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April 14, 2014

The Week in Quotes

April 7-13

by Morris Greenberg, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller


STREAKING BREWERS BOAST LEAGUE-BEST 10-2 RECORD

“If we were wearing yellow the first game of the home stand, we'd probably still be wearing yellow. That's just the way it is.”
—Brewers starting pitcher Kyle Lohse, on the team wearing its retro blue jerseys during all three weekend games against the Pirates. The Brewers normally only wear the jerseys on home Fridays, but it appears that they will continue to wear them out of superstition. (Michael Hunt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

“Everyone can have their own opinion, but the only one that matters in our opinion is ours, the one in the clubhouse. We think we're pretty good. Whether others believe it or not, they're going to have to start to because we're going to continue to play like this, keep having each other's backs and playing a fun brand of baseball.”
—Outfielder Logan Schafer, on the team’s hot start and the public perception of the team’s legitimacy.

“His breaking ball is different than when he first came to the big leagues," Roenicke said. "It was more of a shorter, harder slider. It still had some big depth to it, but it was thrown hard. Last year, he probably pitched from 90 to 92 [miles per hour], but the thing is, he came up with the changeup, too. The last year he was in Anaheim, he came up with the changeuep, and the first day he threw it, it was a strikeout changeup.”
—Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, on closer Francisco Rodriguez. Roenicke was a part of the Angels coaching staff during Rodriguez’s seven seasons with the club from 2002-2008. (JR Radcliffe, MLB.com)

“Don't put me there. I don't want to start thinking about that yet. Everybody understands it. That's kind of what happened with Henderson and (John Axford) in 2013. Henderson went in his spot and was lights out, then all of a sudden Ax started throwing the ball really well, and then we were in this same position.”
—Roenicke, when asked about a possible switch back to Jim Henderson at closer. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

“Back then I hit (.258) and I had no idea—I was just swinging. Tried to hit the ball on the ground, bunted a lot. With no idea, I hit (.258). Now with experience, and knowing and recognizing what the other team is trying to do to me, it's easier. I'm getting more consistent each year. Now I know what I'm doing. I make adjustments quick. I strike out, but you throw me that pitch again and I'm not going to miss it. It's preparation and being ready every time.”
Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, on improving his approach at the plate (Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

“I saw the replay last night on MLB Network on the double play where he stayed on the bag. That play is not that easy. The angle they showed, it looked like, 'Oh, that's not that tough of a play.' But that is an unbelievably tough play because in your mind you (know) you can't miss that ball. A lot of guys will come off the bag when they catch it. To do that, you have to have really good instincts to be able to know you are going to do both, staying on the bag and catching the ball.”
—Roenicke, on Mark Reynolds making a great stretch for a ball when playing first base (Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

“It's a really fun time right now. We're playing great baseball and doing the little things right, and we're having a lot of fun doing it. That's what's really important. We're really enjoying playing the game of baseball right now.”
—Schafer, after Sunday’s win. (Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

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“We've gotten off to a slow start. I don't feel like a sit-on-my-hands type of approach is the way to get these things turned around. I think we've got an outstanding group here but we haven't hit on all cylinders yet so I think we need to try something different.”
—Reds manager Bryan Price, on moving first baseman Joey Votto to the number two slot in the batting order. (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“We’re playing the odds. We understand that it’s not a perfect science, but we definitely know it’s an educated guess. … Statistics don’t lie. They may not tell the whole story. “
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on using data to choose how to use defensive shifts (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“I hope that players in similar situations as I was in early on can take some inspiration from it. Any time one of your peers respects what you do, it’s humbling. It definitely makes you feel good.”
—Angels outfielder Raul Ibanez, who notched his 2,000 career hit last week. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

“Some fan in the stands was popping off. I don't know where he was, but it was right behind the dugout and was close enough to yell, and it [ticked] me off. I politely told him to shut the - up.”
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, on talking to a heckler after hitting a walk off home run (Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer)

“We have had that discussion and talked about different ways to attack the left-hander, being ready to hit the first pitch. More often, it was about hitting the fastball on the first pitch because you don't want to get in a position to have to hit the breaking ball. I do believe when hitters are locked into hitting that fastball the other way, which he's worked hard on doing, that breaking ball that does hang, you're in position to hit it. Your hands are in a good place and your body's ready to work, and I think that's what you saw today.”
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on helping Pedro Alvarez learn to hit left-handed pitching (Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“Did you watch the game? Everybody who watched the game knows. I don't think I need to say anything about it. There was a disagreement is the best way to describe it.”
New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, on being ejected for arguing balls and strikes (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“The more the crowd cheers, the more amped I get. It kind of gives me a big chill and goose bumps and gives me a little extra boost… I try not to usually look [at radar gun readings], but if it is the last pitch of the game, I will sneak a peek.”
—Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospect Kenny Giles, on throwing up to 101 mph in the minor leagues (Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer)

“He's a bright, analytical guy and he loves the [batting] cage, and he's always in there. So I just think over the years, he has too much stuff [in his head]. He's not letting his God-given gifts take over. My whole goal since the start of Spring Training has been to make the game easier for him."
Atlanta Braves hitting coach Greg Walker, on Justin Upton changing his pregame batting practice ritual (Mark Bowman and Joe Morgan, MLB.com)

“I have to show the hitter it’s not just the fastball anymore. I have a secondary pitch that I can throw in any count. I threw the changeup too. Now I can throw the slider or changeup when they’re looking for the fastball.”
—Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, adding a slider and changeup to his pitch mix for the season. (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)

“I guess I am kind of a test. But I don’t look at it that way. This is just another thing that I’ve had to overcome in my career.”
—Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis, who has overcome two surgeries over a 21-month hiatus from baseball to pitch again. (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)

“Jesse used to get bypassed a lot. One inning would go south, and teams would give up on him. The A’s, they’ve never given up on him. Everything is finally paying off.”
—Crystal Chavez, wife of Athletics starter Jesse Chavez, on her husband’s goal of being a big league starter finally being reached now. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)

“The thing I liked about his approach or his philosophy is that he doesn't talk any mechanics. That's awesome. That's how you simplify hitting. You can teach hitting a million ways, but the best way to teach hitting is to simplify it ... by talking about approach. Mechanics can take you very far from the reality of what hitting is. Hitting is a feeling. If you have the right mentality to hitting, once you feel good, you're going to go off.”
San Francisco Giants outfielder Angel Pagan, describing his experience with Barry Bonds as a hitting instructor during spring training. (Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle)

“We’ve given our best shot with good faith intended to try to get him signed and they’ve drawn a line in the sand that we're not going to beat nor should we meet. Things have been tabled and we’ll see what happens up the line, but we're not going to have ongoing talks from this time forward.”
—Giants general manager Brian Sabean, on how a potential contract extension for Pablo Sandoval is unlikely to be actively pursued at this point of the season. (Alex Pavlovic, San Jose Mercury News)

“It took me a good 15 minutes to realize I was playing. I was thinking, 'I'm not at the bottom of the lineup and I'm not at the top, but [Ramiro] Pena is playing third and [Tyler] Pastornicky is playing second.' I kept looking, but it took me a while to find my name.”
—Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons, on hitting fifth in the batting order for the first time in his career (Mark Bowman and Joe Morgan, MLB.com)

“When things are going bad. I’m definitely not looking at any of the media stuff. I try to keep my head out of that stuff... My approach is pretty easy. I prepare as best as I can and go out there and compete as best I can. That’s all I can do. When it’s going good, it’s going good. If it’s not, it’s not. But no matter what, I come here trying to be a good teammate and a good person.”
—Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill, on his approach to a bad outing. (Bob McManaman, The Arizona Republic)

“I thought, if anything, maybe they would call traveling, because he took about three steps. I know they're going to enforce that rule more this year. I thought he still caught it. He went back and then came forward.”
—Indians manager Terry Francona, on a missed-catch ruling that was upheld by replay during Tuesday’s contest against the Padres. Indians right fielder Elliot Johnson made a catch against the outfield wall and took several steps before dropping the ball on the transfer he made to throw the ball back to the infield. (Jordan Bastian, MLB.com)

“The guys are just as happy as I am. These guys have given me a hard time for many years about it—not having a hit—and every year it’s a new joke. I’m just glad those guys aren’t going to make fun of me any more.”
—Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander, on picking up the first base hit of his career on Saturday against the Padres. (John Lowe, Detroit Free Press)

Morris Greenberg is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Morris's other articles. You can contact Morris 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
Nick Wheatley-Schaller is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Nick's other articles. You can contact Nick by clicking here

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