Potent quotables: "I wasn't paid to walk"

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“Believe me, I wasn’t paid to walk. I was paid to try to do some damage.”

– Jim Rice addressed reporters
at a news conference in Cooperstown on Saturday. Rice, along with
all-time stolen base leader Rickey Henderson will be inducted into the
Hall of Fame on Sunday. Somewhere, Bengie Molina is smiling.

We’re not looking at this as a one-year deal, I assure you.”

– Cardinals chairman Bill Dewitt would like to lock up the newly-acquired Matt Holliday.
Only problem, Holliday is represented by Scott Boras. There’s at least
some hope though, because the Cardinals did get Boras-client Kyle Lohse
to forgo free agency when he signed a four-year extension with the club
last September.

“Do you put these guys in, and do you
put names with an asterisk beside the name, ‘Hey, they did it, but
here’s why.’ To be safe, that’s the only way I can see how you can do
it.”

– More Hall of Fame talk as Hank Aaron told the San Francisco Chronicle that steroid users should get in the Hall of Fame, as long as there is some recognition of their wrongdoing.

“I thought he was talking about a sign or something. And he was like, that wall.”

– Jason Bay describes teammate Adam LaRoche’s reaction to seeing the Green Monster.

“You watch little signs on the mound.
Really, the result tells you a lot with a guy that has that good a
stuff. It was necessary to have that discussion afterwards. I know he
doesn’t want to say that anything’s bothering him. But we’ll find out
tomorrow in more detail.”

– Manager Don Wakamatsu thinks Erik Bedard may be hurt again. The southpaw lasted just three innings in a loss to the Indians on Saturday night.

“I was nervous. But I took a deep breath and just did what I love to do. I am happy I was able to help the team.”

21-year-old Jhoulys Chacin made his major league debut against the Giants on Saturday, working a scoreless ninth, including a swinging strikeout of Juan Uribe to end it.

Yoenis Cespedes: “I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland”

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Yoenis Cespedes told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wants to finish his career with the Athletics, according to an exclusive interview released on Friday. The Mets’ 31-year-old outfielder praised Oakland manager Bob Melvin, telling Slusser, “I don’t think there’s a better manager than Melvin” and adding that while he didn’t know if a return to Oakland would be possible, his love for the city had not faded.

Melvin, for his part, said he wasn’t surprised that the slugger wants another go-round with his first major league club, even if only as a final hurrah. Cespedes hit well over two and a half seasons with the A’s, compiling a cumulative .262/.318/.470 batting line from 2012 to 2014 and enjoying two postseason runs with the club before he was traded for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes in 2014.

There’s been relatively little for Cespedes to complain about since his departure from Oakland, of course: he turned in a career-best performance in 2015, slashing .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs and 6.7 fWAR in back-to-back gigs with the Tigers and Mets, and netted a whopping three-year, $75 million contract prior to the 2016 season. Still, there’s something special about the A’s, as the slugger relayed to teammate Jerry Blevins:

I told Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.

Whether or not Cespedes gets his wish, it’s unlikely he’ll pursue any kind of deal with the A’s for the time being. He’s still owed $23.75 million in 2017 and 2018 and isn’t scheduled to hit free agency until 2019.

Brewers sell Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes

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The Brewers offloaded outfielder Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a team announcement on Friday. Choice signed a minor league deal with the Brewers in early May, but did not earn a major league stint in 11 weeks with the team.

It’s been two full years since the 27-year-old outfielder snagged a big league opportunity of any kind. He last appeared with the Rangers in 2015 and played in just one game, striking out in his only at-bat. His production rate sagged through three consecutive minor league assignments with the Indians, Orioles and Brewers and peaked in 2016 after slashing .246/.304/.456 with 14 home runs for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus. He was off to a decent start this season for the Brewers’ Double-A Biloxi, working a .272/.349/.503 batting line with nine home runs and an .852 OPS through his first 195 PA.

Choice is poised to join several other ex-major leaguers on the Heroes’ roster, including left-hander Andy Van Hekken, right-hander Jake Brigham and infielder/outfielder Danny Dorn.

6:43 PM: Danny Dorn no longer plays for the Nexen Heroes, as he was released to clear roster space for Choice.