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October 28, 2013

The Week in Quotes

October 21-27

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


RED SOX LOSE WORLD SERIES GAME THREE ON CONTROVERSIAL CALL

“That's an unfortunate way for them to lose the game, but if it was the right call, then it's got to be made. Again, you can't say enough about what we were able to do against their closer. So you've got to give us a little credit, too.”
—Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter on the team’s stunning victory over Boston on Saturday night due to a walk-off obstruction call on third baseman Will Middlebrooks from umpire Jim Joyce. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)

“With the defensive player on the ground, without intent or intent, it’s still obstruction. You’d probably have to ask Middlebrooks if he could have done anything. But that’s not in our determination.”
—Third base umpire Jim Joyce, explaining the rationale for his pivotal obstruction call. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)

“In hindsight, I should’ve double-switched right there. In hindsight, having Workman hit against Rosenthal was a mismatch and I recognize it, but we needed one more inning out of Workman.”
—Red Sox manager John Farrell, explaining his decision to leave potential pinch hitter Mike Napoli on the bench in the ninth inning of Game Three. (John Tomase, Boston Herald)

“Tough way to have a game end, particularly of this significance, when Will [Middlebrooks] is trying to dive inside to stop the throw. I don't know how he gets out of the way when he's lying on the ground. And when Craig trips over him, I guess by the letter of the rule, you could say it's obstruction. Like I said, that's a tough pill to swallow.”
—Farrell (Ian Browne, MLB.com)

“Our determination is whether or not he could have scored or not. ... And as soon as Craig slid into home plate, [home-plate umpire] Dana [DeMuth] immediately pointed down at me knowing that we had obstruction and it impeded Allen to score the run, essentially. Dana did a great job on installing that right away. Dana did a great job signaling that right away."
—Joyce

“Obstruction is the act of a fielder obstructing a runner when not in the act of fielding a ball. It does not have to be intent. There does not have to be intent, OK?”
—Crew chief John Hirschbeck (Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“When you watch how hard these teams are playing in the World Series and what it takes to get here, what it takes to do what we did climbing back, it's just amazing to me that it would end on a call like that that's not black and white. I just don't know what else to say."
—Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy.

“Well, I wasn’t expecting (Craig) to go. But at the same time, you’re taught to make the tag and look up. I made the tag and looked up, saw he wasn’t even halfway there and he’s not been running great. I thought I was able to get him. I made the throw.”
—Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. (John Tomase, Boston Herald)

“Obviously, we're mad right now. But you have to have that ability to walk out of the clubhouse and forget about it. You go home. You have a family. It's a lesson. It's a lesson you go through. But I think we'll be all right. That's the way it goes, man. That's part of the game. Nothing is going to be handed to us.”
—Saltalamacchia (Paul Hagen, MLB.com)

“I dive for the ball there. There's really nowhere for me to go. I go to get up. He's on top of me. There's really nowhere for me to go there.”
—Third baseman Will Middlebrooks. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)

“It’s an absolute crying shame that a call like this is going to decide a World Series game. It’s a joke. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a joke.”
—Peavy (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)

NATIONALS HIRE MATT WILLIAMS AS MANAGER

“He’s more fiery, like Mike likes. I was probably too laid back for him. I think it’s good. I will definitely stay in the background.”
—Former Nationals manager Davey Johnson, on Matt Williams, who on Friday was hired to be at the helm for Washington next season. Johnson remains a front office adviser with the organization. (Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post)

“Certain guys have a presence, and when they speak in the clubhouse or when they speak in the dugout or on the team plane, the rest of the guys stop what they’re doing and listen. He wasn’t a real vocal guy. He wasn’t chirping all the time. But when he did speak, he commanded the attention of his teammates.”
Bob Brenly, who coached Williams when he played for Arizona.

“He's a realist, he understands that the game is changing constantly and it's becoming more and more difficult, and he relates extremely well to players. If I was kind of in a fielding funk, or even sometimes if my swing didn't quite feel right, he would just have one little thing that would immediately get me right back into rhythm. He was very good at doing stuff like that, and that, to me, is a sign of a great coach.”
—Diamondbacks utility man Willie Bloomquist. Williams was a base coach for Arizona during the last four seasons. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)

“I know he hasn’t managed, but a lot of guys haven’t managed have been successful. They all came into a good situation. He’s coming into a good situation. The bench will be in better shape and the bullpen will be in better shape. He’ll have better options than I had last year. I’m happy for him.”
—Johnson.

GIANTS FRONT OFFICE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT LINCECUM CONTRACT

“I think everybody on our baseball side evaluating it said this was the right thing for the Giants. Hey, Timmy is a very popular guy. But I don't want it to be misinterpreted that this was done because he's popular. It was done because we think he can excel and get us to be where we need to be in the future.”
—Giants president and chief executive officer Larry Baer, on the two-year, $35 million contract that the team finalized with starting pitcher Tim Lincecum on Friday. (Cash Kruth, MLB.com)

“I think that no-hitter was just the icing on the cake for what he had accomplished, but I think it showed that Timmy is coming into his own with, really, little different equipment than what he's had in the past. But he gave us real positive signs for what he's capable of doing.”
—Vice president and assistant general manager Bobby Evans, on Lincecum.

“We see the difference that your starting pitching can make in a make-or-break September or postseason. The reality is that Tim is a big part of that.”
—Evans. (Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle)

“Every year is kind of a springboard to the next, but there’s also a reset button. With everything I’ve learned in these last couple years, it gives me that confidence to go into this knowing that things are going to be a little easier, I don’t have to worry so much, I know what I need to do. That was pointed out in games where I did well, so it’s nice to fall back on those as examples to help me get out of this so-called hole that I’m in.”
—Lincecum, on the continuity of staying with the Giants rather than test free agency. (Carl Steward, San Jose Mercury News)

TWITTER

—Kolten Wong took to Twitter after being picked off to end Game Four.

—Sean Doolittle looks at the important issues surrounding the ending of Game Three.

THE REST

“You don't play this game for the 162-game regular season. You play it for the 19 games of the postseason. The regular season isn't even an appetizer, or a bowl of soup.”
—Red Sox outfielder Johnny Gomes, after hitting what proved to be the game-winning home run in Game Four. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

"It was kind of like last night. I bet they're dumbfounded, like, 'What just happened?'"
—Red Sox catcher David Ross, on Game Four ending with a pickoff. (Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal)

“Going from high school straight into professional baseball, I think only a certain few can do that. I didn't know if I was the one. Looking back on that decision to go to San Diego and have the coaches there get you better, I think it was definitely the right decision. I think it will only help me in this league and in the future, too.”
—Elite Cubs prospect Kris Bryant on going to college after being drafted out of high school. (Carrie Muskat, MLB.com)

“That's the biggest motivating factor I've had my whole life. That's what fuels me every time I'm out on the mound, to kind of prove that stereotypes aren't always right, and that despite your height, despite what it may be working against you, you can go and get stuff done as [well] as a stereotypical pitcher.”
—Blue Jays prospect Marcus Stroman on battling perceptions as a 5-foot-9 starting pitcher. (Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com)

“At this level and at this stage, it’s tough to take yourself out of a game. I’ve never done that before. I’m gonna compete and give them the best chance of winning that I can.”
—Pitcher Clay Buchholz, on his expectations for his Game Four start. Buchholz has suffered from mild discomfort this postseason. (Adam Kaufman, Boston.com)

“They have a formula of commitment to competition, which means max effort and attention to execution. This isn’t a magical formula. The Cardinals aren’t the only ones who do this… And it’s not permanent. It’s not automatic. If the players in the system now — the ones wearing the uniform Saturday night — if they get careless it will get away from them. It’s something you have to constantly embrace… I see some teams that have a lot of it like the Cardinals. Some have some of it. And there are some that don’t get it.”
—Former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, on his impressions of the Cardinals’ pool of talent. (Joe Strauss, Boston Herald)

“He's got that smile that draws everybody to him. He's got more of a warmth than you realize. He genuinely cares for all of us. I've been around superstars in my day when they're in the league that long - he's won two World Series - some are over the daily grind. He's getting to know new guys, he takes us in, invites us to his house, he wants to hang out on the road. He's always talking hitting, and when you talk hitting with a guy like that, it's special. Your ears perk up. You just listen and take notice. He's that guy, a quiet leader who does a phenomenal job of never giving away an at-bat on a daily basis.”
—Red Sox catcher David Ross, on the benefits of playing with David Ortiz. (Tom Timmerman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“At this point of the season you can’t be selfish. If there’s ever a time to be selfless it’s when you need games to win the World Series.”
—Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who has been benched in favor of Jonny Gomes in Games One and Two of the World Series. (Ron Borges, Boston Herald)

“In 2007, everything happened so quick. I got called up, got put on the postseason roster and won a World Series. Everything happened so fast. I felt very fortunate. I knew at the time there are players that have played their whole careers, All-Star players, who have never made the postseason. For me to make it my first year and win a World Series was unbelievable… This year, I think, it’s so hard. No matter how quality of a team you have, it is tough to get to this point. I think this year, I’m definitely enjoying it, slowing it down a little bit and definitely enjoying the whole process a little bit.”
—Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, on the differences between the team’s 2007 and 2013 postseason runs. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)

“It's been a pleasure. Obviously, when you have an opportunity to work with one of the best in the game, you'd be a fool not to learn something. That has certainly been very beneficial to me. My aspirations are hopefully to manage again, but at the same time you have to be your own man.”
—Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, on the lessons gleaned from his time with former manager Jim Leyland. McClendon interviewed for the manager position earlier this week. (Jason Beck, MLB.com)

“O beautiful—O say can you see…”
—Singer James Taylor, performing a hybrid of “America the Beautiful” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the beginning of Game 2. No word yet on whether the mash-up was intentional. (Margaret Eby, New York Daily News

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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