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August 12, 2013

The Week in Quotes

August 5-11

by Andrew Koo, Chris Mosch and Satchel Price


RIOS JOINS WINNING ENVIRONMENT IN TEXAS

“All we want him to do is come in and play baseball. He certainly doesn't need to come in here and think it's all on his shoulders. It's on all 25 guys, and he is just one of them. All he needs to do is what Alex Rios does.”
—Rangers manager Ron Washington on outfielder Alex Rios, whom the club acquired from the White Sox on Friday. (Master Tesfatsion, MLB.com)

“I believe it's going to be refreshing for myself. I'm going to go to a team that is fighting for a playoff spot. ... I believe they are hoping to win their division and go to the playoffs, so let's see what happens.”
—Rios, on joining the Rangers. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

“It's tough to go every day when you aren't winning. When you go out there with no real motivation, it makes it hard to do things we are supposed to do without even thinking. I think there is something good about being in a situation with a little pressure.”
—Rios, on his final weeks with the White Sox. (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)

“You know what, with the situation that we were in, it wasn't too much of a surprise. They were trying to get rid of salary or whatever they wanted to do. I think many people expected this to happen. You know what? It's all good.”
—Rios, on leaving Chicago.

“It definitely shows the front office is behind us. They believe we can win.”
—Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

"I'm kind of happy for him. It's going to be a good shot in the arm for him. It wouldn't surprise me if he goes there and gets real hot.”
—White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

“More than anything, Alex wasn't just a teammate. He was a part of our family. For me personally, I learned a lot from him. It's really hard for me to see him leave.”
—White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.

BRAVES LAY CLAIM TO NL EAST BEFORE STREAK ENDS IN MIAMI

“I think right now everybody has molded together and started clicking. B.J. is swinging the bat well, which is huge for us. This is exactly what we've been waiting for —our offense to click like this and the pitching to just be consistent … We're definitely not going to take this lead we have now for granted. You just go out and play the games like we have been doing.”
—Braves pitcher Kris Medlen after the team’s 14th consecutive victory on Friday night against the Marlins. (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

“Most leg kick guys, no matter how big or small a leg kick it is, get in the habit of hanging until they see the ball and then everything happens late, all at once. Usually those guys are late on fastballs, early on breaking balls … He’s doing a better job of getting his foot down and then swinging the bat, instead of all of it happening real late and rushed. When he gets there on time and can stay there, he’s everything you want Justin Upton to be.”
—Hitting coach Gary Walker on Justin Upton’s return to form. Atlanta’s play this season has often mirrored the hitting of its most talented player. (Carroll Rogers, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“It stinks. I mean, it was bound to end sometime. What we’ve done the past three-fourths of a month, whatever it’s been, has been pretty special. We’ve been playing great ball from every aspect—hitting, pitching, defense. And tonight we pitched well and played great defense, and the bats just weren’t there. So it’s just one of those days in baseball. Get back to the grind tomorrow and hopefully start a new winning streak.”
—Pitcher Alex Wood on the Marlins snapping Atlanta’s win streak with a 1-0 win Saturday. Wood pitched six scoreless innings in the defeat. (David O’Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“A loss is a loss. You don’t want to lose. You try not to give away games, try not to give away at-bats. Tonight’s over. Fourteen games. Great job. We’ll just come back tomorrow and play some more baseball and take care of winning this series.”
—Outfielder Jason Heyward

“These guys are red-hot. I knew we would need another great pitching performance, and we got that. [Nathan Eovaldi] was outstanding. We were fortunate enough to get a big hit by [Hechavarria] at the perfect time. We scored on a wild pitch. That's Fish style, right there.”
—Marlins manager Mike Redmond on ending Atlanta’s streak. (Eric Single, MLB.com)

REDDICK DOUBLES HOMER COUNT IN TWO DAYS

“It feels fantastic. I finally got something to go my way. You hit it over the wall, and they can't catch it, so fortunately there was no bad luck in the process of tonight. I'm going to come in here tomorrow with a big smile on my face. That's just a huge pick up, something I really needed -- not necessarily the home runs, just hitting the ball as well as I did tonight. Hopefully it's something I can continue the rest of the year.”
—Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick on hitting three homers in a 14-6 win over Toronto on Friday. He followed it up with two more jacks Saturday night. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“We're going to need his bat to go where we want to go. We don't need him to hit three home runs every night, although it would make it a lot easier if he did, but he's a great player and very capable. I'm happy for him. Hopefully that kind of gets him going. He should be proud of himself, because three home runs in a big league game is pretty impressive.”
—Shortstop Jed Lowrie.

“There’s nothing else on your mind at that point. We were up 11 at that point. Obviously my 1-0 swing showed I wasn’t trying to hit a single to left. But I was actually quite anxious and shaking in the box thinking about it. But what else can you do? You can’t do anything but go in there and try to hit a fourth. I think the anxiety of the situation got to me and caused me to over-swing a little bit.”
—Reddick, on trying to tie the MLB record by hitting a fourth homer in his final at-bat Friday. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)

“That was a breakthrough. And to do it against a left-hander, too. He has the ability to do all the things he did today … He had a smile on his face and he usually doesn’t break a smile. It was long time coming.”
—Manager Bob Melvin. Even after the outburst, Reddick is still batting just .195 against lefties this season.

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“Ever since Miami, I just found something. I don't even know what it is.”
—Mets starter Zack Wheeler, after a strong start in Arizona. (Adam Rubin, ESPN New York)

“I was watching it, and I didn't know what to do to stop it. I didn't want to yell at Uribe, because I might get him off [the bag]. I didn't know what to do. He just lifted his foot for a tenth of a second and [Longoria] was ready for it.”
—Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke, who was in the on-deck circle when the Rays pulled off the hidden-ball trick on Juan Uribe. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

“If there is one thing that's causing me not to have a good season at this point is losing my identity early in the season. Seeing the offensive players that left here, I thought I needed to hit with more power and drive in runs instead of me being me ... hitting singles, looking for singles, driving out of the ballpark once in a while, hitting doubles. I was expecting too much out of myself and trying to do too much.”
Rangers outfielder David Murphy, who is hitting .226 this season. The club lost sluggers Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli to free agency this past offseason. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

“The difference is St Louis really watched the game. They're not always the loudest fans, but they're the most in tune, intelligent and they really watch and know the game. L.A. wants their team to win, but they're also very loud. It's super loud there. I don't know how to explain it. I think they hold more fans, it's a bigger stadium. It's a different atmosphere. It's still loud just like it is almost like in a playoff type of deal.”
—Dodgers utility player Skip Schumaker on the contrast between fans in St. Louis and Los Angeles. Schumaker returned to St. Louis for the first time since being traded to the Dodgers during the offseason. (Chad Thornburg, MLB.com)

“It's not very often you get Mariano Rivera twice in the same series and don't win either game.”
—Tigers manager Jim Leyland. Rivera blew two saves in the weekend series, but the Yankees recovered to win both games. (Jason Beck, MLB.com)

“I don't mean to hurt any player, but if he's in front of the plate, what am I going to do? You don't even have a second to think, you run over [him] and after that, the guy says, 'That's not a clean play.' I say: 'What are you talking about? What do you mean? You're in front of the plate.'”
—Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, who barreled into Mariners catcher Humberto Quintero in a home plate collision during Saturday’s game. (Jacob Thorpe, MLB.com)

“Like I told him, I was disappointed we weren't better when I was here because when we went and got him, we saw him as a veteran guy that was gonna help some of our veteran guys, and we just haven't pitched well enough. We haven't played well enough. And he handled everything like a pro this year with [Jesus] Florimon and [Brian] Dozier getting the majority of starts up the middle. He's always ready to play.”
—Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony, on dealing utility infielder Jamey Carroll to the Royals. (Joey Nowak, MLB.com)

“It's been surreal, a whirlwind. I'm just trying to be patient. It's a crazy game. I hate to be in this position, to be bouncing back and forth and not really knowing where you're going to be the next day. We'll just see where we go from here now. I just kind of put my head down and go. I just want to play a game.”
—Athletics utility man Adam Rosales on rejoining the team after briefly being claimed off waivers by the rival Rangers (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“He's not going to play for another 10 years. That much everybody knows. How much he plays longer than this season is really up to him. He's had spurts where it's good and then injuries and things that there have been periods where it has slowed him down. That's natural for everyone when you get to a point in your career that he's at right now. Ultimately, he's the guy who has to figure that out and decide.”
—White Sox manager Robin Ventura on his aging first baseman, Paul Konerko. (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)

“You take anything like that personal. Obviously, they're doing what they need to be doing, being in the pennant race. But the guys in that locker room take it to heart. They're saying we're not a very good team and we're going to get by you with this guy or that guy. It's the competitive nature in anybody to take that to heart.”
—Cubs manager Dale Sveum on other teams altering their rotations to save better pitchers for other opponents. The Dodgers and Cardinals did this with Zack Greinke and Adam Wainwright last week, respectively. (Carrie Muskat, MLB.com)

“You think of Joe DiMaggio, Willie McCovey. I feel my name should be nowhere close to them. I guess it is pretty cool, but I wasn't aware of it until like a week ago. It's pretty cool … That stuff is staggering to me. I never set out to play the game for that. Literally, I was happy to be in the big leagues. I just go out there and play. To be 80th, I can't comprehend that. I bet if you went around baseball circles, they'd say, 'No way Juan Pierre is up there on that list.' I just go out there and play hard. If you play long enough, I guess the numbers will be there.”
—Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre on passing players DiMaggio and McCovey on the all-time career hits list, where he currently sits 178th overall and 80th among lefties. With 2,209 hits, he’s just five away from passing the two Hall of Famers. (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

“To have the godfather of center fielders say something like that means a lot. I got a chance to talk to him off and on growing up, more than a whole lot of people. You find out how giving he is and what he means to every African American center fielder you see out there. You know you can play baseball when you start getting compared to him. Then you look at his numbers and that will bring you back to Earth real quick.”
—Ken Griffey Jr., on comments made by Willie Mays during Griffey’s induction ceremony into the Mariners Hall of Fame on Saturday. Mays told Griffey that he believed the former Mariners great was “a cinch” to get into Cooperstown. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)

Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Andrew's other articles. You can contact Andrew by clicking here
Chris Mosch is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Chris's other articles. You can contact Chris by clicking here

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