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Kuroda: “I wanted to be able to win a championship”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 18, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Earlier this winter, there was a sense that Hiroki Kuroda had changed his mind. He didn’t want to pitch for the Yankees in the past, but he suddenly jumped on their $10-million offer. The implication, of course, was that Kuroda didn’t like the Yankees, but he liked their money.

This morning, Kuroda said that’s a bit of a misconception.

“It’s obviously one of the prominent teams, not just in baseball but in all of sports worldwide,” he said. “This is a team of tradition and a lot of heritage and a lot of players came out of it, and I wanted to be on a team with a lot of pride, and I wanted to be able to win a championship. This has been my goal since I came from Japan, and I thought this would be the chance that I would get, and that’s why I joined the Yankees.”

So why wouldn’t he come to the Yankees at last year when the Yankees looked into acquiring him at the trade deadline?

“Last year during spring training, I was wearing a Dodgers uniform,” he said. “I wanted to win a championship with the team I had in spring training. I wanted to stick with the team and stick with my teammates, and when the offer came, I really had to think. I just couldn’t change my my mind, and I decided to stick with the Dodgers.”

For whatever it’s worth, Kuroda said he’s always liked New York — “A lot of people, a lot of cars obviously, but I’ve always felt a positive energy from it,” he said — and although he wouldn’t commit to any plans beyond this season, Kuroda said he’s fully committed “to give 100 percent and contribute to the Yankees as much as possible.”

Will the American League East be much different from the National League West?

“I’m aware there’s a lot of great hitters in the American League East,” he said. “But it’s something I have to be on the mound and feel myself. I’m sure I’ll have that experience.”

 
 

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56 Responses to “Kuroda: “I wanted to be able to win a championship””

  1. blake February 18th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    “I can understand the minimal salaries as to who might make the club, but they have no arbitration salaries as the rest have signed their contracts.”

    yea I shouldn’t have said arbitration cases….I just meant there are some minimal salaries that aren’t accounted for in the 202 million number that Cot’s has right now…..Cervilli, nunez, Pineda, Nova etc….aren’t counted I don’t think…..so at the league minimun those 4 guys will make around 2 million dollars….so the actual payroll right now is probably more like 205 million I’d say.

  2. blake February 18th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Go Kuroda!

  3. Yankee Trader February 18th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    From Pinstripe Alley:
    A Postmortem on AJ Burnett’s Yankee Career:

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/.....kee-career

  4. jacksquat February 18th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1 47m #Yankees still favor Ibanez over Damon because, of all things, think better on defense and better vs. RHP. But Damon not off board

    Neither are true. Do the Yankees even know what park factor is? Have they even looked at home/road splits? I’m starting to think no.

  5. Yankee Trader February 18th, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    That article just about sums up how I and many others felt about Burnett’s career with the Yankees.

  6. blake February 18th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I think it’s one of two things:

    1) Damon is the guy they really want and they are just posturing with all this Ibanez talk to get his price where they want it.
    2) They don’t want to spend much money on the DH spot because they will look to add at bat via trade during the season and they see Ibanez as being much easier and cleaner to part with if that comes along…..if they sign Damon and it doesn’t work out then a divorce mid season could get messy.

    Damon is the better player….but it just depends on how they are looking at it.

  7. blake February 18th, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

    Reply
    Retweet
    Favorite
    · Open

    #Yankees viewed Moreno as 1 of #Pirates top-10 prospects, though knew Pit didn’t. Know has “maturity” issues but like big arm (97mph) (cont)
    3m Joel Sherman Joel Sherman @Joelsherm · Open

    #Yankees had considered taking AJ acquisition Diego Moreno in Rule 5 in Dec but already had taken 2; didn’t want to use another 40-man spot
    4m Joel Sherman Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

    #Phillies did indeed show late interest in Burnett, planned 3-way to move Blanton elsewhere, believing AJ was better than Blanton #Yankees

  8. Yankee Trader February 18th, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I’m all for giving Branyon or Dickerson, as lefties a chance to win the DH job.
    Otherwise if looking for the best overall hitter for the position, it should be Vlad Guerrero, with a chance for other righties, Justin Maxwell and Jorge Vazquez to win the job.

    Only Dickerson and Maxwell should be permitted to bring their gloves to ST!

  9. blake February 18th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Interesting that the Yanks liked Moreno that much….I guess 97 mph is appealing and sometimes when you give guys a change of scenery they can take off.

  10. blake February 18th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Joel Sherman @Joelsherman

    And wonder if he could be a big-arm, low-cost find like Proctor, Bruney, who both at least helped briefly. #Yankees

    they certainly like hard throwing right handed short relievers

  11. blake February 18th, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Joel Sherman Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

    #Yankees think other AJ acq Cayones can hit, but not for power. Unless develop power don’t think can make it, not enough speed to stay in CF

  12. Yankee Trader February 18th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Moreno was ranked #9 prior to the 2011 season. The reason he was not protected by the Pirates who questioned his maturity, was an incident where Moreno was putting a lip lock on a fan while in the bullpen! :)

  13. blake February 18th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    http://www.minorleagueball.com.....#storyjump

    Sickels take on the prospects in the trade

  14. Yankee Trader February 18th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Moreno’s fastball sits at 94-96, routinely touching 98, with plus control. In the Venezuelan offseason winter league he had these numbers-20.2 IP, 3.07 ERA, 20/3 K/BB.

  15. Yankee Trader February 18th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    More on the Prospects:

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/.....rnett-deal

  16. blake February 18th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I like the throws hard and doesn’t walk people part…..probably about as much upside as you could hope for in a deal like this.

  17. Jerkface February 18th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Just a heads up, because Pineda spent his first season entirely in the bigs, if he is any good (top 17% of players with similar service time) and spends the entire season in the majors he will be eligible for super-two status. That means he will be arbitration eligible in 2014.

  18. Jerkface February 18th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Arbitration eligible in 2013 sorry, and then Arb-2 in 2014. That means he could potentially be worth 6-10 million depending on how badass he is. He will be arb eligible for sure in 2014 as long as he doesnt lose any service time. So its the difference between 2-6 million or 6-10 million.

  19. Jerkface February 18th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Larry Stone @StoneLarry

    Montero just missed hitting a truck driving on road beyond left field

    :x

  20. blake February 18th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    If Pineda is awesome I’m sure the Yanks won’t care if he costs a little bit more……or at least I hope they won’t care much.

  21. blake February 18th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    “Montero just missed hitting a truck driving on road beyond left field”

    yes :( the sad part is that now he’ll probably just miss a truck beyond the right field wall too.

  22. Jerkface February 18th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Of course, but if the point is cost savings… Nova will be arbitration eligible in 2014 as well. Hughes, if he is returned, will be on a FA contract same as Joba. The actual cheap pitching will be guys like Banuelos and Betances or Phelps, Warren, & Mitchell. Guys that aren’t yet arbitration eligible.

    We want Nova & Pineda & Hughes to pan out, as I’m sure the Yankees do, but in doing so they will negate some of the benefit to having ‘cheap, cost controlled young pitching’.

    If they have to spend 10 million for them its just like having Kuroda (but hopefully better)_

  23. Yankee Trader February 18th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Branyan was the last Mariner to hit 30 homeruns in 2009.

    JF and Blake-

    Could he possibly be better than the other oldie lefty candidates-Matsui, Damon and Ibanez?

  24. Best To Ever Do It February 18th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I’m going to miss that kid

  25. stuckey February 18th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    “Larry Stone @StoneLarry

    “Montero just missed hitting a truck driving on road beyond left field”

    Montero has power?

    Didn’t know that.

  26. DONNYBROOK February 18th, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    “Montero just missed being hit by a truck driving on road beyond left field”. Get over it Huggers.

  27. blake February 18th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    “We want Nova & Pineda & Hughes to pan out, as I’m sure the Yankees do, but in doing so they will negate some of the benefit to having ‘cheap, cost controlled young pitching’. ”

    yea but that’s just life….good players cost more even if they are “cost controlled”….I get your point though. The Yanks really need at least one of Banuelos/Betances to pan out to have a legit shot at getting under the soft cap….I guess it’s not a necessity but it certainly would help

  28. blake February 18th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Trader,

    sure it’s possible.

  29. randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    “If Pineda is awesome I’m sure the Yanks won’t care if he costs a little bit more……or at least I hope they won’t care much.”

    blake -

    the yankees didn’t get pineda to be awesome. they just want good. awesome in a young player is too scary. cashman will never develop an awesome young player because he’ll have too much clout. cashman is a firm believer in the cult of management and prefers generic players who are just good.

    sabathia, teixeira, granderson etc will never be core yankee heroes like jeter, bernie, posada, or mariano becuase the fans will always perceive them as hired guns. yeah, they’ll like them but sabathia will never have the clout a jeter does because quite simply he’s not home grown .

    it’s the reason players like reggie only get limited yankee respect. mattingly got it because of how he came through the organization.

    any star player the yankees develop will be accidental. cano was accidental as he wasn’t perceived to be that good in the minors, and even he was thrown into trades by cashman that other teams rejected.

    montero was traded precisely because he had star potential not despite it. the yankees want generic players or players who do not compete with management for power. cashman is following the red sox model where management thinks star players are overrated . just as the red sox dumped star players and bad mouthed them on the way out of town, over time it will be obvious the same is happening with the yankees.

    when jeter and rivera retire, it will be the end of yankee home grown stars until the yankees get a new management that realizes it’s players that drive the game and not management.

    trading montero was no accident. way better from cashman’s point of view to trade him before too many more fans cared about him. montero would have been a nightmare for cashman to deal with.
    pineda? piece of cake. he’s new . no one is attached to him. he’s humble. very malleable.

    montero. too full of himself. knows he ‘s good. he would have made cashman pay. can’t have that.

  30. blake February 18th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Randy,

    as always….an interesting take…..I don’t agree with any of it….but an interesting take :)

  31. randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    blake-

    i thought i’d send up a trial ballon and see how it played

    i’ll work on it as time goes on :)

  32. blake February 18th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Randy,

    I think they did it more for baseball reasons…..baseball reasons I don’t agree with necessarily…..but I do think they made the trade because they felt it made the team better. As Ive said before….hopefully they are right.

  33. stuckey February 18th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Pardon me while I go put on my tinfoil hat…

  34. randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    i could make a case that what made the red sox implode was the cult of management that henry, lucchino, and theo believe in.

    it’s not a stretch that the red sox do not want to be a star driven team but would rather be a management driven team.

  35. randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    “I think they did it more for baseball reasons…..baseball reasons I don’t agree with necessarily…..but I do think they made the trade because they felt it made the team better.”

    blake-

    i agree with you they meant well.

    just like the red sox management team meant well when they believed that no single player was that important and that fans would respond to winning if management beat out other managements.

    the red sox recent history of star player antagonism is pretty well known. it’s a direct result of management arrogance.

  36. randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    “Pardon me while I go put on my tinfoil hat…”

    just be careful putting your ass in a microwave then.

  37. blake February 18th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    “just like the red sox management team meant well when they believed that no single player was that important and that fans would respond to winning if management beat out other managements.”

    fans do respond to winning though….and I still think the Yankees understand what star players can do for both profit margins and the team.

    Basically I think the Yankees have been obsessed with their rotation for a few years now and were desperate to get another frontline starter more than anything else….and apparently they feel confident in the offense and confident that they can find answers there if they need to…..I’m not as confident in that area but I think that’s their thinking anyway.

  38. stuckey February 18th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    “i could make a case that what made the red sox implode was the cult of management that henry, lucchino, and theo believe in.”

    You could and no one could stop you.

    I’m going with the 5.84 ERA in September.

  39. randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    “fans do respond to winning though”

    but did the red sox keep winning with their management as the star philosophy?

    it takes time for a seemingly reasonable philosophy to play out.

    i’m saying straight out that red sox management played hard ball with it’s star players and it came back and bit them.

    notice that the best player is a hired gun. that’s how it works with these kinds of managements. adrian gonzalez has the cash , but no power the way a jeter has power with the yankees.

    the red sox will not develop superstars. they will buy them. same with the yankees.
    they are much less trouble that way.

  40. Stoneburner February 18th, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    cashman will never develop an awesome young player because he’ll have too much clout.

    **********

    Oh total BS – Cano fits that very definition – and DRob potentially has the chance to be a very heir to the closer throne. To say nothing of Nova and other young prospects coming.

    And the stars developed in the 90s – they counter the very definition of the kind star you want – Bernie was humble – the Anti-Kelly/Hall/Ruben Rivera; Jeter and Posada – quiet strength and lead by example.

    Your view of the Yankees is biased by your disappointment of Montero not being in pinestripes – that view is based on raw, temper tantrum disappointment – not reason, logic, or facts. . . .

  41. stuckey February 18th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    “notice that the best player is a hired gun. that’s how it works with these kinds of managements. adrian gonzalez has the cash , but no power the way a jeter has power with the yankees.

    “the red sox will not develop superstars. they will buy them.”

    This is a great narrative.

    Only problem is the Red Sox best player last season by a considerable margin was Ellsbury and their best pitcher is Lester.

    I’m going to be magnanimous and not even mention Pedroia.

  42. m February 18th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Kuroda sounds like a very loyal guy. Wherever he is, he’s all-in.

  43. blake February 18th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Randy,

    I don’t think we can draw those conclusions just because they traded Montero….the Yankees have clearly placed the most emphasis on player development recently that they have in years…..

  44. GreenBeret7 February 18th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    JeffPassan Jeff Passan
    The youngest player in camp this year is Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. He was born Dec. 2, 1992. Oldest is Jamie Moyer. He was born 3 B.C.

  45. blake February 18th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    the Core of the Sox team is all from their farm system, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Youkalis, Lester, formerly Papelbon……the Yankees best player is also from their farm system in addition to many other key pieces.

  46. pat February 18th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Where does Cano play into that philosophy?

  47. Stoneburner February 18th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    but did the red sox keep winning with their management as the star philosophy?

    ********

    This is so laughable – the Yankees practically reinvented management as the star philosophy in the 70s w/ Steinbrenner – he was always just as big a story as his players and managers – and for better or worse – his wallet played a significant role in the 7 championships since 1977. . . .

  48. m February 18th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Jeter is a generational player. Other teams have had trouble developing Jeter’s, too.

  49. m February 18th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Moyer? I had forgotten Russell Branyan, too.

  50. blake February 18th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Ken Davidoff Ken Davidoff @KenDavidoff
    Follow

    #Yankees have been negotiating extensively with reps for Raul Ibanez. An agreement seems very likely, after Burnett trade gets done.

    blah

  51. 108 stitches February 18th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Burnett’s parting words, “Which way to yellow brick road ?”

  52. randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    “Where does Cano play into that philosophy?”

    he wasn’t expected to be a star based on minor league numbers.

    he snuck by and now he’s a problem.

    it’s going to take a lot to sign him long term.

  53. randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    ” Ellsbury, Pedroia, Youkalis, Lester, formerly Papelbon”

    just give it time to watch how red sox “stars” are treated.

    not a single one will stay there.

  54. randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    “Bernie was humble ”

    real humble when he went to the red sox and held the yankees baseballs to the fire.

  55. Ghostwriter February 18th, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    randy l. February 18th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    “Bernie was humble ”

    real humble when he went to the red sox and held the yankees baseballs to the fire.
    ==========

    Your point being?

  56. smurfy February 18th, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Such politics of business sound variously credible. The Jeter negotiation was awkward, to say the least. But my hope is that Cashman et al operate on the (my) belief that the best team pulls hard together. Stars need be humble, submit to team needs, or they break team morale.

    So, I appreciated Kuroda-san’s expressions of loyalty, determination and confidence. He articulated every point more pithily than I am here. I hope he pitches the basebarr as well.


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