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September 16, 2013
The Week in Quotes
ATHLETICS EXTEND AL WEST LEAD OVER RANGERS
“We're not happy. We had an opportunity against the team we wanted to play, and we're not doing enough to win. We didn't expect to be in this situation, but we're trying to find ways to get out of it. ... [If we can] find one hole or anything that can help us win games, we'll take it. The effort is there, but we're not getting results.”
“It has been tough. We haven't been getting the wins, but believe me, it has been a lot of fun. We're fighting to the end; we just haven't been able to get the win. That's all you can do is fight to the end. We're really close to clicking and running off a winning streak.”
“I think it just comes down to respect. If we lose respect for the process, if we lose respect for the guys who are out there trying to beat us on any particular day, then you can be taken advantage of. We need to worry about Texas when we get to Arlington, and not forget that the guys here on the other side of the field are going to try to beat us.”
HELTON, KOTSAY ANNOUNCE RETIREMENT PLANS
“At the end of the season, you evaluate how you feel moving forward. This year, I've just felt the time is right. Mentally and physically, the grind of the season has become more difficult. I'm at peace where I'm at in my life.”
“I’ve been very fortunate to have very solid veteran players during my time with the Padres. Mark falls into that group. He’s been a great sounding board for me. I appreciate his thoughts and his candor. I think he’s been great for the younger guys. I think he’s been great for the more veteran players.”
“Playing part time, that wasn't appealing to me. I'm used to going out there playing every day. To me, it's not worth the travel and the time being away from home just to get a pinch-hit here or there. If they had the DH in the National League it might be a different story. But they don't, so here we are.”
“Coming into the season, I probably knew this could be my last. I wanted to be 100 percent sure. I didn't want to say I was going to retire and then come back. You never want to do that. I wanted be 100 percent certain that I was done … At 40, it's time to go. It's a young man's game, and when you get to 40 … I think I've accomplished a lot in this game. I made a lot of good friends and got to do a lot of great things. And so, I'm just excited to start another chapter in my life.”
A BRIGHTER FUTURE AHEAD
“There's no part of it that's easy or that this has been fun at all. It's work, and you're trying to find ways to change it. That's part of going into the offseason and seeing what we have right now until the end of the year. From that point, you start making assessments, and figuring out which way we're going and how we're going to do it.”
“I don't think we have enough ready arms to step into this rotation. We have lots of candidates. But are these guys ready to turn you around? I don't think so. They can fill some spots. But everyone is looking for pitching, and we're no different than any other organization.”
“I think we need to be conscious of maybe another power bat. I'm not expecting Aaron to go out and hit 30 home runs every year, but I think if Aaron can stay healthy for a full year, I think he's a 20 home run guy. I would like to think at some point Montero is a 20 home run guy. We probably could use another big bat somewhere in our lineup … I would say it's probably less likely a free agent. It might be you could move one of your center fielders for a corner outfielder. There's a couple of free agents out there. More than likely it's going to come via trade. That's if we decide to move one of our guys, we think our center fielders, for a corner outfielder.”
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“Honestly, I don't have much left. My body is tired. This is new for me. Missing time last year with the blisters gave me an extra blow, almost a two-week break for my arm. It's kind of like starting over and I missed no time this year, which was a huge plus for me. That was one of my goals this year, to stay healthy this year and be able to come in next year.”
“I think it helps when I do that, go up in the zone and get guys to swing. I’ve got that angle kind of going down in the zone and then, they’re not expecting me to come up in the zone. So, I try to spend most of the night at the knees so when I do come up, I think I kind of catch them off guard a bit.”
“I never needed it (last year), why show a weapon you don’t feel is necessary? This year, it’s a little bit different, I’m looking for different weapons to see if I can freeze a guy, or steal a strike. And take all that out of it, it’s fun to try new things and see success in them, and experience new sensations on the mound.”
“I don't get into theatrics or whatever. If I feel something, I'll express it. Simple as that. And Joe will, too. I don't get into the history or the protocol. I could give a you-know-what less. It strikes a chord in me and I stand accused. And so does Joe. We've got two good teams and we're competing for something very special with 19 or 20 games left, and nobody's going to apologize here for caring about giving both of our teams the best chance to win.”
“I think it's a great opportunity to, first of all, see if you enjoy it. I think it's something where I've been watching not only just the Red Sox, but baseball in general, so you kind of have a feel about what's going on. I think any time you get a chance to do something outside your comfort zone, you might as well try it and see if you like it, and if you do, try to pursue it at some point.”
“It's pretty much wanting to win more than the other guy. That's what it comes down to -- and really enjoying the moment and staying in the moment. I really refrain from grandiose speeches to anybody. I might talk to a guy, a little jab in and out thing, rather than trying to be brilliant. First of all, I'm not, so why even try. I really think you can confuse people right now.”
“Really, you are under some obligation to try to give him the opportunity to come back, because it's a negotiated settlement -- a 50-day suspension -- that the Commissioner's Office and the Players Association agreed upon. Are you told that you have to? No, but you're also told that there's some obligation. I think really where we fall at this time is that, too.”
“Yeah, I mean, that's my goal every year, to stay on the field. Sometimes some things happen that you can't control and you get injured, but I think being at first base helped me out a lot with my body and how I felt. I've been confident my whole career. Some unfortunate things happened during my career. This year's been great, and my body still feels good.”
"It felt serious enough for me to say something and come out of the game, so you take what you want from that. I don't think anything's broken, obviously, but it's just one of those things where I've never had an issue before … I know something's not right. I felt like if I went out there, it was just going to get worse and I was going to hurt the team, because I wasn't anywhere close to 100 percent."
“A lot of people don't go back and really understand what he did with that pitch. It was a split-finger that was down and away and off the plate. It was a good pitch by [Blue Jays pitcher Steve] Delabar, but he just hit the bottom of the ball and he's so strong that he back-spinned it enough to get it out. It's a good hitter's ballpark. But to hit a pitch like that, it's hats off to him. He's been doing it all year.”
“Jason's a mentor to everybody that's in the same uniform. But not everybody is going to do it like Jason, and that's probably more the point I was trying to get to. Salty's his own guy, and he stands on his own feet. He's a much more confident player right now, and it's shown in his leadership skills on the field. That's leading a pitching staff or a pitcher on a given night through some tough spots. It's been great to see.”
Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus.