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October 21, 2013

The Week in Quotes

October 14-20

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

RED SOX MARCH ON

“I won't talk about the approach or what I thought—no, honestly, I told myself to get a pitch I can handle. Try to tie the game at the minimum. Get us back in the game and give us another chance. It was a special moment. It's been a special year, we battled, and good moments like this, you cherish it.”
—Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, on his thoughts immediately before launching a game-winning grand slam in Game Six of the ALCS. (Chad Finn, Boston.com)

“People counted me out. People said last year I was done. But when I came here there was rejuvenation. There was something inside of me that said, ‘I want to prove something. I want to prove that, you know what, that’s the reason why I came here. Boston strong!”
—Victorino, on bouncing back from a difficult 2012 season to clinch the team’s World Series berth. (Steve Buckley, Boston Herald)

“We were talking about, who else would [the MVP] be? The guy didn't throw a ball, let alone give up runs. It's special watching him finish games.”
—Reliever Brandon Workman, reacting to teammate Koji Uehara’s ALCS MVP award. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

“I felt like I was going to throw up.”
—Uehara, on the stress of closing out Game Six. (Boston.com)

“I never faced (Scherzer). I watched a lot of him and knew he was an amazing pitcher. That first at-bat, I took two fastballs, just wanted to see the angle where the ball comes out because I never faced him and he has a weird kind of motion. And I ended up having a good day and we won.”
—Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts, on his approach against Max Scherzer. Bogaerts’s walk in the 7th inning forced Scherzer from the game and eventually allowed Shane Victorino to hit a game-winning home run. (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald)

“Jonny just brought that kind of attitude where, I don’t want to cuss, but kind of a (expletive)-you attitude. We are not here for anything but to win… That’s something we needed from the year previous.”
—Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on the impact outfielder Jonny Gomes has had on the Red Sox’s clubhouse attitudes. (Tom Layman, Boston Herald)

“I couldn’t even hear myself it was so loud. I can’t believe it. I don’t know what to think. I can’t believe it. It was an awesome feeling.”
—Red Sox security officer Steve Horgan, on his euphoric celebration in Game 1 of the ALCS. Horgan has since become an internet sensation. (Chris Greenberg, The Huffington Post)

GET ‘EM NEXT YEAR

“It just doesn’t get called. And I’m not here to criticize Dan Iassogna. That’s just the way it goes. If you don’t hit your spots, you don’t get calls. Even though it might’ve been in the zone, I didn’t hit my spot exactly. That’s just the way it goes.”
—Pitcher Max Scherzer, on the borderline call that ended Scherzer’s night and eventually led to Shane Victorino’s game-winning grand slam. (John Niyo, Detroit News)

“It rips your heart out. With this ballclub, I just knew we had everything it took to get to the World Series. There are a lot of things you can look back on, like if we were a little smarter and didn’t make the mistakes we made.”
—Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, after his team was eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday. (Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News)

“If ‘if’ was a fifth, we’d all be drunk.”
—Hunter, quoting Bay Area rappers E-40 and Mistah F.A.B. in saying that if reporters’ hypothetical scenarios about the Tigers came true, the team would have no trouble advancing to the World Series. (Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press)

"I was trying to keep us out of a double play, and once I saw Pedroia tag (Martinez) I kind of got stuck there. Just a double play anyway."
—First baseman Prince Fielder, explaining the baserunning mistake that ended a potential Tigers rally in the sixth inning of Game Six. (John Niyo, Detroit News)

“People are looking for the faults, but he’s actually gotten some hits in this series, and really hasn’t swung the bat all that bad. I think a lot of people, when they think of Prince, they relate to the home runs. … But we’ve never asked Prince to hit home runs. We just want Prince to produce. He’s always been a run producer, that’s what we got him for. And that’s what he’s done ever since he’s been here.”
—Manager Jim Leyland, reacting to the boos received by Fielder, after what are widely considered to be lackluster regular and postseason performances. Fielder is in the second year of a nine-year, $214 million contract. (John Niyo, Detroit News)

“You’re darn right we needed to change something. So we changed something.”
—Leyland, explaining the drastic changes he made to the Tigers lineup before Game Four. (Tom Gage, Detroit News)

“There’s truth in that. But when you look at it, we’re not a team built on speed. We’re a team built on power. You can have better speed at the top of the batting order. But when you’ve got guys like we have in Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez in the 3, 4 and 5 spots, you had better make sure that you’re stealing those bases and not getting thrown out. Or that wouldn’t make a lot of sense, either.”
—General manager Dave Dombrowski, defending the Tigers’ power-heavy lineup. (Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press)

“It tells a great story every time we have a national event. We’re very fortunate to have the four sports teams. For every negative, we have lots of great things on our side.”
—Executive vice president and COO of Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Michael O’Callaghan, commenting on the economic boon provided by the Tigers deep playoff run and the area’s sports teams in general. (Michael Martinez and Karen Dybis, Detroit News)

CARDINALS TAKE EXCEPTION TO MICKEY MOUSE AND BAT FLIPS

“I think he still thinks he's playing somewhere else. He has a lot of passion, no doubt about that, a lot of talent. I think with time he will learn that sometimes you have to be a little more calm, not only with not showing up the other team, but with the umpires, and the way he plays the game.”
—Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran on the often criticized playing style of Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers outfielder flipped his bat and admired his long fly to right field in Game 3 of the NLCS, only for it to stay inside the park. Puig settled for a triple. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

“He pimped it a little bit, but then he took off and he got a triple. You've got to play with a little bit of individualism, a little bit of flair. It's good for the game. He didn't show up the other team, in my opinion.”
—Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, on Puig.

"In Cuba, you always see a lot of emotion on the field. Everyone is really giving it their best. It's their job to go out there and do the best they can, just like it's here in the big leagues. The people in Cuba are born to play baseball, and that's what you see on the field mostly."
—Puig. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)

"The Mickey Mouse ears, I was just having fun with the comment that was made earlier. Nothing against them or anything, it was just to have fun … If you're not having fun in the playoffs, then you don't deserve to be here. Just enjoying every moment of it."
—First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who waved his arms and pumped his fists after an RBI double in the fourth inning of Game 3. Gonzalez had been heckling Adam Wainwright from third base earlier in the game and Wainwright called Gonzalez’ antics “Mickey Mouse” stuff. (Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times)

“They're just having fun. I would hate to see a game where there wasn't any emotion. I like to see it. I think the fans enjoy it. I would love to see more.”
—Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.

“We're not playing Game 137 in August. This is the playoffs. Both teams are trying to get to the World Series.”
—Utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

“I would love to see some of the Cardinals facing [Bob] Gibson, or some of the Dodgers facing [Don] Drysdale. It would be totally different.”
—Scully, on how players have recently gotten visibly upset at what were previously considered routine fastballs up-and-in.

CUBS PROSPECTS GETTING READY FOR 2014 ALREADY

“I was walking along Michigan Avenue and there were some people who already recognized me. It seemed kind of strange, in a good way, though. With fans like that, you want to be part of it.”
—Cubs minor league outfielder Kris Bryant, the no. 2 pick in the 2013 draft, on his popularity around Chicago. (Don Ketchum, MLB.com)

“Sometimes the ball seems like a beach ball. Sometimes it seems like a golf ball. It's kind of like a beach ball for me right now. There are a lot of great pitchers out here, guys who throw 95 [mph]. I want to see as much of them as I can, get to know as many people as I can, pick the coaches' brains, get to know my teammates and other players. It should be a great experience.”
—Bryant on winning Arizona Fall League Co-Player of the Week recently.

“They're not raw in their physical abilities, it's just being raw to the United States, how things are run. As far as the way they play the game, they're pretty advanced for 16 years old. They're not raw as far as their tools. Their tools are in place.”
—Cubs minor league hitting coordinator Anthony Iapoce on the team’s newest young Latin phenoms, Eloy Jimenez and Gleybar Torres. (Carrie Muskat, MLB.com)

“Their talent is incredible. We were taking batting practice the other day, and one of the American players, who is probably 22 or 23 [years old], [was watching] I believe it was Gleybar hitting, and the kid said, 'At 16 years old, I was a sophomore in high school and I was going to geometry class, and this kid is in professional baseball and outhitting some of us.' It's amazing what they're doing.”
—Ray Fuentes, Chicago’s “coordinator of culture programs.”

“It's going to be a different experience for me [this offseason], because in years past, I trained as hard as I could train, but I knew Adrian Beltre would be at third base. This year, it's different, knowing I have a better shot of making a spot on the roster."
—Cubs third base prospect Mike Olt on his new setting after starting his career with the Texas Rangers. (Carrie Muskat, MLB.com)

TWITTER

THE REST

“It tells a great story every time we have a national event. We’re very fortunate to have the four sports teams. For every negative, we have lots of great things on our side.”
—Executive vice president and COO of Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Michael O’Callaghan, commenting on the economic boon provided by the Tigers deep playoff run and the area’s sports teams in general. (Michael Martinez and Karen Dybis, Detroit News)

“I'm a little more confident about negotiating a contract now that I've shown all year that my hips aren't an issue, but I'm sure I'm going to have to go through all the steps again, with all the MRIs and talking to doctors. They're always going to say, 'What if?' But what if I got hit in the hand or got hurt in some other way that had nothing to do with my hips? So many things can happen, but I don't feel like my hips are a problem.”
—Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli, on how his performance in 2013 will affect contract negotiations in the future. Napoli dealt with hip injury issues before signing a shortened contract with the Red Sox earlier this year. (Lindsay Berra, MLB.com)

“There is a learning curve. Things aren't going to happen overnight. The Eiffel Tower wasn't built in a night. The Great Wall of China wasn't built in one night. It is going to take a little time. It's going to take a little patience. It takes dedication. I think, moving forward, we're going to be a really good team. I want to be part of when that happens.”
—Marlins infielder Greg Dobbs on the team’s future. (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

“It's not like going down to Home Depot and pulling something out that you need that's broke and you've got to fix it. Ultimately, from a baseball operations standpoint, taking out all the areas of controversy, having Alex Rodriguez man third base is obviously by far the best option for the Yankees than what the alternatives would be in theory.”
—Yankees GM Brian Cashman (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

"Thanks for trying to find excuses, guys. I just didn't pitch well."
—Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, after giving up seven runs in four innings in Game 6 of the NLCS. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

“What does it really matter, making the playoffs or coming in last place? If you don't win the World Series, it doesn't really matter ... all this other stuff. We had some good moments this year. We put together a good streak there toward the middle. But really, unless you win the whole thing it doesn't really make a difference.”
—Kershaw. (Chris Haft, MLB.com)

“Watch out next year. If they don't take care of this kid with the amount of innings he's putting on that shoulder, I guarantee you there is going to be trouble next year for him. That bothers me a lot because, as an athlete, I would like to see the manager and pitching coach stick up for this team.”
—Former Cy Young Award winner and current TBS studio analyst Pedro Martinez, on the Dodgers’ handling of Kershaw, who threw 259 innings this season and pitched on three days rest for the first time in the NLDS. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)

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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The Week in Quotes: Oc... (10/28)
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