April 8, 2013
The Week in Quotes
YU DARVISH PITCHES INTO ALMOST-HISTORY
"When you're throwing the ball as well as he's throwing, I thought he would get it. It just wasn't meant to be. He had all his pitches working—curve and slider, splitter, he had a good sinker working, moved his fastball around. He threw the kitchen sink at them and he threw them all over the plate. He dominated them."
—Rangers manager Ron Washington, on starter Yu Darvish’s stellar, near-perfect game against the Astros on Tuesday, where he retired 26 straight hitters before yielding a single to Marwin Gonzalez. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)
"I think my teammates were a little more disappointed than I am. Even if I got the [perfect] game, it doesn't translate to three to five wins. It's still just one win. I think my teammates were more disappointed than me."
"I think the most impressive thing is he [changed speeds] on his fastball the whole night. He started out 89, 91 [mph] and when he needed to reach back—you look up at the radar and it was going from 89 and then two pitches later, another fastball was 97. From a hitter's standpoint, when you have a guy [changing speeds] and he's able to throw his breaking stuff in any count, that makes it pretty tough."
—Astros manager Bo Porter, on the devastating arsenal that Darvish flashed to Astros hitters.
"I didn't want to be the last out. I was trying to look for a good pitch to hit and put the ball in play. That's all I was thinking in my mind."
—Marwin Gonzalez, whose single up the middle was just his 49th major-league hit. (Anthony Andro, FoxSports Southwest)
"I've learned with time not to think this is it until it's over. You never take any out for granted in baseball. If any team's not going to take an out for granted, it's probably us."
—Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, referring to the team’s previous World Series experience.
“I was sad. I would like to be a part of that. He was awesome. That’s what you do in video games.”
—Right fielder Nelson Cruz. (Jeff Wilson, Star-Telegram)
JOEY BATS WON’T FUGGEDABOUT MISSED CALLS
“Sometimes I have trouble more than other players dealing with my production being affected by somebody else’s mediocrity. It’s just the way I am as a person, it’s a tougher pill to swallow for me sometimes.”
—Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, who was reportedly approached in spring training by manager John Gibbons about toning down his reactions to perceived bad calls. (Shi Davidi, Sportsnet.ca)
“I’m not a robot, and I can’t control my emotions 100 percent of the time, so that’d be pretty tough. I don’t know (about there being a political factor), that’s more for you to kind of dictate it yourself. I mean, is that professional? Just because one guy reacts more than the other, then every single time there’s a close pitch it’s a strike? Or are you going to go by the parameters defined by Major League Baseball, what’s a strike and what’s a ball? I’ll let you decide what’s right and what’s wrong on that one. It’s not my place to decide.”
—Bautista, who has collected a pair of home runs in three games this season.
“I don’t want to get calls. I want the right call to be made. And I’m not saying that every time I react a certain way, the call is the way I think about it. No. But if seven out of 10, eight out of 10 times that I react, I go back and look at video and I still think I’m right, then there’s something to it. But what can I do? I can’t control it. I can’t change it.”
JOHN FARRELL RETURNS TO TORONTO
“Villain or the bad guy, whatever it might be, I can only say we’re looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead of us. People are going to have their own opinions, and I respect that. It goes along with the heightened interest in the Blue Jays and a lot of the changes they’ve made. There’s a lot of excitement there. In this case, with how things unfolded, the unique set of circumstances that surround both the change in Toronto and here in Boston, I can fully appreciate that they might have those feelings.”
— Red Sox manager John Farrell, who was booed mercilessly this weekend during his first series back in Toronto as Boston’s skipper. Farrell, who referred to his new gig as his “dream job,” left Toronto on bad terms this past offseason. (Tom Maloney, Globe and Mail)
"That probably goes to another level. Yeah, things are there that you have no control over. For those who love to compete, I think our players fed off it a little bit. Again, before the game I mentioned, people are going to have their opinions, and I fully respect those. Tonight happened to be this type of situation."
—Farrell, whose Red Sox took the first and final contests of the three-game set. Farrell said his players used the relentless booing as motivation. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)
"There's no hard feelings. If you polled 100 people, even yourselves, and have your dream job, would you take it? Darn right you'd take it. That was his dream job, that's where his heart was, that's what he did.”
—Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia, who didn’t share the Toronto fans’ ill will toward Farrell. (Gregor Chisolm, MLB.com)
—Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes excels against left-handed pitching, struggles with math. (Peter Abraham, @PeteAbe, Boston Globe)
—There might have been some confusion when the Rangers skipper said, “I love you.” (Jeff Wilson, @JeffWilson_FWST, Fort Worth Star Telegram)
—After a hot spring, Sogard is hitting .158/.273/.158 through six games this season. Time to switch to contact lenses? (John Shea, @JohnSheaHey, San Francisco Chronicle)
"With Aaron [Harang], we've respected him and what he's done in the past, but we've committed to five starters and we know he wants to start. We also have a group of younger pitchers that are in Colorado Springs right now, and we'd like to make sure there is opportunity at some point of the season for them to come up."
—Rockies senior vice president of Major League operations Bill Geivett, on the acquisition of the Dodgers’ Aaron Harang. (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)
"There's a tendency in this game to get real mechanical, whether it's your footwork defensively or your swing. In the end, you've got to go out there and be an athlete. These guys are great athletes. We don't ever want to put handcuffs on these guys."
—Rockies manager Walt Weiss, on utilizing Dexter Fowler’s ability as a switch-hitter.
"But I think for him to take it to the next level, he has to do a better job of not being too impatient, the times when he tries to force things as opposed to letting the game come to him. That's running into outs as opposed to letting the hitter take over and do what he's supposed to do. [...] We still expect to see a lot of what he did last year. But people in this game, they document everything, your habits, like certain counts you like to run on. He's got to let the game dictate his aggressiveness as opposed to forcing your will on the defense."
—Padres first-base coach and renowned base thief Dave Roberts, on fine-tuning shortstop Everth Cabrera’s base-stealing. (Corey Brock, MLB.com)
"We're all baseball players. It's not real life. Sports gives you something to cheer for or boo about. It's your choice. They're not going to cheer for him, obviously."
—Angels starter C.J. Wilson, on Josh Hamilton returning to Texas and the expected fan reaction. (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)
"God has given me ability and talent, but the day I feel like I can't compete any more on this level, I'm not going to embarrass myself. I'm going to walk off. Whether that's next year, two years from now, only God knows."
—Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, implying that he’ll retire when his production falls, so the team isn’t burdened with paying the hefty dollars on his contract. (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)
“It’s something we can take later on, down the road, in the ninth inning. We’ll always know we’ve got a chance, because we’ve done it before.”
—Mets right fielder Marlon Byrd, after his walk-off single in the ninth inning pushed the Mets past the Marlins. (Andrew Keh, New York Times)
“If it was up to me, I would put myself in the lineup. But I guess they are trying to make the best decision for the team and for myself, I guess, so I understand.”
— Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons, on being day-to-day with a thumb injury. (Michael Cunningham, AJC.com)
“We don't take our foot off the gas. If anything, we might be wanting it too bad. That's just the way it goes sometimes. If we can do something about that … we can talk about it and things like that. But that's about all we can do about it. You do it when you're in the game. Our guys are not trying to make outs when we've got a lead. Believe me, they're trying. They're trying hard."
— Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, explaining the Phillies’ hitting woes are not from a lack of effort. (Mandy Housenick, Mcall.com)
"Maybe it's about who's going to be more famous or who's going to get the key to the city. You've got two young guys getting off to a great start. A lot of times, when you're young, you can get off slow, it can kind of snowball on you. So it's awesome to see young guys get off to a hot start."
— Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche, on the Nationals’ young talents, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. (Robert Klemko, USA Today)
"I don't think they're trying to hit me. I don't mind getting by hit by a pitch. The second game [vs. the Angels in the ninth inning], I scored after getting hit by a pitch. I used to worry about it, but now I've changed my mind. Before I was a little defensive, now I'm not scared anymore. ... I know a lot of pitchers keep throwing the inside pitch, but I'm not changing anything. I just keep my approach."
— Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo, on getting hit by pitches. (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)
“Sometimes the best learned lesson is to get punched in the mouth and you taste your blood. Being punched in the mouth and tasting your own blood left a mark on the guys. Now, they’re still going to get punched in the mouth. But how are you going to punch back?”
— Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on the lessons the Pirates learned from their disappointing finish to the 2012 season. (Rick Hummel, STLToday.com)
"Yovani Gallardo was a second-round pick (in 2004). Corey Hart was taken in the 11th round (in 2000). Jonathan Lucroy was a third-round pick (in 2007). I have confidence in Bruce Seid and our scouting staff that they will find good players in those later rounds."
— Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, on the ability to develop talent without a first-round selection. (Tom Haudricourt, JSOnline.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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