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July 26, 2010

The Week in Quotes

July 18-25

by Alex Carnevale

JOSH BYRNES LOOKS UP FROM WRITING HIS VERSION OF 'EAT PRAY LOVE' AND SMILES

"I think if we bring in the right pieces and explain ourselves, I think fans will understand it was a move to improve our team now."
—Diamondbacsk president Derrick Hall on dealing Dan Haren to the Angels.

"When it comes down to it, I do want to be here and be a part of winning in Arizona. That's what I was brought here for. For me and family, this is the place to be. This is really a baseball player's dream having spring training in your home city and living here year round."
Haren said Thursday, three days before he was traded.

“I think it depends on what we get in return. If it appears to be a cash dump, it’s not a good message, but that’s not what we’re looking to do. If a deal can’t get done for Haren and he’s on our team next year, I’m fine with that. We’ve still got our ace."
—Hall, on his plan to deal Haren before the trade was made.

"If we can get back three or four pieces that bring value now and also are controllable for a number of years, then we’d have to consider."
—Hall, before the trade to the Angels for Patrick Corbin, Joe Saunders, Rafael Rodriguez and Tyler Skaggs. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)

THE FIRST TIME SOMEONE FELT FRUSTRATED AT NOT HAVING JOE SAUNDERS

"It just seems like every conversation we have starts with those two names. I don't care if it's a guy who's the 12th guy on your staff or your 25 players. They say we'd like one of those two guys. But sorry, I'm just not there. I'm not going to do that."
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski on getting asked about pitching prospects Andy Oliver and Jacob Turner in trade discussions.

"When you do see it with teams, teams normally fold. Hopefully not this team."
—Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon on his team's rash of injuries.

"Other clubs look at us and say, 'Well, they are desperate so maybe they will trade us Oliver and Turner.' Well we aren't."
—Dombrowski

ONCE YOU GIVE OVER TO TYLER COLVIN, THE REST WILL FOLLOW

"I'm proud of our accomplishments during my time here and this will be a perfect way for me to end my career. But let me make one thing perfectly clear: Our work is far from over. I want to keep the momentum going more than anything else and win as many games as we can to get back in this pennant race."
Cubs manager Lou Piniella announcing he will depart the Cubs after the conclusion of the season.

"I hope so. Because I think this man means a lot to baseball. I guarantee there will be a few teams out there who will talk to him. I don't know, but they should. I hope he does because I think Lou is still young, he can handle that and I hope he does."
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on if he thinks Piniella is really going to be gone from the game after this season.

"I'm very appreciative of the fact my name is even being considered, but down the road is the time to talk about it more. At this point I'm not even thinking about it. I know I downplayed it because I thought it was Lou's day, out of respect."
—Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell on his interest in becoming manager.

"He is a rare breed, a rare combination of a guy that played and played in New York, won a championship, and is proven and is tough, and is from Florida like me. I just have a lot of love and admiration for Lou."
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, on Piniella.

HE'S SLUGGING .275 ON THE YEAR, DO YOU REALLY NEED A REASON TO TAKE HIM OUT OF THE LINEUP?

"I think Figgy is a little misinterpreted at times. He sat right there in his chair, watched the rest of the game and supported his team. I know a lot of guys in that situation would have come in, showered up and gone home."
Mariners first baseman Russell Branyan on Mariners second baseman Chone Figgins' reaction after a dugout argument with manager Don Wakamatsu.

"I think what he had to say [to Wakamatsu] came from emotions, and he didn't really have time to think about it. It was two men, they voiced their opinions, and they had opinions each other didn't like."
Branyan on the fracas between Figgins and Wakamatsu (Mike McCall, MLB.com)

TOO SOON TO ADD ANOTHER WILD CARD AND GIVE IT TO THE TEAM WITH THE HIGHEST BATTING AVERAGE?

"If you lead the league in hitting, it's going to come around. We've got a lot of games left, and the more opportunities you get, the better you're going to get, and that's what we're doing for each other. Obviously, we need to score more runs, but we've made progress every year I've been here of offensively giving ourselves a chance to win games. Obviously, when you're leading the league in hitting, you'd like to be up at the top in scoring runs, too, and we need to work on that."
Royals first baseman Billy Butler on his team's major league-leading .281 batting average.

"Batting average is a great stat, but if you prioritize it above all others, I think there's problems as far as being a productive hitter. Obviously, on-base percentage is way more important. Slugging percentage is way more important."
—Royals stater Brian Bannister.

"You forget about yesterday. We go into the next game, yesterday's over with and we can win today. If you have a bad at-bat, it doesn't matter. You have so many at-bats, and obviously if you go three out of 10, you're doing well for the season, so you try to forget every at-bat you have that's not a good one, and try to stay positive."
—Butler (Jesse Spector, New York Daily News)

WHEN PARENTS GET DIVORCED, YOU DO SOMETIMES GET A PRESENT

"It's a fun time of the year. Because now you get a chance to see who's serious and who isn't. We make far more calls than we get. It shows we're active. Shows we're trying to be active. We're buying."
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti on his plans before the trade deadline.

"Right now, there's just a lot of things that aren't plentiful. I'll make my phone calls and if they lead to something, great. But right now, it's dead out there for us."
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman

"I don't think the franchise is in a place and time where all the sand is running out of the hourglass. You're always going to have turnover. You're always going to have some change. That's the nature of the business. I think we have a chance to be a steady, solid organization for a while."
—Colletti (Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times)

WHERE CAN I GO TO LOOK $16 MILLION IN THE FACE, AND WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I GET THERE?

"If you look $16 million in the face and turn it down, to me, you're crazy. It's like a weight lifted off your shoulders. Me and my wife, we've been going through this during the season and we're happy with the whole deal. We like that comfort level, knowing that security that you have is always a benefit."
Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki on his new agreement with the team.

"He's a guy I still look up to, playing-wise. He's, to me, one of the best catchers in the game. To be able to play behind him for a month was awesome. And then when I took over, it was nerve-wracking because I wanted to be as good as he was."
—Suzuki, on former teammate Jason Kendall.

"That's awesome to get a core group of guys here. Me and him are the first two, I guess. It'll be awesome to have him as my catcher for the next however many years."
—Athletics starter Brett Anderson on the core of two young players entering in long-term contracts with the team.

"Realistically, I knew that wasn't going to happen right away. ... It was going to take some time. It was a lot of learning and a lot of failing. But at the same time, learning from your failures is the part I really had to remember."
—Suzuki on getting paid. (Alex Espinoza, MLB.com)

THE REST

"I’ve always been impressed by the innovative spirit of Red Bull and how they push the limits. I look forward to putting my new wings to use both on and off the field."
Giants starter Tim Lincecum, announcing the deal he signed with Red Bull. (RedBull.com)

"I always believe in myself. I hardly ever get down on myself because I know it's going to be a time where they can't figure me out and it's tough to get me out, and I just concentrate on that. And it's a tough game, too, as well, so I just try to stay as positive as I can. As hard as it is to do, I do it very well."
Pirates outfielder Lastings Milledge (Matt Fortuna, MLB.com)

"We're going to make the plays that we need to make. I think everyone's moving at the same pace. I don't think anybody's lost anything to where you say, 'This guy has lost two steps here and we're having trouble covering this gap'."
—Angels manager Mike Scioscia on the defensive struggles of his outfield. (Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times)

"What he's done for me and for my baseball career, there's no measure. He's allowed me to have another tool — and not a physical tool — that's really allowed me to slow the game down. I can think about certain things I might not be able to think about if I didn't have that skill set from him."
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, on his sessions with psychologist Ken Ravizza. (Pete Kerzel, MLB.com)

"I thought it was going to be beautiful and hot. Bonderman has had every hot game that we've had so far. So I thought I'd give him a little blow, so he can pitch the night game. The poor guy has had every steamy, hot afternoon game we've played it seems like. I said, 'You know what, let's give him the night game.'"
—Tigers manager Jim Leyland on letting Jeremy Bonderman take the night game of the team's day-night doubleheader with the Blue Jays on Sunday. (Alex DiFilippo, MLB.com)

"That adrenaline rush is hard to recreate with anything else. The only thing that compares to it is shooting a big deer, or maybe getting married and standing at the altar. Certain things get your heart pumping."
Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard on pitching late in games. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus

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