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July 12, 2010

The Week in Quotes

July 5-11

by Alex Carnevale

NO MAN EXCEPT FOR ONE IS ALLOWED TO MAKE BRIAN CASHMAN CRY

"We identified a handful of guys and when Texas stepped up and said, 'This is the player we will give to you, we said, 'OK.' We asked for this player at the very beginning."
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik on the trade that sent starter Cliff Lee and reliever Mark Lowe to Texas in return for first baseman Justin Smoak, starter Blake Beavan, second baseman Matt Lawson and reliever Josh Lueke.

"The Yankees do not do business that way. When we say something is a deal, it is a deal. Yes, this is frustrating and disappointing."
anonymous Yankees executive, on Zduriencik scuttling the proposed deal that would have sent Lee to the Yankees for a package centered around catcher Jesus Montero.

"It is unfortunately the requirements we have to work under right now. And [MLB] has tried not to encumber us to the point where we cannot function. It goes back to, as long as we stay within that budget as approved, we are pretty much assured we can operate. So it is a matter of just running it by them and making sure there weren't any issues."
Rangers president Nolan Ryan on how the trade was affected by the Rangers' unsettled ownership situation.

"I was thinking it looks like I might be going to New York. That's what they were saying. I think that story [in The Post] triggered other teams to get a little more aggressive."
Lee on New York Post reporter Joel Sherman's story early on Friday that a deal between the Yankees and Mariners was on the fast track.

"It's disappointing to hear that Jack shopped that around, that's not right. You don't do that with any team and you don't do it with the Yankees, because [GM Brian] Cashman will drop you in a heartbeat. You don't use the Yankees because they never forget."
anonymous rival executive, on the Mariners' bait-and-switch. (Joel Sherman and George King, New York Post)

PLUS, THE ARRAY OF PUNS NOW AVAILABLE TO US IS OFF THE CHARTS

"We think he's a quality player with a great approach at the plate. He's big and lanky and has a great swing from both sides of the plate. We think he's going to settle in and be a really good big-league player...This was a player we wanted."
Zduriencik on Smoak's future as a Mariner.

"I said, 'Hey dude, there's a great place to eat in Seattle that I love to go to down on the pier. That's what he is. He's a down to earth guy. I'm sorry to see him go, but you've got to wish him the best. He's going to be very successful. He's going to drop bombs. That's what he does."
—Rangers starter Tommy Hunter, on what he told Smoak after he heard about the trade.

"It's tough, being new to this business and everything that comes with it. You get on the team and feel like you should be here for a while. All of the sudden, things change overnight. It's part of it and it's something I've learned quick."
Smoak, on getting traded for the first time in his career.

"I was in Low A at that moment, but it's the same. You always want to play with the team that signed you, but you've got to realize that this is a business. You've got to be in the right time and the right moment. Another team is going to give you the opportunity to go out and play."
—Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, on getting traded from the Braves several years ago. (Chris Cox, MLB.com)

BIG MARKET TEAM WITH SMALL MARKET PROBLEMS

"Our philosophy is not to bring someone here for two or three months and empty your cupboard in the minor leagues to do it. So the pool gets smaller and smaller as to the players you can acquire."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on the Rangers' rental of Lee.

"It was going to either be this year or next year. It's going to be sooner or later. That's something I've been saying all year, that he's probably going to end up with the Yankees at the end of the season. They'll probably end up with [Carl] Crawford, too. Maybe they won't, but that's my feeling."
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, on his belief Lee will sign with the Yankees this offseason.

"From our perspective, we got a reasonably clear message that it was going to difficult to consummate a deal. That was our opinion. We had a few discussions and they were reasonably open, but some of that might have been courtesy and professionalism. Do I sit down here today and think we could have jumped in and consummated a deal? I think that would have been a very, very difficult task for us to ascertain. He had too much going for him to test free agency."
Zduriencik on whether he could have signed Lee long-term. (Greg Johns, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

MAYBE GET A NEW GAME

"I was trying to make pitches. Bottom line is I just didn't get it done. That's all you can say. ... I thought that I could have gotten out of it with any one pitch. That's my game—making the hitters hit balls. They just hit it kind of hard."
Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin on the Rockies' nine-run comeback in the ninth inning of last Tuesday's game at Coors Field.

"I don't even know what just happened. I'll have a chance to watch it later tonight, catch some highlights and enjoy it. You go from, 'Let's not give any at-bats away,' to 'Good try,' to 'Oh, wait, we can do this.'"
—Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, who bashed the walk-off three-run homer to seal the comeback.

"It's just a brutal loss, is what it was. That loss wasn't on Ryan Franklin. It was on everybody who wore the gray, including the manager."
—Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

GIVING VERBOSE INTERVIEWS ABOUT HEALTH IS ALSO A SKILL

"My understanding was when I went in there, I specifically asked for, and this is 12 days after the injury, I specifically asked for a front MRI and a back MRI. That’s what I was under the impression. They told me, 'Hey, don’t worry. We’re going to cover all the areas. We’re going to cover more.'"
Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, on the misdiagnosed rib injuries he sustained during an April 11 collision with Adrian Beltre.

"I got the Red Sox’ blessing when I went there. I was in constant contact with my teammates, constant contact with the medical staff, the trainers, everybody. Obviously, in the best-case scenario, I’d like to be back with my teammates, but for me to get better, the Red Sox thought it would be best for me to go out to Arizona. I talked to them today, and they said, 'We back you 100 percent. That’s what we thought was best for you, getting you back playing and being productive.'"
Ellsbury on doing his rehab in Arizona and staying away from the team. (Rob Bradford, WEEI.com)

"We hope to be up and throwing by spring training. Obviously, this is uncharted territory because it's not common. While (pitchers) have torn lats, they've never completely torn off the bone with no attachments left. And that's where we're at."
White Sox starter Jake Peavy on undergoing season ending surgery this coming Wednesday to repair the detached latissimus dorsi in his right shoulder.

"There's nothing that any of us could have done differently, from the doctors to the trainers. It's one of those it was time for it to go. Hindsight is 20-20 of course. I've never been hurt [like this], so it's hard to say what you're feeling would lead to … this happening. If I would have known, then obviously I would have backed off it. It was just a grabbing sensation, nothing really sharp. It got sharp in a hurry. Nobody has had the surgery in baseball that we know of. So I guess I'm a guinea pig and see how it turns out."
—Peavy (Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune)

THE REST

"They’re trying to generate revenue, trying to get butts in the seats, I can see that. It’s almost like, at what cost do you do that? They didn’t have permission. They were told on multiple occasions that, no, it’s not a good idea. It’s not going to be approved. They just kind of put the horse-blinders on and ran with it...It’s just not cool. It’s just a serious, gross lack of tact. At the end of the day, I hope I do not become associated with that kind of approach."
Athletics starter Dallas Braden, on the 'Get Off My Mound' shirts peddled by the team. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

"I got thrown out for taking my hat off. That’s a shame. Everyone talks about the pace of the game. I have to delay the game and run out there 150 feet away to argue after I get thrown out for taking my hat off? I’ve been doing rebuilding jobs for four years. These kids on rebuilding teams don’t get the benefit of the doubt from umpires. If they don’t know your name, you don’t get a fair shake."
Indians manager Manny Acta after being thrown out of a game by first base umpire Tim Timmons for removing his cap in the dugout after two Indians were called out after check swing appeals on Wednesday. (Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun)

"This is a prideful man. This is a star player who wants to come to work every day and earn every single nickel he gets paid. If you can't respect Todd Helton as someone in charge, shame on you. I really felt like for us to go any further with Todd Helton and the situation he's in physically right now, we're compromising Todd Helton. I have so much respect for him that the last thing I wanted to do is to continue to write his name down on the lineup."
—Rockies manager Jim Tracy on putting the first baseman on the disabled list. (Mark Kiszla, Denver Post)

"I got out of a meeting late in the spring with the front office and those guys and they were panicking because I had a bad spring. But I wasn’t really thinking about it, I assumed I would be the right fielder and then I realized, ‘These guys don’t like me right now.'"
Brewers right fielder Corey Hart on the front office's opinion of him going into the season. (Colin Fly, The Associated Press)

"He's two years younger than me. I don't know if I was a close second, or how it works."
Marlins reliever Burke Badenhop on losing out to LeBron James for Ohio high school basketball player of the year. (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

"If I have a degree, I feel like I'm playing baseball with house money. I have nothing to lose. It keeps me from playing baseball for a paycheck."
Nationals reliever Drew Storen on continuing his education at Stanford during his off-time. (Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports)

"He was like, 'Man it's been a couple of days and nobody has run on me. I don't like that.'"
Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero relating a conversation with Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)

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Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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