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June 4, 2012

The Week in Quotes

May 28-June 3

by Hudson Belinsky, Jonah Birenbaum, Andrew Koo and Matthew Rocco

​The Week in Quotes is a feature that ran roughly forever at BP, more or less from the advent of the site until last July, when it was temporarily retired. Since then, it's become the BP equivalent of ​Arrested Development​—you've never stopped asking us to bring it back. Thanks to the hard work of BP interns Hudson Belinsky, Jonah Birenbaum, Andrew Koo, and Matthew Rocco, we are bringing it back, and unlike the new season of ​Arrested Development​, you don't have to sign up for Netflix to see it. For the most part, we're following the old format, but we've also added a section for the week's best tweets by beat writers and players. Please let us know if there's anything else you'd like to see included.—Ben Lindbergh

A NO-NO FOR JOHAN AND THE METS
“This is very special. We worked very hard, all the things that we have gone through, that I have been through. This is very, very special, and I knew this means a lot to New York.”
—Mets pitcher Johan Santana on his no-hitter against the Cardinals last Friday night. (Brian Costa, The Wall Street Journal)

“I’m very, very excited for him. But if in five days, his arm is bothering him, I’m not going to feel very good. That’s what I told him.”
—Mets manager Terry Collins on his decision to let Santana finish the game. Santana threw a career-high 134 pitches.

“I went against about everything I stand for. That’s taking the chance of hurting your whole ballclub throughout the next four months for an instant decision of glory. Is it worth it? I believe in the organization and I believe in the team and I’m not here to destroy any of that.”
—Collins (Mark Herrmann, Newsday)

“When I went down to him on the bench, just to check and see how he was doing, he said, ‘Look, I’m going to finish this.’ I told him, ‘Well, you're my hero.’ What I meant by that was he is really basically taking the decision away from me.”
—Collins

“That ball that Baxter caught, he'll go down in the annals of New York Met lore because of that.”
—Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey on left fielder Mike Baxter’s catch in the seventh inning. (Andrew Marchand, ESPN New York)

“What a night for the Mets. As a Met fan as a kid, it is a huge night for the Mets. We have been waiting a long time for a no-hitter.”
—Baxter, who grew up in Whitestone, Queens.

“We were all legitimate before it, but I feel more legitimate. It brings attention to all of the other guys who pitched for this organization, especially the starting pitchers.”
—Former Mets pitcher and current SNY broadcaster Ron Darling on Santana’s no-hitter. (Tom Pedulla, Newsday)

THE KNUCKLEBALL
“We went out to make the pitching change, and [plate umpire Tim] Tschida said, ‘I’ve never seen a ball do that kind of stuff.’ ”
—Mets manager Terry Collins on R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball. (Greg Logan, Newsday)

“He’s learning to control that elevated knuckleball where it looks like it’s going to come down and it pops up at the end. It’s incredible the way it moves . . . It’s kind of scary.”
—Mets catcher Mike Nickeas.

“A knuckleball is a funny thing. It’s very enigmatic. Today I was able to change speeds with it a lot. I was able to elevate some. I’m starting to get a little more of a feel on how to do some things with it. That's exciting. But still, I tried to do a couple of things, and they did the opposite of what I wanted it to do.”
—Dickey

“I’ve seen the knuckleball move as good as it has the last two outings, but it was on accident. I would throw it, and it does the things it's going to do. But today and last outing and mechanically between outings, I’ve been able to repeat some deliveries where I can make it do a couple different things. That’s been fun. It may not stay in that place, but right now, it's nice to be able to enjoy that.”
—Dickey

FIRST PICK
“Players’ aspirations tend to fluctuate depending on how they see the market developing for their services and as that time draws near and they feel that they’re not in a good spot or not as good a spot as they want to be. Sometimes there’s some pretty dramatic shifts in what people are saying and how they’re posturing, including on the club side. So I think there will be a flurry of activity leading up to the actual first picks.”
—Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow on the draft. (Zachary Levine, Houston Chronicle)

“We don’t feel like we’re beholden to it one way or the other. You’ll probably see some teams — and I don’t know if we’ll be one of them — be creative about how they use their allocation.”
—Luhnow (Houston Chronicle)

“We’ve got the full amount allocated in our budget to spend as much as we need to on the slots. The first pick’s 7 million bucks, and we’re fully allocated all the way through the drafting process to spend as much as we need.”
—Astros owner Jim Crane.

SPORTING A NEW LOOK
“I was surprised by how I hadn’t played in a few days and was able to have a swing like that. I wasn’t really worried about the glasses; I knew they worked well. I did a lot of work before the game just to make sure I was able to stay through the ball and go to left-center. I was happy with the results.”
—Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who missed several games as a result of blurred vision from a corneal abrasion, spoke about his new Oakley glasses and hitting a home run in his first at-bat after returning to the lineup. (David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“Yeah, I don’t see me going back to contacts because my eyes, I still can’t put contacts in there so there’s no reason to go back to square one with that and have my eyes burning and all that stuff.”
—Freeman

NOT THE HALLADAY HE WANTED
“Really, in the end, it’s going to be time. You've got to let it [the inflamed latissimus dorsi muscle] cool off a little before you try to push it too much. You’ve just got to rest.”
—Bradford Parsons, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, offered his perspective on Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay’s shoulder injury. (Frank Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Inquirer)

“They might do some things in therapy to try to get rid of the inflammation quicker. There are some modalities therapists will do to try to break up muscle inflammation or scarring. There’s probably some gentle stretching they might do. But really, it’s time. You want to let the muscle where the strain is cool off, give the body a chance to resolve the inflammation, repair the area where the muscle is injured or strained.”
—Parsons

“It could have been the labrum. It could have been the rotator cuff. If there is good news from an injury, this is probably good news.”
—Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee. (Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer)

“I’ve thought since spring training that there was an issue. The ball just hasn't been accelerating through the zone the way his stuff does.”
—Dubee

‘STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED’
“It’s tough for me, because this is already a freak thing as it is. My wife has been getting hate mail on her Facebook, like, messages and stuff. It’s really sad that these kinds of things happen from a freak thing. I mean, she didn't do it on purpose. It was an accident. Stranger things have happened.”
—Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy told radio station WSSP that he was injured when his wife, Sarah, shifted a suitcase that fell and struck his right hand. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list. (ESPN)

“I have to admit that the only time I got down all year was when I heard about Jonathan. I was so excited for him. I thought he was going to the All-Star Game.”
—Brewers owner Mark Attanasio. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

JONESING FOR A DEAL
“Here’s a player that can help us on both sides of the ball. He’s 26 years old and he’s a fixture in the community. So, we are telling Oriole fans we are committed to this player, we are committed to putting a winning team on the field and we are committed to providing hope to rebuilding our fan base.”
—Orioles general manager Dan Duquette, who signed centre fielder Adam Jones to a six-year, $85.5 million contract extension last Sunday. (Brittany Ghiroli, MLB.com)

“It’s making me, not necessarily a life-long Oriole, but sure leading in that direction.”
—Jones, on his new contract.

“Everybody knows I am not from Baltimore, but this is now my town.”
—Jones (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)

SOLD!
“You look at where he has come from and we extended him and getting experience and everything else. He’s special.”
—White Sox manager Robin Ventura on 23-year-old starter Chris Sale, who was named AL Pitcher of the Month after posting a 4-1 record with a 1.71 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings pitched over five starts (six appearances) in May. (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

“He’s a good pitcher. He's just young and continues to get better. He’s got a lot of great pitches.”
—Ventura, on Sale. (Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune)

“I don’t know what it was like facing Randy Johnson when he was young, but this kid has got great stuff.”
—Tampa Bay second baseman Ben Zobrist on Sale, who tallied 15 strikeouts in a 2-1 White Sox win over the Rays Monday afternoon. (Daryl Van Schouwen, Chicago Sun-Times)

ON THE OFFENSIVE
“In Triple-A, I hit the top of the wall and the outfielders were looking for the ball and were chasing it and I had time to get to third base. I think they have to die first so I can get to third.”
—Mariners catcher Jesus Montero on his infrequent triple-hitting experiences. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)

“I don't think he has to be 100 percent to hit a homer.”
—Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus on home run leader Josh Hamilton. (Jeff Wilson, Star-Telegram)

“Hope you enjoyed your night at Rangers Ballpark.”
—Rangers PA announcer Chuck Morgan, after the Mariners edged the Rangers, 21-8. (Geoff Baker, Twitter)

RUN! IT’S GODZILLA!
“He’s a professional hitter. He works a really good at-bat. His bat-to-ball skills are elite. And for our young guys to watch him and the way he goes about it, both in the batter’s box and off the field, I think will only help.”
—Rays general manager Andrew Friedman on outfielder Hideki Matsui, who was called up from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday. The 37-year-old hit a two-run home run in his Rays debut. (Dave Scheiber, Fox Sports Florida)

“He’s always kind of beat up on us a little bit, so we're glad to have him.”
—Rays center fielder B.J. Upton on Matsui.

“I think he’ll fit in really well. I don't really know him personally. I've been in his company a couple of times. But everybody who's been around him speaks of what a tremendous professional he is.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon on Matsui.

TWITTER
VERNON WELLS LOOKS INTO HIS CRYSTAL BALL

—Vernon Wells (@VernonWells10) in response to Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettOCR) of the Orange County Register, who noted a 1-for-17 slump from Mike Trout. The next day, Trout went 2-for-5.

JORGE SOLER HITS FREE AGENCY

—Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) reported the end of Soler’s time in limbo, and the 20-year-old can now sign with the highest bidder.

THE BEANBALL MESS BETWEEN THE RAYS AND WHITE SOX

—Rays manager Joe Maddon on Jose Quintana’s ejection from the final game of the Rays-White Sox series on Wednesday. (Tweeted by Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, @cst_soxvan)

A GOOD REASON TO CONTINUE SUBSCRIBING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS

—Rays outfielder Sam Fuld (@samfuld5), after talking stats during the broadcast of the Rays-Braves game on May 20.

THE REST
“I’ve made a decision, along with my representatives, that we will not discuss contract during this season. Or next for that matter. There’s too much good going on with this team, and so many positive vibes with this team right now, that it wouldn’t be fair to my teammates, to this team, to do something as selfish as talk about a contract for me. It doesn’t just affect me. It affects the guys in that clubhouse, it affects the vibe in the clubhouse. It’s a part of the business, but on the same hand, it’s selfish when I feel I am discussing ‘me,’ when we should be discussing ‘we’ as a team, and especially the good start we have gotten off to.”
—Mets third baseman David Wright on his decision to not discuss a contract extension during the season. (Ed Coleman, WFAN, via MetsBlog)

“That's why you can't be doing backflips in May.”
Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta, whose team has lost seven of its last 10 games after starting the season 25-18. (Jordan Bastian, MLB.com)

“It was just like anything, like a bases-loaded situation, a tough situation. You don’t think about it. You just do it. I learned that from my father. Just react to things. I was just glad I was there to help him out.”
—Reds third baseman Todd Frazier talked about performing the Heimlich maneuver on a fellow diner in a downtown Pittsburgh restaurant. (Bob Cohn, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

“If you get your work done, I'll give you an autograph at the end of class.”
—Dodgers outfielder Jerry Sands on motivating his students in his off-season job as a substitute teacher. (Baxter Holmes, Los Angeles Times)

“I’m always kind of bummed out when guys pass you, because you had your own place in the record book for a while, and I had that one there for a while. But a guy like Derek comes around and passes you, really, I think it all depends on the type of person that did it. I have the utmost respect for him.”
George Brett on Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who notched his 3,155th hit last Sunday to claim sole possession of 14th on the all-time list, surpassing Brett. (David Waldstein, New York Times)

“It was instant panic. It was almost as if you stepped on an ant-hill and then everyone just flooded right out of the whole place. It was kind of one of those things that you almost think that was it real or was it not, but I mean you just got to get out of there. You can’t sit and wait around so I just got out of there as fast as possible.”
—Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, describing the scene when gunfire broke out while he was shopping at Toronto’s Eaton Centre on Saturday. (Mike Cormack, Sportsnet)

Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jonah's other articles. You can contact Jonah by clicking here
Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Andrew's other articles. You can contact Andrew by clicking here

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