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October 14, 2013
The Week in Quotes
DEJA-VU FOR OAKLAND AGAINST VERLANDER
“Everybody in the ballpark, 50,000 are rooting against me, and yelling as loud as they can. That’s fun for me. I enjoy that. I enjoy it as much as being at home and having that atmosphere as well. You thrive off it. At one point they were chanting ‘Let’s go Oakland’ and in my head every time they said ‘Oakland’ I said, ‘Tigers.’”
“I've faced Verlander a lot, and that's the best I've ever seen him. He was throwing everything for strikes and when he elevates the fastball just above the strike zone, it's tough. The only time you're going to get to him is if he gets himself in trouble, and he didn't do that.”
“In the first or second innings, I noticed it had good life and guys were swinging at it and wanted to go with it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“It's frustrating. We had a tremendous season and it would be great not to put ourselves in a Game Five against Verlander again, but those are the cards we were dealt. It was a deja-vu situation.”
EVERYBODY LOVES MICHAEL WACHA
“From our standpoint, we're kind of in awe with what all these guys are doing, to be honest with you. Mikey's 22 years old. Last year, he was playing at Texas A&M. Last year. I mean, what in the world? He's just ... it's amazing."
“The way this kid has gone about it has been ... it's really hard to describe. I don't want to keep describing it, because I'd like to watch it happen a few more times.”
“It shows maturity. Some guys could come into those situations and think, 'Oh no, I have to face Greinke and Kershaw. We have no shot.' But instead, they rose to the occasion, went out and did the things that they needed to do to give us a chance to win."
“This is a tough spot to be in when you're 22 years old, and he's done a fantastic job and it's so much fun to watch. You watch the emotion, you watch the excitement of what he's doing, the poise. His talent is there, and to watch the mound presence and the things that he's doing throughout the game and in situations has been fantastic. It's been a lot of fun to be a part of it.”
“I've never experienced his temperament with his kind of stuff. The guy is amazing. He's obviously very confident in his stuff, but his ability to stay focused and stay humble and continue to learn and process the stuff other guys are teaching him and then go out to the field and execute it, is quite amazing.”
DODGERS BACK UMPIRE ON PHANTOM TAG CALL
“That would be a shame for a great defensive play like that, the great throw by Carlos, and great play by Yadier at the plate to be overturned because of a technicality that he didn't graze him with the glove.”
“It was pretty obvious I got tagged out. There was a collision at home plate. They're going to call you out every time. You run into it, you're out. That's how they're going to call it.”
“I hope that's something that doesn't change, because that's an important part of the game. When you're back there personally as a catcher, you're trying to secure the catch and you're not really thinking about tagging. You're trying to hold on to the ball.”
“There's no umpire alive that I think would call Mark safe because he didn't get tagged right there.”
WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
“If I could only manage October, I would be back every year. This is so much fun. But I don't miss the managing. I miss winning and losing. There's a big difference.”
“Now that I’m in a different phase of my life, if somebody were to have a conversation with me or somebody thought I would be right for a spot, I’d explore it. I don’t know if I’d take it. I’m smart enough to say I’d listen.”
GOOD JOB, GOOD EFFORT
“Anytime you win 90-plus games, it's been a pretty good year, it really is, and regardless of what anyone else might want to say. From my perspective, I'm really proud of our group. I don't want to be cliche-ridden, but there's nothing to hang our heads about, their really isn't.”
“We won our division doing things a certain way. We just fell one game short. I don't know that you completely try to do things differently based on coming up a game short.”
“We definitely had an amazing year. A year to remember. A year that's going to go down in the books forever. Definitely happy to be a part of it.”
TIGERS MiSS NO-HITTER BUT GET KEY ALCS WIN
“Especially in this series, it's not about throwing a no-hitter. As you get some zeros inning by inning, and you face hitter by hitter, and get them out, it's more important. It's more important than the no-hitter at this point."
“At times, (Sanchez) probably has some of the nastiest stuff on the team, and this was definitely one of those nights. His ball had so much action on it, I don’t even think he knew where it was going sometimes. And sometimes, I didn’t. That’s what makes him so good — he’s very unpredictable; he throws stuff in counts a hitter wouldn’t normally see, just to keep them off balance.”
“The thing we found out – and we’ve had to do it a couple of times and it kind of backfired – is that Alburquerque, when he comes out for one inning and gives you that good one inning, if you try to send him back out, things don’t normally turn out as good… He was absolutely lights-out.”
“You almost feel like you're behind in a place like this, feel like you're behind when you have just one run… With the Monster, although the ball wasn't really carrying tonight, you never feel comfortable. It would have been nice, but there would have been several guys involved no matter what.”
“Obviously, you can't say this in the heat of the game because you would be mentioning the no-hitter in a way, but I was thinking, ‘If we do no-hit these guys, do we even go out on the field to celebrate?’ I don't think that's right. I think we win the baseball game, we go out there and slap hands and come back in. That sounds crazy. Yeah, no-hitters are great in the regular season and they're exciting for you and us as well, but there are much bigger things going on here.''
“I think I was made to be an everyday player. Sitting and watching, I’m just a ball of nerves.”
“Characteristic of this team all year is to build a pitch count. I thought we were doing that against Sanchez. But the idea is to get to the bullpen, and as we went through that, anytime we had a man on base, he would get a strikeout when needed. But I wouldn't say patience working deep counts was the reason why we didn't get a hit until the ninth."
“I was just trying to get three outs. If it happens, it happens. But I was not worried about the no-hitter. I was just worried about preserving the win."
“I wasn't thinking anything about the no-hitter at that point. It was still a 1-0 game. We had been battling all night and we hadn't gotten anything to fall. Fortunately, I got that one to fall."
“It's a good feeling you end up winning because you don’t have to answer all those questions. You try to put guys in the right position and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t ... sometimes it doesn't and then it still works ... that’s what happened tonight.”
“We've all seen Balfour when he pitches. He's yelling at baseballs, blades of grass, the mound, who knows. I think it was the heat of the moment, and Victor took it the wrong way. Balfour doesn't like to get stared down and he pretty much wins the staring contest 100 percent of the time, and he didn't appreciate it.”
“I told the guys here the champagne better get nicer and better as we keep doing this.”
“There's no one particular delivery that is superior to another, but there are movements that we're trying to identify and still looking at that will possibly enable a guy to be more consistent with his command and his control and perhaps prevent arm injuries and things like that. That's what we're trying to do. We were doing that down in St. Louis and hopefully we can do that down here in Houston.”
“I still love to play, that's no secret. I still work out like I'm going to be out there every day. I hope to get a chance to get a job for next year. If not, and this is the last hurrah, I can't complain one bit. I can honestly say I never thought I'd play over 13 years in the big leagues. I'm grateful for every opportunity. Physically and mentally, I still feel like I can play at this level."
“If you go with what's been done in the past, I guess you're going to have to think you're going to get traded. That's kind of the way it's happened with this organization when pitchers kind of get to this period in their career. We've seen it happen a couple of times already. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know what's happened in the past.”
“It would have been unbelievably embarrassing to lose 3 straight to these guys—especially these guys.”
“With almost $100 million coming off their books, they feel they can fill most of their needs and still be under the $189 million. They’re also looking at the rest of the division—and how they were able to hang in with all of them except the Red Sox, with the myriad of injuries and all the transition this year—and they’re confident they can better improve themselves than the others because of their ability to still greatly out-spend them.”
“It sounds like he wants to go out and test the market, and talk to whoever he needs or wants to talk to. And that’s not unusual, of course. We want him back. He knows that. Within reason, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that happens. But time will tell.”
“I sent my MRI results to a couple of doctors and knee specialists and we decided that in the long run and for my future as a baseball player, this surgery would be the best plan. I will immediately begin the rehabilitation process in hopes of being ready for the start of spring training.”
“First of all, a lot of miscommunication and a few things that happened before. That’s why we haven’t got a great relationship with the organization. But I’m looking forward to one day, you work in Wrigley Field and see my statue, see my flag.”
“I tell them little things. So much stuff is new for them. They're grown men, so you don't want to be pushy. It's better if they come to you and ask -- and most of the time, that's what happens. We just try to help, reassure them some ways.”
“Breslow uses words in a normal conversation that I'm not used to. When he starts to speak, some guys might not be thinking along with him."
Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus.