May 6, 2013
The Week in Quotes
April 29-May 5
CLAY BUCHHOLZ AND THE SECRET SUBSTANCE SAGA
“It bothers me immensely when someone is going to make an accusation, and in this case cheating, because they’ve seen something on TV. [Buchholz has] got rosin on his arm. I think rosin was designed to get a grip. But the fact is, he’s got it on his arm. I’ve seen some people who have brought photographs to me. They’re false. The fact is the guy’s 6-0. He’s pitched his tail off. If people are going to point to him cheating? Unfounded.”
—Red Sox manager John Farrell, responding to cheating allegations that surfaced after Clay Buchholz’s most recent start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night. Some members of the Toronto media accused Buchholz, now 6-0 with a 1.01 ERA, of applying an illegal substance to his pitches. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
“Look, I saw Clay Buchholz going to his forearm, where there was not skin-colored something there, taking two fingers, wiping it across, massaging said cream or Stickum or slickum or whatever the popular buzzword of today is, and then using it to grip the baseball. That’s illegal. You can’t do that.”
—Toronto broadcaster Dirk Hayhurst, on what he saw from Buchholz Wednesday night. (Ricky Doyle, NESN.com)
“All of these things are technical rule violations. Is he cheating? Yeah. Is most of baseball cheating? Yes. Is my observation unfounded? No.”
“I think Jack Morris should zip it. I feel sorry for Buchholz to even have to deal with this. I’m styling here, and you’re taking away from me, a guy that can’t even make it to the Hall of Fame yet, and he’s chirping over there—zip it.”
—Red Sox broadcaster and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, in response to Toronto radio broadcaster Jack Morris, who insisted that Buchholz was, in fact, throwing a spitball variant.
“To me, that’s clueless on his part. Where’s Jack Morris been all these years, anyway? He finally gets a job up there in Toronto and he has to make statements like that and take away from what this kid has done? I think it’s wrong.
“Dennis Eckersley, I hope you’re listening. I’m not taking anything away from Clay Buchholz. I’m giving him credit. Because it takes a lot of skill to cheat. It does. But you know what? If you’re going to do it blatantly, someone’s going to see you doing it. It’s not going to cost you against the Blue Jays, who are just God-awful right now. And I’m not calling out Clay Buchholz because I’m bitter and I’m angry that my beloved Jays are losing. I don’t care. It’s my job as an analyst to be impartial. I see him doing it, I’m going to mention it, that’s my job.”
—Hayhurst, responding to Eckersley.
“That’s cheap [expletive]. That’s just sour grapes by someone who knows nothing. It’s a shame to try to cheapen someone’s accomplishments by throwing that [expletive] out there. It’s a shame that anyone even writes or talks about it because it gets people thinking the wrong way. Clay has been incredible out there. He doesn’t cheat. He’s just that good. We all know it and the hitters he’s faced this year know it.”
—An anonymous Red Sox player, on the accusations.
SPIN THE EXCUSE WHEEL
"For the most part, that's all worked to a 'T,' but the back end of the bullpen has cost us, and not just cost us, but we've had some miscues on the field that have cost our starters some really good outings as well."
—Cubs manager Dale Sveum, on the Cubs’ pitfalls this season. (Carrie Muskat, MLB.com)
"You look around the lineup, and we've got a lot of guys underperforming. I'm pretty confident they're going to hit like the players they are. That's the fortunate thing about playing for six months, getting 600 at-bats or so. Eventually, the real version of you gets to come out. We've only played one month thus far."
—Reds first baseman Joey Votto, explaining that there is still time for some of the struggling Reds to turn their seasons around. (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)
“It’s easy to come here, lose a game, take a shower, guys can go home and say, “OK, we’ll get it tomorrow.’ No. It’s not that way. We get paid to win ballgames. We are here to win ballgames. You (played) on teams in the minors to be here. Now, you’re here. You’ve got to find a way to be successful to stay here.”
—Astros closer Jose Veras, who held a players-only meeting after the team was swept in a four-game series at home against Detroit. (Brian T. Smith, Houston Chronicle)
—Dirk Hayhurst’s initial impression of Clay Buchholz’s tactic. (Dirk Hayhurst, @TheGarfoose)
—To Cobb’s credit, he made contact on each of his at-bats. (Alex Cobb, @Acobb53, Tampa Bay Rays)
"It feels good to just get that monkey off my back. It's been a while. Today felt great."
—Indians starter Scott Kazmir, who recorded his first major-league win since 2010 on Saturday, allowing just two runs over six innings while striking out seven. (Zack Meisel, MLB.com)
"The goal was to go until you feel something so you know where we stand, see how it feels the next day, and build off of that. I haven't had anything to set me back thus far. Every day, the next day I've been feeling good so far."
—Braves right fielder Jason Heyward, on his routine as he resumed baseball activities Sunday. (Jon Cooper and Barrett Sallee, MLB.com)
"He is really playing well. Driving the ball, stealing bases. The defense—we knew he was going to be good defensively, but I still thought he would make some mistakes, just being young. He's not making too many mistakes.”
—Brewers manager Ron Roenicke on shortstop Jean Segura’s hot start to the season. (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)
“Certainly he's the future down the road. He's the guy that everybody looks at to be a back-end-of-the-bullpen kind of a guy. Has he moved up? I think we'll pick our spots for him."
—Mets manager Terry Collins, on Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia as the closer of the future. (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)
"I felt good all spring. I felt good all year. I just got up after that start against Pittsburgh and had soreness in there and wasn't able to get rid of it. That's really all I have. We don't have a lot of information on it. We did some tests, and obviously they aren't completely conclusive as to what it is. There's a couple different options, and I think the scans, the MRIs, the CTs and that kind of stuff will give us more information, and we'll address it then. We'll see how it plays out here in the next couple days."
—Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay, revealing right shoulder discomfort after allowing nine runs in 2 ⅔ innings. (Paul Hagen, MLB.com)
"Real proud of how the guys played. It's a lot like a couple of other series we've had where guys came in ready to play this morning and were excited about being here. You can see the passion they have for the game and they went to work, really made the most of the opportunities they had. It was a good day."
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on sweeping the Brewers. (Joe DiGiovanni, MLB.com)
"It's just a good way to clear your mind before you play. The thing that I don't want to happen is for people to think that I don't care. I obviously care. That's just kind of how I do it. I like to not be too serious before I go out there, because I have to be serious for hopefully seven or eight innings when I do go out there. It's just a good way to enjoy my time at the ballpark before I have to go out there and do my work."
—Athletics starter A.J. Griffin, on playing his guitar before a start against the Yankees on Friday. He serenaded teammate Yoenis Cespedes in three different languages before tossing seven shutout innings. (Jane Lee, 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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