â†µAndy Martino in the Philadephia Inquirer has a report that Park really wanted to stay in Philly, and was taken aback when the team pulled the plug on his contract negotiations to instead sign Danys Baez and Jose Contreras. â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥One potential reason for the Phils' lack of aggressiveness in bidding for Park was manager Charlie Manuel's view that the righthander was not always willing to pitch through minor injuries. In complimenting Baez and Contreras last month as pitchers who would never refuse to take the ball, Manuel was likely offering tacit criticism of Park. â†µâ‡¥â†µNow here's the most interesting thing: according to reports, including this in the Express-Times just last week, Park was offered a $3.25-million deal from Philadelphia earlier in the off-season but balked, if you pardon the expression, in hopes of finding a starting gig. Now comes the report after signing with the Yankees for just $1.2 million that he wanted to stay with the Phillies all along. In fact, when Martino asked if he was excited to be a Yankee – you know, the team that won the World Series over the Phillies – Park seemed indifferent. â†µ
â†µâ‡¥"I was disappointed in what he said," Park said. "That's what he thinks, but I don't think it has any meaning. He still is my favorite manager. I didn't talk to him, and I didn't believe it" when he first heard about the comments. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µâ‡¥"We'll see," he said, shrugging. â†µâ†µThat's not exactly what Park is telling the New York media, as the NY Post follows a quote from an excited Brian Cashman talking about the depth Park brings to the bullpen with this line from Park: â†µ
â†µâ‡¥"It's an honor to be with the Yankees," said Park, who threw off flat ground and will throw a bullpen session today. "It wasn't an easy decision. A lot of teams [asked]. I had fun last year." â†µâ†µThe Phillies and Yankees face off in Grapefruit League action this Thursday in the first of five spring training games between the two World Series clubs. Let's hope Park doesn't get confused about which locker room to use.â†µ
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