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October 15, 2012

The Week in Quotes

October 8-14

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

MONEYBALL: REDUX ENDS JUST THE SAME
“There’s so much to be proud of. There’s not a single guy in here who can walk away disappointed in what they did or what we did. It’s been great, it’s been crazy, and there are so many guys in here with the capability to be even better.”
Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss, on the team’s incredible season, ending with a Game Five loss to Justin Verlander in the ALDS. (Susan Slusser, SFGate.com)

“Obviously we wanted to go further. But we’re not going to look at this season negatively. We proved a lot of people wrong. We came a long way.”
Outfielder Josh Reddick

“We never did take them out of it. They were with them through thick and thin. As we were celebrating, they were applauding their players. It was a great gesture on the fans’ part. It was a magical season for Oakland. And they’re the real deal. This was no fluke.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on the roaring Oakland fans at O.co.

"You look past this night right here, we conquered a lot. I think we brought baseball back to Oakland. Wearing the green and gold and the white spikes, I think it's something to be wanted."
Jonny Gomes (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

"I hope to see crowds like that every game next year. You saw how we play when they come out like that. We do some special things."
Reliever Grant Balfour (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

CARDINALS GO ALL 2011 ON THE NATIONALS
“The thing about the postseason is if you’re unfazed you’ve got a shot. That’s the biggest thing. You’ve got to embrace what you’re a part of. You look into their eyes, and they’re unfazed. Huge hits. Huge hits for us.”
—Cardinals third baseman David Freese, on St. Louis’ comeback win over the Nationals in Game Five of the NLDS. Washington had led 6-0, and then 7-5 in the ninth inning when Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma each had two-run singles. St. Louis was twice down to its last strike. (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“He got that hit, and it took the edge off.”
—Kozma

“You look up and we’re back in it. It’s amazing how these guys grind out at-bats. … It’s a compliment to what we try to do here, which is to create some depth in our lineup. As you can tell the contributions come from anywhere. You never know on a given day where we’re going to get it. Clearly in this series, the seventh, eighth, and ninth spots in the order produced.”
—General manager John Mozeliak

“If you’re going to win, if you’re going to win not only a series but go on and win a championship, it’s going to take every guy in the lineup, every guy on the team, coming through with a big hit. You see it every year. It’s someone who maybe wasn’t even with the team at the start of the year or someone else who isn’t heralded—they come up huge.”
—Left fielder Matt Holliday

“There was a voice. It was a Carp. It was Waino getting back out there. He could have hung his head but he came back out there. He could have hung his head but he came back out there. That dugout was on fire.”
—Manager Mike Matheny (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“It would have been easy for us to go down 6-0 and sort of roll over and let the crowd take us out of it and just let them have the game.”
—Descalso

“Unbelievable. This is unbelievable.”
—Left fielder Carlos Beltran to Mozeliak during the postgame celebration.

WASHINGTON’S SEASON ENDS WITH GAME FIVE COLLAPSE
“I just didn’t execute.”
—Nationals reliever Drew Storen, who blew the save opportunity with Washington up, 7-5, in the ninth inning of Game Five. (Nathan Fenno, The Washington Times)

“It’s the best job when you’re good at it, and it’s the worst job when you fail.”
—Storen

“It’s devastating. We were one strike away.”
—Reliever Tyler Clippard, who pitched the eighth inning to set up Storen.

“Drew went through a lot this year. And then for him to come back and be who he was for us at the end of the year and into these playoffs was a good effort by him. I think Drew’s going to be a great closer for a long time.”
—Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman

“Seven, eight months worth of hard work goes away in one inning like that. I don’t know what to tell you. It’s frustrating. This is going to sting. It’s going to sting until next year.”
—Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (Amanda Comak, The Washington Times)

“In this game, there’s nothing that’s an accident. There’s a plan for everything. This is the way I guess it was supposed to end up. … It happened for a reason. Learn from it. Let’s use it as a tool to get better.”
—Shortstop Ian Desmond, who dove but failed to grab Descalso’s hit.

“We’ve got to remember how it feels. We have to have a burning desire never for it to happen again.”
—General manager Mike Rizzo

GIANTS GOING FOR THE NL PENNANT
We believed we could win this series from the get-go. Yeah, we were down, but we were never really out of it. We never hung our heads. We knew that if we stuck together, we could win this. We battled all year long -- ups and downs, injuries, the ball not bouncing our way at times. This is just a culmination of everything up to this point.”
Giants closer Sergio Romo, after they beat the Reds, 6-4, in Game Five. The Giants are off to the NLCS to face the Cardinals.

“It's a new feeling. You can't really compare 2010 and this team. In 2010 we were never down in a series, so it was a different feeling for me to go out and know that it was time to get something done or we were going home.”
Catcher Buster Posey, who hit a grand slam in the game’s fifth inning.

“I'm very proud that they asked me to get the last out. It means a lot to me that they count on me.”
Romo

“I thought for sure we were going to be going to D.C. So it was nice to get to come home and have the home-field advantage, too.”
Starter Madison Bumgarner, on the team’s jet re-routing back to San Francisco when the Cardinals stunned the Nationals in a comeback win. (Daniel Brown, MercuryNews.com)

“We can’t get ourselves behind the 8-ball like we did last time and try and fight back on the road again. It was tremendous we did it once, and I think it would asking a lot of us to do it again. I’m not saying we couldn’t do it if it happens, but I think it’s important for us to (win) here.”
Starter Ryan Vogelsong, on falling behind 0-2 in the NLDS and cautioning against repeating that with St. Louis. (Henry Schulman, SFGate.com)

REDS COMEBACK IN GAME FIVE FALLS SHORT
“I thought it was written in the book that we were going to move on today. Tip your hat to that team over there. They’re moving on; we’re not. The unfortunate thing is this is a great group of guys.”
—Ludwick, on the Giants' recovery from a 2-0 series deficit. (John Fay, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“It’s frustrating. It’s disappointing. I’m exhausted right now, just from the roller coaster of emotions. I’m really disappointed for Cincinnati fans. They were incredibly supportive. I’m really proud to call myself a Cincinnati Red seeing their support, down a couple of runs in the ninth.”
—First baseman Joey Votto

“This series gives us a little street cred.”
—Votto found some consolation in comparing this NLDS effort to the Reds' loss to Philadelphia in 2010.

“I let down the whole team, the front office, the fans, everybody. This game is 100 percent on me. I’m not making excuses, I screwed it up.”
—Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos, who gave up six runs in the fifth inning of Game Five. The crushing blow was a grand slam by Giants catcher Buster Posey. (Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“I made a mistake to Posey. I let down my teammates, and that’s what bothers me the most.”
—Latos

“We didn’t want to get beat with off-speed. (Posey) had gotten him on a first-pitch slider in San Francisco for a homer. We felt like with a good fastball kind of up under his hands, we had a good chance to keep it off his barrel. That one just didn’t get in far enough. He didn’t miss it.”
—Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan

“No doubt about it. I know a lot of people talk about that trade, giving up four guys for one guy, but he’s a horse. He’s going to be around this league for a long time.”
—Outfielder Ryan Ludwick

RAUL’S HEROICS LIFT YANKS OVER O’S
“Alex is one of the best hitters of all time and still is one of the greatest players in the history of the game. So for a minute I just thought something was going on. I didn’t know what was happening. And then I tried to put it behind me and get a good pitch to hit."
Yankees outfielder Raul Ibanez, who ripped a game-tying, pinch-hit home run off Orioles’ closer Jim Johnson in the ninth inning of Game Four of the ALDS. Three innings later, he took lefty Brian Matusz deep over the wall in right field to seal a dramatic 3-2 win for New York. (David Waldstein, New York Times)

“He just made himself a legend in Yankee eyes.”
Yankees teammate Nick Swisher, on Ibanez’s remarkable night.

“Raul is an old Miami buddy of mine. I was really proud of him. That was an amazing performance. It couldn’t happen to a better guy.”
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was lifted in favour of Ibanez in the pivotal ninth inning.

“I just went up to him and said you’re scuffling a little bit right now. We’ve got a low-ball hitter and we’ve got a shorter porch in right field than left field, obviously. Raul has been a good pinch-hitter for us, and I’m just going to take a shot.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, explaining his decision to A-Rod.

YANKEES FANS GO INTO MOURNING AS JETER FRACTURES ANKLE
“It is kind of a flashback to when Mo didn’t get up. It brought me back there: ‘Oh boy, if he is not getting up, something’s wrong.’”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who watched in horror as his team’s captain screamed in pain after diving for a ground ball in the 12th inning of Game One of the ALCS on Saturday. It was later revealed that Jeter had suffered a fractured ankle and will miss the remainder of the playoffs. (Tyler Kepner, New York Times)

“We go from being elated — we’re back in this thing — to losing Jeter. It’s a huge blow. It was a very difficult thing to watch.”
Yankees outfielder Raul Ibanez, on the roller-coaster of emotions that Saturday night proved to be. Despite erasing a four-run deficit in the ninth inning—capped off by a game-tying, two-run home run from Ibanez—the Yankees would fall 6-4 to the Tigers.

“We probably feel worse for him than anyone else who could go out.”
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira

“We all grew up, backyard baseball, wanting to win the World Series either against the Yankees or getting through the Yankees to get to the World Series, especially with Derek Jeter as the catalyst. Unfortunately, it happened. We’d love to see him out playing with us and playing against him, because it is really fun playing the Yankees, especially when Derek Jeter is healthy.”
Tigers outfielder Delmon Young

BALTIMORE’S DREAM RUN COMES TO AN END
“I give Buck Showalter and that team so much credit. That's a very good team. They fought all year long. They played the right way. I just give them a lot of credit for playing us tough. We were just one game better than them.”
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, commending the Orioles on a tremendous season. The Yankees ousted Baltimore in Game Five of the ALDS on the strength of a masterful outing from CC Sabathia. (Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun)

“The season for the organization was a successful season. Our players connected with our fans. We have a group of core players here that our fans should be able to see that we can build around and field a competitive team. I’m just really proud of all the work and effort that everyone did.”
Orioles general manager Dan Duquette, offering a frank appraisal of his team’s performance this year. (Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun)

“I think there's more frustration and disappointment. But in the next few days when you sit down and reflect over what's happened the last six or seven months, we've got a lot of things to be proud of."
Orioles outfielder Chris Davis. (Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun)

"It's been about as much fun as I have had in the big leagues. Watching how they play the game every day, the standard they held themselves to and the way they raised the bar in Baltimore."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter

TWITTER

—Jones would be surprised even more when Raul Ibanez homered in place of Alex Rodriguez. And then even more when Ibanez homerez again. (Jerry Crasnick, @jcrasnick, ESPN.com)

—The Tigers’ skipper reacted to his club’s Game Four loss to Oakland, but this quote could be applied to just about anything that happened this week. (Richard Justice, @richardjustice, MLB.com)

Phil Coke picked up the save for Detroit in Game Two, but the Tigers don’t appear to be set on one ninth-inning option just yet. (Danny Knobler, @DKnobler, CBSSports.com)

THE REST
“I don't know. I would have to weigh everything. I mean, it's a factor, but I wouldn't say it's a deal breaker. I was born and raised a Rockie, so to speak, and I would love to remain with the Rockies, but we'll have to see.”
Rockies starter Jeff Francis, on manager Jim Tracy’s surprise resignation. (Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post)

“We could. I understand that. It is something I have talked to the clubs about and will continue to talk to the clubs about. You want to have great celebrations, fine. But spraying each other with champagne is not that.”
Commissioner Bud Selig, on perhaps banning champagne celebrations after playoff wins. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

“I think we'll have it for sure. They're working on cameras in all the ballparks. We need the right cameras. Should we have them by next year? We'd better.”
Selig again, on installing more cameras to further advance instant replay. (Bill Shaikin, in a Q&A with Selig for the Los Angeles Times

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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