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May 19, 2014

The Week in Quotes

May 13-19

by Nick Bacarella, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller


JOSE FERNANDEZ GOES UNDER THE KNIFE

“They said [the tear] was clean and his elbow looked very good aside from the torn ligament. Hopefully we can get that repaired and get him back on the road to recovery. This is a surgery so there's obviously risk, but with the technology and the success rate of the Tommy John procedure, we're hopeful he'll come back and be better than ever and comparable to the Jose we've seen perform the last year-plus.”
—Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill, on Fernandez’s injury (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun-Sentinel)

“While pitching during the recent Dodgers game in Miami, he was struck by a ball on his rear thigh. This prompted a completely unanticipated change in delivery, which neither the staff nor his coaches could discern… Despite many exchanges on the subject in the days that followed he felt that with the Marlins regaining first place in the division he could not let his team down. Apparently the injury was worse than he believed.”
—Ralph Fernandez, Jose Fernandez’s attorney (no relation) on how Jose’s injury developed (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun-Sentinel)

“I don't think so. Jose has pretty big thighs. I don't think it affected him. He looked the same to me that game.”
—Marlins manager Mike Redmond, in response to the statement made by Ralph Fernandez. (Rick Eymer, MLB.com)

LA RUSSA JOINS THE D-BACKS

“He's absolutely incredible. It's little things. Like yesterday, he said, 'If we throw a high fastball right here, he's going to strike out.' And he did. He's good. To know now that (manager Kirk Gibson) is reaching out to him and asking him as many questions as he can, wants to learn from him. That's a major influence.”
—Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall, on the organization hiring Tony La Russa to be its chief baseball operator. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)

“This morning, for the first time, boy, I felt my gut starting to churn. You realize this is going to happen, and you're back in the competitive action. That's all I've known for 50 years.”
—La Russa, on missing the competition of being part of an organization. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)

“He has the freedom to make the decisions that he thinks are right. There's no limitation to his authority. ... There's not an economic stress test. If we need to buy out contracts because he thinks that's something we need to do, then we'll do that.”
—Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick, on La Russa, who will oversee general manager Kevin Towers and report to Hall.

DANNY DUFFY CARRIES PERFECTO INTO SEVENTH INNING

“My defense—my defense played a great game. A lot of hard-hit shots at the boys and they stayed right in there. Gordo [Alex Gordon] made a spectacular play in left and I just tried to execute and do my best to get outs, and it clicked tonight.”
—Duffy, attributing a large part of his success to his defense. (Dick Kaegel, MLB.com)

“Once you get to the fifth inning, you start thinking, ‘Hey, I’m going to put my body on the line to try to preserve this for Duffy, or whoever’s pitching. I guarantee all eight position players were thinking the same thing.’”—Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, who kept Duffy’s no-hit bid alive with a diving catch of Nick Markakis’s line drive in the seventh inning. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“He was throwing strike after strike. That’s Danny Duffy’s ceiling right there. He’s capable of doing that every time he goes out.”
—Royals designated hitter Billy Butler. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“He’s got the stuff of a No. 1. Now does he have the makeup and the mental fortitude do be a No. 1? Will he allow himself mentally to be a no. 1? That’s the question.”
—Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo, when asked where he sees Duffy in the future. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“He was some kind of special tonight,”
—Royals manager Ned Yost. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“I don't care about all that. But I just don't want to see it done against my team."
—Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, on whether he had conscious thoughts about breaking up Duffy’s no-hitter. Jones’s single with two outs in the eighth was the Orioles’ first hit in the game. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)

“I heard somebody say, ‘This is the type of feel for a perfect game.' And then right after that someone said, ‘Jonesy is about to rip one right here.' And you could just feel it.”
—Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)

“We lost. Doesn't matter how you lose, 50-1 or 1-0. A loss is a loss and they all [stink]. But give some credit to the other side. But we can take the lead in the series 3-1 [on Sunday], so no need to cry about it.”
—Jones. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)

THE REST

“It doesn't get any bigger than playing in the World Series against them. I think that was something that I think the whole city was pulling for, going to the playoffs that year. Then for us to get the opportunity to play that exciting series; we won that series, but a lot of those games could've gone either way… There's been a lot of history, starting from 1997 when Interleague play started, all the excitement about Yankees-Mets, and it doesn't get any bigger than the World Series.”
—Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, on his favorite memories of playing against the Mets. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

‘‘The kid’s been amazing for Chicago. He likes to work. I can see that before the game, during his drills in the outfield. Every time, he’s getting better. Every day. So far, so good. I think he’s a great catcher. When I came up my first [few] years, I got some good advice from some really good guys. So I’m just trying to give [Castillo] some advice, too. He deserves it. He can call a great game. Got a good arm, quick, good feet, can hit. He can hit 10 to 20 home runs someday. And he’s smart—real smart—and works hard.’’
—Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, on Cubs catcher Welington Castillo (Steve Greenberg, Chicago Sun-Times)

“I didn't know until someone told me. You're just trying to plug away, throw strikes and get through the inning. I know A.J. [Burnett] and I have done it [this season], so we might have to push so Cliff [Lee] might be able to do it someday.”
—Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, on striking out the side on nine pitches (Todd Zolecki and Austin Laymance, MLB.com)

“He’s still sore. It’s one of those things where hopefully the cortisone shot works, but it’s got to be where he’s not really feeling anything for us to even get to the point where he’s swinging a bat. It looks like we’re four or five days away from that, so it makes no sense to keep playing short.. We’re hoping it’s not an issue; if it is an issue, it’s an issue we’ll just have to deal with and take care of,” Cashman said. “When he’s out there, we need him to be out there healthy so he can perform. The worst thing we want is that in-between stuff where he’s trying to get through something that’s not allowing it. That’s the no man’s land none of us want to be in.”
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on Carlos Beltran’s elbow injury. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

“It doesn't really make my toes tingle. But sometimes you've just got to do something a little different. It's better than doing the same thing you were doing. At some point when we start rocking and rolling offensively, I think we'll go back to a more traditional [lineup]. It's just something we're trying.”
—Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, on batting the pitcher eighth in the lineup (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

“If a guy’s confidence is down, does he then begin to try a little harder? Does he try to hit for power more? Does his swing become a little bit longer? Those are all possibilities. Right now, Jackie might be pressing a little bit, and we’re seeing a little bit more length to the swing than we saw earlier in the season.”
—Red Sox manager John Farrell, on the hitting struggles of Jackie Bradley, Jr. (John Tomase, Boston Herald)

“Make contact. It’s one of those things where I’m going through something I’ve never really been used to. I really prided myself on at least putting the ball in play. I normally didn’t strike out as much as I have the past few go-rounds. I’m still a work in progress. I’m going to continue to work and I’m going to get better.”
—Bradley, who has seen his contact rate drop precipitously since entering the majors. (John Tomase, Boston Herald)

“No, I'm not happy about it. It's not like it just goes unnoticed. Obviously I want to win. Being a starting pitcher, you have a big say on how the game turns out. If my record isn't where I want it to be, obviously I have to do a better job.”
—Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija, on the difficulty of starting the year with a 1-8 record despite pitching well (Tony Andracki, CSN Chicago)

“You know when someone’s walking behind you and you can feel it? I knew that wall was there and I just said, ‘Forget it. All or nothing.’ You usually have that point where you’re running after the ball and then a voice says, ‘Hold up,’ like a normal human being. And I guess in that moment, I said, ‘I’m a superhero.’ I didn’t feel like one afterward.”
—Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, reflecting on David Ortiz’s grand slam in Game 2 of last year’s ALCS. (John Tomase, Boston Herald)

“Tell you what, he looks confident. He wants to be here and to show that he belongs here. Guys that can do what he does, they constantly put pressure on the opponents because when he gets on base he’s tough to stop. And he’s a tremendous outfielder; I think one day he could win a Gold Glove, he’s as good as anybody out there… He can do a lot of things. Now it’s just playing, get a little more experience. He’s still working the kinks out of his swing, and when he gets that there’s no telling how good he can be. We’re sure glad he’s here.”
—Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, on the promise of outfielder Anthony Gose. (Brendan Kennedy, Toronto Star)

"I've always said good catchers get under the hitter, and so they're susceptible to backswings. The closer you are to the plate, you get strike calls. There's a grading system out there now that monitors catchers who get called strikes. He's at the top of the group."
—Mets manager Terry Collins, on why catcher Travis d’Arnaud was hit by Alfonso Soriano’s backswing, giving him a concussion and putting him on the disabled list (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“We haven't officially called it a pulled hammy. Ronnie [head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield] just said it's really sore, and to lift it or attempt to run with it would be very difficult, so we'll play it very cautious, but if we need to use him we will. … It's not awful, but it is debilitating right now.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, on catcher Ryan Hanigan’s injury. (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)

“I obviously don’t feel good. Nobody with the desire to play would feel good about this. With God’s favor, we’ll do whatever is best. If that’s taking some time off or whatever, we’ll do it if we need to. But the main thing is to get back in the field healthy.”

—White Sox outfielder Jose Abreu, who was placed on the disabled list with an ankle injury. (Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune)

“I only hit one home run in high school. I had really perfected the bloop single over first base. I’m not much of a hitter and I never hit in college. Wainwright (hitting .381), makes it look easy, but we take batting practice every day. You can help yourself win games sometimes by getting bunts down and driving in people when you have the opportunity.”
—Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha, after getting his first hit of the season (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“You just have to strengthen all the muscles up again. Then once you can get over the mental block of that flinch or that take or something like that, that's the last step. Games are right after that… It's not lingering as much as I thought and I think that's why we're ahead of schedule and feeling good.”
—Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who is eying a Memorial Day return from a strained oblique muscle. (Zack Meisel, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“Every year he’s getting better. He knows what he’s doing. He pitched a very strong eight innings.”
—Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, in praise of teammate Rick Porcello, who held the Red Sox to one run on Saturday. (John Lowe, Detroit Free Press)

“Wherever they play me, they play me. If they give me that big of a hole, it just makes sense [to bunt] sometimes.”
—Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, on bunting against the shift (Steve Greenberg, Chicago Sun-Times)

“It's not what I want to do. It's not really a good example for kids and it makes me look like a [jerk]. But at the same time, you come here and you grind every day, you work and you're trying to stay in [at-bats] and help your team win a ballgame. Things like that can boil over real quick.”
—Braves center fielder B.J. Upton, on getting ejected from a game for arguing a strike call with an umpire (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

“That’s just the luck of the draw. Yesterday I didn’t have any luck. Today I threw a lot worse pitches than yesterday, and I get two outs out of it. That’s baseball.”
—Twins closer Glen Perkins, after shakily recording his 11th save of the season. (Phil Miller, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“We're going to push Soriano's arm, we have for the four years that I've been here, and he made a good throw. We're going to push Gardner's arm, he made a good throw. Those, you hate to run into, but they're chances you want to take when you're not getting those big hits with runners in scoring position to try to push yourself across the plate or get yourself in scoring position.”
—Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on sending runners against the Yankees’ outfielders (Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“Going back down I realized I wasn’t doing much with my feet. When I came back I wanted to make sure that speed was a main element to work with. Even though my swing is coming around I still have to make sure that people know I can run, that I can do things with my feet. That’s what I’m here for.”
—Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, on trying to use his speed more upon returning to the majors following a demotion to Triple-A (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“I learned the media controls a lot of things and the only question that you guys were writing in the off-season was what they were going to do behind the plate, when obviously the pitching was something that needed to be addressed. But I was the only question because I was the villain of the team… I think the media made me out to be a monster — I wasn’t. They changed a lot of things that I said or made up stories. So I thought that that was a big thing that went down. I learned how much media does control things.”
—Rangers catcher and former Blue Jay J.P. Arencibia, who believes he was treated unfairly by members of the media during his time in Toronto. (Brendan Kennedy, Toronto Star)

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