Yep, I said it. The quotes were all exact that I can remember, it’s just that the context and the full conversations of the interview(s) somehow didn’t come through, or make print.
The other morning on the radio the topic of next year was brought up, and I am not sure by whom but I was asked about it.
During that conversation, and in the two that followed, my response started the exact same way which was “Well obviously Boston is my first choice, this is where I’d like to be, but if that doesn’t work out then yes I have given thought to the other scenarios and possibilities.”
For some reason that seems to have been omitted from what’s gotten into print. Obviously putting that in the article pretty much makes it a non-article doesn’t it?
This is not news, not even close. The discussion turned to potential scenarios next year and when talking with Rob Bradford we discussed how my not having an agent means I have complete control and confidence in knowing exactly what is going on at any given moment. Right now, as it should be, nothing is happening. I am on a first place team trying to win a world series, period. There is no concern on my end about any of the stuff that will happen following this season.
That being said there are 24 hours in a day and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought it through to some extent. It really will be an easy thing to do for a few simple reasons.
When this season ends, hopefully at some point after a world series parade, Shonda and the kids and I will sit down to decide the course of action. If the Red Sox decide that having me back here for another year is not the best option then we’ll decide what that means and go from there.
Then we draw up a letter and send it to the teams that would be the right fit for one more year, and wait to hear back. The funny part in many instances of media members playing GMs is their assumption that every team wants every player.
One of the side stories that really shouldn’t be is that past comments I have made about the Yankees and not going there. I find humor in the fact that no one ever thought to ask whether the Yankees would even want me. Regardless of where I want to go there has to be a desire on the teams part to want you and that’s not going to be the case with every team you want to play for.
I’m going to be a 41 year old free agent, and right now I am not pitching even remotely close to as good as I can, or should be. That is probably the most important part of the equation no matter what our choices may end up being. Going on the DL to basically relearn all there is to know about keeping my shoulder strong over the next 14-16 months certainly will raise questions with any team outside of Boston that might be interested, so I’ll have to answer those them as well.
As far as criteria goes on the family side of things that will play a very prominent part in the decision. The things I would look for as a player are pretty simple.
The only real criteria would be to go to a team that at least on paper is put together to get to October and has a front office committed to winning. If no teams in that position are interested then the only other one would be to go to a team that had a wealth of great young talent, good manager and a city the family would want to live in for a year. The reason Tampa did come up is because I’ve known Joe Maddon since I was 15, he was a very instrumental part of me ever getting a shot at playing professional baseball. Add to that the incredibly talented and strong young nucleus of starting pitching in place. They are by no means the only team in that position but Shonda and I also had a home in the Largo area for a few years and enjoyed living there. There are other factors involved such as what teams do during the off season to their rosters, that will factor into the decision as well, but by no means was this a conversation initiated by me or one that was intended to make anyone feel any pressure or direction about my current situation. I’ve talked at length with Theo, Mr Henry and Mr Werner and when the time comes we’ll handle it the way it needs to be handled.
The major pluses to all this are that I am only going to sign a one year deal. So it won’t be about maxing out on the financial side and at 41 and given how I am pitching right now and the fact that 2009 and our decisions on it won’t be made until after 2008, and I don’t think I could in good conscience ask someone to commit to more than that.
But most of the above really isn’t relevant if I right the ship and get to where I know I can be, and the situation here becomes one that allows it to work out and us to stay. There have not been any discussions or any ill will on either side. Now is not the time for those talks to take place anyway. We have 25 guys and an organization backed by something like 15 million fans working on a world championship. The other important factor is that other than me, no one in this clubhouse should care about anything other than what we are trying to accomplish. So the story gets written in a way that allows members of the media to ask questions of my teammates, and the manager and front office, when it had no reason to. It’s not an issue or a topic of discussion in any way shape or form, nor should it be, especially after this post.
The beauty in all this is that whatever is supposed to happen will. Trusting in God and his plan for my family and I makes it a non-issue for the most part. Whatever happens, it will all work out for everyone in the end however it’s supposed to.