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August 27, 2012

The Week in Quotes

August 20-26

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

LOS ANGELES DODGERS ACQUIRE BOSTON RED SOX (PLAYERS)
“I haven't found [a spending cap] yet, but I'll let you know if we get there. We really do evaluate those things secondarily. We think the most important thing is building a team.”
Dodgers president and part-owner Stan Kasten on opening up the wallets to acquire the Red Sox’ three highest-paid players, in a nine-player deal that saw over $250 million in contracts change hands. (Alex Angert, MLB.com)

“You're going to get a class act. He definitely doesn't have Derek Jeter's name, but everybody says Derek Jeter is a class act, and Adrian is right up there. He's a hard worker. He's great in the community. He tries to help out the Hispanic community—but not just the Hispanic community, every community. He runs a lot of fundraisers. The community will love him.”
—Marlins reliever Heath Bell on the jewel of the trade, first baseman and former Padres teammate Adrian Gonzalez. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)

“Just a lot of adrenaline getting warmed up in the on-deck circle. The guys made it a little easier for me with first and third. I was looking for a sacrifice fly, something up in the zone that I could get a fly ball on. The first pitch was a curveball and I was out in front a little. He made a good pitch. The next pitch was a fastball in, and it was all adrenaline. When I saw the ball halfway in trajectory, it was a great feeling.”
—Gonzalez on his first at-bat. He unloaded on an 0-1 Josh Johnson fastball into the second deck for a three-run homer. (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)

“I think you just chuckle inside and laugh because of what we were faced with last year at this time and where we were to start the season, I just want to stay in this lineup any way I can. I've waited a long time to play on a team of this caliber.”
—Outfielder Andre Ethier, now batting sixth in the lineup. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)

“I'm going after me. I'm the easy out.”
—Shortstop Hanley Ramirez, when asked to identify the lineup’s weak spot.

“Are you playing within the rules? That's what I always looked at. They used to say all that about the Yankees. If you don't like it, change the rules.”
Don Mattingly (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

“It's not like we're going to win 162 games. It's no sure thing. But I told people we were going to try to make this team the best team we could make it.”
—Chairman Mark Walter

“We want to win now. We understand that you have to spend money to be good in this league.”
Magic Johnson (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

JETER CAN’T SKIP PED INSINUATIONS
“What do you want me to say? Maybe Skip should be tested. I don't know him, but …”
—Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, responding to comments made this week by ESPN’s Skip Bayless intimating that Jeter’s impressive performance this season—at the age of 38—evokes suspicion of PED use. (Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork.com)

“I ain’t getting involved with this, man. You can say whatever you want to say now, huh? There’s no repercussions.”
—Jeter (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

“You tell me.”
—Jeter, inviting a horde of reporters to examine his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame for potential PED use. (ESPNNewYork.com)

INNINGS CLOCK TICKING FOR STRASBURG
“Any more ideas on how to get Strasburg pitching in October? I seem to be getting more and more help on that aspect.”
—Nationals manager Davey Johnson (Stephen Whyno, The Washington Times)

“The best one I got was trip him when he’s in the outfield so he strains a hamstring or something and he’s got to be down for a month. That was a good one; I liked that one.”
—Johnson

“He’s pretty focused. He’s not concerned about when; he’s just going to take the ball when we give it to him.”
—Johnson

“I don’t make the decisions. I don’t even know when they’re shutting down Strasburg, and I don’t need to. They’re following expert medical opinion, and that’s all I care about.”
Scott Boras, who represents Strasburg. (Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post)

“Even then, none of it is edictatorial. Granted, if we had a philosophical difference, we’d let them know. Every club wants to sign their players. Frankly, we’ve never had any philosophical difference with the Nationals, and I think that’s why things have gone so smoothly.”
—Boras

DICKEY SEES MORE METS IN HIS FUTURE
“I love it here and I've always voiced that. A part of me enjoys being loyal to an organization that's given me a shot. I connect well with the fan base, [the media] has always been good and I'm comfortable here. That says a lot for me and where I am in my career. I do want to win, too, because I am at the place I am in my career. And I want to be part of that solution here, whatever that's going to be. I'd like to know what direction they're goingI think that's fairand make the decisions accordingly. But I'm open to talking about whatever they'd like.”
—Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey, who is open to signing a long-term deal with New York. Dickey's contract includes a team option for 2013. (Spencer Fordin, MLB.com)

“Sandy knows. I've told him that I've enjoyed being here and think that he's going to turn this thing around. I want to be a part of that. We'll see. Time will tell. I think they have to exercise an option by [November], but I don't want to go into the next season, and at that point, negotiate a contract that close to free agency. The little that I did it here, I didn't like it. I didn't enjoy itN.”
—Dickey

“I think those guys realize that we have the pieces," said Collins. "We've got to keep them healthy and keep them more consistent. We can't have these major lapses that we're going through right now. And especially in David's caseI salute the guy, because he's of the mindset that, 'I've got to be the guy.' … If those pieces are there, I think David and R.A. are saying, 'Look, we've got a chance to win. And fast.’ ”
—Mets manager Terry Collins

“Any time you sign a high-quality player, it's a message that you're going in a certain direction. David represents that, for sure. And you'd have to ask him, but I'd have to believe that he's of like mind. This could be his last contract. He's going to want to know he has a shot at it.”
—Dickey on third baseman David Wright’s looming free agency.

THREE ROOKIE STARTERS DEBUT
“It was pretty nerve-wracking, but I thought I did a good job. Trust me, everybody is going to have nerves. Once you get that first pitch out of the way, though, you feel a lot better. [...] I have to cut the walks downway too many.”
Tyler Skaggs on his major-league debut. He walked five but limited the Marlins to just two runs in the Diamondbacks’ 3-2 win. (Tyler Emrick, MLB.com)

“He's got good stuff and he was very composed. He moved on very quickly. He did a very good job, very mature. He wants to shut them out, but ultimately we're trying to win. He did his job. He did a heck of a job.”
—Manager Kirk Gibson

“It's nice to have young pitching, but looking forward, where do you put them all? That will be the toughest thing. They're all at the higher levels and ready to contribute at the major-league level, which is nice, but you've only got so many spots in the rotation to fit them all in there.”
—General manager Kevin Towers, who later consummated a trade to send starter Joe Saunders to Baltimore. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)

“It's pretty cool. You just don't want to get boat-raced in your first inning. It was nice getting through the first one and getting back into the dugout. [...] If you would have told me two years ago that I would be facing Andrew McCutchen in a big-league game, I would have told you you're crazy.”
Andrew Werner, debuting with a six-inning performance for the Padres, a 4-2 win. (Jeff Sanders, North County Times)

“I liked it as it kept going. The sinker had enough sink when it got to the hitting area and they [Pirates] couldn't square it up. And he kept the ball on the ground. He pitched his game. He did what he does best.”
—Padres manager Bud Black (Corey Brock, MLB.com)

“The anticipation's the hardest part, for sure. But once the clock starts ticking and you realize I've done this a thousand times before, you get the ball in your hand and start playing catch.”
—Mets rookie pitcher Collin McHugh, who threw seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 Mets loss to the Rockies last Thursday. (Anthony Rieber, Newsday)

“He was outstanding today. I think before the game they said he was Dillon Gee and that’s exactly what I saw.”
—Mets catcher Josh Thole on McHugh's performance. (Mike Vorkunov, The Star-Ledger)

TWITTER

—Somewhere Dak, Junior, and Ken Tremendous are snickering. (Mike Axisa, @mikeaxisa, River Ave Blues)

—Blue Jays skipper John Farrell weighs in on Brett Lawrie, who’s muddling through his rehabilitation after apparently holding information about how much pain he was in. A bit too much #want, perhaps. (John Lott, @LottOnBaseball, National Post)

—Mets GM (@MetsGM) Sandy Alderson knows his way around a difficult question. (Adam Rubin, @AdamRubinESPN, ESPN New York)

Dusty Baker, who has been widely criticized for the way he handles bullpen arms, gave Aroldis Chapman a much-needed day off on Thursday. Chapman had pitched in five of the Reds’ last six games. Broadcaster Marty Brennaman, who turned 70 in July, continues to wait for Dusty to punch his dance card. (John Fay, @johnfayman, Cincinnati Enquirer)

—Bauer, who struggled while sipping his first big-league cup of coffee with the Diamondbacks a few months ago, is highly touted for his academic approach to pitching. (David Laurila, @DavidLaurilaQA, FanGraphs)

THE REST
“When I was first drafted, I couldn’t even hit the ball to the right side of the field. [Hitting coach] Gregg [Ritchie] and I worked ever since I was drafted, and it has come over time that I’m able to drive the ball with power to the right side. I’m starting to trust it more and more.”
—Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen (David Golebiewski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

“I can pitch at this level. I just need to be at 100 percent. I've dealt with it my whole life. Normally you can pitch through it and you can make a turn for the better. But we don't have that kind of time.”
—Braves starting pitcher Ben Sheets on his trip to the disabled list. (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

“I don’t feel fatigued at all. I’m ripped right now, so I’m good. That was water weight in spring training. ... I’m eating as much as I can. Morning and nighttime I try to crush as much as I can even if I feel crappy with all that food in my body, because I wake up in the morning and it’s all gone.”
—Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper chuckled at the suggestion that he might be fatigued in his first major-league season. (Amanda Comak, The Washington Times)

“That gives you chills.’’
—White Sox starter Chris Sale, on the ovation he received after striking out 13 over 7.2 innings of one-run ball en route to a 3-1 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday night. (Daryl Van Schouwen, Chicago Sun-Times)

“We’re playing [expletive], [expletive] baseball.”
—Red Sox closer Alfredo Aceves, after his team squandered both a six-run and two-run lead in Boston’s extra-innings 14-13 loss to the Angels on Thursday night. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

“I don't want to rule anything out. But if you asked me right now I'm leaning toward not playing next year. I don't want to say for certain because I don't want to do like Brett Favre and say, 'I retired; I'm not retired; I'm retired; I'm not retired.' I don't want to make that call right now, but if you put a gun to my head and demand an answer today I would tell you I'm probably not going to play next year.”
—Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman, who would like to return on Sept. 1. (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“I signed Mike [Scioscia] long-term, and I'm invested in Mike long-term. For you, as a writer, you're going on a day-by-day, writing articles and you want me to pull some kind of rabbit out of a hat and give you something about what we're going to look at after the season or how we're going to look at the beginning of the season next year. A couple years ago, (Ron) Roenicke was our bench coach and he was asked to be the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. A few years before that, our pitching coach (Bud Black, went to the Padres). So the changing of baseball staffs happen, or adjustments happen sometimes, because they get an opportunity to go somewhere else in a leadership role. And sometimes there are decisions made where we need to make a move because change is needed.”
—Angels owner Arte Moreno, on evaluating coaching staff decisions. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

“I've played in Philly. That's nothing.”
—Dodgers starter Joe Blanton, unimpressed by the fans’ booing efforts in Los Angeles. (T.J. Simers, Los Angeles Times)

“I told him to do it so we could have a figurine night. Me on one and you on the other side. Four bombs. That would be pretty sweet wouldn't it?”
—Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton, after Adrian Beltre fell short of Hamilton’s four home-run feat. Beltre hit three out in a 12-3 win over the Orioles. (Anthony Andro, Fox Sports Southwest)

“Once Bonds left, the bitterness went with him. Right now, there's a mutual rivalry based on history, but it does not have the meanness. There was a meanness just playing at Candlestick Park.”
—Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, on the rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants, both competing for the NL West division title. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

“Batting practice is the most overrated component of what we do in professional baseball, so I'm not big on that. I want them to be ready when the game begins.”
—Rays’ skipper Joe Maddon isn’t a fan of batting practice, a mostly unquestioned tradition. (Roger Mooney, The Tampa Tribune)

“When it gets down to the end of the year it's good not to do it, and to have a manager tell you you don't have to do it makes it easier, because you don't feel weird not taking BP because you want to conserve your swings and save energy for the game. I think that's why this team does so well at the end.”
—Rays second baseman Ryan Roberts added to Maddon’s comments.

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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Premium Article Collateral Damage Dail... (08/27)
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