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July 2, 2012

The Week in Quotes

June 25-July 1

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

KEVIN YOUKILIS (INSERT BANAL JOKE ABOUT CHANGING SOX)
“It was an emotional time for everyone, for Kevin and his teammates. He’s been here a long time, he’s been a great player and has played hard every inning he’s been out there.”
—Red Sox GM Ben Cherington on long-time Fenway favorite Kevin Youkilis, who was traded to the Chicago White Sox last Sunday after more than eight years with Boston. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

“It’s tough. I played with the guy my whole career. I know how hard he’s played in every game. He’s put on the uniform, so it’s sad. He pushes me every day. I want to go out and play hard like he does. He’s always out there doing his best to help us win. I appreciate him so much.”
—Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Youkilis. (Boston Globe)

“And finally Boston, I just want to say, thank you for Youkilis. I'm just saying, he's going to have to change the color of his Sox, ha, ha, ha, ha.”
—US President Barack Obama, who extended his thanks to the locals at Boston’s Symphony Hall for shipping Youkilis to the White Sox in the president’s hometown of Chicago. The crowd booed. (Steve Silva, Boston Globe)

“I didn't think I'd get any boos out of here but... I should not have brought up baseball, I understand. My mistake, my mistake. You've got to know your crowd.
—Obama

“Hitting was normal. I had to bear down a couple of times and focus while I was out in the field. Once I did that, I actually kind of had fun. It wasn’t fun that we lost. It was probably one of the things that wasn’t easy. But it was just kind of enjoyable to be around new teammates and a new environment.”
—Kevin Youkilis, who went 1-for-4 on Monday in his first career game not wearing a Boston uniform. (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

“It seems like I can’t escape the Red Sox with some of the highlights up there, but it was kind of nice to see some of your teammates doing well. Hopefully (Tuesday) there won’t be any Red Sox highlights, so we can all move on. It was a good day, but unfortunately it was a bad day that we lost.”
—Youkilis

HANNAHAN FLIES OUT TO (FAN IN) LEFT FIELD
“I guess he was confident I had made the catch. But truthfully, the ball popped out.”
—Yankees outfielder DeWayne Wise, admitting that he did not catch Jack Hannahan’s controversial pop fly on Tuesday night, despite the fact that third-base umpire Mike DiMuro called him out. (Zach Schonbrun, New York Times)

Stuff like that happens—they’re not perfect. But he said, ‘Out,’ right away, and what was I supposed to do? Run back to left field?”
—Wise on Tuesday’s controversy.

“I believed the ball was in his glove when he came out of the stands.”
—DiMuro, prior to seeing the replay.

“I asked him about the foul ball down the line. He said it was hugging the line all the way, which was incorrect. It was a foul ball all the way. You could tell where I slid. I let it go. Umpires are human. They make mistakes.”
—Hannahan (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“He blew the call in the second inning that led to three runs, and that was right in front of him. I can live with the fact that he didn't see him drop the ball. Or the fan jumping up and down 2 feet away, excited that he got a foul ball. For him not to ask to see the ball is absolutely inexcusable ... It's frustrating.”
—Hannahan

"He gave me an early hook. I tried to discuss it with him. I didn't swear or anything."
—Hannahan, on getting ejected by DiMuro after trying to discuss the controversial play with him in the eighth inning.

“That’s a play where you don’t know what happens until you see the replay, so no one could argue that. What can he do? He can’t see the guy picking up the ball over there.”
—Indians manager Manny Acta.

FIGHTIN’ WORDS OVER ALL-STAR PICKS
“A snub like that looks bad. Johnny and Brandon were at the center of a skirmish between us and the Cardinals. Some of the Cardinals who aren’t there anymore are making some of the selections.”

—Reds manager Dusty Baker on Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips not making the National League All-Star team. The Reds and Cardinals, then managed by NL All-Star manager Tony La Russa, were involved in a skirmish in 2010 when Phillips earlier called the Cardinals “whiners,” and Cueto kicked Cardinals back-up catcher Jason LaRue in the head. (John Fay, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“Too late now. What are we going to talk about now? If you’re going to talk to me, you talk before. If they wanted my opinion, they would have asked. I’m sure it’s not just Tony’s decision.”
—Baker on whether he spoke to La Russa.

“If Dusty had been more interested in Cueto being on the team, then he wouldn’t be pitching him on Sunday. Cueto probably would be on the team if he wasn’t pitching Sunday. The comments Dusty made clearly disappoint me and are attacking my integrity. The All-Star experience is too important to let anything stand in the way of a decision like that. No way am I going to penalize anybody for any kind of past history. The fact is that Cueto is going to be pitching on Sunday. Some other day, he’s probably on the team.”
—La Russa (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

THOME HEADING SOUTH ON I-95
“There's a part of me that's excited to get a chance to go play a little bit. Baltimore has been having a nice year. It'll be exciting to go over there and help those guys win and get some at-bats.”
—New Orioles acquisition Jim Thome on his trade from the Phillies. (Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer)

 “It's bittersweet, to be honest. Jim is a great teammate. I think we're all sorry to see him go, but also we're excited he'll get opportunities to get at-bats daily and still do a lot of damage.”
—Phillies second baseman Chase Utley

“First and foremost, my job is to put us in the position to do the right thing for the organization. At the same time, the player that we're talking about and the great deal of respect we have for Jim, I wanted to try to put him in a position where he can flourish.”
—Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

CLIFF LEE IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY
“I have things, but I'm not discussing them in the paper.”
—Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee on what might be the answer to starting pitcher Cliff Lee’s struggles. (Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer)

“It was just weird. It seemed like everything they hit went between third and short. They just got a lot of hits. It was one of those nights, I can’t really explain it.”
—Lee

 “For the whole team it kind of has been. We've been in last place from the start till now, so I don't think anyone is really happy with how things have gone as group.”
—Lee on whether this season is like a bad dream for the Phillies.

MIKE TROUT RUNS, JUMPS, AND LANDS IN BASEBALL STARDOM
"We were sitting on the bench wondering how anybody threw him out. You don't see many Trouts. You see parts of the package, but not like that. The hype is well-deserved. He's a game-changer."
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Mike Trout, who stole a perfect 12 of 12 bases on the Angels’ interleague tour of the NL West. (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)

"Let him get his arms extended, he'll make you pay. Tremendous power to all fields. But that kid's not just a slugger; he can play the game."
—Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

"It reminded me of a young Torii Hunter. I should rephrase that – it reminded me of Torii Hunter."
—Angels manager Mike Scioscia on Trout’s leaping, homer-preventing catch that emulated many past Torii Hunter highlights. (Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

"Very impressive. A-plus. I give him a 98. Just watching him go up in the air, I got chills. I was pumping my fist. We were high-fiving."
—Torii Hunter.

"I knew he barreled it up. I was running back. When I got to the track, I just told myself the only chance I had was if I jumped. I jumped as high as I could and caught it. It kind of helps with the rubber warning track."
—Trout’s own recount of the catch.

"If you look at Mike's potential, it's not surprising. But when you look at someone doing it at this young an age, it's certainly an accomplishment. But he's just playing baseball. And I think it's important for him to keep that perspective. Just keep going out there and playing baseball."

—Scioscia. Trout’s BWARP ranks among the league’s top 10, despite playing over 15 games
less than the leaders. (Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

TWITTER

A.J. Pierzynski is not happy about not being selected to participate in the All-Star Game and he doesn’t care who knows it. (Jon Heyman, @jonheymanCBS, CBSSports.com)

—Harper voiced his respect for fellow former first overall pick Chipper Jones. (Amanda Comak, @acomak, Washington Times)

—This tweet evaded us last week, but its awesomeness found a place here this week. Hamilton entered Sunday’s action with 96 stolen bases, and a keen awareness of the time. (Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds)

—Stan Kasten basically confirmed the Dodgers’ intent to become the Yankees of the West Coast. (Dylan Hernandez, @dylanohernandez, Los Angeles Times)

THE REST
“It's the Kansas City Mets or the New York Royals all over again. It's the same series we played a couple days ago against the Mets. It's almost like exactly the same stuff.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, after his team’s 8-2 loss to the Royals on Tuesday night. Kansas City would go on to sweep the series. (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)

“It gives everybody that’s ever played the game, that dealt with adversity and finally got here a ray of hope. It’s all the guys that are hanging in the minor leagues, getting a cup of coffee. Never going to be good enough. Never going to be able to do this. You know what? You reach down inside. And, yeah, he did something extraordinary. He found a pitch that’s difficult to throw and mastered it. It’s still something where you can hang onto the fact that ‘Hey, it can be done.’ ”
—Mets manager Terry Collins on starting pitcher R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball. (Andy McCullough, The Star-Ledger)

“There haven't been many people pitching better than Hamm, and he gets a mulligan.”
—Orioles manager Buck Showalter on starter Jason Hammel’s rough outing against the Angels on Wednesday night that saw the right-hander’s ERA balloon from 2.61 to 3.29. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)

“I take full responsibility for this game. The pitch to Wieters was the dumbest pitch I've thrown in a long time. It was my call. They asked me what pitch I wanted to throw. I said an inside sinker. You can't get beat inside. I've got to make him hit the ball the other way."
—Indians starter Derek Lowe, who surrendered a three-run bomb to Orioles catcher Matt Wieters in the sixth inning of Baltimore’s 9-8 victory on Friday. The loss dropped the Tribe back down to .500. (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“Piece of cake. It’s always been my experience that good closers know how much they’ve got to work with. He’s been a guy who will bend a little bit in these situations, but very seldom does he break. It’s his job. You let him get his job done. You know what? He got the save, and we got the win. That’s all that matters.”
—Royals manager Ned Yost on closer Jonathan Broxton’s propensity for making things interesting in the ninth inning. The burly stopper nailed down his 20th save of the year Friday night, but not before surrendering two runs and allowing the tying run to reach second base with nobody out. (Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star)

“The fact that I am in All-Star candidate is more of a buildup by just who I am, where I came from and the media promoting it this much. Personally, do I feel like I'm an All-Star? I don't think so.”
—Rangers starter Yu Darvish on whether his walk-prone pitching warrants an All-Star nod. Darvish was named an AL Final Vote candidate on Sunday. (Anthony Andro, Fox Sports)

“I got excited. When the crowd got loud, I got excited. I was smiling if you see. Nobody out, first and second, I was like, 'Oh (expletive) – I like this. I've got to get out of here. It's going to be fun when I get out of this.’ ”
—Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri on the adrenaline of pitching in high-leverage situations. Frieri hasnt allowed a run in two months. (Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

“This was not a desperation move as has been portrayed. This is something I have been looking at since I came to this organization and realized the issues presented at playing at 5,183 feet above sea level.”
—Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd on the challenges that led to running out a four-man starting rotation. (Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post)

“My first time, all I thought about was 'Pull. Pull. Pull.' And, oh man, after the first round I was really fatigued. I barely advanced. It gets to you. My obliques were really sore. But after that, I just took it like a batting practice. I can hit the ball out from foul pole to foul pole. I don't have to pull everything. Some guys think they have to pull everything. That's where a lot of guys struggle.”
Albert Pujols on hitting at the strenuous Home Run Derby. Teammate Mark Trumbo is set to participate in this year’s competition. (Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

“I like the feeling of having a chip on my shoulder. Look at my track record -- I never did anything close to major league level until last year. I heard questions all offseason. I had questions of whether I could do it again.”
—Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong, who is tied for the league lead with 14 quality starts and whose 2.26 ERA leads the team’s starting staff. (Alex Pavlovic, MercuryNews.com)

“I'm tired of watching it. I'm patient and I believe that nine times out of 10 you're rewarded with patience. But there also has to be a sense of urgency with every player in that room. And you've got to be able to walk that line. And we've got too many people not doing it right now. We've got maybe a couple, or three guys swinging the bat OK right now and that's it. Out of what? Thirteen or whatever it is?”
—Mariners manager Eric Wedge on his team’s listless offense, which scored just five runs in the four-game series versus the Red Sox. (Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times)

“We want to do everything possible to make sure our city continues to be safe. The rivalry should only be on the sports field.”
—San Francisco mayor Ed Lee, who installed undercover cops at AT&T Park to quell further violence between Giants and Dodgers fans. (Bay City News Service, MercuryNews.com)

“He's been a part of my family for the last five years. He was a good man. He was a huge part of what I was able to do in San Diego. Whenever you're around someone as long as you're around someone in this clubhouse or anywhere, people become family.”
—Rangers reliever Mike Adams on Darrel Akerfelds, his former bullpen coach in San Diego, who died of pancreatic cancer last week. (T.R. Sullivan and Christian Corona, MLB.com)

“You look at Cal Ripken. You look at Derek Jeter. You look at all the greats that played for one team their whole career. I want to be like that. I’ve always wanted to be like that. I’ve always wanted to play with that same team.”
—Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who’s starting to feel at home in the nation’s capital. (Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post)

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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