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February 3, 2014
The Week in Quotes
January 27-February 2
PAIR OF FORMER TEXAS GREATS CALL IT QUITS
“I had a great time in Philadelphia last year and getting to play for my hometown team [the Los Angeles Dodgers) and going to the postseason with them was great. But I’m a Ranger. I started as a Ranger. I grew up in front of these fans. It was my privilege to play for these fans. I know these fans and they know me. The last game I may have played may not have been in a Rangers uniform, but I’ll always be a Ranger. It’s as simple as that.”
“He’s going to go down as one of the great players in Astros history. A local Texas kid, goes to Rice, makes good, comes to the big leagues. He’s been a fabulous player in the big leagues, and he’s done it all with a touch of class.”
“I think I'm actually glad about it. I’m excited about the next chapter in my life. I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family, and at some point, I'll definitely coach somewhere.”
PLAYERS AND COACHES LOOK AHEAD TO THE SPRING
“I'm really excited about this year. I’m excited to go out there in big league camp and show them what I can do in the field and do a great job up there. It will be a fun experience.”
“I've done it every single year, so it's nothing different for me. I've never had a spot just given to me; it's always been up for grabs. I've won it in the past. I think I can do it again if I stay healthy and throw well.”
Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) January 27, 2014
—Sean Doolittle wanted to keep this a secret.
“It's all muscle memory. I've ran my entire life how I did last year, and obviously I had two [knee] injuries in the past two years, and that's definitely not right. And from what I saw yesterday, it's a fix, it's an easy fix, but it's something that's more mental than anything else. It's more of getting the right positioning and getting my gluteus and quads [involved].”
“People can go out and sign whoever they want right now. Boxing rules, we still have the belt. Whoever else, reloads.”
“I don't believe in the phrase, ‘all in.’ I've heard it, and I don't care for it. We are feeding the beast. That usually comes with very successful teams who have to keep throwing money into an incinerator to keep things going… This is a beast that has been very successful for a number of years now. And we've come to the understanding that we're going to do everything in our power, if we have a chance to get to the World Series, to try to get to the World Series.”
“Really, did he say anything else? Dang. Let me get up to speed on that.
“He's an ultra-talented guy. He had just gotten to where there was too much going on [during his swing]. It created timing issues. He was consistently late last year, and that was not because of bat speed, because he's got great bat speed and great talent. I think it caught us all off guard last year. I hate to say that, but it's true. You sure didn't expect that and he didn't either. I think it shocked him a little bit and became like a snowball rolling down the hill. We just couldn't stop it.”
“Everything's great. March 7 will be three years for me being clean and sober… I'm proud of that. Unfortunately it took a while, a long time. A lot of beat-downs. A lot of embarrassment. A lot of sad days. A lot of hurt — to my family, friends, fans, everybody — to get to the point I am now.”
“My office works tirelessly to help constituents every single day, but it's not often you get a call from a constituent like the New York Yankees. You see, the Yankees called me a couple of days ago to say they were worried about Masahiro Tanaka getting to spring training on time due to the length of time it can take for foreign players to get a visa… Now the Yankees' star free agent will be able to join the team at spring training with everyone else. As a lifelong Yankee fan who is hoping for another World Series this year, I could not be happier.”
“My arm is perfect. When I threw in winter ball, my command was perfect. I’ve tried to work hard to be ready to do my job as closer and go to the playoffs this year.”
“It could help take a lot of the pressure off him from being leadoff. You saw how he responded in the playoffs. And now with the different kind of team we have ... more speed in the 8-and 9-hole could improve the chances (of) getting more guys on base when the batting order gets back to Miggy at no. 3… He does things that you simply cannot teach. The trick for him now is better refining those skills so that he can get more consistency out of those tools. But he reminds you all the time that he can be a special player.”
“There’s two (MLB) teams that have turf, us and Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay’s turf is even better than our turf, because it’s down permanently. Ours goes up and down depending on whether we have a rock show, the Pan Am Games coming here (in 2015)... But the way that the (Rogers Centre) stadium works, you cannot put the (grass) in and put a football field on it. That is actually the problem. That’s the problem. It doesn’t work. The seats need to move. That’s how it was designed.”
“I’ve certainly been blessed to be a part of some teams and rotations I’ve been with. I think here we are just as good, if not better.”
“Sports fans have always been fascinated by the two-sport star. When you talk to fans about amazing athletes, you always hear the name Bo Jackson come up. And whenever you have an athlete that could potentially be a two-sport star, there's always a lot of buzz about him.
Will he ever play for the Rangers? We don't know. But we thought we'd make a card to let people know what it would look like if he did.”
“The technology is there. It helps. It's proven to help. But I don't think it's ready yet as a major league-ready product. And I told them that. I told them that's where it’s at.”
“Fifty-nine years (in baseball) is going to be enough where I think I want to kick back and relax a little bit. I'm going to make some of the trips but I'm going to spend most of my time, probably, at Miller Park doing the home games. The west coast trips, I think I'm going to kind of cut back on.”
“I made a huge mistake and I paid a great price for that mistake. I deeply regret it. I wish I could change it. I recognize I don't have that opportunity. All I can do is ... show that I've learned from my mistake, that I've grown from it, I've learned from it and hopefully I'm a better person because of it.”
“That's why we have the people around us that we have with our agents and our family and friends. You let them handle the business side of things while I continue my work and do what I have to do to keep that demand high because essentially, that's what it's all about. Being wanted is a good thing and I look to continue that, but obviously, my heart lies here in Chicago. I grew up 45 minutes from here, I went to college an hour-and-a-half from here and I love it here. I love the cold, I love the summers, I love Wrigley Field. This is where I want to be, but I also understand that's just not a 100 percent thing. Things change overnight and I just want to be playing baseball and hopefully on a winning team.”
“It almost seems like divorce isn't an option for them down there and they're pretty sold on staying in Wrigleyville. If they'd call, we'd talk to them. But I'm not very optimistic. It's not like we're going to halt any discussions we're having with potential users for that site (in hopes of landing the Cubs). We're going to keep going forward with our broker and some potential users out there.”
“At some point, the available options diminish. It's not a change in strategy so much as it's a recognition, a reality.”
“That's ancient, I guess, huh? I think people make a little too much of that. It is what it is. If people don't perform, it will be because of age, I guess. But I don't necessarily believe that. Was Boston a fairly old team last year? They did fairly well. They weren't a young team. They had older guys. They had experienced guys. But they had to perform. And they had to stay healthy. But I feel pretty bullish about the guys we have being ready to play.”
Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus.