More on Freel, plus Freel on Freel
The contract is worth a total of $7 million over the two years -- $3 million '08; $4 million for '09.
Freel was Freel at the press conference: Humble, rambling, amusing and very complimentary of Josh Hamilton. Some highlights:
"I'm very happy to be where I'm at. I couldn't be in a better organization. I've said it from Day 1. I want to end my career here. This is another step closer to that."
"It's a dream come true." (he said that about 19 times).
"Reality is still setting in. I couldn't be any more happier. When I first came over here as Red, I didn't know what was going to happen in the spring. I battled. I didn't make the team out of spring. But fortunately, with the grace of God, I've been able to stick around for a few years."
"I've said it a million times, but the fans of Cincinnati have treated me . . . it's been unbelievable."
"All I can control is how hard I play on the field. I think the fans of Cincinnati respect that. I've said it before: It doesn't take talent, you don't have to be a superstar to play the game the way it's supposed to be play. It shows it came be rewarding if you do the things you're supposed to do in this game. How hard is it to run balls out and dive for a couple of balls? It's all about heart and desire. The only thing that could top this is us winning the World Series."
"The money's great. But a World Series would be better."
"We have the players here. Wayne has done a great job of getting players over here. The best one -- we really haven't seen as much people would like to see -- is Josh Hamilton. It might mean me playing more infield. I don't have a problem with that. That kid is going to help us win. He's an unbelievable player."
"I will still play the game the way it's supposed to be played. That's what people expect. They don't expect much."
Jerry Narron: "I hear from people all the time saying the love the way Ryan Freel plays. I'm tired of that. I want to say they love the way the Cincinnati Reds play."
Wayne Krivsky: "I'm not a afraid anytime -- if it makes sense to both parties. . . I like getting deals done. Put the contract aside for two years and go play."