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June 28, 2010

The Week in Quotes

June 21-27

by Alex Carnevale

IT IS UNETHICAL TO TEASE A BOBBY V ERA IN MIAMI AND NOT DELIVER

"This is something that I want to make very clear: My exit from the Marlins had nothing to do with Hanley. The situation with Hanley had to do with them—the Marlins. They wanted to make a change to move in another direction."
—former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez on being fired along with bench coach Carlos Tosca and hitting coach Jim Presley.

"Big shock for me. That owner, he's very unpredictable. That guy doesn't appreciate anything. He's one of those guys that thinks you change [just for the sake of change]. He's always wanting to fire the coaches. Always. That's his history. He lost a good one there."
Braves manager Bobby Cox on the firing of Gonzalez, his former bench coach.

"When I first came over here to coach I felt like my job was to help keep Fredi Gonzalez's job. That didn't happen and in the short time I've been in the organization I've got a great deal of respect and admiration for Fredi Gonzalez as a person and as a manager. When they let him go I was really disheartened and disappointed."
—former Marlins first base coach Dave Collins, who resigned upon Gonzalez' firing.

"This was not done in that vein. It's a different team, a different era. This is not where we wave the magic wand and in comes the Wizard of Jack, and all of a sudden we're in a hot locker room at Yankee Stadium."
—Marlins president David Samson on whether firing Fredi Gonzalez was a move to bring in a Jack McKeon-like figure. (ESPN.com)

I HEAR LeBRON IS AVAILABLE

"Certainly from my point of view and that of the organization, we'll play with 24 (men) before we tolerate that kind of behavior."
Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry on suspending Carlos Zambrano following the right-hander's dugout outburst.

"He was upset some of our players didn't dive for those balls. Let me tell you, a few of those balls were hit really hard, and one was in the seats with two strikes (a Carlos Quentin homer). Regardless, he was ranting and raving and out of control."
—Cubs manager Lou Piniella on Zambrano's temper tantrum.

"The bad thing about it is two of my friends were fighting. [Derrek Lee] and Carlos are my dear friends. ... I would like to see that fight."
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the disagreement between Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs first baseman.

"There was nothing wrong with the investment. This guy was an outstanding pitcher in the National League, in the game, for the 4-5 years before that. There was no question that the deal was a solid one in the industry. He certainly would have been one of the hotter tickets on the street if that thing went to the end of the season. This guy pitched a lot of innings, won a lot of games, lived in the shadow of Woody and Prior for a couple of years. Really, over the body of work, pitched as well as anybody in the National League for a 3-4 year period. He certainly pitched well enough to earn that contract whether it’s here or somewhere else."
Hendry on signing Zambrano to a five-year, $91 million contract. (Bruce Miles, The Daily Herald)

DIFFERENT, YET EQUALLY VALID ORGANIZATIONAL PHILOSOPHIES

"Last year, when I first got this job, I was zeroed in on this 100 to 105 pitch count, almost to a fault."
Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch on Edwin Jackson's 149-pitch no-hitter against the Rays.

"You'll be complaining because our pitcher won't get to 149 pitches. I'm just saying, for us, that's not something I want to take a chance with. That guy has been pitching a pretty good while. He's a big, strong guy. He's probably been to 120-130 pitches before, but I'd have a hard time. I would have bet my life savings against that."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on his desire to not endanger his pitchers' arms regardless of the number of hits they've allowed.

"I was very focused on the history. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Hinch

"I'm amazed [at Jackson]. I think everybody should be amazed. That's awesome. If he can throw 149 pitches, walking eight and still be in a 1-0 game—you're doing something pretty darn good there, and pretty darn bad."
Gardenhire (Joe Christiansen, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

THE GREATEST TRICK THE DEVIL PULLED WAS CONVINCING HIS FAN BASE THEY COULD CONTEND

"If you look at our team, as we move forward, just about every player who is here now will be here again next year,. We're committed to the development of our players and that goal, that objective, has never changed for us. But part of that development process is also winning games. We want our players to be able to experience winning games this year. And we're trying to do what we can to give them what they need to get there."
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, on acquiring veteran first baseman Russell Branyan from the Indians despite being in last place in the AL West.

“We’re just going to try to win baseball games. I’m not a fool. But in the same sense, who the heck knows? We’ll see what happens.”
Zduriencik, on whether his team can compete for the division title this year.

"As we move forward with this, it's important that we stay competitive. It's important that we're giving players something to move forward with. Whether it's giving them confidence, support, establishing our credibility with them, whatever. This is the future of our club and we want them to know we take winning seriously."
Zduriencik (Geoff Baker, Seattle Times)

HE GAVE MANAGING HIS BEST SHOT—TIME TO MOVE ON UP

"I told Jerry, 'You're so tight with Mr. Selig, why don't we move to the National League. Make a switch. Baseball needs a change. Just move the Cubs to the American League and us to the National League, and we'll be even."
Guillen, jokingly suggesting that White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf ask commissioner Bud Selig to have the two Chicago teams switch leagues.

"It's like if you've been married for a long time, and all of a sudden you get tired of your wife and you leave. Then it's, 'Wow, I didn't know what I had, and I miss it.' That's everywhere. You're going to have people take you for granted."
Guillen on his perceived lack of recognition.

"I don't think people give me enough credit in a lot of things, maybe because people look at me a different way, maybe the way I talk, the way my personality is, a lot of people take advantage of that and worry about if I can manage. There are only two people who I care about what kind of job I do: Jerry and Kenny."
Guillen, referring to Reinsdorf and White Sox general manager Ken Williams (David Haugh, Chicago Tribune)

JIM HENDRY IMMEDIATELY SIGNED LLOYD TO A FIVE-YEAR DEAL

"We just call him Lloyd on days he pitches because he's like another person—it's kind of like (a) bipolar personality. He gets that fire in his eyes and is like a whole different human being."
Yankees starter Phil Hughes on his teammate Andy Pettitte's game-day personality.

"I talk to myself a lot, so, yes, Phil's come up with this alter ego. I call him my little buddy on my shoulder. That's what I usually say. ... I've got to motivate myself that way."
Pettitte

"There wasn't a whole lot of learning, people sitting down with me—you know, the veterans talking to me. It was weird from that standpoint, like I got thrown into the fire. 'You're in the rotation, just go with it.'"
Pettitte on his rookie year.

"Now, I wish I had had somebody who would talk to me about pitching sequences and how to set guys up and stuff like that."
Pettitte (Nicole Auerbach, USA Today)

THE REST

"Where I was positioned, it's a long way to go. Joe's always said you shouldn't assume, but I assumed that the left fielder might be there, but he wasn't. Maybe I should have cut it off, but it's over with now."
—Rays center fielder B.J. Upton on a ball hit by the Diamondbacks' Rusty Ryal that teammate Evan Longoria felt he could have reached. Upton and Longoria clashed in the dugout after the inning ended. (Tony Fabrizio, Tampa Tribune)

"It's special. The general sense is everybody is happy for the whole situation. It's a big accomplishment. The whole country has been proud. The whole country has been pushing and pulling for this."
—Marlins interim manager Edwin Rodriguez, the first native of Puerto Rico to manage a major-league team, on Florida's three-game series with the Mets that begins Monday in San Juan. (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

"Not having him here is a big loss for all of us, but I’m not going to point any fingers or make excuses at all. I’m out there throwing pitches, whether Dave’s in the dugout or not. He’s corrected me enough where I should have a memory of what Dave says. I’m a man, I’m a professional athlete who’s got a big contract, who’s here for a reason, and there’s not a reason why you shouldn’t be able to do that on your own."
—Yankees starter A.J. Burnett, on whether his recent struggles are due to the absence of pitching coach Dave Eiland. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

"I think under difficult circumstances he’s done a good job. Having the youngest team with the lowest payroll in the league is a difficult challenge for any manager, and given the amount of injuries that makes it that much more difficult. I think you have to be realistic with what you are given to start and ultimately what you have to work with, and quite frankly, he hasn’t had a whole lot to work with."
Athletics general manager Billy Beane on manager Bob Geren. (Jeff Fletcher, FanHouse)

"We realized that when we came here how easy we had it. We really did in terms of living a normal life. The people in Toronto are so respectful and they're so non-invasive and they're so reserved. They treated us like normal people, but normal people with an exceptional job. That's how they treated us. They didn't treat us as these sub-human objects that they can maul in the streets."
Roy Halladay's wife Brandy Halladay on her time in Toronto. (Richard Griffin, Toronto Star)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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