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June 14, 2010

The Week in Quotes

June 7-13

by Alex Carnevale

WE ASKED YOU NEVER TO SAY THOSE NAMES

"On TV, I saw a reporter compare him to Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, but this guy is different. This is not going to be the last time he is going to throw like this."
Nationals starter Livan Hernandez on teammate Stephen Strasburg's major-league debut.

"Anything he throws, if he throws it the way he can, you can't hit it."
—Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty on Strasburg.

"It looked like he was rushing those guys. Throwing three or four quality pitches, and guys were panicking. We're going to have to zone him in and make him throw strikes if we're going to have any success. This is a guy with a plus fastball, plus curveball, plus changeup and plus cutter. He has a blessed arm."
Indians first baseman Russell Branyan offering a scouting report before going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Strasburg.

"He's amazing. I saw that hole and it was pretty deep. He handled the adversity pretty well. A lot of guys would have been very upset. He didn't like it, but he handled it like a pro. What amazes me is his composure all the time."
—Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond on the deteriorated mound Strasburg faced in his win over the Indians on Sunday.

"I was 17, he's 21. By the time I was his age, I had won 85-90 games or so."
—Hall-of-Famer Bob Feller.

I'M SO EXCITED TO BE A PIRATE

"I kind of had a general idea of where I would go, but I didn’t know it was going to hit me like that. My legs went kind of numb. I know they’re looking to build through the draft, so whenever you get picked by a team like that, it’s a really special honor because I guess they see me as a future centerpiece of the organization."
—prep pitcher Jameson Taillon, selected No. 2 overall by the Pirates in the first-year player draft.

"Stetson really wanted to go to the Indians. It would have been a great story. We thought the Indians were really interested and then something happened in the last minute. What that was, I don't know. But, he is excited about going to the Pirates and excited about being the 52nd player chosen overall. That's pretty special."
Danny Allie, father of prep pitcher Stetson Allie, who was selected by the Pirates in the second round after the hometown Indians passed on him in the first round. (Tim Rogers, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"This isn't something I did on my own. A lot of draft hype is because catcher is a premier position that I can play, and I'm a switch-hitter. There was a lot of mystery. That probably helped me. If I would have played every day at catcher, maybe I wouldn't have been as good as everyone dreamed of. I'm not exactly an out-of-the-wrapper big league guy. I'm not a guaranteed guy. It's pretty great."
—University of MIinnesota catcher Michael Kvasnicka, selected 33rd overall by the Astros. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"It couldn't have worked out any better as far as we're concerned. I know 30 teams come out of the draft room high-fiving and excited the guys they got with their picks, but that means only so much. Time will only tell, but we're as happy in the draft room as we've been in any year that I've been here. We feel it broke our way and we couldn't be more excited with all three guys."
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein on his team's draft, including the selections of Kolbrin Vitek, Bryce Brentz, and Anthony Ranaudo. (ESPN.com)

"Obviously, as we picked, we took the player we thought was the best player who was signable and was also signable within reason. There were other players available, but the cost was going to be very high, and I'm not sure worth it even if we had the normalcy we need to reach as a franchise."
Rangers president Nolan Ryan, on his team, which recently filed for bankruptcy, adding easy signs Jake Skole and Kellin Deglan with the team's first two selections. (Randy Galloway, Fort-Worth Star-Telegram)

THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE JAKE SKOLE EXPERIMENT IS PITCHING SOMEWHERE?

"I feed off the energy, even if it's negative energy toward me. I love it. I love people getting fired up and going nuts. I love feeding off of that and giving it to my guys and getting them pumped up and they go out there and make plays. It's huge for this team."
—TCU lefty Matthew Purke on facing Texas in the NCAA super regionals. The Horned Frogs upset the Longhorns, winning two of three. (Stefan Stevenson, Fort-Worth Star-Telegram)

"It's actually pretty easy to forget the whole season. We're facing Fullerton; we know how good they are. They're not going to quit. We know we have to come out just for (today). It's all about (today)."
—UCLA sophomore second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla, on playing one game to advance to the College World Series.

“Everybody out there was wondering when we were going to see the old Danny back. He was back tonight. He was complete command of the game. We couldn’t have won the game without that kind of effort."
—Virginia coach Brian O'Connor, on letting ace Danny Hultzen throw a season-high 130 pitches in a super-regional win over Arizona. (Chris Lang, The News & Advance)

NOW HE'S IN CHARGE OF J.D. DREW'S SHINE BOX: WHAT A WORLD

"He wasn't a prospect. He's never been a prospect. He washed uniforms for two years at Santa Clara. He's called me between the washer and the dryer. I say, 'What are you doing?' He says, 'I've got a pocket full of quarters. I'm going from the washer to the dryer.' The guy is getting kicked out of the laundromat on a Saturday night in Compton, California."
—Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava's father Don Nava. Nava hit the first pitch of his major-league career for a grand slam, connecting off the Phillies' Joe Blanton.

"There's been so many times they hit the ball in the bullpen and I'm a little late grabbing my glove. I happened to look at it and it was coming right for us, and I knew it was his first big league at-bat, too. If that ball bounces, we might have people going in there chasing that ball down, so it was a pretty good catch. Hopefully it makes the highlights."
—Red Sox reliever Manny Delcarmen on catching Nava's grand slam.

"I threw it right down the middle. It didn't sink."
Blanton on the pitch Nava hit for  slam.

"It's one game. We all know that. It's one game. There's still tomorrow, and who knows what's going to happen tomorrow? You saw what happened my next at-bat. I struck out."
—Nava (Ian Browne, MLB.com)

MAYBE THEY CAN SEE IF JOE'S STILL INTERESTED?

"I think Lou conveniently forgets that I was one of the champions for him to get the job when a lot of people wanted Joe Girardi at that time."
—former major-league pitcher and current White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone, not backing down from his criticism of Cubs manager Lou Piniella.

"What job has he had in baseball besides talking on television or radio? What has he done? Why isn't he a farm director and bring some kids around? Why isn't he a general manager? Why hasn't he ever put the uniform on and been a pitching coach? Why hasn't he been a field manager? There's 30 teams out there that could use a guy's expertise like that, you know? I'm tired of some of these guys, I really am."
Piniella on Stone.

"We've got a lot of people here that haven't managed and won any games in the big leagues that know everything. I think they should try to put the uniform on and try this job, and see how they like it when they get criticized unjustly. That's all I've got to say about that issue."
Piniella.

"And another thing I'm going to say — I won over 1,800 games as a manager, and I'm not a damn dummy. That, I can tell you. OK? There are only 13 others that have won more games than me, so I guess I think I know what the hell I'm doing. All right?"
Piniella (Andrew Seligman, The Associated Press via Boston Globe)

OZZIE IS NOT LIKELY TO FARE WELL IN ANY RATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF ANYTHING

"We are both very competitive men, strong-willed men. I believe in self-assessment, and I think you have to assess all parts of our operation from top to bottom to determine if it's, in fact, still a productive working relationship."
—White Sox general manager Ken Williams on his conflict with manageOzzie Guillen.

“I saw him play, and it surprised me that he [fell] that far before getting picked. I know baseball a little bit. This kid has a good future as long as he doesn’t get hurt. ... You can say, ‘[The heck with] this thing,’ and do something else, or get better and prepare yourself for what is coming. Knowing my kid, he will prepare himself better and show people they were wrong or right. That’s all you can do."
Guillen on his son Ozney being drafted in the 22nd round by the White Sox.

"Whether or not the maintenance of that relationship is such that we still have the drive to get through some things and still have the drive to get through some differences ... I'm still in that assessment mode for myself, in particular."
Williams.

"I got 50 grand in my pocket to send my kid to go to Niketown or buy something.''
Guillen on the signing bonus offered to his son.

"That should not lead to the assumption that I mean that he is the one. If I determine that I am the one that is the cog in the machine, then I am the one who will stand in front of Jerry Reinsdorf and tell him so and step aside. ... I will not deny that I am growing weary of the soap opera.''
Williams (Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times)

THE REST

"Again, I try to relate it to when I played. When you're in a good groove, you can see flash bulbs going off in center field, and it doesn't even bother you. But on other days, you can hear whispers in the upper deck and you're wondering what they're saying about you. That is what makes this game tough to play."
Dodgers manager Joe Torre on Matt Kemp's recent struggles. (Tony Jackson, ESPN.com)

"He played with me a little bit. He said, 'If you don't play good, this is what happens. Open that (envelope).' I said, Why? What's happened to me? When I opened it, I saw the (plane ticket to Washington) and I said, 'Wow.' My first thought was of my Mom. I've talked to her every day, and she's told me, 'C'mon, baby, you can do it.' I cried a little bit."
—Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata on how he learned from Triple-A Indianapolis manager Frank Kremblas that he had received his first call-up to the major leagues. (Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

"I had basically over 100 years of scouting experience go in to see this kid. When guys like my cross-checkers who have been doing this for a long time, former major-league hitting coaches like Gary Denbo and former scouting directors like Bill Livesey come back with a thumbs up, that means a lot more to me than the public opinion of Baseball America or some of the other publications who just aren’t able to get to these guys and don’t have scouting staffs."
Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer on his team's controversial first-round choice of Cito Culver in the draft.

"Most baseball people are really against instant replay. There's no question about that. I could sense that the last three days. In the end, good or bad, I will do what I think is right. I'm going to take the responsibility for it. I've been at this the last 45 years of my life, and the last 18 as commissioner, so I'll trust my own judgment."
Bud Selig on the possibility of expanded te use of instant replay. (Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com)

“The pitchers are enjoying the heck out of it. And the hitters are hoping there’s a swimming pool in center field with dolphins in it next year, and the fences are moved in."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on Target Field's first season. (Joe Christensen, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

4 comments have been left for this article.

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