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January 13, 2014
The Week in Quotes
MADDUX, GLAVINE, AND THOMAS VOTED INTO THE HALL OF FAME
“When we were walking back to the dugout, he said, 'Do you remember two months ago?' I had already forgot about it. But he said [Bagwell] was looking for the [inside] pitch the whole time. Then he turned around and laughed. That's something I'm never going to forget… His mentality is what set him apart. When he threw pitches, his ball moved a lot. He put it just right where he wanted to put it. And he knew a lot about hitting. Every time a hitter stepped to the plate, he knew how to get him out. His command was unbelievable and he knew what the hitter was thinking and what he was looking for. That's why he was so good."
“He individually completely changed two organizations… He made the difference for the Braves [becoming the dominant team of the ’90s], and it killed the Cubs.”
“When you see guys like myself and Greg being able to have the success we had—not only not being imposing figures physically, but certainly not imposing in terms of our velocity—I think it gives hope to kids that ‘Hey, I have a chance, even though I may not be the hardest-throwing kid on my team.’ ”
“I think Greg's greatest influence on me was the way he would go out there and have a game plan and execute that game plan or change that game plan not only based on what he wanted to do, but what hitters were telling him. That really wasn't anything I paid attention to up until talking to Greg Maddux. My game plan was always, 'Here is what I want to do, and I'm going to go out there and I'm going to try to do it, and hopefully, I'm going to beat you. But listening to Greg and talking to Greg about hitters' reactions, whether it be how they took a pitch or how they fouled off a pitch or how they swung at a pitch, all of that was valuable information that he used and processed. That was really the first time I started paying attention to all of that.”
“It's a tremendous honor to be included in this. I can't wait to meet some of the guys who are already in the Hall of Fame. To share this moment with Glav and Frank is pretty special, as well. Bobby and Joe Torre, I was lucky enough to play for those two guys. I'll look forward to going in with those guys as well. It's a tremendous honor."
“I am so short of words right now; it’s hard to think. I’m in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.’’
“I am so happy that people understand that, yes, I was a 100 percent clean player.
LANDMARK SUSPENSION FOR ALEX RODRIGUEZ
“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. I have been clear that I did not use performance-enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me. I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal.”
“The MLBPA strongly disagrees with the award issued today in the grievance of Alex Rodriguez, even despite the Arbitration Panel’s decision to reduce the duration of Mr. Rodriguez’s unprecedented 211-game suspension. We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively bargained arbitration process which led to the decision.”
“Alex cared. Alex wanted to know. He would study the product. He would study the substances. He would study the dosages, because he wanted to achieve all his human performance or in this case, sports performance, objectives. And the most important one was the 800 home run club.”
“Tony Bosch doesn’t take joy in seeing Alex Rodriguez suspended from baseball, but he believes the arbitrator’s decision was appropriate. He is glad to have the arbitration behind him and believes he can play a valuable role in the future by educating athletes about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.”
“He would have been better off admitting he got drugs from Bosch and (if he had) tried to make a case for 50 games as a first-time violator.”
“It’s great to feign outrage and file something. But once the ball starts rolling, you could lead yourself into criminal exposure. Is he going to testify that he never got performance-enhancing drugs?”
“The thing that really clicked with me after I got picked off was, sitting down and understanding it, I realized when you get to this level there is no down time, there is no moment to breathe. Everyone is as good as it gets out there. Everyone is at their best and they are at their best all the time. I had to understand the attention I needed to have. Unfortunately it took getting picked off to learn that.”
“The last couple of seasons, we had the ninth-inning guy, and that's what everyone would prefer. I know I would prefer that. That will probably end up being the case this year, although it may not be clear for at least a few weeks into the season.”
“They were a huge part of our success last year. We anticipate them being a huge part of our success next year. They're extremely gifted in all facets of the game. If you look at the offensive production, the defensive production, just the total game — we feel like we have one of the more productive infields in baseball. That's obviously a good thing and something we were highly motivated to try to keep together.”
“All the doctors I saw, all the second opinions, I always asked if there was something I could’ve done. Was I eating the right things? Was I doing something that made me more susceptible to this? Was it my shoes? Everyone said, don’t worry. For whatever reason, I hit that angle, there was a one in a million chance it happens, and it did.”
“It’s tough to tell, because in baseball anything can happen. One day you’re on the Blue Jays, the next day you could be with another team. I just go and do my job. I’ll try to open some eyes, impress people, just play my game. If they want me to start in Double-A, I’ll start in Double-A. I don’t mind, because baseball is the same. You have to put up some numbers, play hard. It doesn’t matter who we got, or who is on the (major-league) team. I just have to do my job.”
“Mike Moustakas is our everyday third baseman. It just gives us more depth, and our job as a baseball operations staff is that Ned (Yost) and the coaching staff have as much depth as possible and are in a position to match up as they see fit on any given night.”
“He’s going to get in eventually. He’s a Hall of Famer. He will definitely get in the Hall of Fame, if not this year, soon.”
“On behalf of the organization and our fans, Mike is a true Hall of Famer. We proudly display his plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame, and we’re hopeful that he’ll soon have one hanging in Cooperstown.”
“I'm interested in getting to the competition upstairs. I've missed the competition since I left the field. I talked to the commissioner [Bud Selig] about it. It's not a thing where you miss the dugout, but I miss the winning and losing.”
“Jerry Coleman was a hero and a role model to myself and countless others in the game of Baseball. He had a memorable, multifaceted career in the National Pastime -- as an All-Star during the great Yankees' dynasty from 1949-1953, a manager and, for more than a half-century, a beloved broadcaster, including as an exemplary ambassador for the San Diego Padres. But above all, Jerry's decorated service to our country in both World War II and Korea made him an integral part of the Greatest Generation. He was a true friend whose counsel I valued greatly.”
“It all comes down to being involved in the thrill of the hunt. Any kind of long-term deal with a pitcher is always going to be risky, especially with a pitcher who hasn’t pitched at this level of competition. The Matsuzaka deal is a good example. Granted, the Red Sox got one very good year out of him, but was it worth $100 million? Then again, we did the same thing earlier this year when we were heavily engaged with the Cuban first baseman (Jose Abreu) who signed with the White Sox (for $68 million).”
Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus.