January 28, 2013
The Week in Quotes
UPTONS IN ATLANTA
“To get a chance to play with J is unbelievable. I always hoped it would happen but never dreamed it would happen so soon. I can’t wait to run out there Opening Day next to him.”
—B.J. Upton, on his brother being acquired via trade by the Braves. Justin Upton will play left field, and Jason Heyward will remain in right field. (David O’Brien and Carroll Rogers, AJC.com)
“It was a dream of ours to play together. I didn't think it would be this early in our careers. But the opportunity has presented itself now. This is our time to take full advantage of it and play for a great organization with great history. I'm excited to make the move to Atlanta.”
—Justin Upton (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)
“I know trade rumors and trades are part of the business. What I don't like are the comments and innuendos made about Justin's work ethic and character, especially from those gutless people that don't want to put their name by a quote or article. This young man is one of the hardest workers I've been around, and more importantly, he's a good person. If they want to trade him, that's their business, just knock off the unfounded, negative rhetoric.”
—Larry Reynolds, Justin Upton’s agent. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)
“[Martin Prado’s] been one of the most consistent hitters in the game. And I really like the four prospects we got in return. It really adds even more depth to our system right now. We felt it was the right deal to make for a lot of different reasons, more just because we think we're going to be a better ballclub this year and we've added some key prospects to an already strong farm system.”
—Diamondbacks manager Kevin Towers. Randall Delgado and three other prospects are headed to Arizona. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)
BIG HURT IS FIRST-BALLOT HALL OF FAMER, SAYS BIG HURT
“My resume speaks for itself. Losing a third MVP to a guy who admitted he was [using] PED. I think that would have put me at another level that only a couple of guys have enjoyed ever in this game. The 12-year run I had was incredible, very historical. So, I think I've done enough to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.”
—Former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas, opining about his Hall of Fame worthiness. (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)
“I think three of us have resumes that should be in there on the first ballot. I spent my whole career working my butt off, and hopefully I get what I deserve.”
—Thomas’s name will appear on the ballot for the first time in 2014, along with Braves legends Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.
“I wouldn't say I feel bad for them. I respected them on the field, but they chose this. They made their own decisions off the field, and they have to live with it. Watching all the nonsense unfold and not really knowing what was going on, it makes me feel much more proud of my career. I competed in that era and I played at a high level in that era.”
—Thomas, on contemporaries who used performance-enhancing drugs.
“Any time you look at the PED situation and the situation with Lance Armstrong, you look at stuff like that and it's serious out there," Thomas said. "I just thank God I'm blessed I did it the right way and have a good family base that made me outwork everyone else, because that's the only way I made it to the big leagues. I was never that blue chip prospect.”
CASHMAN SAYS A-ROD COULD MISS ALL OF 2013
“I’ve been saying all along, ‘Is it possible he might not be able to come back this season?’ Sure, it’s possible. It’s a serious surgery. But there’s no indication he won’t be back by the summer. At the same time, when you’re dealing with this kind of thing, there are no guarantees.”
—New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who conceded there is a possibility that Alex Rodriguez could miss the entire 2013 season. (Dan Martin, New York Post)
“There are always going to be challenges with anything like this. But we’ve seen him come back strong before and he’s already doing the things necessary to come back again. Hopefully we see him by the summer. That’s our plan.”
—Cashman, who signed Kevin Youkilis this offseason to fill in for an injured A-Rod.
—Outfielder Avisail Garcia played well after a late-season promotion in 2012, but Detroit’s addition of Torii Hunter and Garcia’s poor winter performance cause doubts that he’ll make the team this spring. (Jason Beck, @beckjason, MLB.com)
—The Orioles inked Jurrjens to a major-league deal, despite his tremendous struggles in 2012. The same organization brought back Lew Ford and Nate McLouth last season. (Eduardo Encina, @EddieInTheYard, Baltimore Sun)
—Zach Wheeler’s agent says he is ready for the big leagues. (Al Goetz, @AlGoetz1, Jet Sports Management)
“You can’t argue with that. Our bullpen right now doesn’t even compete with anybody else’s. It’s night and day better than anybody else.”
—Nationals reliever Drew Storen, on the state of the bullpen. Storen spent an offseason recuperating from blowing Game Five of the National League Division series. (James Wagner, WashingtonPost.com)
“This is going to be awesome. The last couple of years, I've gotten a chance to go over there every now and then. This is going to be full time. I am looking forward to being around all of the guys and having a good time with them, and learning a bunch of stuff from them—not just my teammates, but all the other teams. I'm pretty sure I will get advice from all of them. That's the main thing, just get around the older guys that know the game.”
—Reds top prospect Billy Hamilton, speaking about his invitation to big-league camp. While he is not projected to make the big-league club, it’s an opportunity he is looking forward to. (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)
“Being on the front cover of a video game, that probably tops a lot of things for me. That's huge for me, a huge accomplishment.”
—Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, after fans voted for him to grace the cover of MLB ’13 The Show. (Bill Brink, Post-Gazette.com)
“I think most of it was that I was wearing down. They weren't pitching to me that differently. My bat got a little slow and maybe I tried to do too much at the end. I learned from it.”
—Rockies’ second-year Josh Rutledge, reflecting on his rookie season. (Troy E. Renck, The Denver Post)
“Did we learn from the Lakers so far? That's a good lesson for us. They put a super team together, and so far it hasn't worked.”
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, on the upcoming season of his heavy-spending team. (Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times)
“Adrian [Gonzalez] said I’ll be good by the season. Everybody is saying something different. Everybody’s body heals differently. So hopefully I have that Adrian Peterson body, where you heal real fast. I feel really good right now.”
—Matt Kemp, recovering from his torn labrum suffered last August. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)
“His main goal was to make sure we focus on contact, contact, contact. He said, ‘Don’t worry about how far it goes, just make sure you put the barrel on the ball.’ Sounds simple, right? See the ball, put the bat on it. He said, ‘Trust me, the ball will go as far as you can take it. You don’t have to try to do it.’ I’m sitting there listening and it’s such a cool experience. I’m quiet and don’t have anything to say and am listening to what dad is talking about. That’s your first coach. It’s been kind of cool because of that.”
—Astros designated hitter Carlos Pena, on training with his dad this offseason. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)
Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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