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September 16, 2013

The Week in Quotes

September 9-15

by Nick Bacarella, Andrew Koo, Chris Mosch and Satchel Price

ATHLETICS EXTEND AL WEST LEAD OVER RANGERS
“If we learned anything from last year, it's that nothing's safe until we've played 162 games. Obviously we really like the position we're in right now, but we can't rest on that. If we learned anything from tonight and from last year, it's that they're gonna put some heat on us. They're a really good ballclub.”
—Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle, after Friday’s 9-8 win over the Rangers. The A’s almost squandered a seven-run lead when the Rangers scored six runs in the 8th inning. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, after Friday’s loss. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, on the club’s recent slump.

“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.”
—Athletics shortstop Jed Lowrie, after their loss on Tuesday to Minnesota. Oakland ended up taking the next two games from Minnesota before squaring off against Texas over the weekend. (Patrick Donnelly, MLB.com)

HELTON, KOTSAY ANNOUNCE RETIREMENT PLANS
“I'm walking away from the game with the respect of every teammate I've ever played with. That's all I've ever wanted when I was done.”
—Padres outfielder Mark Kotsay, who announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2013 season. (Corey Brock, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Kotsay

“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.”
—Padres manager Bud Black (Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune)

“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.”
—Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who also announced his intention to retire at the end of the season. (Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Helton

A BRIGHTER FUTURE AHEAD
“Unfortunately, we have a number of areas that we need to upgrade, and you have named three at the top of the list. Where we have performed offensively, obviously being at the bottom of the league in runs scored, how we've performed defensively and how we've performed on the bases has been well below our expectations and well below acceptable … So we have a fair amount of work to do, and we realize that. It's something that because of the way the season has gone, we have had a little extra time to prepare for what we wanted to do. We were able to do some of it at the [July 31] Trade Deadline and hopefully come October and November, we will continue down that path.”
—White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, discussing the team’s areas of need heading into the offseason. (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)

“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.”
—White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on the frustrations of his second year with the team. (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on the forthcoming changes to the team’s pitching rotation. (Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, on the organization’s offseason plans. Towers also indicated that the club could look into adding a power bat at third base. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)

—HairF/X is a big deal in the trainer community.

—The latest in combating bullpen boredom.

THE REST
“I still feel that unless a player's stats are just so far out ahead of the rest of the pack -- I mean just unbelievable numbers where you're going, 'This is the most incredible season out there by far' -- it should be weighted to where your teams are. If you have four guys with very similar statistics -- some guys might be heavily weighted in home runs and some guys in runs scored -- I do think that the deciding factor will be the impact he had for his team. And a team that he has a year like that for and leads into the playoffs should be part of the equation. I believe that.”

—Angels manager Mike Scioscia, weighing in on how he believes the Angels’ record should affect Mike Trout’s chances of winning the AL MVP. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Astros starting pitcher Jarred Cosart, who has thrown a career-high 153 innings between Triple-A and the big leagues. The right-hander logged 132 and 2/3 innings in the minor leagues last year. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton, after tossing six scoreless innings against the Cardinals on Saturday. (Geoff Baker, Seattle Times)

“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.”
—Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey, on a sidearm knuckler he debuted against Mike Trout on his Wednesday start. (Shi Davidi, Sportsnet.ca)

“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.”
—Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on his altercation with Yankees manager Joe Girardi about stealing signs. (Brittany Ghiroli, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Former Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe, on his recent retirement and the transition from baseball to color commentary. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, on why he’s downplaying the similarities between this season’s stretch run and the end of the 2011 regular season, when the Rays clinched a wild card berth on the season’s final day. (Bill Chastian and Sam Strong, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski, on shortstop Jhonny Peralta’s role with the team upon his return from after a 50-game suspension. (Jason Beck, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli, on overcoming a lingering hip injury and cashing in his contract’s incentive package, which increases his 2013 salary from $5 million to $13 million. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)

"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."
—Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, who recently strained his oblique, putting the rest of his season in jeopardy. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel, breaking down teammate Chris Davis’s league-leading 50th home run. (Brittany Ghiroli, MLB.com)

“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.”
—Red Sox manager John Farrell, on comparisons of current catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to former catcher Jason Varitek. (Jason Mastrodonato, MLB.com)

Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Nick's other articles. You can contact Nick by clicking here
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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Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (09/16)
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The Week in Quotes: Se... (09/09)
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The Week in Quotes: Se... (09/23)
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Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (09/16)

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