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Zack Greinke: ‘I could play for the worst team if they paid the most’

Zack-Greinke-DodgersMore often than not, professional athletes who sign lucrative contracts try to convince us that their decision was not strictly about money. That can be true in some situations, but money is usually the driving force. Dollars and cents were what motivated Zack Greinke to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the right-hander isn’t afraid to admit it.

“It’s obviously the No. 1 thing,” Greinke told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. “I could play for the worst team if they paid the most. … If the last-place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I’m going to go for the $200-million no matter what team it was.”

He also told Heyman that he wasn’t going to lie about it because he’s a bad liar and forgets the lies he told even if he tries. Greinke, who signed a six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers, said his decision came down to LA and the Texas Rangers. While the Rangers reportedly offered over $100 million as well, they weren’t willing to include an opt-out clause after three years. Ideally, that opt out clause will allow Greinke to earn even more money.

“The worst comment in the world has got to be when a guy who’s getting $100 million says he wants to ‘take care of my family,'” Greinke added.

His point was that people should be able to take care of their families just as well with a $50 million contract as they would with $100 million. They just want more money if they’re capable of earning it, but who doesn’t?

Does that mean Greinke doesn’t care about winning? Not exactly. It’s easy for him to look back and say he would have signed with a terrible team if they offered more money, because it’s all relative for the most part. Terrible teams tend to not have as much money, which is why they aren’t as good in the first place. LA and Texas are both places that offer the potential to win. Personally, I admire Greinke’s honesty. Whether it has to do with a contract or exploring pompous ways to get to the stadium, it’s nice to hear a professional athlete who is willing to be a straight shooter.

Fist pound to Big League Stew

Zack Greinke hates traffic, looked into taking a helicopter to Dodger Stadium

Zack-Greinke-DodgersPrior to 2012, Zack Greinke had never really pitched in a big city. Aside from some starts on the road, during which he took a team bus to the stadium, the 29-year-old has likely did not have to battle traffic all that often while pitching in places like Kansas City and Milwaukee. Now, $158 million has brought him to one of the most popular cities in America.

If all goes to plan, Greinke will have to attend 82 home games at Dodger Stadium with the Los Angeles Dodgers this season. That will likely mean sitting in a lot of traffic on the way to the ballpark, which is something the right-hander has been dreading so much that he looked into alternatives. Like, for example, helicopter travel.

“I did. I looked into it but I don’t think you can land at the stadium,” Greinke told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “It’s not as easy as it sounds.”

Greinke probably got a little taste of the California traffic while pitching with the Los Angeles Angels last season, but now he is stuck with it. If Magic Johnson and company really want to make their new ace comfortable, they might want to toss a helicopter pad somewhere near the stadium. They’ve spent enough money since taking over in an attempt to build a contender. What’s a few more bucks?

Then again, Greinke could always be like this NBA star and ride his bicycle to home games. That would help ease some of the traffic burden.

H/T Big League Stew

Zack Greinke had last name misspelled on back of jersey (Picture)

Zack Greinke pitched the first several innings of Sunday’s Angels-Rangers game with his last name misspelled on the back of his jersey.

As you can see in the screen shot above provided by Mock Session, Greinke’s last name was misspelled “Grienke.” After the mistake was pointed out, the Angels fixed things and Greinke returned with a jersey that had his last name spelled properly, but he still pitched for about an hour before that issue was solved prior to the bottom of the 5th inning.

The jersey may have brought him some bad luck. Greinke had his worst outing in five weeks, allowing four runs over the first three innings after going seven consecutive starts without allowing more than two runs. When it was pointed out that the Rangers scored all their runs off Greinke when his jersey had his name misspelled, he had a funny response.

“That’s right,” Greinke said according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Reigster. “We’d have won much easier if it wasn’t for him.”

How did he end up wearing a jersey with his name misspelled?

“I didn’t notice. I didn’t care,” said Greinke, who admitted it probably his fault because he reached into his locker for his second jersey rather than wearing the one hanging in front for him, Plunkett reports.

It was that sort of mistake that resulted in Greinke having a wardrobe malfunction with the Brewers last year.

Believe it or not, this sort of mistake actually happens quite frequently.

Angels trade for Zack Greinke, give up Jean Segura, Ariel Pena, Johnny Hellweg

The Angels are proving once again that they will do almost anything to build a World Series contender.

The team reportedly has agreed to a trade with the Brewers that sends Zack Greinke to Anaheim in exchange for Jean Segura, Ariel Pena, and Johnny Hellweg — three strong prospects in the Angels’ system (more on each player below). That’s a big price for the Angels to pay for someone who will be a free agent after the season.

Greinke, who won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award, is making $13.5 million this season and turned down an offer for over $100 million from the Brewers this month. CBS’ Jon Heyman reported that the Angels were high on Greinke’s list along with the Cardinals and Braves, so that bodes well for the Angels’ chances of re-signing him after the season.

The Rangers, Braves, and White Sox were also in the mix for Greinke, but the Angels won the deal. The other teams can still trade for Josh Johnson and James Shields who are also on the market.

The trade represents the failed pursuits by the Brewers. Two years ago they went all-in by trading for Zack Greinke and Shawn Marcum with the hopes of making one final run at a World Series before losing Prince Fielder to free agency. They gave it their best shot and made it to the NLCS last season before losing to the eventual champion Cardinals.

They gave up Brett Lawrie (to Toronto), Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odirizzi to get Greinke and Marcum. They have an NLCS appearance and three prospects in return to show for it.

The Angels are currently a wild card team in the American League and seemed a step below the Yankees and Rangers. With Greinke, they have the best playoff pitching rotation in the American League, and one that can help them shut down such powerful offenses. They already proved in the offseason they were committed to making a World Series run by signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, so why not take an extra step to solidify the rotation like they did? I love the move for Anaheim, even if they are giving up some good players in return.

Let’s take a look at each prospect in detail:

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Zack Greinke ejected after spiking baseball in first inning (Video)

Zack Greinke was ejected in the first inning of Saturday’s Brewers-Astros game after spiking a ball following a close call at first base.

With a runner on third, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve hit a ground ball in between first and second to score the run. First baseman Corey Hart made a diving stop to field it and tossed to Greinke who raced to first. Greinke touched the bag at the same time as Altuve, so first base umpire Sam Holbrook called Altuve safe.

Greinke turned around and spiked the ball, likely because he was frustrated with the call and/or giving up the run (Carlos Gomez misplayed a ball in center to give Jordan Schaefer a triple to lead off the game). Holbrook immediately ejected Greinke, who had only faced two batters and thrown four pitches.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke came out to discuss the call with Holbrook and was ejected for arguing.

The questionable ejection put the Brewers in a horrible spot because it meant the bullpen would have to pitch almost the entire game. It also came at a bad time for Milwaukee as Greinke is being mentioned in trade talks, and the quick ejection prevented interested teams from being able to see him pitch.

It’s also worth mentioning that Holbrook is part of umpire Joe West’s crew, which is notorious for questionable calls.

Here’s a video of Greinke talking about the ejection after the game. He says he was mad at himself for making a mental mistake on the play:

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Zack Greinke’s Wife Was Not Happy with Her NLCS Seats in St. Louis

The dislike between the Cardinals and Brewers was evident throughout the season and it carried into the NLCS. One of the off-field issues between the teams involved the location of the family section seats in St. Louis. The Brewers were unhappy that the tickets for family members were spread throughout Busch Stadium. Nyjer Morgan reportedly felt it was a “bush league” move by the Cardinals. One person who agreed was Zack Greinke’s wife, who was dissatisfied with her seat.

Following Milwaukee’s Game 5 loss in St. Louis, Emily Greinke wrote on Twitter “Thanks Cards for the lovely seats in the outfield! I hope our behind home plate seats for you mysteriously disappear!”

The photo above accompanied her tweet, so her seat was apparently down the left field line.

The seat problems were said to be a non-issue after Game 3, but obviously that wasn’t the case. I can understand why the Brewers would want to receive equal treatment for their family members on the road. But between Emily’s complaint, and Zack’s pre-series comments about Chris Carpenter, I’m sure Brewers fans have had enough talk from the Greinkes. There is no doubt the Cardinals got the last laugh.

Chest bump to Busted Coverage

Zack Greinke Wears Brewers’ Sunday ‘Bierbrauer’ Jersey on Saturday

Milwaukee pitcher Zack Greinke made a pinch-hit appearance Saturday for the Brewers. Greinke put down a sacrifice bunt in the fifth that moved Jonathan Lucroy over to second. As odd as it was to see a pitcher pinch hit, what was stranger was seeing Greinke wear a different jersey from everyone else:

The Outside Corner explains that Greinke was wearing the “Bierbrauers” uniform which the Brewers have set aside for German Heritage Day at Miller Park on Sunday. Nobody knows if Greinke wore the jersey on purpose or by accident, but now we know what to look forward to Sunday (in addition to the Craig Counsell bobblehead). Hey, at least this time the jersey screw up was a players’ fault and not the equipment manager’s.

Thanks to Hardball Talk for the story