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July 30, 2012

The Week in Quotes

July 23-29

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

ICHIRO TAKES HIS TALENTS TO THE BRONX
“I am going to a team with the most wins from a team with the most losses. It’s hard to contain my excitement.”
Ichiro Suzuki, after being traded from the Mariners to the Yankees on Monday. Ichiro, who compiled 2,533 hits over more than 11 years with Seattle, went 1-for-4 in his Yankees debut, which just happened to come against the Mariners. (George A. King III, New York Post)

“I have always admired [Ichiro] from afar, I am looking forward to playing with him. He can play; he knows how to hit. When you play against him, you have to be careful. He has been a consistent player for a long time.”
—Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter on his team’s acquisition.

“Ichiro is a rock star and he likes the bright lights, and we have plenty of them in New York. It’s a huge shot in the arm for him and a huge shot in the arm for us.”
—Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez

“I am overcome with feelings when I think of the times I spent with the fans here.”
—Suzuki on his storied tenure with the Mariners. (David Waldstein, New York Times)

“He deserves a chance to play for a contending team before the end of his magnificent career. The Mariners should certainly not stand in his way.”
—Mariners chief executive Howard Lincoln

MARINERS MOVE ON
“As we moved forward with this thing, for us, you have to look at what this player has meant to the Seattle Mariners and this city, this franchise and where he's at in his career. So you just had to do the right thing. And for the player, this is the right thing to do.”
—Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik on the trade. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)

“We'll see what happens from now til the trade deadline and see what happens at the end of the year. But in September, we were going to call up younger players. [...] It's perfectly clear what we're doing here. There's no running from it. They're right in front of our eyes. We'll continue to do what we're doing."
—Zduriencik, on advancing the youth movement in Seattle.

“He's absolutely an amazing hitter. He's one of the best hitters of all time—there's so much you can learn from a guy like that. Something that I've learned from him is his routine. He has the same thing he does every day. He does the same swings, he takes the same approach.”
—Third baseman Kyle Seager, on Ichiro. (Josh Liebeskind, MLB.com)

GREINKE GOES TO DISNEYLAND
“I haven't talked to my agent or anyone since the news of getting traded, but I don't usually talk about that stuff with the media. It's an organization probably just about everybody in baseball would want to be a part of. That's one way to put it.”
—Angels starting pitcher Zack Greinke, a pending free agent who was acquired in a trade with the Brewers last week, avoided talking in detail about his future with Anaheim. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

“Well, I know the team is really good. I haven't been over here for a year and a half, I guess, with Kansas City, so I've been away from American League teams. But they've always been good, and I guess the pitching staff has gotten even better since I left.”
—Greinke on the Angels.

“I mean, he has the kind of stuff that lights scouts' eyes up. That's what I remember about him. He controlled the running game, is an outstanding athlete, he has a great game feel out there, and hopefully he'll get comfortable and we'll see that.”
—Angels manager Mike Scioscia

HANLEY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
“When the new owners came in, they set forth their intentions right away—we're not going to do anything reckless or crazy, but we're not letting money stand in the way of a good baseball deal. They proved it [Tuesday] night. It's liberating and freeing to be able to make a baseball trade.”
—Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, after completing a trade with the Marlins for Hanley Ramirez. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

“He said he hadn't played short in a year, so we'll give him a few days to get comfortable. The last thing I want to do is bring him in, he flies in, changes teams and plays a position he hasn't played in a year. … Right now at short fits best with our club and I can mix and match at third. I don't want to yo-yo him.”
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on where Ramirez will play. The return of injured shortstop Dee Gordon will factor into the long-term decision. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

“I'm happy to be here. This organization has a lot of history. I never thought I was going to be traded until last night and I started to think about it.”
—Ramirez

“I'm real excited about it. It's an unbelievable pickup to get a player of his caliber. And we're not getting just two months but two more years on top of that. It's nice to know that me and [Matt] Kemp and him will be here two years, give or take. He's an impact bat in the lineup, and I'm sure he'll add a spark we've been lacking a little bit. We're lucky to get him.”
—Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier on the acquisition of Ramirez. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

HUSTON STREET, PADRES AGREE ON EXTENSION
“It's an honor. To be a part of those guys, I still think I got a lot of work to do. I think you look at what Heath had done, what Trevor had done, obviously. Trevor is one of the greatest closers of all time, if not the greatest closer. Certainly it's a role I take very seriously, and I want to continue to do it at a level of excellence like those guys did for so many years.”
—Padres closer Huston Street, who signed a two-year contract extension worth $14 million. (Corey Brock, MLB.com)

“I would think I probably gave up some [money]. Some people might say it's a team-friendly contract. That's fine with me. I'm happy. It's friendly to me. It's going to be very friendly to me.”
—Street

“Huston has done a fantastic job for us, and he's fit our clubhouse well. He's about to turn 29 [on Thursday]. We think this is a good decision to solidify the position for us.”
—Padres general manager Josh Byrnes

“This game is about performance, and as a Padre, he's performed well. He'll be the first to tell you he wants it to continue, as do we. He's a perfectionist in a lot of ways, so he's still trying to refine his game to get the most to maximize his ability.”
—Padres manager Bud Black

“The organization itself is a bunch of people that I like, that I like being around, that I want to go play for, and ultimately you have to believe in that, you have to believe in everybody involved. Like I told Buddy and the rest of the coaches, I wouldn't have signed this if I didn't believe in you guys, if I didn't believe in the rest of my teammates. I thought [free agency] would be exciting, but when you have a chance to avoid it and do something you want, you have to take advantage of that. I was thankful the Padres gave me that opportunity.”
—Street

“I absolutely set the terms. It was pretty simple. I called Josh and told him what I wanted. I knew it pretty well had to be done before the (July 31) trading deadline or there was a good chance I might have been traded. We were up against a deadline. There had to be a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ Josh [Byrnes] said ‘let me think about it.’ He got back to me and the deal got done.”
—Street (Bill Center, UT San Diego)

LIRIANO TRADED TO THE WHITE SOX, NO PUN AVAILABLE
“I've played with Frankie, and he's a great teammate. He's one of those guys who makes the guys around him better, just by the way he is. He works hard. Everyone knows he has great stuff. I'm excited to have him on his team. He's going to be a great addition.”
—White Sox pitcher Philip Humber on Franciso Liriano, who was traded to Chicago on Saturday night after seven years with the Minnesota Twins. (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

“You add a guy like him, and we saw him pretty good when he pitched at their place. He’s somebody who has been good. That's part of Kenny Williams trying to find something to push us over the top.”
—White Sox manager Robin Ventura on his team’s acquisition.

A-ROD HEADS TO DL
“It’s difficult. Tough break.”
—Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who sustained a broken metacarpal in his left hand after getting hit with a pitch from Seattle’s Felix Hernandez on Tuesday night. (David Waldstein, New York Times)

“If the seams hit you on the right spot, it doesn’t matter how hard it’s thrown, it’s going to break.”
—Rodriguez’s teammate Eric Chavez

“We lost Mo, we lost Andy, now we’ve lost Al. But you know, you find out how good you are. Other guys are going to have to step up. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves because no one else is going to. It will be a challenge, but we’ve had challenges before.”
—Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter

“I never thought fracture. But it was.”
—Rodriguez

“No one’s going to replace him. But we have guys that can step up and fill the void. It makes the Ichiro trade that much bigger because now he’s going to get a chance to play a little bit more and we’ll have opportunities for certain guys to step in.”
—Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira

“He hit Alex with a changeup. In that situation, I don’t think he’s trying to hit anyone on purpose. You wouldn’t want to put the tying run on base anyway. It happens and it’s part of the game, and it’s unfortunate that Alex hurt his hand.”
—Yankees manager Joe Girardi

IMPRESSIVE DEBUT FOR MATT HARVEY
“He’s lived up to exactly what everybody’s talked about. Electric stuff. Tremendous composure.”
—Mets manager Terry Collins on pitcher Matt Harvey's major-league debut. Harvey's 11 strikeouts set a franchise record for a rookie debut. (Andy McCullough, The Star-Ledger)

“It’s great to know that you have a young man like that. Because that just tells you the future is brighter.”
—Collins

“At that moment, I really did believe that I was meant to pitch in the big leagues.”
—Harvey on the moment he began warming up on the mound.

BACK FROM AN UNEXPECTED HALLADAY
“I think things were improved from the rehab start. Yeah, I want to go deeper, so once I get the pitch count up that’ll be nice. Overall, I was happy with pitch execution. I obviously felt good. That hasn’t been an issue since I’ve started throwing. It’s just a matter of repeating mechanics. I feel like it’s come along pretty well.”
—Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay on his first start back from the disabled list. (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com)

“One guy isn’t going to turn it around. I know they keep talking about Chase coming back and Ryan and me, but one guy’s not going to do it. We all need to chip in where we can. I think that’s important to look at it that way and realize that you’re not going to do it yourself. There’s not one guy that’s going to do it alone. It’s important to keep in mind. We need everybody.”
—Halladay

“We made some changes mechanically. It's going to take some getting used to, but pitch-wise, I thought there was better movement. The cutter was better. The curveball was better. It was a good step, but I need to keep working on it and be more consistent with it. I definitely felt like it was a step in the right direction; things were better.”
—Halladay (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com)

“There have been a lot of damaging moments. It's getting frustrating. We have no choice but to keep playing. Regardless of what we did coming into this and what we have in front of us, I think we owe it to the fans, ourselves and the organization to go out and turn things around.”
—Halladay on the Phillies' season.

TWITTER

—Tigers skipper Jim Leyland might also enjoy the addition of a capable starting pitcher (Anibal Sanchez) and some infield help (Omar Infante) after his club sent a trio of prospects to the Miami Marlins. (Tom Gage, @Tom_Gage, Detroit News)

—Cubs starter Ryan Dempster on trade rumors involving him this week. Dempster used his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade that would have sent him to Atlanta in exchange for pitching prospect Randall Delgado. (Paul Sullivan, @PWSullivan, Chicago Tribune)

—Joey Bats began swinging this weekend after injuring his wrist against the Yankees on July 16. Bautista is not expected to come off the DL on Aug. 1 (when he is eligible to return), but has progressed quicker than expected and could be planting baseballs over fences again relatively soon. (Shi Davidi, @ShiDavidi, Sportsnet)

—The Giants placed Kung Fu Panda on the DL over the weekend. Pablo Sandoval injured his hamstring while stretching to field a throw at first base on July 24 and has not played since. (Wendy Thurm, @hangingsliders, FanGraphs)

—Maybe Astros GM Jeff Luhnow was seriously wronged by a person taller than 5-foot-5. Or, more likely, the Astros think second baseman Jose Altuve is a too good to trade. Who knows? (Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, ESPN)

—Mets manager Terry Collins jokes about infielder Justin Turner’s trade value. The Mets, despite Turner’s 3-for-14 effort, are 3-13 since the All-Star break and may be sellers before Tuesday’s trade deadline. (Anthony DiComo, @AnthonyDiComo, MLB.com)

THE REST
“Obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ripken family. I had something similar happen with my mother years ago. Somebody broke into the house at night. So … it’s tough. Crazy world.”
—Orioles manager Buck Showalter, after Vi Ripken—mother of Cal Ripken Jr.—was abducted on Tuesday morning. She was returned the following morning unharmed. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)

“And this one belongs to the Reds! Cincinnati has won 10 in a row and I’m gonna shave my head absolutely bald.”
—Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman vowed to shave his head if the Reds could string together 10 wins. (John Fay, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“Did you ever think you’d have that conversation with me this year after the first two months? It’s been impressive. It’s not like they’re going up there trying to hit them. They’re just hitting them.”
—Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, when asked if his team relies too much on home runs. (Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

“With all due respect to Kevin, we wouldn’t expect him to be happy (about relieving). We do expect him to be professional. His motivation is to do well. We don’t have any concerns that Kevin will become a problem (in the clubhouse).”
—Pirates general manager Neal Huntington on pitcher Kevin Correia, who requested a trade. “I want to start. For that to happen, I’ll have to go someplace else,” Correia said. (Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

“We’ve got to keep fighting. Nobody said this is going to be easy. It never is here. We’ll find a way. I think we’re all miserable. Nobody in here likes losing. We want to win, every single one of us.”
Dustin Pedroia, after Boston’s 9-1 loss to the Texas Rangers on Monday put them below .500 for the first time since June 16. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

“Again, I don't care about singles. I care about hitting the ball as hard as I can. If I do that and get a single, sometimes it's OK, but I'm not here to hit singles.”
—White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn, who belted his league-leading 30th home run of the season in Tuesday night’s 11-4 win over the Twins. (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)

“A wild pitch to score a go-ahead run? A damn shame.”
—Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine on his team’s 5-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night. With two outs in the seventh, Josh Beckett uncorked a wild pitch past Kelly Shoppach that allowed the winning run to score. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

“It's okay to deliver the ice cream, it's kind of different when the guy actually eats it. But there's no doubt in my mind Lobaton would eat a cup of ice cream if it was presented to him at any time of the day, especially following his first big-league home run.”
—Rays skipper Joe Maddon on the ice-cream break that catcher Jose Lobaton enjoyed after hitting his first career home run in Wednesday’s 10-1 rout of the Orioles. Teammate Luke Scott had promised that he’d reward Lobaton with ice cream after notching his first dinger. (Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times)

“There's so much more involved. I don't know. I'm cool, man. I'm really good. The frustrating part is this [dealing with the media] and not being able to share everything with you guys. When the time is right, I'll be honest with you, you'll be right in the loop.”
Josh Hamilton, mum on his recent benching and struggles. (Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star Telegram)

“He's been fooling with his delivery a little bit and these last two outings have been really good. He's got this almost Luis Tiant-like turn before he goes and throws the ball, and it's added a little deception.”
—Padres catcher John Baker on the adjustments that starter Ross Ohlendorf have made. (Corey Brock, MLB.com)

“No, I mean, I’ve always in my career, even in the minor leagues, felt comfortable against lefties. I think I struggled when I first came up, but I think more than anything it was about it not being a huge sample size. Luckily, I’ve been able to get some pitches to hit and that’s the key, no matter who’s pitching, trying to get a good pitch to hit. [...] I know because I think someone asked. I was like, ‘Oh, wow, that’s weird.’ In the past in the minor leagues, I’ve done well. Hopefully I can continue to do well off them. Most hitters in the history of baseball hit the opposite better, but it can change in a hurry.”
—Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt on his batting approach against lefties. Goldschmidt has posted a .487 wOBA against lefties this year, compared to his .293 mark in 2011. (Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic)

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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