Evan Longoria mentioned several times during Wednesday’s conference call that he needed time to organize his thoughts for a proper goodbye that would appear as an ad in today’s Tampa Bay Times. But he still had plenty to say after being traded to the Giants by the Rays.
On his reaction to being dealt:
"It’s obviously a tough day for myself and my family and for all of the friendships and relationships I’ve made over the years there.’’
On how the Rays handled the process, if he felt the Rays didn’t keep their commitment after signing him long-term?
"(General manager Erik Neander) and (team president Matt Silverman) and the front office have been very open and communicated from day one. (They) were very open to letting me go somewhere where they felt like I had the best opportunity as a player to win and also for them to be able to accomplish what they want to accomplish in trying to rebuild the franchise. I was very clear to them my hope was that if it did happen, that it would be a win for both sides.’’
On if he feels the Rays didn’t honor the commitment of signing him to a second long-term deal?
"I don’t blame them. I feel like they feel they are in a position where they need to start to make some drastic changes in order to get back to where they feel the need to be. I don’t know that they could have done it any better in terms of what they did for me, so I’m very appreciate of them for that.’’
On maintaining charitable and business relationships with the Tampa Bay community:
"Along with leaving friends on the team and staff members, that’s the hardest part. Being somewhere for 10 years, me and my family put a lot into the community, tried to do as much as we could. I think that those things that we’ve committed to are still somehow going to be ongoing relationships, whether it be with PetPal or in some way with the restaurant (Ducky’s sports grill in Tampa). All of those things, I believe that the things we’re still passionate about in the area we’ll try and stay committed to.’’
On going to the Giants, who are coming off a 98-loss season after an impressive run that included three World Series titles in six years and four playoff appearances in eight:
"The happiest part of it all is to be able to go to a place that they’ve assured me that they’re planning to win … and to get back to where they expect to be.’’