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May 10, 2010

The Week in Quotes

Week of May 3-9

by Alex Carnevale

THE NEW GUY'S PhD IN ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY WAS A TREMENDOUS ADDITION TO HIS RESUME

"Sometimes just the same message from a different messenger sometimes carries some weight, but it's certainly apparent we're not doing what we should be doing offensively."
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik after firing hitting coach Alan Cockrell. Cockrell was replaced by Mariners Triple-A hitting coach Alonzo Powell.

"Unfortunately, when things don't go the way you want it, a change needs to be made. There are eight guys hitting under .220. That can't continue and you have to start somewhere. Alan is the guy that has to pay the toll for that."
—Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu

"Certainly guys can look within and they should. Every single player here should evaluate themselves and ask, 'What am I doing? Where are my contributions at?' I know the effort is there. There's no question about that. It's just a matter of the production. So maybe there's a little key here the new guy can unlock."
—Zduriencik

ALSO THAT GUY, AND THAT GUY, AND BOTH OF OUR CATCHERS

"It's brutal. I look around this clubhouse and there are a ton of players that deserve to get fired before him and I am one of them."
—Mariners designated hitter Mike Sweeney

"I left everything on the field. It wasn't a storybook career. There were a lot of ups, a lot of downs. There was a lot of turmoil in my career. I wasn't expected to do this much in the game. For it to end the way it did, it wasn't for lack of effort. I played my butt off right until the end; I just didn't hit."
—former Mariners outfielder Eric Byrnes, after being designated for assignment last Sunday. Byrnes has retired from professional baseball.

"When you don't hit, you have to make a move and they made a move. I don't want to say anything that I am going to regret later on. We struggled in the area of driving in runs. You know, that was the biggest issue. We preached quality at-bats, we preached wearing on a pitcher, but in all honesty, it would take three or four quality at-bats consecutively to score one run. That puts a lot of pressure on the offense and it's tough to do at this level inning after inning. For me, that's where we came up short. I tried to do what I could do every day. It didn't work out. It just didn't work out."
Cockrell (Jim Street, MLB.com)

YOU PROBABLY CAN'T PRINT WHAT HE CALLS DAVID FORST

"He's always been great in an offbeat sort of way. Typically as farm director, you develop relations with players. Most of them call you 'Mr. Lieppman,' or whatever, but Dallas decided early on that he was going to call me 'captain.' Most people aren't willing to go out on a limb like that. But every time he'd see me he'd say, 'Good morning, captain, how's it going?'"
Oakland Athletics director of player development Keith Lieppman on Dallas Braden, who threw the first perfect game of 2010 on Sunday against the Rays.

"I told him he needs to quit stealing my thunder. He makes ridiculous plays."
—Braden, on third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff's defensive performance in the game.

"I've learned in my career, it is much better to be recognized for all the great things you do on the field. Good for him, he threw a perfect game. And better yet, he beat the Rays."
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on the triumph of Braden, his nemesis.

"Growing up in the neighborhood and the environment he did, he's never backed away from anything. If it's a matter of principle, he's going to continue to come at you. He took a stand, and I think the blue-collar guys in the game respected the fact that he didn't back down and stood up for what he believed in.''
—Lieppman, on Braden's tiff with Rodriguez. (Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com)

I THINK HE QUADRUPLED YOUR VORP IN APRIL, SO MAYBE TAKE IT EASY

"He’s never going to live that down. I'm going to see him at Old Timer’s Day in 40 years and we’re going to be talking about that at-bat. Don’t you even worry about it."
—Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, on watching center fielder Brett Gardner strike out against Red Sox outfielder Jonathan Van Every, pitching mop-up relief in Saturday's game.

"You play the percentages. In baseball you’re a great hitter if you get a hit 30 percent of the time. I was playing the 70-percent scenario."
Van Every, who gave up the third homer of the day to Teixeira.

"From a personal standpoint, it's a pretty cool experience. But from a team standpoint, you never want that to be the situation. You always want Pap to be on the mound at the end of the game. If I could have two guys score, I don't think Jeter and Teixeira are two bad guys to have on your record. But we'd much rather be on the team with 14 runs."
—Van Every

"I really [bore] down that at-bat. I told myself, 'This isn't a position player. It's a pitcher trying to get me out.' I just laid back waiting for him to give me a good pitch, and that's what happened. It was a fastball down the middle."
—Teixeira, on his homer off Van Every. (Sam Borden, LoHud Yankees Blog)

JOE PLANS A 'SAFE AT THE PLATE' FOUNDATION FOR THE STRIKEOUT VICTIMS

"I think Jimenez, he only snuck up on the people who maybe sit in the stands. But when you try to hit against him, I don't think it was any surprise how well he was doing. Certainly not only the fact that he has the upper-90s fastball, the changeup -- it's the movement on the fastball, too. You can catch up with a fastball that's 97 mph if it's straight, but he doesn't throw a lot of balls straight."
Dodgers manager Joe Torre on Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who took his first loss of the season over the weekend.

"If he's commanding it, you'll have to make up your mind when you go up to hit — 'Which one of these things am I going to look for?' It's really tough as a hitter, especially when you have just the 60 feet to deal with, to try to handle all the stuff."
—Torre

"Definitely, because you can try to create something. You can try to play for one run. If you get pitching and defense, sometimes one run is enough. But when you don't have a lot of pitching, you don't know how many runs you're going to need."
—Torre, on how his team's struggles on the mound affect the way he manages. (Baxter Holmes, Los Angeles Times)

THE REST

"The best thing that anybody can do at this point in time is be patient, continue to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities. If you look at our club, it's guys with track records, guys with records of success who are going to be successful in this game."
Astros general manager Ed Wade on his team's performance so far. (Bernardo Fallas, Houston Chronicle)

"It is different. The way they preach the team game, the way you’re supposed to give it up for the team—that’s a little suspect. You’re supposed to give up for the team; then when it comes time, they might not want to give it up for you. But I was prepared for that. That’s the nature of the game today. Their track record speaks for itself. I lost so many teammates over there, guys who went to other places. It prepares you for these things."
—Red Sox starter John Lackey, on his former team, the Angels. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"It's early, and we still think there is significant upside to this lineup. I am a little surprised by the fact that we haven't hit more. Because coming into the season our hitting was the one thing we felt strongly about.''
Indians assistant general manager Chris Antonetti on his team's offensive performance so far this season. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

"We are completely inundated with information, but the ability to discern between good information and disinformation is overwhelming across the board. Baseball has changed so much. I remember working in Cincinnati and I tried to call people once a month just to check up and make everybody in the organization feel important and part of the team. But the communication skills meter isn't as high of a priority as in the past. The Rolodex list has gone by the way of the computer. Instead of talking, everyone is using Twitter and Facebook and e-mails. You get fascinated with it for a while, but then it's like watching reruns of commercials."
Marlins scout Mickey White (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

"It's a tough turnaround — it's not easy to do. You try to get some sleep on the plane and get as much rest as you can. Then you strap it on, drink a Red Bull and get after it."
—Angels catcher Mike Napoli on playing on Friday in Seattle after a game in Boston the previous night. (Mike DiGiovanni, Los Angeles Times)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

Related Content:  The Who,  Dallas Braden,  The Call-up

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