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December 9, 2013

Michael Hill

Jarrod Saltalamacchia


MATT ROEBUCK:  Thank everybody for coming out.  I'd like to introduce Jarrod Saltalamacchia, newest member of the Miami Marlins.  I'm going to turn this over to the president of baseball operations, Michael Hill, who will have a few words, and Jarrod will have a few words and we'll open it up for some questions, and then we'll have Q & A after that.
MICHAEL HILL:  Thank you, Matt.
First of all, I want to welcome Jarrod's family, his wife Ashley, Sidney, Hunter and Sloan, also his three daughters, and his representative Jim Munsey.
And to officially welcome Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Marlins family.  We couldn't be happier.  As we start the offseason our goal was to improve our ballclub.  And we couldn't think of a better way to do so than to start right up the middle, start behind the plate, start with a proven winner, and a leader, and that's what Jarrod Saltalamacchia represents.
So without further adieu, I'd like to introduce Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA:  I'm not much for words, so I'll keep it short.  But first of all, you know, crazy offseason.  I really want to thank my wife and kids for dealing with me through this process.  There were some nights where I wasn't happy.  There were some nights where I was really happy.  But it was an experience.  A lot of fun.
Can't thank the Marlins organization, the ownership, coaches, can't be in a better situation.  I'm excited about these young arms to be able to go out there and have them make me look good, like a lot of the pitchers did this past year.
I'm excited to get going and can't wait.

Q.  Given what happened after 2011 and 2012, is there any worry that a year from now they could be moving you somewhere?
JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA:  I was never really worried about anything but things that I can control.  I can control the way I go out there and prepare for a game.  I can control my preparation and my plan of attack of every hitter, every at‑bat.  So I was never really focused on anything other than what I can control and my teammates.  And that's kind of what you have to do to win ballgames.

Q.  How tough a call was that at the end?  Obviously the hometown angle and your family weighed heavily in this.  How much thought, how realistic was it to go to the Twins?
JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA:  I don't think the decision was too tough.  I had a lot of conversations with my family, my agent.  And this was a perfect fit.  Hometown, obviously, from the beginning they were really interested.  The Marlins made it known that I was a big part of their organization going forward and they wanted me to be a part of it.  Watching these guys on TV, all these young arms, and just getting really excited about that.
But I loved my time in Boston, I had a great time with those guys.  Still talk to them.  They're going to be friends for life.  But in this business there's always things that happen.  And like I say, I can't be any more excited than to be where I'm at and to be with a great organization.

Q.  You talked this summer about the growth process of learning the Red Sox staff and how much that helped you grow as a catcher with your effectiveness.  What will the process be like to learn these guys as soon as possible?
JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA:  Like I said earlier, I'm more excited about coming to camp.  Never been excited coming to camp and catch bullpens, but I'm more excited now to come and catch bullpens and see these young guys.
With Boston I was with a lot of veteran guys, been around the League a lot of time, know their situation, how to pitch.  You know that going into it.
This is a young core of pitchers who are still figuring themselves out.  At the same time they've dominated basically at the highest level you can possibly do it at.  I'm excited to see what these kids can do, and at the same time they're open‑minded, so I'm pretty excited.

Q.  What was your previous relationship like with Rob Leary, perhaps in Boston, are you excited to work with him again in Miami?
JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA:  Yeah, I just remember Rob not being able to walk.  He had hip issues for a long time now.
But I tell you, that's a guy you cannot put him in a bad mood.  There's no situation you can put him in where he's not excited and happy to be at a ballpark.  When you're around people like that, it can't help but just travel on to everyone else around them.  And I'm excited to get back with him.  And maybe we can get him on the mound and throw some BP.

Q.  A lot of the pitchers on the Red Sox staff had high regard for you.  A number of times during the postseason John Lackey would refer to you as "my boy."  I'm wondering how much those guys were lobbying you in the last few weeks to come back to Boston and how disappointed are you that the Red Sox didn't tack on that third year?
JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA:  I think that all the players in general, not just the pitching staff, everybody wanted the group of guys to stay together.  We had such a good chemistry.  We had so much going on that I think they all wanted us to stay together.  But they've all been through it.  They understand the business.  They understand the situation.  They don't make the calls.  Just like I don't make the calls.  The only thing I can do is put myself in a situation to have a chance to be able to have a job and be able to go play baseball.  And the Marlins have put me in a perfect situation to be able to go ahead and do that in my hometown.

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