche’!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What they said: Baseball Prospectus, “There is collusion and price fixing in the Free Agent Market.” What BP Meant, “Why pay Bregman and Correa league minimum when you can have Cozart and Moustakas for 10 times the money and less talent.”
    Rangers said, “We declined contracts to 3 starting pitchers.” What they meant, “We wanted to decline more, but somebody has to pitch in 2018.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems a bit disingenuous for the agents to play offers from teams off one another, but then yell “Collusion! Collusion!” when their guys aren’t quickly offered nine figure deals on the FA market. I think the grease that would really get the market moving would be for Harper and Machado to sign extensions with their current clubs. Outside of a one or two year deal there aren’t any guys on the FA market I’d have strong interest in pursuing.


  6. Here is a list of free agents – the one who have already signed are at the top of the list.

    Interesting to note that 3 years is the longest contract signed to date and only 8 of those and $60 million is the biggest total contract signed to date. Not seeing the $300 million for JDM on the signed list are we – but a ton of players sitting out there.


    • The players at the top are signed at the new market value, and the names at the bottom are just dreaming about the old market value.
      The difference in them is the reality of teams having to eat huge salaries they committed to and what they are willing to give up in the future.
      People thought that Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols and Crawford were just fringe incidences, until Prince, and Pablo and Kemp showed owners what their money was going to get them. Now there is Choo and Heyward and Ellsbury to provide every owner with a slap of the cold, wet towel across the backside, in case they have forgotten.
      The team that gives JD Martinez anything more than what the current market is will be the next one to get a dose of reality.
      You don’t have to look any further than Danny Valencia’s supposed market value, to realize how screwed up things have been and what lies ahead as far as market corrections are concerned.
      I will admit that I wanted the Astros to go out and sign a bunch of these players. But I was motivated by 55 years of starvation, topped off by the desert of 110 loss seasons. In short, I was a lunatic with a good excuse.
      But the Astros didn’t just feed me. They woke everybody up in the major leagues as to what could happen if they would be smart and use their dollars wisely and not just throw money into the breeze.
      Change is coming. There will be exceptions, but change is coming.

      Liked by 2 people

      • So true – the Astros won it all with I believe the only long term contract being Yuli Gurriel’s 5 yr signing.
        They showed that value is the top criteria. And like you said everyone is trying to follow the lead of the best team in baseball.


      • I’m glad you brought that up because Gurriel’s deal was still only $47.5 million and the yearly amount decreases by $2 million every year, to account for diminishing projections due to age.
        One of the things that made Gurriel so attractive to the Astros was his low K-rate. Sound familiar?
        Jeff Luhnow first saw Gurriel play in a tournament in Amsterdam in the mid 2000’s, when Luhnow was scouting for the Cardinals.
        A financial, technology genius who understands scouting. No way, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s the smart way to sign players, but teams are generally at their limit each year and pushing the financial impact further down the line is the easy thing to do. The only reason the Astros could do this was our years of thrift…which I still think is bad business overall.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. A quote about Marvin Miller, “As an economist, Miller clearly understood that too many free agents could actually drive down player salaries. Miller agreed to limit free agency to players with more than six years of service, hoping that restricting the supply of labor would drive up salaries as owners bid for an annual, finite pool of free agents.”

    In looking at the list that DanP provided, there are way too many “also rans.”


    • Just to compare: Do you prefer player A or player B.

      A: 0.4 WAR in 146 ABs OPS+85 Projected 2018 Salary $545,000
      B. 1.7 WAR in 395 ABs OPS+87 Projected 2018 Salary $13,700,000

      That is Fisher vs. Maybin.


  8. Tyler White: What he said. “Headed to Tyler, Texas. With a name like that, it better not disappoint.” What he meant. “Glad it was Joe, Colin, Jason, and Michael that are headed to Pittsburgh. Now THAT would be a disappointment.”


      • Boras is the reason the moves over the winter were so slow. I’m shocked Darvish hasn’t been signed yet. My cousin passed away yesterday, and I will be leaving tomorrow for Houma. I’ll be reading your posts while I’m gone. I just have to be joyful for Nancy, she is sitting at the feet of the Father❤

        Liked by 3 people

    • Boras putting it out there that he was looking for 8/200 for JD Martinez is what started this whole thing.
      The figure is so ludicrous that all the teams stepped back and said I’m not paying that!
      Two teams really need JD. Arizona needs him but is already $20 million over their 2017 payroll in their current projections. They are stuck.
      The other team is Boston and they want to get under the cap but their long term deals are killing them and they already are over the cap without JD.
      All the other teams are rebuilding , or don’t need him or aren’t going to spend $20million a year for 5 years of JD Martinez.
      The truth of the matter is that as more and more players strike paydirt, fewer and fewer teams can afford more of them. Baseball is saturated with too many players making way more than they should be. The money is going to start running out.
      Teams are willing to wait and pay less or do without. The Yanks will get Frazier and Darvish or another starter and get up to the limit and give the Astros a good run for their money this season.
      Next year the Phillies will spend $100 million to make their comeback and challenge Washington.
      But I think this whole deal may help the Astros with their stars. Prices are going to come down.

      Liked by 1 person

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