All the Top Pictures, Quotes from Zack Greinke's Dodgers Press Conference
The Los Angeles Dodgers introduced the newest member of the team on Tuesday afternoon.
Zack Greinke, with a freshly-signed six-year, $147 million contract in tow, was the guest of honor at Dodger Stadium. Greinke is expected to team with Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to form a potent 1-2 punch at the top of the starting rotation.
Here are some pictures and quotes from Greinke, as well as from Magic Johnson and general manager Ned Colletti.
Note: Quotes transcribed from press conference via dodgers.com
Magic Johnson Explains Signing of Zack Greinke
In his opening remarks, Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson explained the Zack Greinke signing in the simplest of terms.
"We missed the playoffs, so now we're spending all the money to make it not happen again."
With the signing of Greinke, the Dodgers will likely have the highest single-season payroll in baseball history.
Magic Johnson and Money
At one point during the question-and-answer period of the press conference, Magic Johnson was asked if money was no object in the Los Angeles Dodgers' offseason plans.
Johnson made his answer short and sweet.
"I can answer that real quick and let Zack get back," Johnson said.
"We wanna win."
Doesn't get much more succinct than that.
Magic Johnson: Why We Went After Zack Greinke
Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson, during his opening remarks, also talked about the Dodgers' strategy during the offseason.
Johnson essentially said that Zack Greinke was priority.
"He's the one we wanted," Johnson said.
The Dodgers made sure no one else would be in play.
Greinke and His New Dodgers Jersey
Zack Greinke was offered the No. 21 jersey by Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.
Juan Rivera wore No. 21 last season.
Greinke has worn No. 23 for most of his career; however, Adrian Gonzalez now owns that number for the Dodgers.
GM Ned Colletti Focused All Efforts on Signing Greinke
Following Magic Johnson to the podium at the Dodgers' press conference to introduce Zack Greinke, Colletti said that Greinke was the focus of the Dodgers' efforts from the start of the offseason.
"As we set out this offseason to add a front line pitcher who is capable and proven, Zack was the one we zeroed in on," Colletti said.
"We are very pleased to add a second pitcher who has won a Cy Young award to this rotation and organization. We believe he brings a lot to this team and to a pitching staff that was already very good."
Zack Greinke Talks About the Importance of Being a Dodger
While the money he received in his contract was obviously of great help, new Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke also talked about why he decided to join the Dodgers.
"No. 1," he said, "was going to a team that would have a chance to win championships for several years."
Well, yes, that's what spending over a half-billion dollars on player acquisitions in the past five months is supposed to do.
In theory, that is.
Zack Greinke Shows a Lighter Side
At one point during the press conference, Zack Greinke was asked about what impressed him the most during his interviews with Dodgers management.
"I don't want to make his head too big," Greinke said, "but I thought Stan Kasten was, like, the smartest guy I ever talked to."
Kasten, one of the architects of the great Atlanta Braves' teams of the 1990s, was not in attendance.
Final Thoughts and Analysis
The addition of Zack Greinke certainly puts the Los Angeles Dodgers in play for the 2013 season in terms of a postseason berth.
But it doesn't guarantee anything.
The Dodgers will now have a rotation that features Clayton Kershaw, Greinke, Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano.
However, Billingsley and Lilly are both coming back from significant injuries. Harang and Capuano are likely now trade bait as well.
As of right now, the only locks for Opening Day are Kershaw, Greinke and Beckett. Beckett has had shoulder concerns in recent years as well.
The Dodgers are hoping that Billingsely can avoid Tommy John surgery, and recent reports about his progress in rehab have been promising.
Lilly had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in September and has already begun a throwing program.
Greinke's signing certainly gives the Dodgers a huge lift, but the other moving parts are still in question. Once the parts settle into place, then we can see whether or not the Dodgers have a rotation worthy of mention.
Kershaw and Greinke is absolutely a great 1-2 punch. Anytime you put two Cy Young Award winners at the top of the rotation, there is reason for optimism.
But baseball is still a game in which 25 players all play a role and a game in which 11-12 pitchers all need to contribute. It's those other nine pitchers the Dodgers need to worry about.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.
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