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October 8, 2013

The Week in Quotes

September 30-October 6

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

PIRATES ADJUSTING TO POSTSEASON ACTION

“You just feel like there's a flow. It's almost like when you're shooting free throws and you find your touch. It just feels like, 'I got it.' And after you sink the free throw, you can move back to the three-point line and keep draining it."
—Pirates closer Jason Grilli on moving from last season’s disappointment to this season’s success. (Tom Singer, MLB.com)

“To get to where you're trying to get and push toward the World Series, you're going to have to beat the best teams. You're going to have to beat the best organizations. St. Louis has been the model for that for many, many years.”
—Pirates second baseman Neil Walker. (Michael Sanserino, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“There were no lines for food. I've never been to a sporting event where there weren't lines for food because nobody wanted to leave their seat and miss any action of the game. There were just no lines. Nobody was moving.”
—Pirates manager Clint Hurdle on the atmosphere at Pittsburgh’s first playoff baseball game in decades, a Wild Card Game victory over Cincinnati. (Ron Cook, Pittsubrgh Post-Gazette)

“It's going to be a lot of fun. It's two great ballclubs going at it and a great atmosphere in Pittsburgh. We're looking forward to it. We're ready to have some good ballgames in Pittsburgh.”
—Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez on the NLDS returning to Pittsburgh on Sunday. (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)

“Well, you know, you can do research—I haven't been able to talk to a real pirate lately. But in the movies that I've watched and the books that I've read, there seems to be a spirit of I really don't care what anybody thinks anymore. 'I'm crossing the line. I'm going to become a Pirate. It's not about mom or dad or brother or sister, not about where I used to work. I'm going to be my own man. I'm going to hope to latch on to a bunch of other men who feel the same way, that are like-minded, and try to get something special done.’”
—Pirates manager Clint Hurdle on embracing acting like, well, a pirate.

ANDRELTON SIMMONS SHINING UNDER NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

“He's got a knack. He's got a clock, court awareness, whatever you want to call it for the game that you can't teach … He's just a special guy defensively. Here's a guy, somebody asks me what is the best play you've ever seen him make? My patent answer is the next one because you just never know.”
—Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez on star shortstop Andrelton Simmons (Mark Bowman and AJ Cassavell, MLB.com)

“From my seat, from where I'm at every single night, this guy is by far the … I mean, I don't want to get crazy, but what he does on the field defensively is a huge reason that we won as many games as we did.”
—Braves catcher Brian McCann (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“I've gotten a lot wiser. I'm getting better jumps. I'm getting better reads off of swings. I'm trying to make better decisions. I feel like I've gotten smarter, and in time, I think I'm going to get better.”
—Simmons

OAKLAND BATTERYMATES COME THROUGH TO KNOT UP ALDS

“It's the moment that every kid dreams of. I remember playing in my front yard with nobody else, imagining hitting a walk-off hit in a playoff game. It's everything you could dream of and more.”
—Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt, on his walk-off single in Game Two of the ALDS against the Tigers. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“It's our free agency. It's when I get to be Steinbrenner.”
—GM Billy Beane, on acquiring Vogt for $125,000 in April after the backstop had been designated for assignment by the Rays. (Jeff Kirshman, MLB.com)

“We knew we wanted to come through for him. That was the talk. 'Let's get him a win. Let's get him a win.”
—Vogt, on making sure teammate Sonny Gray’s eight innings of scoreless ball didn’t go to waste.

“There's no time to mess around with that lineup, and Sonny was awesome. The 'W' goes to Sonny tonight. He was the man, the MVP, whatever you want to call him. ... He couldn't have done any better.”
—Reliever Grant Balfour, on Gray’s Game Two performance.

“We came to Sacramento together and threw all year there, so it was nice to have him back there tonight. Stephen just knows my strengths and those are the fingers he puts down.”
—Gray, on his relationship with Vogt. The two were batterymates at Triple-A Sacramento for the first few months of the season. (Carl Steward, Oakland Tribune)

A-GON PROVES TO BE VALUABLE ASSET OFF THE FIELD

“When I first started looking at video, I did a lot of stuff that normal people do, where they just look at their own swing and try to break down their swing so they can make adjustments on their swing. But then I realized that I don't need video to know my swing. I know my swing. So I'm better off putting that time into getting to know the pitcher and catcher.”
—Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)

“I take time and make sure to study every pitcher. I don't just study the starter. I study every bullpen guy, every guy I might face each and every day. I know what that pitcher is trying to do against everybody. So they come to me because they know I've already done all the homework and I can just give them a quick little rundown of what this guy is going to try to do. And nine out of 10 times that's exactly what they do.”
—Gonzalez, on how his teammates come to him for scouting reports on opposing pitchers. (Austin Laymence, MLB.com)

“He's probably going to be a hitting coach one day. That's how valuable he is to our team.”
—Outfielder Carl Crawford, on Gonzalez.

“He's such a pro with the way he does everything. The way he's trying to help the other guys, the way he's preparing himself, the way he would take a loss or the way he handles wins -- all of that is such a solid approach for a big league player.”
—Manager Don Mattingly.

“Adrian is probably the smartest hitter I've ever played with.”
—Catcher A.J. Ellis.

RED SOX SOAR, RAYS SWOON IN ALDS

“Yeah I mean, maybe it took a little bit creativity to maybe piece together a few innings and match up a little bit. Ultimately I think success in the postseason is going to come down to guys making pitches. You’re not going to go out there with your best stuff every time, but when the game is on the line being able to make pitches is likely going to be the difference between winning and losing.”
—Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow, on how the team’s somewhat shaky bullpen is rounding in to form at the right time. (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald)

“I tell Salty all the time, ‘Hey bro, trust me, the more I play, the more we’re gonna stink.’”
—Backup catcher David Ross, downplaying his abilities after posting a double and run scored in Game Two. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)

“It's just the way the game goes sometimes. You can't force things, and sometimes you can't control how the ball bounces and different things. We just haven't gotten the breaks that we wanted to in the first two games.”
—Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist, on what was an uncharacteristically sloppy performance in Game Two. Zobrist went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and committed an error. (Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times)

"He knows how I've pitched to him for the last probably year and a half, two years. He steps in the bucket and hits a homer, and he stares at it to see if it's fair or foul. I'm sure that's what he'd say. But as soon as he hit it, I saw it, I knew it was fair. Run."
—Pitcher David Price, on David Ortiz’s decision to linger at the plate after hitting his second Game 2 home run. (Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times)

“Definitely not my finest moment.”
—Pitcher Jamey Wright, after allowing four runs in an inning of work in Game One. (Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times)

“Boston this time of the year is kind of lovely, and I'm looking forward to coming back in a few days.”
—Manager Joe Maddon, stating his team’s intent to extend their ALDS matchup to 5 games. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)

“Look at what this team's been through. The super-long game [18 innings] against the Orioles, extra innings versus Texas, going to two other teams' house and knocking them out. I mean, we're prepared and equipped for whatever's thrown at us.”
—Pitcher Chris Archer, reiterating his team’s resilient attitude toward their 2-game deficit. (Bill Chastain, MLB.com)

TWITTER

—Pete Rose had something to say after the Pirates beat the Reds in the NL wild card play-in game.

THE REST

Julio Teheran came in as our no. 5 this year, and he's one of our best starters. He has dominant stuff. He could be an ace."
—Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“Mainly disappointed, upset, [ticked off]—every negative emotion you can probably have … I'm not blind to my numbers. I know what they are. But at the same time, I know what I've done in my career, and I still know what I'm capable of doing. So I was kind of blindsided by [getting left off the Braves' NLDS roster].”
—Braves second baseman Dan Uggla on being left off the postseason roster following a disappointing year. (Terence Moore, MLB.com)

“It’s an advantage to the pitchers, all those extra days off. You can’t replicate the intensity offensively during workouts; we had some good swings, but you could see the timing wasn’t there. Timing is difficult with extra days of rest.”
—Athletics hitting coach Chili Davis, on the club having four days off before Game 1 of the ALDS. Oakland has scored just three runs in the first two games of the series. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)

“They actually forced their way down here after eight innings of squirming in their seats with their mother. They proceeded to mark up all of Bob's advanced-report cards. It got us a run, which I know Bob will trade for.”
—Athletics GM Billy Beane, who was joined in Bob Melvin’s office by his two 4-year-old daughters during Game 2. (Jeff Kirshman, MLB.com)

“The last 15 pitches indicate how your outing goes. The wheels could have come flying off, but I thought I kept my composure. Like I said, those last 15 pitches mean a lot — and when you can do it in the post-season, that means even more.”
—Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, on his thoughts after Yoenis Cespedes’s 7th inning home run in Game One. (Tom Gage, The Detroit News)

“His fastball is 91-92 m.p.h. but he can get it to 95-96 if he wants. His slider is so late and sharp and it arrives at 87-88. But the pitch he can do so much with is the change-up. He can throw it hard, between 88-90, and it acts like a splitter because it’s got so much movement (a split-finger fastball drops at the last minute).”
—Scherzer, breaking down teammate and Game Three starter Anibal Sanchez’s pitching repertoire. (Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press)

“I tried to get in his head. It didn’t work. Good pitching will beat good hitting any day and you saw both sides.”
—Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, on his dispute with A’s pitcher Sonny Gray, after Gray threw high and inside during Hunter’s second at-bat of Game 2. (George Sippie, Detroit Free Press)

“He’s been one of my favorite players growing up, watching him play. I remember my first spring training facing him when he was with the Angels. He had a line drive up the middle and almost took my head off.”
—Gray, on his thoughts about Hunter. (George Sippie, Detroit Free Press)

“You sleep in the offseason.”
—Athletics manager Bob Melvin. His club boarded a red-eye charter flight to Detroit immediately after Game Two and will play Game Three at 10 a.m. PT. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“You know that guy in New York is going to get paid. Not by us, but he’s going to get paid. Hey, when you’re a superstar, you get paid.”
—Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson, hinting that his team will not make an offer to Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. (Anthony McCarron, New York Daily News)

“I think he likes it here. I’m not speaking for Joe, but I think if you’re good at what you do, you’ll have opportunities to stay. He’s definitely going to have that. We’re going to give him a real good reason to stay.”
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on the team’s efforts to retain manager Joe Girardi. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

“I have beliefs and values and thoughts. I’m not going to do something to get out of my beliefs. We’ve been here 30 years, for gosh sakes. Gardy’s been here 30 years, I’ve been here for 30 years. Maybe people think we’re stale. I don’t think we’re stale.”
—Twins general manager Terry Ryan, defending his re-signing of manager Ron Gardenhire. (Phil Miller, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“In a small way, I feel like we’ve won the World Series.”
—Royals general manager Dayton Moore. (Sam Mellinger, The Kansas City Star)

“It's like the Odd Couple, him and Uribe get along so well. It doesn't make any sense to me.”
—Mattingly, on the bond between Hyun-Jin Ryu and Juan Uribe. The two have become close friends despite neither speaking much of the other’s primary language. (Jesse Sanchez, 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

Related Content:  Major League Baseball,  MLB

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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Lak... (10/08)
<< Previous Column
The Week in Quotes: Se... (09/30)
Next Column >>
The Week in Quotes: Oc... (10/14)
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Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (10/08)

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