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July 28, 2014

The Week in Quotes

July 21-27, 2014

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


COOPERSTOWN BUZZES WITH HALL OF FAME FANFARE

“You're on the bus and you see it and you get goosebumps. It's like the greatest rock concerts that you've ever been to.”
—Tony LaRussa, on arriving at the ceremony. (Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com)

“I was shocked when we turned that corner this morning. Ozzie Smith was in the back of the bus with me and he said, 'This is for real now. Look at all those people. Just take it all in. You've got to be tough when you get to the stage. These are the true fans. The world is watching. Do what you've got to do.’”
Frank Thomas. (Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com)

“I don't know if there's ever been a bigger day in the history of the Atlanta Braves.”
John Smoltz. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox all played in the Braves organization, while Torre and Cox also went on to manage the big-league team. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

“People tell me how they look at me in the dugout and it looks like I’m not emotional. But I’m going to tell you something: It’s been wonderful. You look around and you see who’s around you. It’s just been a great experience. It’s something they can’t take away from you once it happens. It’s unlike any experience I’ve ever had.”
—Joe Torre, on his experience this weekend. (Anthony McCarron, New York Daily News)

“Baseball is a game of life. It's not perfect, but it feels like it is. That's the magic of it. We are responsible for giving it the respect it deserves. Our sport is part of the American soul, and it's ours to borrow, just for a while.”
—Torre, during his induction speech. (Los Angeles Times)

“I'm going to miss my dad at the Hall of Fame. That's one part of the speech I have to get past. I'm worried about getting choked up on that part because I know what he'd be like Sunday.”
—Thomas. (Mark Inabinett, The Huntsville Times)

“I had a difficult choice to make, and as a left-handed pitcher, I thought that was the thing that would set me apart and make baseball the smartest decision. Of course, I always wondered what would have happened had I taken up hockey. In my mind, since I was drafted ahead of two Hall of Famers in Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull, that obviously means I would have been a Hall of Famer in hockey, too. But I'm positive I made the right choice.”
—Tom Glavine, who was drafted by both the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. (Los Angeles Times)

FEUD BETWEEN RAYS AND DAVID ORTIZ CONTINUES

“I think it was a perfect example of what Price said. All of my interactions with him off the field have been good, but when it comes to him on the field, I don’t know what makes him think that he can showboat the way he does, and then nobody can retaliate or look at him in a funny way or nobody can pitch him inside.”
—Rays pitcher Chris Archer, who took umbrage with Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, after Ortiz flipped his bat and rounded the bases slowly following his 25th home run of the season. Earlier this year, Archer’s teammate, David Price said that sometimes Ortiz acts like he’s "bigger than the game of baseball.” (Alex Speier, WEEI)

“I hope that he realizes that there's more that goes into it than just him. I don't know -- I just feel like you can't say that your true character is defined by one action, but multiple actions speak to who you are. That's all I have to say.”
—Archer. (David Adler, MLB.com)

“Tie game, something like that, you put your team ahead, you enjoy. What can I tell you man? Players in today’s game are too sensitive about things. I’ll just leave it like that. I think he’s a good pitcher. I think he’s got great stuff. He’s a guy that I think is going to be pretty good. But it takes some time to get to that level.”
—Ortiz, in response to Archer’s first comment.

“There's always going to be comments like that. And he's not the right guy to be saying that. I don't think, you know, you got two days in the league, you can't be just [whining] and complaining about [things] like that. ... Tell him to stop acting like he's David Price.”
—Ortiz, after hearing that Archer had echoed Price’s comments from earlier this season.

THE REST

“I think we all feel pretty confident with him on the mound. He’s a guy who’s not easily intimidated. He goes out there and pitches his game. It says a lot about him and his makeup, being able to bounce back from the rough outing he had [against the Athletics]. We like what we see from him. He’s obviously learning a lot about himself and about the league. The more he pitches, the better he’s going to get.”
—Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, on the poise of starting pitcher Kevin Gausman. (Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun)

“I threw one in college, but I couldn't throw it for a strike so it kind of got scrapped in pro bal. It's something we picked up one day in the bullpen. I was throwing a cutter and it wasn't necessarily too far off the fastball. Guys weren't really honoring it, so I was looking for another breaking ball to give guys something to think about instead of always thinking about the curveball. It's a pitch that really works off the fastball. If you have good command and feel for the fastball and are able to keep that down, you have a better chance of throwing a quality slider.”
—Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler, on developing his slider (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel)

“We noticed his hit velos have really jumped. And obviously his success has jumped.”
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on the reasons why he and the Yankees targeted Chase Headley. Headley has suffered through a down season, hitting just .238 to date, but Cashman was intrigued by the recent spike in Headley’s hard hit average. (John Harper, New York Daily News)

“When we reviewed it internally, it wasn’t conclusive. And where we were at the time of the game, given our history with what we’ve used the system for, when it’s not conclusive we’re not gonna risk using the one challenge we have at that moment.”
—Red Sox manager John Farrell, explaining his decision not to challenge controversial call during Saturday. In the fourth inning, catcher Christian Vazquez appeared to pick Yunel Escobar off second base. Replays showed Stephen Drew tagging Escobar’s arm before he touched the bag. Manager John Farrell issued no challenge, and Kevin Kiermaier then drove Escobar home with a single. (Joey Knight, Boston Herald)

“He’s a different kind of pitcher but yeah, he’s a good pitcher. He’s a very, very good pitcher. He came into this year, we talked about the young pitching that’s coming and obviously due to the fact that (Noah) Syndergaard throws 99 (mph), his name is at the top. But all along within this organization Jake deGrom’s name has been mentioned with everybody. This guy can really pitch. He’s going to be a good pitcher. Gets ground balls, pounds the zone, quality stuff. All those things we knew. Now is an opportunity to get his chance and he’s certainly made the most of that chance.”
—Mets manager Terry Collins, after saying that Jacob deGrom should be mentioned in the same class as Zach Wheeler and Matt Harvey. (Mike Vorkunov, Star-Ledger)

“It’s at my discretion. The play was very close and I felt the need to look at it anyway… I saw them on the phone (in the Angels’ dugout) and I walked off the line and I was watching the batter and the pitcher. I understand what Brad is thinking. But to tell me I can’t do it is not what the rule is. So I just informed him that it’s at the crew chief’s discretion … I knew it was a really, really close play. If he’s going to come out and ask me to review it, I’m going to review it. The whole entire deal is to get it right. I kept informing (Ausmus) that at my discretion I can look at this play.”
—Umpire Jim Joyce. During the third inning of Saturday’s game between the Tigers and Angels, Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker attempted to pick off Eugenio Suarez. It appeared as though Suarez was out, but he was ruled safe on the initial call. After several moments but before the next pitch, Angels manager Mike Scioscia jogged onto the field to challenge the call. Joyce granted his request, prompting Tigers manager Brad Ausmus to counter by arguing that Scioscia had waited too long and that his challenge was invalid. Ausmus was then ejected. (John Lowe, Detroit Free Press)

“As a member of the succession committee, I am obligated to have an open mind, regardless of what opinions I might have. I told Rob I would have an open mind, so I’m not unalterably opposed to anybody. I never told anybody on the record that I was against Rob.”
Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, describing his feelings towards the possibility of Rob Manfred becoming the commissioner of Major League Baseball next season. (Brian Costa, Wall Street Journal)

“It’s a short drive from Philly. I’m with my family. I wanted to see (Derek) Jeter play one more time.”
—Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowizki, on attending Sunday’s Yankees-Blue Jays game in New York. (Nick Groke and Patrick Saunders, Denver Post)

“You try not to give him anything too good to hit. He hit a couple of homers against Yordano Ventura (on Friday) on good fastballs. He’s just hot right now.”
—Royals manager Ned Yost, on Carlos Santana’s recent uptick in production. Santana reached base in all five of his plate appearances Sunday, including two home runs. Santana hit five total home runs during the weekend series against Kansas City. (Randy Covitz, Kansas City Star)

“He’s going to go out, and he’s going to pitch. There will be time in the second half where we might be able to back up his pitch count on a given day or take him out. But we’re not so phobic with innings that we're not going to pay attention to what the player is doing, or what his performance is telling us.”
—Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, on not limiting Garrett Richard’s workload down the stretch of the season. (ESPN.com)

“I definitely wanted to play this year because I didn’t want to end with a bad taste in my mouth after Boston. I wanted to find a place to play. I didn’t want to end like that. I didn’t want to end the season, I didn’t want to end anything like that.”
—Cardinals catcher A.J. Pierzynski, on looking for another team after being released by the Red Sox earlier this year (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“You've got to make sure the players know you still have confidence in them. We have some regulars that we know are going to be in there, and they're going to play through struggles. The other guys are more bench players, guys that we rotate. You can't always just play the hot hand. It doesn't always work that way. There's match-ups, a lot of our guys have some history. If you have a guys who's 2-for-20 off a starting pitcher, it's tough to put that guy in your lineup. But you have to stay with your guys. You can play with the lineup a little bit. If somebody is really struggling, you push them down a bit. The one thing we don't want to do is give the sense we don't trust the guys we have… Three games doesn't a season make.”
—Reds manager Bryan Price, on managing his lineup while missing key players due to injury (John Fay, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“I know what Ryan Howard can do. I think it’s also important to see what other guys can do. It’s also about wins and losses out here. When the game starts, it’s about winning the game and being productive and chipping in and doing the part and doing something to help win a game. If that means playing somebody else there and there's production right away, that’s trying to win a baseball game.”
—Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, on considering playing other players in place of Ryan Howard (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com)

“I’m going to go for 2,500 (games), so let’s see what happens. I’m only 36; I'll be OK. I’m playing past this year, for sure. I don’t know how much longer but definitely more years. I’ll see where I’m at after the season, but I feel good right now. Health is the main thing. My body is telling me I can still play.”
—Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez, on his desire to continue playing baseball (Tom Haudricourt, Journal Sentinel)

“I couldn’t believe it. The funny thing is, the guy was mad he didn't throw the ball to first base. How do you make that play and then get upset that you don't throw the ball to first base? That's how good he is. That was an incredible play, just to catch it, let alone roll over and touch the bag.”
—Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, on an outstanding play made by shortstop Andrelton Simmons (Joe Morgan and Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

“You look at their offensive production...with Howie Kendrick and Pujols and the almighty Trout, and even a guy like Kole Calhoun has been swinging the bat pretty well of late...We match up pretty well.”
Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, on how his current team stacks up to his former team, the Los Angeles Angels. Both teams are likely to make the playoffs. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

“When things are written that we did things unethically or tried to manipulate something, it’s frustrating to read, because it’s not true. It’s hard to convince people just by saying it’s not true, but it’s not. And that’s probably been the hardest part. But again, you know, you have to have a thick skin to be in this business. That doesn’t mean you don’t take feedback, because we do, we listen to everything everybody says, and read everything people write and we take it into consideration. But at the same time, ultimately, we’re doing what we think is in the best interests of the organization.”
Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow on not signing top draft pick Brady Aiken. (Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle)

“The Feliz of old is a dominant, elite closer. He may get that opportunity, whether it’s as a traditional closer or in some other way. He’s still so young and you still see the ability, just not as consistently. It would be a good test for him to see how he responds.”
Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, on Neftali Feliz taking over the closer position now. The team recently traded closer Joakim Soria. (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)

“I made a bad decision. I should have had more rest instead of trying to come back as soon as possible.”
—Rangers outfielder Shin Soo Choo regretting that he did not start the year on the disabled list. He has recently had one of the worst stretches of his career, including an 0-for-21 skid. (Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

“The hitter is going to think about what is coming because this guy has, like, five pitches that he can throw for strikes. That’s why I use all my pitches in just one inning. If I use all my pitches they’re not going to get comfortable because they don’t think about if I am starter. I just don’t want, like, fastball and slider. I have five pitches I can throw for strikes and that’s what I do.”
—Mets closer Jenrry Mejia, on his repertoire, which consists of a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. (Mike Vorkunov, Star Ledger)

“I trust in every guy in this room and our organization. I think a lot of guys on our Triple-A team would be on a lot of big league teams. That's basically like a trade, I guess you could say. We have some talented guys down there that can make an impact at this level. We have guys on this team, too, on the bench that haven't had a chance to play much lately because all of us have been healthy that are going to get a chance to play now. I think they'll take advantage of it.”
—Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, on being placed on the disabled list for the second time this year (Josh Land, MASN Sports)

“They make things so difficult with that new rule. The game's been 100 years with that old rule, catchers have been getting run over for years. Now is the point where we needed a change? What for? I guess that's what catching is made up for. I'd much rather get killed. Seriously, I'd much rather be run over. Come get me.”
—Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero, after Ryan Howard was ruled safe at home during Sunday’s game because the Arizona backstop violated rule 7.13. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)

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

Related Content:  Quotes,  Hall Of Fame,  Major League Baseball,  MLB

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