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August 2, 2010
The Week in Quotes
July 26-August 1
THE ONE-TOOL WONDER MUST SAVE A FRANCHISE
"Brett Wallace is a hitting machine. No question about that. We've had our eye on him since the 2008 Draft. He was a first-round pick of the Cardinals at that point and has been in some pretty big trades."
"Everything has been baby steps. I'm 19, and I have a lot of learning to do. I've got a long ways to go before I'm a complete player."
"I actually talked to Lance this afternoon and told him that question could arise and told him I'm not going to anoint Brett Wallace as the first baseman of the future. We had a chance to go out and get a guy who's a really solid hitter and has a chance to be a really good big league player, but Lance is our first baseman."
"We have a lot of talent and we do have a lot of youth, and we've been playing some good ball lately and we've added some more young guys who definitely have some remarkable track records. It looks like we're moving in the right direction, moving forward. We have good attitudes, refreshing attitudes, and a lot of energy."
HE SHOWED ME HIS STUDDED BFF BRACELET AND I UNDERSTOOD ALL
"He sent a message to me through a player that it wasn't personal. [Pettitte and Berkman] are best friends, and that's what was in his mind and his family's mind. He had no qualms about our situation here. If circumstances were different, he would have accepted it."
"I really felt like I had to do something with my career. I felt like I needed to either retire or get into a situation where you're scared again, where if you fail then you're a bum. I want that situation. I want to see what I've got."
"If we felt there were any impact players on the market, we were going to go after them. We are strong enough as we are, and everything fits together in such a way that the only thing we were going to add would be something of an impact guy. [Ramirez is] an impact-type guy, so you can reasonably assume we kicked the tires on [him], but obviously we didn't kick them hard enough."
"I hope there's a thing or two that materializes [during August]. You never know about these things. Last waiver period, after the deadline, people said I was a moron [for acquiring Alex Rios]."
ASK FOR THE MOON AND YOU RECEIVE MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE MOON
"Only what I heard from our scouts. They love his stroke, they love his power potential. They like his approach at the plate, his pitch selection is good. We don't make any excuses for it. He started off slow, got sidetracked and went to the big leagues and performed well up in the big leagues and then came back down. We feel we have no real explanation for it."
"As far as trading [Guzman], who was on the last couple months of a contract, for two prospects who were having great success in Double-A along with good stuff we felt that was as deal we had to make, too."
"The closer to the deadline it gets the more pressure is on the teams to come with something that makes sense for me to trade one of the best offensive players in baseball. I will come to the price where I originally said we were going to go or we won't trade him…The price won't come down."
IT'S AMAZING RIZZO IS EVEN ABLE TO HOLD DOWN SOLID FOOD
"It reminds me a little bit of Kerry Wood, a little bit of Mark Prior. I hope I'm wrong about this. When you throw with the kind of talent and force that he can throw, you can break easier than let's say a Mark Buehrle type."
"The real concern is what I call an upside-down arm action. I am not wishing this guy bad, but for him to be having problems right now when they are really, really watching him what are they going to see when they are trying to get 220 innings from him? He does something with his arm action that is difficult, in my mind, to pitch a whole lot of innings on."
"For him not to pitch was a little disappointing, but I applaud what the Nationals did because that's their franchise for the next 15 years. If he wakes up with a hangnail, I'm holding him out. I want to protect my investment, protect that arm for the next 20 years. Because as he goes, they're going to go."
IGNORE THE STATISTICS, PERFORMANCE, AND THE FACT THAT WE TRADED FOR HIS REPLACEMENT
"He's had a better season than you realize, or perceive it to be....He is better than what it feels like."
"I'd take him certainly over the players Seattle got. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... That was an attempt to make it better in a different way, but it didn't work out. C'est la vie."
"Joba had nothing to do with this."
A CHALLENGE TRADE WITH ACTUAL CHALLENGES
"We feel like he's a classic guy with a high ceiling who needs a change of scenery. He'd kind of been butting heads with the organization over there a little bit."
"He's different. I don't know how many friends he had in the clubhouse, but he was never disruptive and never a jerk. I mean, he's just in his own little world."
"We felt he's had a lot going on the last couple of years here between injuries and expectations. In our estimation, it was more likely to happen somewhere other than here."
"It makes some sense to protect their broadcast but it's a bit like the tail wagging the dog. Also Fox/News Corp. had owned the Dodgers at one point and that was not a positive experience."
"My son is the funniest kid ever. When I threw against the Marlins, he told me, 'Man, dad, you suck - one inning, seven runs. I could do that.' I call him last night and I said, 'Matthew, did you watch the game?' He's like yeah. I said, 'Nine innings, no hits. Who sucks now?' And he goes, 'You're still not an All-Star."
"It's a simple problem. Most of the time you see somebody in a funk, most of the time there is a simple solution. It's just a matter of finding out what it is."
"Of course nobody wants to get sent down. But I'm going to use it what it's meant to be for and that's to go down and work and get my swing back to where it needs to be and not feel sorry for myself or be disappointed or mad or anything like that. It's something I need to do for an extended period of time. My confidence or anybody's confidence certainly takes a hit when you've struggled for as long as I have, but again I'm going to go rebuild that as well and hopefully hit a bunch of balls hard and get back here."
"I really do think we have the best defense on a nightly basis. The thing that I really believe is that our guys like it. They like to defend that concept. Our guys like to play defense. They understand the importance of it, and I really appreciate that about our players. Every team does, but our guys really get after it."
"He'll ruffle some feathers, but he'll move things in the right direction. He can organize about as well anyone I've ever seen in baseball. There are times his ego and hands-on control might get in the way and create tension, but for a team like Baltimore, it's best he go through that place like a bull in a china shop and get it the way he wants it. One thing he'll do, he'll make the players accountable. I'm sure he got the blessing of the ownership and Andy MacPhail that if he sees that a player isn't on board with what he's doing, he can get him the hell out of there."
"Don't take this wrong, but they take advantage of us. We bring a Japanese player and they are very good and they bring all these privileges to them. We bring a Dominican kid ... go to the minor leagues, good luck. Good luck. And it's always going to be like that. It's never going to change. But that's the way it is."
"I've known the guy for a long time. It's good to see him healthy, having fun and back doing what he loves. It was great. If I get in trouble going up and seeing a guy after he had heart surgery, I'll pay my fine. That's ridiculous."
"[Owner Mike Ilitch] and the Tigers' organization have given me an opportunity to provide for my family really well, and I feel like I've saved a lot of money and I have the ability to be able to do what I want, whether it's be with my kids every day or go on fishing trips with my dad or brothers. At times I love it. At times I'm like, 'Man.' "
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.