All right, everyone, listen up! We got six hours 'til game time, and we need to spend as many of those as we can getting ready to kick some Athletic ass, so I need you all to gather round. Monty. Jesus! Put the cookies down. Michael - no, not you, the other Michael - take off the damn Birks. Robert? Has anyone seen Robert? Oh, there you are. Don't hide in the corner like that, Robert. Now everybody quiet down!
First things first: I want to congratulate you all on making it here today. For the first time in a good long while we had some fierce spring training competition this year, and those of you who are still here have all earned your places on this ballclub through outstanding performance. I look forward to working with each and every one of you.
Now I know what the media is saying, which is that we're not ready to contend. I know what the blogs and the statheads are saying, which is that we won't even finish .500. I know what Bob Melvin is saying right now, which is that his ballclub is twice the team we are. But here's what else I know: they're wrong. We are going to go out today and surprise the Athletics, and we are going to go out tomorrow and surprise them again, and we are going to go out every day for the rest of this season and do nothing but surprise. We're not the same ballclub any more. It's night and day here in the clubhouse from what it was last year, and I expect it to be night and day out on the field too.
I think we've got a real good mix this year, a real good mix of young talent and experienced veterans. We've got guys who've done it before, and guys I feel good about who are going to cut their teeth out there on this field. I like our youth, I like our power, I like our pitching, and I like our grit. I'm gonna tell you, I think this collection of twenty-five guys is as good of a roster from top to bottom as any team in baseball has right now. And today we are going to go out there and we are going to prove that on the field.
That said, I want to talk about something that's very important to me: accountability. At the end of the day you're all in this clubhouse because you performed, whether it was last year during the regular season or this year during spring training. You will stay in this clubhouse as long as you continue to perform - and no longer. You may have earned what you have now, but if you want to keep it you have to keep earning it for the rest of the season! There will be no exceptions: not for prospects, not for veterans, not for anyone. This is not a development year. This is a winning year. We are going to go out there and build a culture of winning, and we are going to bring championship baseball back to Seattle.
So here's what I want to see from you all today. I want to see professional ABs at the plate. In the field, I want you to play the game the right way: nice and clean, no errors, no showboating. On the mound, keep it calm, stay down in the zone and pump strikes in there. Don't underestimate this Oakland ballclub. Play smart, stay cool, and have fun.
All right. Felix, take the pitchers to the bullpens, do your regular warmups. Michael - no, not you other Michael, the first Michael - Jesus, change your name! No, not you, Jesus. Morse! Morse, you lead the hitters out to the batting cages. Four groups, three rotations today. Put on a show for the Oakland fans. Make their pitchers nervous. Lineup'll be posted in an hour. Five hours after that, we go beat the Athletics. Everyone with me?
Good. All right, let's go, let's get after it!