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June 13, 2011

The Week in Quotes

June 6-12

by Alex Carnevale

THE OBVIOUS AND THE ULTIMATE

"Let's face itin this business, the best response you get from the field staff is obviously ultimately in the wins and losses column."
-Athletics general manager Billy Beane on the firing of Bob Geren.

"It's a dream come true. This doesn't happen very often in baseball, where you literally get to come home in the capacity that I do."
-new Athletics manager Bob Melvin.

"The natural competitor in Bob [Melvin] and the natural competitor in me doesn't want to give anything away, certainly, with 99 games left. But I also think we have to be realistic given the available players right now, especially in the pitching rotation."
-Beane.

"It felt like at this point a change was necessary. It got to the point where the emphasis was on the status of the manager on a daily basis and no longer on the field. When that starts to happen, you need to shift the focus to what's really important, which is performance. That's how we came to this decision."
-Beane.

"It's got great pitching, good athletes, and we're going to try to play the game we're suited to play. We're probably not going to sit around and play for three-run homers a whole lot. We play in a ballpark that's probably more conducive to being aggressive, and that's what we're going to try to do."
-Melvin on his team's strengths.

"Whenever you replace your manager, it's a drastic move. I've never had to do it in my tenure as general manager. This is a new script for myself. I don't know if you ever know what the right time is."
-Beane. (Jon Heyman, Sports Illustrated)

PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT OUT ON THE INDIANS

"I'm not in Toronto, so I'm tired of hearing about all that. That's just retarded. If anything was different, I made pitches when I was with Toronto, and I didn't make pitches tonight. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."
-Yankees starter A.J. Burnett on his performance against the Red Sox.

"He's struggled against them. You never know exactly the reason why. The one thing that I can't do is get in the mind of my players. You try as hard as you can, but you can't do that. When you miss a little bit in this league, you're gonna get hit hard. That's the bottom line."
-Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

"I got almost 370 bombs in the big leagues, and everybody wants to make a big deal because I bat-flip one of them."
-Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.

"If he doesn't hit that ball out, he's got a problem. It's right down the middle, 3-2, and he basically did what he's supposed to do with it."
-Burnett on Ortiz's first-inning homer on Wednesday.

"I'm still trying to figure out if David got hit for something I did or if it was something ESPN stirred up."
-Red Sox starter Josh Beckett.

"I mean, it's not my first time, it's not going to be my last time. Big deal. I enjoy the game. I'm a home run hitter. It's not like I do it all the time. It's part of the excitement, you know what I mean? What can I tell you?"
-Ortiz. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

LET'S HOPE HE'S PLEDGING THE SCOUTS

"I'm being honest when I say this: I don't give it much thought. I feel like I'm a Cub. I'm not thinking, 'I'm a Cub for a year.' I'm just saying, 'I'm a Cub.' In my mind, that's the way I view it."
-Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena.

"If I'm going to be here for this ballclub, playing my heart out every single day, then I must believe inside of me that it is eternal. I can't sit here and say, 'I'll be here a couple of months.' To think that way would show a lack of respect for my teammates, a lack of respect for the fans, a lack of respect for myself."
-Pena.

"We have selective ears and vision. We have the parental controls on the televisions in the clubhouse. We only choose to focus on the things that concern us. Everything else, we ignore.''
-Pena.

"I'm a Cub. I have suffered our losses, enjoyed our wins. I'm eager to enjoy many more wins and help this ballclub. We want it to happen immediately, this year. But I can also see myself being a Cub for a while. That's the mentality that serves me well, gets the most out of me on the field. That's the way I view the entire situation, regardless of what the business of baseball might be."
-Pena. (Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com)

GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO...PEOPLE

"I was ready to sign for $1,000 and a plane ticket. They ended up giving me $60,000."
-former Pitt catcher Kevan Smith, a seventh-round draft pick who signed with the White Sox.

"I'm definitely happy for him. He's my youngest brother, and growing up he didn't care too much about being too good at baseball. Ever since he was getting into high school and getting into baseball there, he wanted to play, and he's turned into a good player. And now it seems that he has a lot of want-to. I am happy this is where he is now. We'll see how the pros treat him."
-Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus on his brother Casey, who was selected in the 36th round by the team.

"Everyone on the MLB Network was talking about how the Mets were taking a gamble on me, but that it was a good gamble. So when the general manager, vice president, and scouting director called me, I thanked them for taking a chance on me and having faith in me. I told them that I wasn't going to disappoint them and that I was going to work harder than anybody for this."
-Cheyenne East HS outfielder Brandon Nimmo, the 13th overall selection by the Mets. (Jeremiah Johke, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle)

CHONE WHO?

"Is anyone complaining about our pitching? We have 59 more picks to make in the draft, and it's all about acquiring talent. To get a left-handed pitcher of this caliber, with his history, made sense."
-Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik on using the number-two selection on a pitcher.

"I was completely and utterly shocked that I was picked that soon. I had an idea that I may be picked somewhere in the top part of the draft, but never would I have thought I would be number two."
-Virginia starter and number-two overall selection Danny Hultzen.

"He's got a Greg Maddux demeanor with a Randy Johnson arm."
-Virginia pitching coach Karl Kuhn on Hultzen.

"The kid has three above-average major-league pitchesfastball, change-up, sliderhe's good athlete. When you pick that high, you take the best player or pitcher, and Dan was the best guy, no doubt, at number two."
-Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara. (Larry LaRue, Seattle News-Tribune)

THE FUTURE VALUE IS JUST BREATHTAKING

"It's not a secret that we value guys who can do everything. We put a premium on defense, we put a premium on guys who can run the bases, and obviously what they bring offensively, and we feel like he's got a very well-rounded game that will fit in with the style that we like to play."
-Rays general manager Andrew Friedman on drafting LSU outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

"He's an 18-year-old kid. He's going to be fine."
-Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison on how first-rounder Taylor Guerrieri has dealt with the local media.

"I don't think we did as well in any of the mock drafts as we did, to be honest with you."
-Harrison. (Joe Smith, St. Petersburg Times)

THE REST

"I told her, 'If you keep acting the way you do, sometimes you might see it again.' She laughed. She giggled."
-Joe Girardi on his daughter's reaction to his anger after Fausto Carmona threw at Mark Teixeira in Friday's game. (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)

"I met with the architect in London three or four years ago to talk about not doing a retro stadium and what I had as a vision. We drew on some napkins in the hotel, and I gave him some sketches. When he came back with a sketch built on my concept, I said, 'You've got it. Let's go from here.' I had an idea of what I wanted to see, but I also was seeking [themes] in conjunction with the environment. This is a very exciting, growing part of the world, very contemporary. The stadium had to imitate the spirit of the area."
-Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria on a new ballpark for the team. (Hal Bodley, MLB.com)

"He did? Good for you, Peter. Finally somebody else out-tagged me. Why do you say that, Peter? You have only been to Wrigley Field for a few days. You're not at Wrigley Field all of the time. That's why Peter is one of the brightest men in baseball."
-White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, after he was told Peter Gammons called Wrigley Field "a dump." (Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune)

"It's ridiculous it's come to that. If he's supposed to be part of the solution, I don't see the point of taking him out of the equation. It's sending him mixed messages. I don't care if he's 0-for-50, you're not going to get him relaxed by taking him out of the lineup."
-former Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson on sitting outfielder Jason Bay. (Dan Martin, New York Post)

"I think that at times the fans in the communityand I don't know if it's a fact or notbut I get the feeling that they overlook how special a person we have been able to have around for as long as we've had in baseball. I don't know how baseball looks at him, but whether you like him or don't like him, he's a pretty amazing person."
-Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter on manager Tony La Russa. (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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