You were negotiating with the San Francisco Giants on a contract before accepting the Anaheim Angels' offer. What was the driving factor?
There's a big difference between driving one hour and flying -- going to the airport and heading up to San Francisco. That's nothing against the Giants, I have nothing but respect for that front office and the way they do business.
They treat people on an even level when they get their cards on the table. This is the second time that I've been right there with San Francisco and it didn't happen, but it's the business of baseball. I'm very happy with where I'm at, and I feel like this is a really, really great place here.
Was there a point where you were close with the Giants?
Oh yeah, we've been talking for quite some time. Leading up to the arbitration deadline, the Giants and Detroit were really close. We decided to wait until the deadline, and then Anaheim jumped out of the pack. Both deals up there were very close, but I felt for me and my family that it was better to take this one. I couldn't think of any greater place to play than Southern California.
Did the fact that the Dodgers failed to offer you arbitration taint the time you spent with them last season?
No, as a player you have to separate the business side of baseball from the field side. It does make you scratch your head and wonder (Finley smiles), but like I said, it's funny how baseball works. I'm extremely happy to be here. I'm still in L.A., I'm just wearing a different color.
You would have to say there's a certain Southern California pride in your recent career, wouldn't you?
Yeah, you have to take a lot of pride in what you do out on the field. It starts in spring training and goes through your preparations for the winter. I feel like every year I'm getting a little bit better, and if every year I get little bit better, then I'll have a place in this game. I'm pushing 40 when the season starts, but Satchel Paige had the best comment: "How old could you be if you don't know how old you are?" I don't know any way to say it better than that.
The Angels outfield should be quite a force to be reckoned with, with Vladimir Guerrero, Garret Anderson and yourself.
That's what I'm counting on. Hopefully, I'll be a part of great things that'll happen.
Q & A with Angels CF Steve Finley
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