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Quote of the Day: Phil Hughes is adjusting to leaving New York behind

Jan 25, 2014, 9:58 AM EDT

Phil Hughes Getty Getty Images

This quote is actually from Thursday night, but it’s too good to ignore.

Phil Hughes, who signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Twins in December, was in town for the team’s annual awards banquet at Target Field and was asked for his thoughts on leaving New York behind. Per Pat Borzi of Sports on Earth, Hughes had a pretty good line:

“It was nice to get out of town. A change is nice sometimes. I think at certain points of your career, you’re ready for that.” He added: “Everybody here has been nice to me. It’ll take a little getting used to.”

Maybe his teammates should boo him incessantly during spring training. You know, just to make sure he’s comfortable.

  1. vallewho - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    That’s some funny ish…

  2. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Watch him contend for the CY. Just ‘cuz

    • twinfan24 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      I wish you were right, but I’d settle for 30 starts and him at least giving the team a chance to win in 24 of them.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:25 PM


        wow, man, you need a hug you miserable sack of sheet!
        have a nice day buddy.

    • djpostl - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      That ball park will help mitigate his flyball tendencies but it won’t do much to chaange the fact his secodnary pitches are nothng more than the “show me” variety.

      He’ll still be an average pitcher, at best. I’m betting on just “not quite as bad as he was in New York” though.

    • mmeyer3387 - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      Hughes is not necessarily a bad pitcher, but never to be confused with being a true # 1. That being said, he has some upside and may be a late bloomer. Clearly he is a fly ball pitcher and is better suited to pitch in a bigger ball park, which the Twins have. In addition, getting out of NY’s small ball park and lime light maybe what he needs.

  3. thebadguyswon - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    If I left the Yankees, I’d be relieved too, right after I bathed in hot water and chlorine to get the scum off.

    • happytwinsfan - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      ah don’t be hating on the yankees. we need them to whomp on us nine times out of ten with their humongous payroll, because it’s so sweet when the tables turn once a decade or so and we whomp on them. like curly said when he was asked why he bangs his head against the wall, “because it feels so good when i stop.”

      • anxovies - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        And if the Pohland family would just dig down a little deeper in those humongous pockets and pull out some more of that money that you and the other fans give them and put it back in the team you might find yourself feeling good a lot more often.

      • happytwinsfan - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:19 PM



      • fanofevilempire - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        nice one happy!

    • kershawtom75 - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      I understand how you feel nitwit, rooting for an also ran team every year. INSANITY.

      • thebadguyswon - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:53 PM

        You guys troll so easily.

    • donniebiggest - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      Sounds like you mght be the biggest scumbag around.

  4. johnnycantread - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    A lot less pressure playing in Minnesota.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Good kid, I wish Phil the best, thanks for 2009.

      • djpostl - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        Yup. He is a good guy and he was a big part of that 2009 WS win so I don’t wish him any ill will, just happy all those flyballs-turned-into-HRs aren’t in the rotation anymore.

  5. zzalapski - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Other things Hughes will have to get used to:
    – Being on the short end of 3-1 and 4-2 games, thanks to the Twins’ popgun offense.
    – Being able to plan fall family outings as soon as July.

    But he’s got his money, so good for him.

    • paperlions - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      2013 wRC+

      Twins- 92 – 21st in MLB

      Yankees- 83 – 28th in MLB

      • zzalapski - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        I’m guessing you accidentally hit “reply” before you completed the comparison over the length of Hughes’ career, so I did it for you.

        2012 wRC+: Yankees 113 (T-1st), Twins 96 (T-14th)
        2011 wRC+: Yankees 113 (2nd), Twins 83 (29th)
        2010 wRC+: Yankees 112 (1st), Twins 107 (3rd)
        2009 wRC+: Yankees 117 (1st), Twins 104 (5th)
        2008 wRC+: Yankees 104 (6th), Twins 99 (12th)
        2007 wRC+: Yankees 119 (1st), Twins 91 (23rd)

        Last year was an aberration for the Yankees’ offense. Not so much for the Twins’.

      • paperlions - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Nope, the point was that he already had a year to get used to it. With the Twins prospects coming up, there is a good chance their offense will be as good or better than the AARP Yankee attack very soon, maybe not in 2014, but soon.

        The names they brought in are nice names, but they are all old guys, some of them well past their prime, others just on the back side of it.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Except the Yankees have brought all the elements of the aberration back.

      • zzalapski - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        McCann replaces Stewart at C. Ellsbury and Beltran replaces Granderson and Suzuki. They get a full season of Soriano over Hafner. Hopefully Teixeira and Jeter are recovered sufficiently, but let’s call that a push compared to last year to be conservative. Going from Cano and A-Rod to Roberts and Johnson are downgrades, obviously, but they still got rid of a lot of flotsam. They won’t rank behind the Twins again, of that I’m certain.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        I think the offense will be about the same this year as last year. The loss of Cano is huge. He was their best hitter last year, by far.

        And the new guys they signed as rather old or injury-prone. The only real upgrade — not cancelled out by something else — is at catcher. And as great as McCann is, here is a list of his games played for the last four years, with the most recent year first: 102, 121, 128, 143. So it’s reasonable to think that they’ll get 120 games out of him. No upgrade for the other 42 games, though.

      • anxovies - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        Another reason why SABR tells you little unless you are playing fantasy baseball. In my fantasy a Yankee team severely crippled by injuries had been moved the AL Central in 2013, and won the Division over Detroit. My fantasy tells me that if NY could win 85 games in the East it would have won 9 more in the Central Division. The Twins, now in the Central Division, might have managed 50 wins or so.

      • anxovies - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        Correction: “The Twins, now in the East, might have managed 50 wins or so.”

  6. barrywhererufrom - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Hey Phil you pitched like crap and joe girardi kept running you out there. Gotta love an athlete who wants us to feel sorry for them. I am sorry yankee fans booed when you let up three run homeruns. Now go grow a beard and pitch meaningless games in the twin cities…

    • alexo0 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      How’s that different from all the meaningless games he pitched in NYC last year? :)

      • barrywhererufrom - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Let’s see. The Yankees were eliminated with one week left in the season last year the twins were eliminated in May.also Phil actually pitched I the playoffs and world series with the Yankees. I don’t see that on the horizon with the Twinkies any time soon.

  7. djdvd - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Why do I feel like a bad version of Obi-Wan when I think about Phil’s career in NY and him leaving?


    Hope it still works out for him.

    • anxovies - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      If only Yoda could have taught him to be left-handed and throw low in the zone.

      • bigharold - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        If only Yoda had taught him a “put away pitch”.

        I liked Hughes, he tried hard and when he failed he took responsibility for poor performance. That said, I think his fastball is a tad too pedestrian to be a starter, especially in Yankee stadium. If he had stayed with he Yankees it should have been as either the set up man or closer. When he wasn’t pacing himself and reared back, his fastball was a decent put away pitch.

        Hail and Fare Well Phil.

  8. indaburg - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    I grew up in NYC. First time I visited Augusta, Maine, people, strangers, smiled at me and said, “Good morning” and “Hello.” I was like Wtf? I was confused. I honestly didn’t know strangers did this. Being nice to strangers in NYC can get you killed. Although disconcerting at first, it grew to be… nice. Pleasant. Hughes just needs to be reprogrammed.

    • peymax1693 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      LOL. I grew up in Bergen County NJ but moved to the Berkshires for work. I had the same culture shock. Even after I would tell people I was a Yankee fan, they were still nice to me.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      people don’t like you indaburg, sad but true.

      • indaburg - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM


        Look up the Freudian term: “projection.”
        Nobody likes you. I’ve done scientific polling of a representative sample of the population, and it’s true. Not even the weird guy who picks his nose and eats the snot. Not even him. So, so sad. (I know you are, but what am I?)

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:39 PM

        I like her. Rather better than I like you, fan. You’re a ditz.

  9. sadtwinsfan - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    welcome to the Minnie Apple.

  10. nymets4ever - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    I think he’ll reclaim his career in Minnesota. Not saying he’ll be an ace, but I do think he’ll become a solid, reliable mid-rotation guy for them, ERA in the high 3s.

  11. deathmonkey41 - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Perhaps he wouldn’t have got booed in NY if he hadn’t become a batting practice pitcher on the mound.

  12. peymax1693 - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Phil, did it ever occur to you that if you had actually pitched better people would have been nice to you?

  13. pisano - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    The Yankees were overly patient with him, the guy just doesn’t have the make up to be anything but a back of the rotation pitcher. He gives up too many HR’s especially in the AL, I think he would have had a better chance in the NL, but he didn’t go that route. Good luck to him.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      They weren’t patient; they just didn’t have a better option. There’s a huge difference.

      • pisano - Jan 25, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        I’ll go along with that.

  14. themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    I wonder if the performances of pitchers like Chamberlian & Hughs are a reflection of NY’s scouting and development program? This isn’t a team that creates their own heroes often. With one or two notable exceptions, they seem to prefer to import them, fully formed after they’ve been buffed to high shine by other organizations. Its an expensive and wasteful way to run a ballclub, but frankly, The NYY have the $$ to operate like this. It means that otherwise excellent players will have to go elsewhere to make the most of their talent. Places that make use of of coaches and trainers who are mandated to developing them and supporting them through their inevitable struggles. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Joba Chamberlain goes on to be an excellent pitcher for someone else as does Hughes. AJ Burnett certainly did.

    The Yankees have a chance to develop Michael Pineda’s talent, providing he can come back from shoulder injury, but I suspect they’ll trade him away. That tends to be their pattern.

    • peymax1693 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      While you have a point about the Yankees often failing to show patience with prospects, I don’t think this applies to their treatment of Hughes and Chamberlain. Hughes came up in 2006 and Chamberlain came up in 2007. How many years were the Yankees supposed to give each player to show that they could live up to their potential?

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        Its not a matter of patience. Its a matter of development. I’m wondering if their development staff (trainers, coaches, therapists) are just lousy at their jobs?

        I’ve had teachers and professors like this. Excellent instructors if their students are excellent at being students. Terrible with those who struggle in some way.

        That latter group, of whom I’m one, then go on to meet a gifted teacher (or perhaps one or two who are just competent) get some much needed help, and suddenly develop successful students seemingly out of nowhere.

        The NYY are outstanding with excellent players. They import them. They rarely develop them.

      • barrywhererufrom - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        @the many..Robbie Cano..Dave Robertson..Ivan nova..Brett Gardner all were developed through th Yankees farm system. I won’t even include Jeter Madison and Pettitte. Hughes and Jobs had their moments of success in New York. Hughes was invaluable member of the 09 bullpen. Phil’s stuff gets stale as a starter. Always thought his future could be in the bullpen. Joba pitched well at times. He fell in love with his secondary pitches and never trusted his stuff. A change of scenery may help both players. But to say the Yankees don’t develop players is kind of silly.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        As I said, I’m wondering based on Hughes and Chamberlain. They have had their moments. But I still think when they have a player that struggles, they have problems getting the most out of that player.

    • happytwinsfan - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      i don’t know enough to have an opinion on whether or not the yankees are good or bad at developing talent, but their inclination to import talent is what i love and hate about them. the rest of us might resent their ability to buy success, but we should admire their willingness to do so.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        The Yankees ability to maintain a high payroll is a reflection of geography. They play in the biggest media market in the country, and they only have to divide it with one other team. If baseball were more of a free market, then a few other teams would move into NYC to take their cut of it. Look at English soccer: there are five clubs in London — Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham, Fulham and Chelsea. Reading is on the outskirts of the city. And thus the most dominant team isn’t located in the biggest city; cities like Liverpool and Manchester compete for the most expensive players and compete for the championships.

        The comparison is hardly perfect. Heck, I don’t know enough about England or the EPL to know these things without looking it up on google. But the Yankees’ dominance is a reflection of geography, not management.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        Yankees = Man U

        so because of geography they win championships?

      • f.verd - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        Yankee fan for more than 60 years, and I have to say that I have long complained about development of players – especially hitters – at the major league level. K Long got a lot of mileage out of Granderson’s hitting (homers, lefties…), but even that reached a point of diminishing returns. As far as I am concerned, he seemed to spin gold into straw. Look at the lineups the last few years, and all the batting averages plummet consistently… As for Hughes, nice guy who couldn’t seem to get past strike two. Foul ball, foul ball, ball, foul ball, hit. If it was a fly ball, home run. He always said he was working on another pitch, but he never brought it out in a game… Good Luck, Phil.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      google Gene Michaels, the core four and add Bernie who was here already.

      the argument the Yankees can’t scout is ridiculous.

      and then check some of the guys the Yankees traded away.

      then you can apologize for you incorrect.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        Actually, no I won’t. You are too much a ditz to bother with.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        thanks, your name explains it all.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        Google what year it is. Honestly — you’re holding out Bernie Williams as an example of the Yankees’ ability to find talent recently?

        Take a look at the Cardinals’ roster, and how it was assembled. THAT’S amateur scouting.

    • bigharold - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:55 PM

      “Its an expensive and wasteful way to run a ballclub, ..”

      Not really, .. it’s the Yankees business model. Win mow has always been the imperative. In a city like St Louis or Atlanta their teams are they only game in town. In NY not only are there the Mets but there are literally dozens of other things completing for New Yorkers attention and money. GMSlll realized that and tried mightily to win every year regardless of the cost and frankly the results speak for themselves. The Yankees sign free agents, win a lot of games and consequently lose draft picks or draft low regularly. They have the resources and it’s been working, .. generally. But, that also gives one insight as to why they don’t develop more of their own talent.

      Hughes and Chamberlain, through no fault of their own had high, and in Chamberlain’s case insanely high, expectations placed upon them. In Hughes case it seems the issue is that he either couldn’t or wouldn’t develop a put away pitch and his fastball while decent was a little pedestrian, a little too straight. In 2009, when they put him in the pen he didn’t have to pace himself he reared back and threw his fastball regularly in the mid 90s. With his other pitches, that hitters had to respect, he was a much more effective pitcher. Chamberlain was a victim not of Yankee development but marketing, .. they heaped expectations on him Bob Gibson couldn’t have met. It would have helped had they not bounced him from the pen to the rotation and back to the pen but had he better stuff he would’ve never been in the pen after the 2007 season. Had he better stuff, he would have eventually made it out of the pen even after 2008. Also, he didn’t help himself with some of his comments and his perceived demeanor, which again wasn’t really his fault. And, all the crap he got from his ankle injury was just plain BS, .. totally uncalled for. He was playing with his toddler son it wasn’t as if he got his ass kicked in a strip club at 2 AM. That entire episode said a lot more about the media covering the Yankees and their predisposition towards him than anything, .. they couldn’t wait to hammer the guy. Funny, Mariano River blows a save shakes it off and forgets about it and he the ultimate professional. Chamberlain has a poor outing and tries to put in behind him and he’s just a jerk that doesn’t care.

      New York is a difficult place to pay due to the media. Not every player will thrive in New York for just that reason and I think that’s part of it too. Hughes seemed to handle it better than Chamberlain but I think both will be better off with a change. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they see more success elsewhere. I, personally, hope they both do great in the careers except when they play the Yankees.

  15. barrywhererufrom - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Lived my whole life in nyc..the rep of nastiness is way overrated. We cant say hi to everyone who.passes because their are too many on one we,are as nice or rude as anyone buddy else..fughetaboutit

    • 18thstreet - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      Attention everyone: BarryWhereUFrom is giving us a lesson on manners. We should all listen to him.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      barry, Born in Staten Island and shipped to Brooklyn three days later and never left, worked in Manhattan all my life and I always help out visitors to our city. I agree with what you said, too bad people have this idea we are bad people, they must run into people who relocate to NYC
      and bring the bad behavior from where the left.

  16. tfbuckfutter - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Come on Phil. You can bash the Yankees but you don’t have to rub it in their faces by growing a beard instead of the gay porn mustaches management insists on for whatever reason.

  17. eatitfanboy - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    They’re only being nice to you because you haven’t started pitching for their team yet.

  18. crashdog - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    You guys are missing the point. At 28, he was well under the Yankees player age limitation. He was on the wrong side of 30 for the Yanks to sign as a free agent

  19. lazlosother - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    I remember my first visit to NYC. We were there from upstate NY on a field trip. As we got off the bus mid-street, a taxi up-street pulled up to a red light. The taxi went through an enormous puddle and soaked several pedestrians. One took exception and jumped through the open passenger window to fight the cabbie. It was quite a scene. We were rubes and just stood there agape, taking it all in. We were treated extremely well by the restaurants and businesses we visited. Great trip.

    I don’t wish Phil any evil, but unless he develops a decent third pitch he’s toast. His fastball and slider are good, but there isn’t a lot of speed differential between the two. He needs something off speed, a curve or change-up. Watch him, he gets to 0-2 and then ends up losing the hitter often enough to drive you crazy. The lack of a put-away pitch not only results in people on base but raises his pitch count tremendously. He needs a good third pitch and until he develops one he will fail no matter where he pitches.

  20. hardkor07mn - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Hey barrywhererufrom:
    Boston called and said your ring is ready!

  21. barrywhererufrom - Jan 25, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    HEY hardkor have six of them…in my lifetime. If you had six as a sux fan you would have be at least 115 ..I am only 45..remember we don’t miss the playoffs after winning world series like the sux..we reload for another ring.

  22. castaluccio - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Everybody has been so nice to him in Minnesota because he hasn’t pitched a game for them. As for NY, they pay and they expect you to ‘play’ and produce when you do.
    I hope he does well away from the pressure cooker that is NY and the Yankees in particular. That said, now, he has to produce because no matter how nice the Twins are, they expect a return on their money and 2 wins for a season is not a return.

  23. hardkor07mn - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Hey Barry: When you buy your rings it’s not the same as producing a team that competes on a 1/4 of the payroll.
    At one point in time the Yankees had more money in the left side of the infield as the whole twins team. In my mind it just goes to show that you can’t just buy a championship. It’s been awhile since the Yankees have done anything.

  24. hardkor07mn - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    Also Barry if you read my name, I’m a Twins fan. Not a Red Sox fan. Can’t stand them to be honest with you, but I posted that because you were all over the twins for signing Hughes. He might actually stand a chance in a ballpark that routine fly balls aren’t home runs. Yankee stadium is a joke for any pitcher that isn’t a ground ball pitcher. There is a reason that Granderson can hit almost 50 HRs a year there. Unless him and A-rod have the same Dr.?

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