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May 27, 2014

The Week in Quotes

May 19-26

by Nick Bacarella, Morris Greenberg and Nick Wheatley-Schaller


BECKETT NO-HITS THE PHILLIES

“I didn’t think I had no-hit stuff. I really just kept them guessing.”
—Dodgers starter Josh Beckett, on throwing a no-hitter this past week. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

“Josh has been throwing the ball good all year. For him to be able to do that today is nice, for everything he’s been through with us. The surgery last year, missing the whole season. Changing himself as a pitcher. Using the breaking ball more and everything else...It was fun to watch.”
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, on Beckett’s performance. (Nightengale)

"I wasn't coming out of the game. I don't care if I had 200 pitches.”
—Beckett. (Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer)

“You’re thinking about it the whole time. I don’t know why there’s that unwritten rule not to talk about it and stuff. I was joking about it from the fourth inning on, but like I said, I was waiting for them to get a hit, too.”
—Beckett, describing the in-game mindset to throwing a no-hitter. (Mark Saxon, ESPN.com)

CUBS HIRE MANNY RAMIREZ AS TRIPLE-A PLAYER-MANAGER

“You never know in this world, but I think there’s potential high impact here. If he can influence one player, make him a little bit calmer in the box, give him a little bit better mental approach to hitting, teach him something about how to approach the right-handed breaking ball the right way — if he can convince one player not to do [performance-enhancing drugs], if he can just influence one player in a positive way, then it was worthwhile… This is not a PR move at all, this is purely a baseball move. Specifically, a player-development move.”
—Cubs team president Theo Epstein, on the motivation for bringing Ramirez on board (Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times)

“I know when (Manny) was over there with the Dodgers, it seemed like he was a little bit more open and a little bit more suppressed in the sense of not trying to have so much attention (or) do some crazy stuff like he did in Boston. But if a person gives you enough reasons and is honest and tells you his story and says he wants to help people, I think you got to give him that shot. Because I think he’s one of those very few guys in the game that can really influence and help younger people that are trying to find their way and make their careers. There were moments in that locker room where he would actually sit down and be a little bit more candid and open and honest and reveal himself. I think he always wanted to reveal a different picture so people underestimated him and he could have that advantage at some point in the ballgame.”
—Cubs hitting coach Bill Mueller, on playing with Ramirez in Boston and working in the Dodgers front office when Ramirez played with Los Angeles (Patrick Mooney, CSN Chicago)

BENCHES CLEAR IN TAMPA

“I think that was a little more egregious than their interpretation tonight. I didn’t take (exception) because our goal is to not permit them scoring runs. Their goal is to score runs. The whole game… You have to keep your personal vendettas, your personal prejudice, your personal judgmental components in your back pocket. So before you start screaming regarding any of that, just understand what happened just last year and also understand that in this ballpark, 5-0 leads can evaporate quickly.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, taking issue with the annoyance demonstrated by the Red Sox after Yunel Escobar stole third base with a five-run lead in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game. (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald)

“There were some words exchanged. We’re down five in the seventh, so it’s somewhat a gray area when you shut down the running game… Yunel is going to do some things that might be a little unpredictable, so that’s what precipitated it,”
—Red Sox manager John Farrell. (New York Daily News)

“They took offense to what we thought was fine. They called him out and he talked back to them and the next thing you know, benches cleared.”
—Rays third base coach Tom Foley. (New York Daily News)

“I’m not concerned about the bag at all. Yelling at my dugout, pointing at my dugout and taking your helmet off and basically challenging our dugout, I have a problem with that.”
—Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes. (New York Daily News)

TWITTER

—Prior to his first game at Citi Field since being traded, Ike Davis joked with reporters about what the best thing about being a Pirate is.

THE REST

“I’m a little bit disappointed because I think a lot of the fans were looking for me to keep on winning. Next time out, I’ll try to get a win again and keep it going again.”
—Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, after picking up his first major-league loss. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

“I don’t think I have been more excited to give up a hit in my life,” Sale said. “I knew I was done after that sixth, and Robin said the same thing. He goes, ‘You really picked a bad night to do something like that.’”
—White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale, who had a perfect game going through 5 ⅔ innings on Thursday. Pitching his first game after returning from the DL, Sale was only slated to pitch six innings. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

“It doesn’t matter what count, whether he was ahead or whether he was behind, he was on the corners the whole night. He executed every pitch. I can’t remember a pitch really where I felt like I could do damage with it. I felt it right away — that he had some special stuff.”
—Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock, on Adam’s Wainwright excellent start this past week, allowing one hit and no walks while striking out 12 in a complete-game shutout. (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“I think that was a little more egregious than their interpretation tonight. I didn’t take (exception) because our goal is to not permit them scoring runs. Their goal is to score runs. The whole game… You have to keep your personal vendettas, your personal prejudice, your personal judgmental components in your back pocket. So before you start screaming regarding any of that, just understand what happened just last year and also understand that in this ballpark, 5-0 leads can evaporate quickly.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, taking issue with the annoyance demonstrated by the Red Sox after Yunel Escobar stole third base with a five-run lead in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game. (Michael Silverman, Boston Herald)

“He is one of the best pitchers in the game. Of course he was a draw. Obviously, Jose is a big part of our team. At the same time I think the fans realize that we're a team that's fun to watch playing in a ballpark that is fun to come to. We just have to keep being competitive.”
—Marlins team president David Samson, on reduced ticket sales following Jose Fernandez’s elbow surgery (Craig Davis, Sun Sentinel)

“I didn't know where I was going, but if there was one place I wanted to be, it was here. When I heard I was going to Baltimore, I was really, really excited — just the winning atmosphere, a great tradition. … unbelievable ballpark, the fans, the city.”
—Orioles catcher Nick Hundley, on ending his free agency and signing with his new team. (Eduardo A. Encina and Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)

“You never enjoy losing, but I’ve been through enough losing streaks to know it’s part of the game. think the part that kind of nags at you a little bit was we were in all those games — there’s one that went 10 innings, we’re right there. One we went 13, we’re right there, had the lead a couple times. That kind of is a little bit irritating… I guess it’s better than being blown out four straight games.”
—Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on the team’s recent four-game losing streak. (George Sippie, Detroit Free Press)

“Kip will get here Tuesday. He’s not going to start. We could activate him depending on how he feels. He will start Wednesday, barring anything unforeseen. He really wanted to play today. So he's raring to go.”
—Indians manager Terry Francona, on the impending return of second baseman Jason Kipnis. (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“Over the year I've seen him, his defense has been, in my opinion, the most overlooked part of his game. You'll see some error totals, but the improvement on the whole has been amazing. I'm pretty sure it'll continue. He looks confident and he's moving good and throwing the ball great and taking control in the middle of the field -- those are things everybody looks for. That's been exciting.”
—Cubs minor-league field coordinator Tim Cossins, on prospect Javier Baez’s defense at shortstop (Carrie Muskat, MLB.com)

“I'm not even running 100 percent and I make it there before him. If you look at the replay, you're going to find some answers to this. I run the bases like I do every time. I think he's supposed to score. I think it's a good play (by Yelich) because I saw him flat-footed and put his head down and hesitated. That's a tough throw because most of the time that throw hits the runner. That's why I make the decision to go to third. That's how you make things happen. They got me this time. If it happened again, I'd go again.”
—Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, on being thrown out at third for the third out just moments before Ryan Braun crossed home plate (Tom Haudricourt, Journal Sentinel)

“He's been a very pleasant surprise, and a much different pitcher than even what we saw scouting him before he came in. He was a guy we kind of anticipated would be a Randy Choate-style, get him in for a hitter, maybe two, then we're going to have to bump him out, and that would take a toll on our bullpen. But the way he's thrown, he's been able to show versatility. Those are huge benefits to our club, to where he can come in and be a late-inning pitcher for us.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on reliever Pat Neshek’s role in the bullpen (Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com)

“I look at the body of work for the whole season. He’s had a couple of tough ones the last couple of times out, but I think his stuff is still intact. I think some of his pitches have been elevated, and that’s got him in trouble. But his velocity is the same. The action is the same. Location is what it usually comes down to.”
—Rockies manager Walt Weiss, on sticking with LaTroy Hawkins as his closer, despite some rough outings. (Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post)

“The only off-speed (pitch) that wasn’t working was his change-up. He threw the curveball exactly where he wanted to throw it. His cutter was exactly where we wanted, and then he has that good, live two-seam fastball and a four-seam fastball. As soon as he got that change-up going, it was a done deal.”
—Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, on starting pitcher Tim Stauffer, who made his first start in over 2 years. (Dennis Lin, U-T San Diego)

“We’re looking at everything right now, and will throughout this offseason, as far as opportunities to get better ourselves: the decision making process, different checks along the way, whether or not what we’re doing for our physicals is the right policy, the wrong policy, et cetera. We have a pretty good track record, but you always gotta review everything and try to make it better.

With that being said…we did a physical during Spring Training, and [Prince] passed…he really didn’t have any symptoms that anyone was aware of. He said he had periods of a stiff neck, he told us about that recently, we didn’t know that at the time. He never got a treatment in Detroit, never had any issues, never had any doctor visits. Obviously never any missed time, so there was no reason, even if we had brought him in, to do anything other than have a standard physical, which never includes a cervical MRI.”
—Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, going in depth on how the Rangers approached injuries this offseason, and why thus far have so many Rangers been injured. (Matt Fischer, Fansided.com)

“All of us play through stuff. It's very common for guys to play through stuff. It's all about what you can stand and how far you can take it and whether or not you end up getting over the hump. In this case, it continually stayed with me. I couldn't get over the hump. Ultimately, I needed to take some time off. That was the group decision. What I'm going through is very common for a lot of players. I just haven't been able to get over it.”
—Reds first baseman Joey Votto, on a strained quad that has forced him to miss time (John Fay, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“I try not to be too attached to things, even though I have a bobblehead with it. I felt it was an extension of me.”
—Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, who is offering a signed bobblehead of himself in return for his stolen motorized scooter. (Andrew Baggarly, CSNBayArea.com)

“Don’t try to kill yourself in the cage because you're 0-for-five or 0-for-10. I’ve been around this game long enough. I know what I’m capable of doing. Today, I didn’t pick up a bat until 12:15 p.m. to get ready for the game. Sometimes you need more of a mental break. Sometimes when you’re struggling, you need to back off a little bit.”
—Angels slugger Albert Pujols, who surpassed Eddie Murray on the all-time home run list recently. (Mike Digiovanna, Los Angeles Times)

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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Next Column >>
The Week in Quotes: Ma... (06/02)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (05/27)

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