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April 21, 2014

The Week in Quotes

April 14-20

by Nick Bacarella, Morris Greenberg and Nick Wheatley-Schaller


INJURY BUG INFECTS AL EAST

“I saw him shaking his arm a little bit so I ran out just to check him. I said to him, 'Where are you feeling it?’ And he said, his elbow, but he wanted to still pitch. I said, ‘No, you’re done,’ and took him out.”
—Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on removing pitcher Ivan Nova in the fifth inning of Saturday’s 16-1 loss to the Rays. Nova has a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament and will likely miss the rest of the season. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

“I would anticipate we’re probably going to make a couple of moves.”
—Girardi, in response to the team’s dire injury situation. (Kevin Davidoff, New York Post)

“I'm pretty content with our infield right now. I think guys like Anna and Solarte have been pleasant surprises. Kelly Johnson has been good. Derek [Jeter] is healthy.”
—Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, reiterating that the team does not plan to make any moves in spite of the team’s poor health. (Stu Woo, The Wall Street Journal)

“We always talk about there’s no such thing as too much pitching and unfortunately, we’re kind of living it firsthand right now. Usually they’re spaced out a little more. But I do feel like we have the depth to withstand this and that we have guys who can put us in a position every fifth day to win a game.”
—Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman, commenting on the slew of injuries to the Rays pitching staff. (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald)

“I was getting a little bit worried. It was getting worse every day. Everything got inflamed. You keep swinging and playing and it just adds up until you think something is really wrong.”
—Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, whose left wrist was hurt while turning a double play; Carlos Gomez slid into second base to break up the play and collided with Pedroia, causing the injury. Pedroia has since returned to the lineup. (The Sporting News)

“It’s not like it’s a lot worse, but he doesn’t feel comfortable enough yet to start cutting it loose.”
—Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, on the severity of closer Casey Janssen’s back strain. Janssen started the season on the disabled list and suffered a setback during his recent rehab appearance. (Brendan Kennedy, Toronto Star)

“We can’t let it drag on. But hopefully we can get through a couple days without him.”
—Gibbons, on Adam Lind’s lower back injury. Lind hopes to avoid the DL, but has been out since Thursday. (Brendan Kennedy, Toronto Star)

PIRATES AND BREWERS BRAWL

"That (Atlanta) game I know I go over (the line). But today I’m not. First of all, I hit a triple – it’s not a double – I’m not flipping my bat because I think it’s a home run. I thought it was an out. I thought it was a fly-ball out, line-drive center field. And I’m kind of like, ‘Oh, I had good contact but I don’t think it’s going out. It’s not like I’m pimping a home run. Then I get to third base and somebody’s screaming at me – ‘It’s not your job.’ But everything’s over and (Travis) Snider comes real angry and talks to me that way, so I responded back, he tried to punch me and everything started there. I don’t know why they’re mad for something like that. (Jose) Tabata hit a double, pimped it, we don’t do nothing. (Andrew) McCutchen do it yesterday. Russell Martin did it. We didn't do nothing. We respect that – ‘You win, OK, enjoy it.’ We hit a double, we hit a triple, they get mad. I don’t think it’s fair. I’m not apologizing for nothing I did today. This is my job, I’ve been doing it for eight years like that. They know I play like that. It’s not to disrespect nobody. So if they take it like that, they don’t like it, that’s fine, and I’m fine with it. It’s not a big deal”

Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, after his involvement in a brawl after hitting a triple against the Pittsburgh Pirates (Todd Rosiak, Journal Sentinel)

“I grabbed the ball from (Harrison) and I said, ‘If you’re going to hit a home run, you can watch it. If you’re going to hit a fly ball to center field, don’t watch it. I didn’t curse at him, I didn’t try to provoke a fight. I was frustrated and I let my emotions get the better of me and I ended up getting one of my teammates hurt. Not too thrilled about it.”
—Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole, who had an altercation with Gomez shortly before the brawl started (Todd Rosiak, Journal Sentinel)

“The fair thing would be to have our team hold down Maldonado so that Travis can go back and sucker-punch him right in the face. That would be the fair thing to do. I don’t know if we ask the Brewers if they’re going to be down for that.”
—Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin, on Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado, who punched Pirates outfielder Travis Snider in the face (Todd Rosiak, Journal Sentinel)

MALDONADO HITS THE COVER OFF A BALL

“I feel like I hit it on the barrel, not on the end of the bat. But when I looked down, I see that something was spinning. I never thought it was the ball uncovered. I thought he threw it to second base. Then I looked back and saw the ball and I was like, 'That's kind of weird. That's a hit. I'll take it. I think that's the only infield hit I'll ever get, other than bunts.”
—Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado, on hitting the cover off a pitch and reaching first when Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez’s throw fell short of first base (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)

“I've never seen it in my life. Sometimes you see a guy hit a ball off the end of the bat, and it's, like, cut. But I think he barreled it. I don't know what happened. It's interesting.”
—Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Mark Reynolds, on the rarity of such a play (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)

THE REST

“I didn’t make my decision on the right (field) porch. I made it on the opportunity to win a championship. It’s just there. I don’t think about it. I just want to put a good at-bat, and if it happens to go that way and leave the ballpark, thank God for that… I cannot think about that, I have to stick with my approach and hit the ball hard.”
—Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran, when asked whether Yankee Stadium’s shallow outfield played a role in his decision to sign with the team. (Roger Rubin, New York Daily News)

“I don’t mind it a bit. Joe is not this big home run hitter anyway. He’s an on-base guy and a on-base percentage guy and a line-drive hitter. It’s another weapon he can use. It’s leading off an inning to start a rally, that is what his job is.’’
—Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on catcher Joe Mauer’s decision to lead off an inning with a bunt. The Twins went on to score two runs in the inning. (La Velle E. Neal III, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“We’ve won five in a row, I couldn’t care less if I had an extra base hit or not. I’m glad I helped the team today.”
—Royals designated hitter Billy Butler, who has hit safely in four straight games (though without an extra base hit), raising his batting average to .193 for the season. (Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star)

“I just went in and apologized to [Gonzalez]. It's disrespectful to him and to the team, and that's just not the kind of person I am. I felt awful about it. That was me as a competitor and my emotions. It wasn't how I felt.”
Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, on apologizing to his manager after showing displeasure about being removed from a game (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

“It's good, because it doesn't necessarily do the same thing every time. I saw one that fell out of the zone downward and then I saw one that kind of went side to side. When he's got that going, it's tough.”
Chicago Cubs center fielder Justin Ruggiano, on Yankees pitcher Mashiro Tanaka’s splitter (Joe Lemire, MLB.com)

“It looks different to us. There is so much scrutiny right now because of being broken down through replay. That was a rule that has always been in play, it was just never enforced, in my opinion, like it has been. We’re going to have to adhere to what the rule originally said. My interpretation is that it has to be in the act of throwing. If the arm is going forward and the ball is lost, that’s different than if the catch is made and then the transfer is made before the arm actually goes into the throwing process. What that actually looks like? I’m not exactly sure.”
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on the new interpretation of the catch rule (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“I’m extremely surprised, (considering) the rate everybody else has been going. I hate slowing down the rhythm of the game for our players—just to do it, but if we think there’s a chance something is missed, we’re going to go out there.”
—Matheny, on not having challenged a single play all year (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“I counted, 1-2-3-4-5. Right there, I told myself a ground ball is not going to do it. Try to get the ball in the air somehow. Once I got behind, all I was thinking was make contact, whether it be a ground ball or fly ball, he gave me a changeup up in the zone. I was able to put a good swing on it.”
—Washington National outfielder Denard Span, on hitting a walk-off sac fly against the Cardinals when they brought an extra fielder from the outfield into the infield in the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded (Byron Kerr, MASN Sports)

“He's a strike-throwing machine. You're going to have to swing the bats to beat him. He doesn't walk anybody. Don't get carried away with the body: He's an outstanding athlete. I know as we continue to get deeper into the season, he's going to pitch some big games for us. He gets outs, he knows how to pitch. He's got one pitch that he can throw four different ways.”
New York Mets manager Terry Collins, on starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (Spencer Fordin, MLB.com)

“I was just like, 'If I get a chance to hit I better take care of it.’ We wouldn't be in that situation if I didn't make that [error]. To put it in play is number one and something good will happen.”
Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, on hitting a walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Mariners (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel)

“Last night, he’s on the road. He’s pitching in a tie game one inning, pitching in a save situation the next. There’s no room for error, facing the middle of the lineup. He kinda showed what he was all about last night.”
—A’s manager Bob Melvin, on Jim Johnson’s recent (bounce-back) performance. (Joe Stiglich, CSNBayArea.com)

“I try not to think about things too much, just go up there and get my foot down early and hit the ball as hard as I can. Not to launch it, but so I don’t have a timid swing, so I have an aggressive swing.”
—A’s catcher John Jaso, who hit a pinch hit home run to give the A’s a 3-2 victory over the Angels earlier this week. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)

“We played solid. We did all the little things. That’s what you get when you play the game the right way. It’s a great team, there’s no doubt about that. The Dodgers are a great team, and it feels even better – losing six in a row and coming back and beating the Dodgers is a good feeling. We’ve just got to come back tomorrow and not try to do more than what we did today. Just do the same.”
—Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero, on the team’s performance in a 12-inning win against the Dodgers. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)

“It’s an unfortunate situation for the citizens of Korea, with a very heavy heart, and tonight I wanted to pitch well to give a brighter side to think about.”
—Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, who donated $100,000 this week to rescue effort of the South Korea ferry accident. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

“It was cool until I got my head crushed by everybody. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get in there. I threw my helmet at them. I hope they're all OK and I didn't hit anybody in the shin.”
—Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, on hitting a game winning home run in the 10th inning this past week against the Rockies. (Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle)

“The satisfaction is that we’re pitching well and we’re playing good defense and our hitting is going to pick up – our hitting is picking up. It’s such a long season. We were 2-6, but if we were 6-2 we would have answered questions the same way. We just have to keep moving forward.”
—Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso, describing the team’s approach for the season. (Jeff Sanders, San Diego Union-Tribune)

“The guy has been through a lot of stuff and he deserved to have the winning ball. I’m really glad I could do it for him and I’m really happy for him.”
—Rangers closer Joakim Soria, on being able to contribute positively to Colby Lewis’ start. Both players have been oft injured recently. (Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

“I feel like it’s pretty sentimental, one of those victories that I’m just excited about. I’m still kind of disappointed I didn’t go deeper in the ballgame, but [pitching coach Mike] Maddux and I talked about that we thought the 85 pitches were a lot better than the 88 I threw the other day. I feel like I was more relaxed, got the bugs and jitters out of the way.”
—Rangers starter Colby Lewis, who won his first game in over a year. (Davison).

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

Related Content:  Quotes,  Major League Baseball,  MLB

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<< Previous Article
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The Week in Quotes: Ap... (04/28)
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