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July 21, 2014

The Week in Quotes

July 14-20, 2014

by Chris Mosch, Nick Wheatley-Schaller and Nick Bacarella




WAINWRIGHT BACKS AWAY FROM “GROOVED PITCH” COMMENTS

“I was going to give him a couple of pipe shots,” Wainwright said with a smile. “I didn’t know he was going to hit a double, though, or I might have changed my mind. I thought he’d line a single to right, or maybe a ground ball. I probably should have pitched him a little better than that.”

—Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, after giving up a leadoff double to Derek Jeter in the first inning of the All-Star game. After a social media firestorm ensued from Wainwright’s comment, he apologized on-camera. (John Harper, New York Daily News)

“Sometimes my humor gets taken the wrong way,” Wainwright said. “I feel terrible about this. If anyone is taking any credit away from what Derek Jeter has done today or off me it was mis-said. I hope people know I’m not intentionally giving up hits. . . . I’m very competitive.”
Wainwright during his on-camera apology. (Bob Raissman, New York Daily News)

“I’d still be standing there if the crowd hadn’t finally stopped. Derek was telling me to go but I said no. I wanted to give him that honor.”
—Wainwright, on Jeter’s standing ovation prior to his first at bat.

“If he grooved it, thank you. You’ve still gotta hit it. But if that’s what he did, I appreciate it.”
Jeter, on Wainwright’s comments.

COLBY LEWIS SOUNDS OFF ABOUT RASMUS’ BUNT

“I told [Rasmus] I didn't appreciate it. You're up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don't think that's the way the game should be played.”

—Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis, on Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus bunting for a base hit against the shift with a two-run lead during the fifth inning of Saturday’s game. (Chris Toman, MLB.com)

“I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you're up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average.”
—Lewis.

“[Rasmus] didn't steal within the first two pitches to put himself in scoring position. That tells me he is solely looking out for himself, and looking out for batting average. And I didn't appreciate it.”
—Lewis.

“I'm just trying to help my team and he didn't like that—so sorry about it. I'm not here to try to please the other side, I'm here to help my team, and I had an opportunity where I could and I took advantage of it.”
—Rasmus, in response to Lewis’ comments.

NO HARD FEELINGS AFTER TROUT AND PUJOLS SHOOT ARROWS BACK AT RODNEY

“We’re cool for sure. Like I keep saying, Rodney is Rodney. He’s a funny guy. No hard feelings. He’s out there competing. We’re competing against him. Just one of the times we finally got him.”
—Angels outfielder Mike Trout, after himself and teammate Albert Pujols imitated Mariners closer Fernando Rodney’s arrow shooting celebration following Pujols’ game-tying double on Sunday. (Ryan Divish, Seattle Times)

"Rile me up? No. I've known Fernando for like, 15, 17 years. I always tell him I'm going to do that."
—Pujols, after being asked post-game whether Rodney shooting his trademark bow-and-arrow after the eighth inning had riled him up. (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)

“They did? They got emotional, maybe. They beat me. That’s all right. That’s why they did that, I think. I’ll have to check the video.”
—Rodney, when asked about the incident.

THE REST

“Certainly there's a little irony involved in the whole thing. I don't think, as the game started, either team was thinking about that. Our fans came out and certainly there was some heckling and so forth, but I think Machado handled it pretty well and certainly ended up with a huge home run. But when you see JD come up in the ninth, you kind of have that feeling, 'Really? Could this happen?' And it did.”
—Athletics manager Bob Melvin, on Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson each hitting home runs during Friday's game. It was the first matchup between the Orioles and Athletics since the scuffle between the two clubs last month. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“Most recently, Mr. Rodriguez admitted that his advisers at Roc Nation, most specifically, Desiree Perez, instructed him ‘not to pay the invoices, and to make Gordon & Rees sue’ him.”

—A statement by the law firm Gordon & Rees, in a complaint released Monday. Alex Rodriguez allegedly has $380,000 in outstanding legal fees. (Teri Thompson, Christian Red, Michael O’Keeffe, New York Daily News)

“I'm proud to be there and amongst good company. Carl was a great ambassador for the Rays, and is one of the guys that this franchise will always remember. I'm pretty much here for the rest of my career, so at some point I expected to be there, today being the day, it's a proud day.”

—Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, after breaking the team record for doubles and tying the record for RBI. Both were previously held by current Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford. (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)

“I'm somebody who's very conscious of the power that I have. So I don't need to put more of a swing or more of an effort in order to hit a home run. I just have to look for a good pitch and put a good swing on it, and it usually takes care of it.”
—Athletics slugger Yoenis Cespedes, after winning his second consecutive Home Run Derby. (Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com)

“It was pretty majestic. Based on the sound, the follow through, and then the first glimpse of the ball leaving, it’s just the immediate relief to know this ball is going over the fence and you’ve got the lead. And then you just enjoy it. You enjoy the fact that he gets excited, the team gets excited, and you just want to see what happens from there.”

—Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, following first baseman Mike Napoli’s decisive home run on Saturday night. (John Wilcox, Boston Herald)

“Since June 1st, we’d scored fewer runs than anybody except for the Red Sox in the AL. Clearly offensively we haven’t played as well as we can. I’m optimistic that our (injured) guys have a chance to come back sooner than we all think. I got an update last night that Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion are really progressing well. Lind is out of his boot. They’re swinging off a tee. Lind is going to swing with a little more authority today, but again, after everything he’s done he’s got no symptoms at all, no pain. It’s obviously a great sign.”

—Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, on the impact currently injured players will have on the team’s offense when they return to play. (Richard Griffin, Toronto Star)

“I have a few things, and it's been cleaned up. You look at the numbers and you think maybe they knew what was coming at certain times. That can explain a few things here and there… I'm not saying I pitched the best, but it doesn't help when someone knows what's coming. It could be an issue. It's definitely cleaned up, so we'll find out.”

—Rays pitcher Grant Balfour, who recently acknowledged that he has been unintentionally tipping his pitches. (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)

“Until we get to .500, you’re not exactly where you want to be at this juncture in the season. We’re not at .500, and frankly, we’re way below .500.”

—Twins general manager Terry Ryan, on the team’s second-half outlook. The Twins were swept by the Rays in their first series back from last week’s All Star break. (Megan Ryan, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“It was the freaking greatest effort. My heart sank down pretty deep. We got over there, and he got up right away. He’s a big, strong man. Thankfully, we’re very fortunate that he came out of that OK. You can’t fault him. You’re hoping it’s going to come back and stay in play. But his momentum and his focus on the ball carried him over.”

—Cubs manager Rick Renteria, on first baseman Anthony Rizzo making an outstanding catch before falling into the opposing team’s dugout (Patrick Mooney, CSN Chicago)

"I think he's stood up a touch more to get on top of the baseball. Lowered his hands a little bit, probably more direct to the ball. He worked on that over the break. Looked good up there tonight.”

—Nationals manager Matt Williams, on Bryce Harper making an adjustment to his batting stance (Dan Kolko, MASN Sports)

“We came out of the break and we are in first place and when we looked at our club this was a difficult decision for everyone. It was difficult not only because the quality of the person involved in Dan and the way he went about his business and how hard he works. But at the same time we feel like we need to give Fredi additional pieces to manage on that bench. This was, we felt, the appropriate time.”

—Braves general manager Frank Wren, on releasing second baseman Dan Uggla (Chris Vivlamore, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"These type of tools, strength and all of the things I talked about, they're hard to find. I like guys that are two-way guys. I think those guys are athletic, I think they get to see the game from both perspectives."

—Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan, on third round pick Aaron Brown, who pitched at Pepperdine University but is going to play center field in the minors (Max Cohen, Philadelphia Inquierer)

“All I did was play golf and sit by the pool. I play golf a lot, so it was nothing out of the ordinary there. I woke up Wednesday morning and said, 'Oh, this doesn't feel good.' I don't know what it was. I didn't go take BP or anything like that. I just woke up a little tight.”

—Brewers relief pitcher Will Smith, on returning from the all-star break with pain in his back (Tom Haudricourt, Journal Sentinel)

“Do you know how humiliating and embarrassing it is to go through that? The worst thing for any professional athlete is to be embarrassed … I'd love to sit down and talk to Pedro about it. But that has to be his call. I would never cross the line and go to him and just start offering advice. That's not my place. I'm not sure what advice I could give anyone, anyway. I never did figure it out.”

—Pirates broadcaster and former pitcher Steve Blass, on being able to identify with Pedro Alvarez’s current throwing problems (Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“We felt less comfortable with last year's club, as silly as it sounds with the win-loss record. But we had a pretty glaring need in right field that we went out and addressed, and even at first base. … As we sit here right now, we have some internal options that if they step forward, we're going to get some quality production from them. But we'll still look to get better if there's an opportunity out there.”

—Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, on his feelings about his team’s roster going into the second half (Stephen Pianovich, MLB.com)

“It’s frustrating, but we deserve it the way we’ve been playing. After losing two tough games, you think we’d come out with a little more intensity and energy. But we didn’t. That’s not how good teams play. We need to look in the mirror and figure it out.”

—Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, after the Royals lost three straight to the Red Sox over the weekend. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“We were rolling pretty well. I’m putting down signs. I’m the guide. If he doesn’t feel it, we go in a different direction. We just talk about it. It’s not a pride thing to shake off or to not throw whatever pitch. Our job is to get guys out. If he feels a certain pitch is going to get a guy out, then we’re going to throw it. He didn’t shake much today.”

—Cardinals catcher George Kottaras, on catching Joe Kelly in his first start since being acquired by St. Louis (Joe Trezza, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"Having to lock in for the Derby made me feel better. I wasn't myself the last couple of weeks. The short time off and the Derby kind of helped me out. I think it will be all right."

—Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, on homering twice after returning from the all-star break (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

“I was running on the pitch, so I knew I had a pretty good jump, and from that point, it's just kind of instinctual," Braun said. "You pay attention to the play, have an idea who the pitcher is, who's at first base, and ultimately if I'm able to get a jump and they don't look me back, it's an opportunity steal a run. I've done it a few times this year on similar plays.”

—Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, on scoring from second base on a tapper back to the mound during Sunday’s game against the Nationals. (Adam McCalvey, MLB.com)

“Maybe he'll pipe him one. He might pipe him one, you never know.”
—Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer, on teammate Jake Odorizzi having to face Adam Wainwright in Odorizzi's first at-bat since high school. (Bill Chastain, MLB.com)

“The fifth was definitely a little rocky. I was getting behind guys. I think it’s something I’ll try to improve and get better each start. I think overall solid for a first start. I’m happy. It was a fun experience.”

—Tigers pitcher Drew VerHagen, who made his major league debut on Saturday. VerHagen allowed three earned runs, all of which were plated in the fifth inning. (George Sippie, Detroit Free Press)

“Having to lock in for the Derby made me feel better. I wasn't myself the last couple of weeks. The short time off and the Derby kind of helped me out. I think it will be all right.”
—Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, after hitting home runs in back-to-back games after the All Star Break. (Joe Frisario, MLB.com)

“One thing is pitching inside and another thing is pitching inside carelessly. They're obviously showing that they don't care if they hit him. They're not on purpose, but they don't care if they hit him. They hit Hanley last year, they hit [Yasiel] Puig yesterday, they hit Hanley twice today. It's almost like, 'Hey, we're going to throw it inside. If we hit you, we hit you. If we don't, we don't.'”
—Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, on the Cardinals hitting Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig during their weekend series. The Dodgers retaliated by plunking Matt Holliday during Sunday’s game. (Alex Halstad, MLB.com)


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
Nick Bacarella 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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<< Previous Article
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