September 6, 2010
The Week in Quotes
August 30-September 5
ROB DIBBLE IS ALREADY ON A PLANE TO OHIO
"Big-league hitters can time fastballs, no matter how hard they throw, but with him, first of all, he's left-handed. Second of all, he's ass and elbows coming at you. He throws from a weird arm slot, it's not from over the top. It's got a little three-quarter action and he hides the ball well. The ball coming out of his hand that hard is a lot tougher than something straight because the ball's moving. It's running a little or cutting a little, which is obviously makes it that much tougher to hit."
"Every time he throws a pitch, I've gotta look at the miles-per-hour. You have to look at it. The more he's on the field, the more you're saying, 'Thank you, Walt, for getting this guy in Cincinnati.' That's what I'm saying out there. 'Thank you, Walt, for getting this guy in Cincinnati.'"
"That thing ... that pitch ... that's a whole different ballgame. His breaking ball is what people should be talking about. His slider is absolutely ridiculous. He's got to be able to throw it for a strike and he's got to get into counts where we can call it, so getting ahead is big, but if he can throw that breaking ball for a strike... good luck. It's a hammer. I saw it in Triple-A, it's 88-to-93, it's moving about a foot and a half. That's not something that anyone wants to hit, I don't care how good you are."
"I got that in my Ferrari."
WASN'T THAT CLOTHESLINE PUNISHMENT ENOUGH?
"Man, they threw the book at me. What did I do? I feel I haven't done anything. I knocked over a catcher ... they threw the ball at me. Come on, what am I supposed to do? I have to take this and try to keep playing. I feel I haven't done anything wrong except for playing the game hard and play the game like it supposed to be played. Wow. I don't know what else to say. I don't think you should be suspended for hitting a catcher. ... I don't understand what I did wrong to get an eight-game suspension."
"Some of the things that he did were disconcerting to me. A lot if it snowballed after that. Most of the incidents I really have little or no problem with at all. They were pure baseball things. But there were a few situations that were unfortunate mistakes by a young, aggressive player who should know better. He's never had a problem off the field, outside the white lines. Between the white lines, there's been some issues. But he's been a model citizen off the field."
"Nyjer's just a man of many, many... just, of everything. He's not afraid to do anything. Anybody would like to have him on their team. He's bringing 100 percent. Every time he shows up, there's never a dull moment with him."
"That's the whole basis, that I was out there protecting my pitcher. Even if I wasn't the instigator, I was still part of it. Those things happen. I can't look back at it now and say I would do anything different."
"If I played like this back in the '80s, nobody would have said anything. I don't think I've done anything wrong other than play the game hard. That's how I got here, playing the game hard and with energy. I can't stop. I got the will to win, not the will to quit."
IT TAKES ONE HELL OF A GUY TO CALL HIMSELF ONE HELL OF A GUY
"When I went to first base, I told Youkilis, 'What happened between you and me, that's my fault.' 'I'm sorry.' It takes a real man to go and tell a person it was my fault, and that's what I did."
"He taught a lot of our guys how to win."
"That's in the past. I would have been more relaxed. More patient. In life, you pass every stage, and I'm already past that stage. You keep growing, and when you look back you say, 'Oh, I did this wrong.' What is done is done. All you can do is go and play the game and finish your career good."
"I sat and talked with him about a plan. We were dealing with some leg issues, and he felt it was better to go to the other league and DH and have a chance to play every day. I couldn't disagree with him."
THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY YOU WERE NOT ALL THAT GOOD TO BEGIN WITH
"There isn't a single soul in baseball who feels sorry for us, that's going to care about us. Right now, we hit a bad spot and it plays tricks on your mind. This is a game of confidence. If you don't have confidence going out there, it's going to show, and it's showed. We need to find a way to get that confidence back."
"I don't agree. If you're characterizing it as underachieving, that's a tough hit to take. Our pitching staff has been first, second or third all year. There are guys in this clubhouse who I don't think you can say are underachieving. But there's no doubt that on the last homestand and this road trip we did not achieve wins."
"We’re all disappointed. When your players play up to their capabilities, it allows you to go out there with confidence and with that feeling that every time you step out to the field, you've got a great chance to win. It's a feeling all great teams have, but sometimes it doesn’t happen."
"It’s been a total team effort. It’s not one area, so it’s tough to diagnose. No part of this team can look at itself and say it’s been as it was early on. It happens to every team. Unfortunately for us, it happened in late August."
YOU DROPPED THE PLAYER OFF AT COORS FIELD, AND THEN YOU BACKED THE CAR OVER HIM
"I think there were times when he had it all working, a mid-90s fastball with good finish in the zone, a plus changeup that's his bread and butter, and at times a really good curveball. That kind of almost teased everyone into thinking, 'Hey, this guy might be able to put it together and pitch at the very end of the game,' because at times he'd go out there with closer's stuff. So I think judging him against that standard is difficult, because I don't think he's necessarily that guy. But he's been a contributor in middle relief for us."
"When he's been less effective, he hasn't been able to maintain tremendous consistency for us. There were some mechanical flaws that would lead him to lose the feel for his curveball and lose command of his fastball, so he'd become more of a changeup guy. To be a candidate to pitch later in the game, he needs those three solid pitches and it's been a struggle for him to maintain all those."
"That’s a tough question. It’s kind of like what the Supreme Court said about pornography: 'You’ll know it when you see it.' Right now, we’re not eliminated. We’re trying to get really hot."
THE LAST THING SUZYN WALDMAN NEEDS THIS FALL IS HEART PALPITATIONS AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
“This is not the first time. It happens every year. Everyone scuffles every year. The difference is that when you’re scuffling, you still get hits here and there, and it goes unnoticed at times. This year hasn’t been the case.”
"All the people doing the talking are shortsighted, very shortsighted. I don't think any of the talk, any of the stories, affect Derek at all. Everybody is jumping to conclusions because they need something to talk about."
"I don't know if a change would bring shock waves. All I know is that I believe in Derek."
"I just want to see what I have left. I'm doing this because I love playing. If what I've got left is good enough to get back up there, I'd love to put some more years under my belt. The only regret would be what if I could have one more shot, whether I get back for one day or five or six more years. I don't think I was ready to say, 'All right, that's it. I've had enough.'"
"To each his own interpretation; that's what the Bible is. I’m a Christian, too; a Catholic Christian. He’s throwing something in that shouldn’t even be allowed to be brought in. That’s a topic where you don’t ever bring that up. My feeling is that God has a lot better things to worry about than if I’m going to throw a strike on a certain pitch."
"If he doesn’t want to be here next year, we need to figure out a way to get him out of here and find somebody that wants to be here and play. That’s a reality. That'll show you right there a young player that doesn't respect what he's got. He needs to find out the talent and ability that he has and pretty much keep his mouth shut and play the game."
"In all the deals I've been in all the years, I can't remember anybody saying 'I'm running a Google' to figure out what a player's done. That is our policy now. We are doing that. We have done that since that moment."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.