June 17, 2013
The Week in Quotes
BENCHES CLEAR DURING BEANBALL WAR IN LOS ANGELES
“That was supposed to be an inside pitch. Trying to strike him out, I'm not trying to hit him, that's what it comes down to.”
—Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, on the 1-2 fastball that hit Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig in the nose during Tuesday’s game. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)
“It really should have been over at the point.”
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, on Zack Greinke hitting Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero the inning after Puig was plunked by Kennedy. (Steve Dilbeck, Los Angeles Times)
“I wanted to throw inside just kind of to send a message, but not to hit the guy and it just kind of got away from me a little bit. I was really just trying to go inside because I didn't think it was right what he did to Miggy.”
—Kennedy on hitting Greinke, which sparked a bench-clearing brawl that resulted in six players being ejected. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)
“If you can’t pitch inside without hitting somebody in the head, then you shouldn’t pitch inside.”
—Mattingly, on Kennedy throwing up and in to both Puig and Greinke.
“I’ve never seen a pitcher throw at two different guys’ heads before. It’s dangerous. It’s different if it’s a beanball war. I’ve been part of those before. I get it. It’s part of the game. I like it. It gets guys going, gets the fans fired up. I get all that. I love it. But when you start throwing at guys’ heads, that’s different.”
—Dodgers utility man Skip Schumaker, on Kennedy.
“If you're going to hit one of our guys, we're going to hit one of yours. That's just the way the game is. But [Greinke getting hit near the head], that's where it gets a little out of hand. You can't do that. We'll see what happens the rest of the time we play these guys. It's going to be heated.”
—Dodgers rookie catcher Tim Federowicz, on Tuesday’s beanball war.
“I don't want to hit anybody in the head or come near close to their head because I've had pitches thrown at my head and it's not very comfortable. Whether you're bunting, whether you're trying to hit, no matter how hard it is, it's not very comfortable and I would never want that.”
—Kennedy, on being labeled as a headhunter. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)
‘HEY DAD, WANNA HAVE A CATCH?’ REFLECTIONS ON FATHER’S DAY
“Baseball, more so than any other sport, you can have that bond with your father, playing catch, your father throwing to you. When I grew up, my dad pitched to me all the time—and even to this day, I remember being in Little League and he'd say, 'Listen. If I can't get you out, no Little Leaguer can get you out.”
—Dodgers outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. (Jason Mastrodonato, MLB.com)
“Days like today, I think of my dad, and how important he was to my life and giving me the opportunity to do what I did. I also think of my mom, too. It really hits home, and then you think of how special it is to be a dad yourself.”
—Yankees manager and former player Joe Girardi (AJ Cassavell, MLB.com)
“It's a very special day, because my father was such a huge influence in my life and my baseball career, and me as a man. I rarely get to spend it with him because I'm always on the road playing baseball. But you see it every year, there's a lot of father-son combinations in the crowd.”
—Dodgers infielder Nick Punto (Steven Petrella, MLB.com)
“I just remember having tournament games at 7:30 in the morning an hour and a half away from home. We'd leave at 6 and I'd sleep the whole way while my dad drove me, did that for me. It was like that my whole life.”
—Astros pitcher Hector Ambriz (Chris Abshire, MLB.com)
“When I was coming up as a player, it was always great to have little kids, because it just kind of puts things into perspective. Little kids, man, they don't care if you went 0-for-4 last night or 4-for-4. They just want to hang out and talk and admire the players. My kids are like that. They sit there and they watch the guys, and they root for them and they cheer for them. They want them to do well, and they love just being around them.”
—Marlins manager and former player Mike Redmond (Jason Mastrodonato, MLB.com)
‘QUIET’ ZACK WHEELER READIES FOR BIG-LEAGUE DEBUT AMIDST HYPE
“You’re looking at The Future. That’s why you’ve got to make sure it is handled correctly and that [Wheeler] gets himself prepared correctly, because we plan on him being here a long time.”
—Mets manager Terry Collins, on prospect Zack Wheeler, who will make his MLB debut Tuesday against Atlanta. (Kevin Kernan, New York Post)
“You're not going to take the pressure away from this guy. You can pitch him in a boneyard, you're not going to take the pressure off this guy. Everybody in this room is going to be there. People are going to be there. It doesn't matter if it's at noon or if it's at 1 or if it's at 7. It's a big-league game, his first major-league start. There's going to be a lot of heat on him.”
—Collins, on needing to throw Wheeler to the wolves in the early going, which explains a road start against the first-place Braves. (Anthony DiComo and David Wilson, MLB.com)
“He’s a real quiet kid, and I don’t want him to be intimidated by all the attention. There’s a way to deal with it — you don’t have to have a microphone in your face every 10 minutes.”
—Collins, on the media attention Wheeler has received.
“It's part of the job. Like the trade. It's part of baseball. Stuff's gonna happen. When you're making your first big-league start, you're eventually gonna have to do it. Just go out there and concentrate on pitching and doing what you know how to do.”
—Wheeler, on dealing with that hype as he prepares to pitch Tuesday. (Adam Candee, Newsday)
“He is going to have trouble in New York. He might be even quieter than (Lucas) Duda.”
—An anonymous Mets player questions whether Wheeler has the right attitude to deal with playing in America’s biggest market. (Andy Martino, New York Daily News)
ROCKIES PLAN ON HOLDING FORT DOWN IN TULOWITZKI’S ABSENCE
“We can be a factor in this race throughout the season. Hopefully, when we get Tulo back, it'll be almost like making a trade for an All-Star-type player down the stretch to win the pennant. That's how I'm looking at it.”
—Rockies manager Walt Weiss, on his club’s playoffs hopes following news that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will miss 4-6 weeks with a fractured rib. (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)
“Originally, I was very emotional. I worked so hard to get back and have a good year, and team-wise we were doing good. But now, a day later, things start to sink in and you realize that this is still a good team that we are putting out on the field.”
—Tulowitzki, on his rib injury. (Ian McCue, MLB.com)
“You mourn his loss and feel sorry for him as a player, but the Phillies aren't going to stop playing just because Tulo can't play. As harsh as it might sound and insensitive, I don't want it to sound that way. I feel for him. But you've got to plug away. You've got to keep going. You hold the fort down until he comes back, because he's going to come back.”
—Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer, on Tulowitzki’s injury.
“More than anything, it showed that I go about my business the right way, because those guys wanted to reach out. Guys on different teams that I didn't even know really, found my number and texted me. So that meant a lot to me. I thank those guys. And I'll remember that and I'll reach out if guys get hurt, because I know it helped.”
—Tulowitzki, on getting messages from players around the league following news about his injury.
—Recent Miami Marlins call-up and career minor leaguer Ed Lucas, getting a taste of the big leagues.
—After Mark Buehrle pitched a seven shutout innings on Friday, catcher J.P. Arencibia awarded his Twitter game stars. (J.P. Arencibia, Toronto Blue Jays)
—Life of a pitcher on the 60-day disabled list. (Brett Anderson, Oakland Athletics)
“It feels different. Obviously getting off the plane, a couple of bag handlers said 'Welcome back, Mr. Buehrle.'”
—Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle, on his return to Chicago and U.S. Cellular Field. (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)
"You see certain catchers, a guy like that gets on base, all they put down is a one [for a fastball]. The first pitch [Hunter] threw was a breaking ball. I can't tell you how few catchers will do that. A couple that are in the Hall of Fame, or are going to be. So that's about as good a throw as you'll ever see."
—Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on prized catcher Matt Wieters throwing out Jacoby Ellsbury on an attempt to steal second. (Derek Wetmore, MLB.com)
“Once we got in the dugout, we were messing with J.J. at shortstop and he was just shaking his head. As an infielder, he's taken a lot of hits away from us. So, any chance we get to take hits away from other players, we're going to do it.”
—Angels outfielder Mike Trout, on teammate Peter Bourjos robbing Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy of a home run Tuesday night. Trout made an equally spectacular play to take back one of Hardy’s home runs last season. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)
“Sure, that's going to be a question a lot of people are going to ask. And that's a hard one to answer. Whether it has played a part in this injury—when you're a little heavy and something like this happens, I think it's normal to say, 'Well, was this the reason?' I don't think anybody can answer that. Did [Angel] Pagan injure his knee because he's in too good of shape and he doesn't have enough weight? You don't know these things. But it's fair to say that with an injury to the foot, it can become an issue.”
—Giants manager Bruce Bochy, on concern that third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s weight is one of the reasons behind the hairline fracture in his foot. (Chris Haft, MLB.com)
“If HGH were legal, just in the process of healing, under a doctor's recommendation, in the right dosage, while you're on the [disabled list], I don't think that's such a bad idea—as long as it doesn't have any lasting side effects, negative side effects.”
—Angels relief pitcher Ryan Madson, on whether human growth hormone should be legalized. Madson has been on the disabled list since the start of the season. Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)
“I think the reason we’ve been able to continue discussions for this long is that it’s not been talked about. And now that I’m having to talk about it, it’s a distraction because people are talking about it. I guess you’ll have to talk to the Dodgers as to why it came out now. I don’t love the fact that I have to talk about it. We kind of had an agreement that we weren’t going to talk about it. It didn’t come from our side. I’m going to still hold up my end of the bargain and not talk about it.”
—Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, talking about how he won’t talk about his contract extension talks with the Dodgers. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)
“The guys in the past, with their first offense, have gotten around a five-game suspension, five or six. I don’t understand why mine would be any different, why mine would be 10 when some people’s second offense was even less. After doing research and talking to (agent) Scott (Boras) and finding out the numbers, it doesn’t really line up. I’m going to throw inside and hit people. But 10 games just doesn’t make sense.”
—Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy, on being suspended 10 games for his role in last week’s benches-clearing brawl with the Dodgers. (Nick Piecoro, AZ Central Sports)
“Just come and play, be a 22-year-old in the big leagues. I mean that sincerely. You're not going to hear a lot of the high expectations coming from this particular desk or this chair. I want him to play. I want him to be a Ray. I want him to run hard to first base. I want him to try to do the right things on the field, continue to work on his defense, try to improve his baserunning. We try to grow a complete ballplayer around here, and I think that's what he's turning out to be.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, on the call-up of outfielder Wil Myers. The team’s top prospect, acquired in the James Shields trade, hit .286/.354/5.14 in Triple-A and will debut on Tuesday. (Adam Berry, MLB.com)
Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Chris Mosch is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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