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June 16, 2014
The Week in Quotes
ROLLINS BREAKS SCHMIDT’S RECORD FOR HITS AS A PHILLIE
"Since I was four, you go to school and teachers ask you, 'What do you want to do?' And I would tell them, 'I'm going to play baseball. I'm going to be a baseball player. They would tell me the percentages, and I would say, 'Well, that's fine. I'm one of those people in that small percent.' It's awesome being able to accomplish what I have accomplished, but I'm not done. Hopefully we can bring another championship to the city, if I'm here long enough, and the rest will be the rest."
"I said, 'Congratulations, it couldn't happen to a better guy. I appreciate your friendship,' and I turned, and there was the whole team, which was kind of neat.”
ROYALS WIN SEVENTH STRAIGHT
“That was big to get on the board early," said Hosmer, who has three homers in his last seven games. "Omar [Infante] started it off with a nice hit and I think Salvador's there in the third inning was huge because they had some momentum to get back. They got one run there in the first, and a three-run home run takes away a lot of momentum from them and really gives Shields a lot of breathing room out there. I think that was the huge blow for us.”
“This team was tough today. They kept fouling balls off, fouling balls off and next thing you know they're working counts. They hit the mistakes [we] made, they also got a lot of hits on balls they were kind of check-swinging on as well, but overall, that's a tough team over there. You've gotta tip you cap to that, but we did a great job of scoring runs today like we did all series long.”
“Obviously, we’re the hotter team coming in. One of the hottest teams in baseball, if not the hottest. We’ve got to keep that rolling.”
“Earlier in the year, we’d get something going and get one or two out of it. Now, when we’re swinging the bats better, we’re getting four and five.”
“We’re really starting to click offensively, in all the facets. You’re seeing what we’re capable of doing, day in and day out right now. We’re doing everything fundamentally right.”
YOENIS CESPEDES’ MONSTROUS THROWS
“When the ball rolled into the corner, I thought Howie would score standing up. Cespedes picked the ball up and threw a guided missile that was right on the money. It was just an incredible throw from that distance, from that angle, everything. That was a special play.”
“If you hadn’t seen it, you probably wouldn’t have believed it. Flat-footed, he threw it 325 feet on the fly, right to DeNo’s chest.”
“That was the only way we were going to score if we hit it to left field. Honestly, I was just hoping I got enough of it to get it over his head. He’s made some impressive plays against us. There’s no telling what that guy’s going to do in left field.”
“I think he’s starting to do that on purpose, trying to bait runners to get that extra base.”
“Nothing he does surprises me anymore. He looked like he had a pretty good beat on it going into it and timed it perfectly. I was pretty surprised the ball traveled that far, to tell you the truth. It kind of sounded like he got it off the end of the bat, but he made a great play on it and definitely helped with the momentum there in the first.”
"The way everyone should think about it is—we need Oscar to be playing every day. If he wasn't going to get everyday at-bats here, he's better off in Memphis. I do think his time up here was valuable. He learned a lot. It wouldn't surprise me if at some point he's back… He could have made the decision a lot harder. But he didn't."
“That’s where you could get something. If somebody like Mark Cuban wants to buy a team and offers something like $2 billion, and they tell him he can’t. If they made an exception for a specific sale, it would be against the antitrust laws [and spirit of the exemption].”
"It's remarkable, really, to see him change positions and look so natural. It's not like beginner's luck or anything. He's getting good reads. He's running good routes. I said the other day, he makes left field look small. As an outfielder, that's the ultimate compliment… People always say—I've heard it 100 times in my career—'Oh, I'll just go to the outfield.' It's not that easy. I've seen plenty of people that say, 'I'll just go to the outfield.' They go to the outfield, and a few weeks later, their career is over. For him to go out there, to really make the adjustment and to look as good as he does, it's pretty cool."
"I remember Jason Kendall telling me it took him six years in the big leagues before he learned how to call a game. It took him so long because of all the experience he had to gain. It took him six years. This is my fifth. I think it's one of those things that with experience comes confidence in your ability to call a game and to prepare yourself the best that you can to call a game. For a young player, I know, it was really hard to do. And now that I've got a good system down of being able to remember and recall things and how to go about it in certain situations, I think it gives you that confidence to do better."
“Changing the ballpark is not a panacea for not hitting with runners in scoring position. It’s not going to change our rate of singles that we hit with a man on second base. So when I suggest that we look at the dimensions of the ballpark, that doesn’t mean I think that’s the solution. It’s just part of the equation.”
“We feel like, and Manny feels like, [five games] is a little strong.”
"This is my best game ever. It's the first time she's here, watching me play in the Majors. I was excited."
“People are crazy. Obviously not baseball people, because at the beginning of the year they were saying that the Indians and the Royals and the Tigers—all three—they were saying we were one of the best teams in baseball, but they were saying in particular the Royals and the Indians could give us a run for our money. Well, if they’re saying that, they’re also saying that they are one of the best teams in baseball. Then all of a sudden if they don’t play well out of the gate, it’s because we’re so much better than everyone else. Everything turns on a dime. I can’t stand that stuff, man.”
"Johnny was doing what he does best, that's pitching. That's why we call him around here 'Johnny Beisbol.' He never backs down from any challenge. He knows this was very important for us. We didn't play those [first] two games against them the way we wanted to play. For him to step it up today, it was awesome."
“I talked to him when he first came here and I watched him shag fly balls, he’s a power shagger. So we’re completely comfortable putting him out there in the outfield. I made sure he had his outfield glove on the bench.”
“The fact that we kept it together and won that game is pretty amazing. It’s three of the better games I’ve been a part of in a long time.”
“I know a game like tonight is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I’m just so happy for this team to win the series and to get on the plane with a win. There were just so many good things tonight.”
“He’s doing something every day to help you win. Whether it’s a big hit or getting on base, you look at how great his defence has been this year. He’s doing everything.”
“I was actually in the barber chair, getting a haircut when the Yankees called to say I was on top of their draft board and they were picking me up. It’s kind of ironic that an organization that makes you cut your hair and be clean shaven picked me up right at that moment.”
Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus.