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May 12, 2014

The Week in Quotes

May 5-11

by Nick Bacarella, Morris Greenberg, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller


ORTIZ TO APPEAL CONTROVERSIAL ERROR IN DARVISH NEAR NO-HITTER

“Okay, I know I hit a ball that was supposed to be caught, the guy is throwing a no-hitter, we all understand that. But when it comes down to the rules in the game, that’s a hit. That’s the rule that we all know and that’s the rule the game has for more than 100 years — the ball in the outfield drops between the infield and the outfield and nobody touched it, that’s a hit. I guess it’s going to be two (hits) now.”
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, on his fly ball in the seventh inning of Friday’s game that landed untouched between Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor and right fielder Alex Rios, and was ruled an error. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)

“They have to—otherwise, they’re going to have to fix some (expletive) up. I wouldn’t mind if the guy throws a no-hitter, I wouldn’t mind. I would’ve been okay with it, to be honest with you.”
—Ortiz, on whether he thinks the call will get overturned.

“We had the shift on and I thought that he [Odor] was a little closer to the ball than I was. At the end, it's my responsibility to call him off, and it's a shame that I couldn't help him achieve a great pitching performance tonight. I should have taken control of that ball.”
—Rios, on the play that ended Yu Darvish’s perfect game bid. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

"In my judgment, both players could've caught the ball," Weller said through a pool reporter. "I felt like Alex Rios at one point raised his hand to call him off and the second baseman basically stopped at that point. Then—these guys are very perceptive, they can see around them—he felt like there's no way Rios is going to get to the ball and he lunged for it and that's when the ball landed. That was my feeling, that Rios called him off and he made a last ditch effort when he realized Rios wasn't going to get there.
—Rangers official scorer Steve Weller, on why he decided to rule the play an error rather than a hit.

“Again, we can't hear what's going on the field, but on the visual -- and I freeze-framed it -- he raised his hand, and it certainly looked like at that moment is when the second baseman stopped and then so did Rios and that's why I gave Rios the error rather than the second baseman. I felt Rios had an easier play coming in, I felt like he called him off and then both players stopped on the ball. The second baseman did everything he could to get to the ball and dove for it and just couldn't come up with it.”
—Weller.

TWITTER

The Rays wore Woodstock-themed clothes on their flight trip to Seattle. It’s safe to say Joe Maddon won.

THE REST

“At the end of the year, you'll probably look up and I'll look about the same. I'll tell you what. During my career, Baseball-Reference has been a really good friend to me.”
—Reds first baseman Joey Votto, on remaining patient when his stats are not at his career norms (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)

“I mentioned to Laz in a respectful way that I thought the pitch was up to Kelly Johnson earlier in the game and he gave me the Mutombo. I don’t appreciate that. I’m not a little kid. I don’t need to be scolded. Obviously we’re trying to work together and I just thought there were a lot of inconsistencies tonight.”
—Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on getting ejected from Monday’s game against the Angels by home plate umpire Laz Diaz for arguing balls and strikes. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

“We consider them a smart organization. They don't talk about it a lot. They don't get a lot of publicity for it. But we do think they're a progressive organization. Way more than people think.”
—Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, on the Yankees, who have implemented the second-most defensive shifts this season (trailing only Luhnow’s Astros). (Danny Knobler, ESPNNewYork.com)

“No. Absolutely not, because this is an on-field issue for uniformed personnel. That’s all there is to it. I’m a grown man. I’m 29. I’m not a prospect or 22. I feel good, and I’m grown up enough and responsible enough to understand when I can go out and when I can’t go. I’ve earned my right in athletics to be able to understand my body and where I’m at.”
—Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, when asked if he understood upper management’s potential concern about him throwing a career-high 126 pitches during Monday’s outing. (Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun Times)

“It's not that easy to just put somebody in the outfield. We did it so much last year, trying to switch guys around in Spring Training, that we had a discussion with [general manager] Doug [Melvin] and tried to not do that as much as we did the year before. Try to keep guys in their position more so we could get a better defensive job out of one position.”
—Brewers manager Rob Roenicke, on the possibility of moving Rickie Weeks to the outfield to get him additional playing time (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)

“I go outside and he was hitting, and he said, 'Hey, my man!' I come, talk to him, and he says, ‘No hard feelings.’ I said, ‘Neither on my side. You did your job, I feel like it was necessary to do this. I didn't mean to disrespect the Braves. [It was not to] you, personally. I wanted to send a message to Maholm, just to him. … It's in the past. I respect you and I like to see you play because you're the one who played the game right, protect your teammates. I love watching you play. So just have fun today.' He said, 'Yeah, yeah, I'm the same way. I like to see you play. I think you're an awesome guy and you did the right thing after the game [by showing] respect and not going crazy. We respect that. I think it's over.' He gave me a hug. I gave him a hug. Everything is past.”
—Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, on the conversation he had with Brian McCann this week, following their confrontation in last September when McCann was with the Braves (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)

“I played here a long time in this area, and this is the highest sky and toughest sky there is in all of baseball. So yeah, could it have been a catch? Potentially. But from Gio's perspective, he didn't throw enough strikes and from our offensive perspective, we didn't get enough hits, and that's the bottom line of the game. So regardless of play or a ball falling in or not, that's not my concern. My concern is us tomorrow and going on from there.”
—Nationals manager Matt Williams, on a missed pop up during Sunday’s game against the A’s (Josh Land, MASN Sports)

“To come back and essentially look like nothing happened—he came out and looked great, looked normal. It's funny that normal is 100-to-102.”
—Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, on Aroldis Chapman’s return to the majors (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“That's part of the adjusting and seeing how things go. Either matching the pitching… or have a guy shaded differently in a situation like that, there needs to be adjustments. Now the question is how much to give on the opposite side of the diamond with nobody on? Whether we're giving him a single that way, but once again we're setting up the defense to where we think they're going to hit the ball.”
—Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, on the intricacies of using defensive shifts (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com)

“He's pretty impressive. It's really hard to tell the difference in his fastball and split finger. He threw it with the same arm speed and same rotation and it just dove when it got to you. You just have to see him up in the zone.”
—Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, on facing Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (Todd Rosiak, Journal Sentinel)

“The hardest part is that, for two games, you've got to sit and watch your teammates play. In that situation, I have to be a man and accept responsibility for what I did. I have to take responsibility for my actions. I look forward to getting these two games out of the way and moving forward.”
—Pirates outfielder Travis Snider, on his two-game suspension for his participation in a brawl with the Brewers (Tom Singer and Austin Laymance, MLB.com)

“I'm not sure if it's less frustrating or more frustrating. At least if you're not seeing the ball well or you're not feeling good at the plate, there's a reason why you're not getting results. At this point, I'm feeling good and hitting the ball well. I'm just hitting the ball right at people.”
—Mets third baseman David Wright, on the difficulty of understanding his current slump (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“I’m starting to slow everything down now. Slow myself down and just go out and play. Everything is a lot faster up here, but it’s still the same game. You've got to slow down and try to be who you are.”
—Astros outfielder George Springer, who hit his first and second major league home runs this past week. (Dom Amore, The Hartford Courant)

“It’s big, just for the team. We are on a four-game win streak, now five. We are never going to give up until the last out. We proved that tonight.”
—Orioles catcher Steve Clevenger, who hit a walk-off double in the 10th inning of a game against the Astros this past week. (Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun)

“It’s funny how the game changes. We were hitting the ball hard against their starter (Tanner Roark), too, but everything was being caught. The momentum changed right there.”
—Athletics catcher John Jaso, describing his approach to hitting a game-winning RBI double in the 10th inning against the Nationals this past week. (John Hickey, San Jose Mercury News)

“Excited, anxious, nervous—all of the above. But it’s every kid’s dream to be here. I’m very fortunate just to get the opportunity to be here. Especially with the team that drafted me, the D-Backs, to make my debut with them is an honor.”
—Diamondbacks starter Chase Anderson, on making his first big league appearance. He pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 Diamondbacks win on Sunday. (Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic)

“He was grumpy. He just wants to pitch.”
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, on ace Clayton Kershaw, who has been sidelined with an injury for the past few weeks. (Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times)

“Vargy does what Vargy does. He was throwing strikes constantly, working fast. He knows exactly what his game plan is on the mound every time.”
—Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, on starting pitcher Jason Vargas, who pitched excellently against his former team, the Mariners. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“I’m in shock right now. It doesn’t bother me, but it shocks me.”
—Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who did not strike out a single batter through 6.33 innings on Wednesday. He is known for his ability to strike batters out, and this is the first time since 2008 (181 starts ago) where he did not record even one. (Bob Dutton, The News Tribune)

“He’s starting to see the way it works. It’s not just showing a fastball and then going to the breaking ball to put a guy away. He’s good enough to throw five fastballs and strike guys out with it. You do that and it makes the slider even better. It takes a special person to throw a no-hitter, but I definitely think he will do it. He’s got so many things he can do. He has all the intangibles.”
—Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia, on Yu Darvish’s near-perfection, giving up a single to David Ortiz in the ninth inning to ruin a no-hitter opportunity. (Evan Grant, The Dallas Morning Star)

“Obviously, I don’t walk a lot. For me to stay patient and draw a walk in a situation like that is a big deal. I helped the team out and it was a good at-bat, so I was happy about that.”
—Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, on walking in the ninth inning of a close game instead of trying to extend his 28-game hitting streak. Arenado did indeed score to tie the game up, but the Rockies lost the game in the bottom of the ninth. (Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post)

“He hadn't mentioned anything to us before that. He said a few previous starts, he would feel it on one pitch, but it was something that he's dealt with for a while, so he didn't have a need to say anything to us. Yesterday it got bad and it swelled up after the game, so he had an MRI.”
—Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on the injury to pitcher CC Sabathia's meniscus. Sabathia had the meniscus surgically repaired in 2010. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

“Hitters have to stick to their strengths. What it comes down to is the hitter has to concentrate on the things he does best. If you start trying to hit against the shift, then you start to do things you’re not normally comfortable doing. Pretty much stick to your own basic game plan. It might give you insight to how they’re going to pitch you that one day with that particular pitcher, but when it comes down to it, stick to your strength.”
—Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn, on how to hit against defensive shifts. (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

“The DL’s tough. It’s something to where, you’ve got to be able to keep yourself mentally into the game, and you’ve got to be able to keep yourself physically ready to go when you are ready to come back. And hopefully I can find a way to help these guys while not being in the lineup every day.”
—Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, on what it's like to hit the disabled list. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)

“I don't know if I would've had the success I've had. I don't know if I would've learned the lessons through baseball I've learned. So I'm grateful for it. It's hard for me to go back six years ago and think where my mind was. I was (20). I was immature in how things worked. I definitely thought differently about it at the time. But reflecting on it right now, in this moment, there's nothing better that could've happened to my career because I'm here.”
—Rays pitcher Chris Archer, reflecting on the course of his career since departing the Indians organization. (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)

“There’s way too many bad words in that one. Seriously, like every other word would be bleeped out.”
—Tigers reliever Phil Coke, reminiscing about Jim Leyland's best stories. (George Sippie, Detroit Free Press)

“I don’t want to use that term. I think it’s more closer-by-good-pitchers. This group is all a little different in how they pitch, but they all have the ability to get outs and handle themselves against lefties and righties.”
—Indians manager Terry Francona, discussing the back end of the team's bullpen. (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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
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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The Week in Quotes: Ma... (05/19)
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