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August 4, 2014

The Week in Quotes

July 28-August 3, 2014

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


TOTALLY UNEVENTFUL TRADE DEADLINE PASSES

“You lose (James) Shields. You lose (Carl) Crawford. You lose B.J. (Upton). A lot of good guys. That’s what happens around here. Until we build a new ballpark, it's going to continue to happen.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, a day before David Price was traded to Detroit. (Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times)

“The way we looked at it, and the question that we asked ourselves is, ‘What gives us the best chance of winning a world championship this year?’ We have to get there. We know that… We felt that adding [Price] to our rotation gives us the best chance of getting that.”
—Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski, on his rationale for targeting Price. (Jason Beck, MLB.com)

“These things are never easy to do in a one-on-one trade, let alone three clubs being involved. It all just sort of meshed together.”
—Dombrowski. (Jason Beck, MLB.com)

“Yoenis is a tremendous talent. We’ve had a tremendous amount of success since he’s been here, so it is difficult, but if you’re going to separate yourself and try to get a player like Lester, you have to do something that's unique. That’s what really captured Boston’s attention, the ability to get a player like Cespedes that they can bring back next year.”
—A’s general manager Billy Beane, on his rationale for trading Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“It’s a zero-sum game. The less runs you give up, the less you have to score. In Jon Lester’s case, we're dealing with a guy who is one of the best at his position in the game and has been a long time. It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up on.”
—Beane. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“It didn’t make any sense to us to trade both Lester and Lackey unless we were getting at least one Major League starting pitcher back. It just would have made the next several months even more difficult to build to what we want to be. If we were going to do it, we really prioritized getting Major League players, but in particular at least one starting pitcher back.”
—Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, on trading Lester and John Lackey. The only major league pitcher returned in the deal was the Cardinals’ Joe Kelly. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)

“Lackey made sense for them. They're trying to win, have a contending team and he’s a proven guy and playoff tested, so he makes perfect sense for them. And for them, they had a little bit of a surplus in the outfield, which made Craig available. And since they were getting Lackey back, they could talk about Kelly. The concept ended up being fairly simple in the end ---but sure, we talked about all sorts of stuff.”
—Cherington, on the Cardinals’ acquisition of Lackey. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)

“I think we’re going to compete. I think we’re improved. We're going to find out if it’s enough or not.”
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, after the team acquired Stephen Drew, Martin Prado, and Esmil Rogers. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

“I think everybody dreams to play for the Yankees, and I never expected that in my career. I’m just looking forward to trying to find myself in a good position to play baseball. I felt like I’ve been up and down all this year, so now in a new place, we'll see how things are going to go.”
—Prado. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

“When I got here today I wasn’t even thinking about it. But that’s the business. It surprised me a little bit, but there’s nothing I can do.”
—Nationals infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, on being traded from Cleveland to Washington (Dan Kolko, MASN Sports)

“I never said trade me or whatever. I was speaking like, I wasn’t ­feeling good in the bullpen, and I had been a starter. But I never said trade me... It’s a new beginning and a new journey right here. I’m happy to be here and an important part of this team, and to be a starter is most important for me… What’s important is it’s not going to take too long for this to be a competitive team, and I want to be here for that.”
—Cubs pitcher Felix Doubront, on reports that he had asked to be traded out of Boston (Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times)

“I know I had talked about the pitcher and the second baseman. But the focus was always about the pitcher. Once you got into discussions with Houston, and they did have a second baseman that you liked, you wanted to try to steer things towards getting what you wanted, especially at the cost of the players that were being discussed.”
—Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill, after acquiring Jarred Cosart, outfielder/second baseman Enrique Hernandez, and minor leaguer Austin Wates from the Astros for prospects Jake Marisnick, Colin Moran, and Francis Martes, and a 2015 competitive balance draft pick. (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

“I don’t think nothing bad. That’s baseball. That's baseball adrenaline. That’s a great guy, great pitcher, too. [Now] that’s my teammate out there. It’s different now.”
—Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra, on being traded to Milwaukee after having been hit by Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta back in June (Adam McCalvy and Teddy Cahill, MLB.com)

“In no scenario were we asking for players that were their top prospects. We were not looking for exorbitant paybacks, so to speak, we were looking for players that would help us, but I think we were very reasonable in the discussions that we had. I think one of the most over-coveted elements of baseball are prospects. I don’t know how many prospects that have been dealt over the last several years have really come to bite people in the [rear end]. I’ve made it very, very clear that we didn't have any pressure to make deals. What our goal was to try and make our club better. So if there’s a deal to help us get there, we would’ve done it. There really wasn’t a deal we felt comfortable with or a deal that we were going to acquire talent that was compensatory to the talent.”
—Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., on not making any deals at the trade deadline (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com)

“Ruben had promised me that, going forward, we were still going to compete and, no matter what it took to put a winning product on the field, he was going to do it. If he could trade me and the trade was right for both the Phillies and the other ball club, then a trade could happen. But if it wasn’t right for the Phillies, he wasn’t going to do it. At the same time, he also promised me that we were going to compete year after year and there’s no rebuilding here with the Phillies. So that was a big boost for me.”
—Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, on staying in Philadelphia despite having requested a trade to a contender (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com)

“One, our expectations for the return would have been probably (so high) very few people would have stomached, which I understand. The other thing about trading Oscar is what is our next-closest (talent)? We’re looking at a team that is struggling for offense, trying to get it going, and you’re trying to take a key component of your offense down the road. I think that’s a little concerning as well. We’re not just focused on this year, but (future) years of having somebody like him in your lineup.”
—Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, on his reasoning for not wanting to trade Oscar Taveras for pitching at the trade deadline (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

MCCUTCHEN WON’T FORGET ABOUT BEING PLUNKED BY DELGADO

“Of course, it’s in your head. But you can’t let that dictate your at-bats. Once you start thinking, ‘Uh oh, they're going to hit me ...’ that’s when you strike out. My first at-bat, I thought that was the perfect opportunity for them to hit me, so I prepared myself for it. Fastball, down and away. Then a changeup or whatever next pitch. I thought, ‘kayK, they’re not going to hit me,’ and I had a good at-bat and ended up walking. As the game went on, it didn’t happen and I thought they weren’t going to do it. You think about it at first, but I don’t want that to get in the way of my approach at the plate because I'm not trying to give away at-bats.”
—Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, on expecting retaliation by the Diamondbacks after a fastball from Ernesto Frieri broke Paul Goldschmidt’s left hand on Friday night. Arizona reliever Randall Delgado drilled McCutchen in the back with a 2-0 fastball during his final trip to the plate on Saturday. (Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

“After a slider away. They’re setting me up that inning -- and it was really not appreciated. Are they hoping I check my swing and it hits my hand, and I get hurt, too? If you’re going to hit me, hit me. If you’re going to miss me with the first pitch, hit me with the second pitch ... try to hit me. But you don't throw a slider on the next pitch, and wait for the third pitch. Because that’s how people get hurt. It hit me square in the spine. If I get hurt, what happens then?”
—McCutchen. Delgado’s pitch to McCutchen was first pitch fastball up-and-in; second pitch slider low and away; third pitch fastball to the back. (Tom Singer, MLB.com)

“They did what they needed to do. They hit me. We'll move on. Just remember: I don’t forget.”
—McCutchen.

TWITTER

—The Tigers traded for David Price, you say? Sean Doolittle ain’t even mad.

THE REST

“I don’t really notice any difference from last year to this year. I realize that I’ve been throwing a little slower. My velocity’s a little bit down. I think that’s part of just kind of like — I looked at that website (BrooksBaseball.net) too, just to see. … Especially when I was kind of having a few bad games there in a row, just to check. I just wanted to see, am I doing something weird? Am I dropping my arm on a certain pitch? But it looked fine. … I’ve been through slumps and stuff like that. Some times it just doesn’t really go your way.”
—Astros starter Scott Feldman, when asked about his release point (which has been fairly consistent this season). (Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle)

“He’s done a nice job behind the plate, he has a good rapport with the pitchers, and they like throwing to him. He calls a good game, he works hard, he prepares well. Rather than going into the next offseason looking for a veteran catcher and hoping to get lucky again and find somebody like Suzuki, we would rather keep the known commodity.”
—Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony, after Kurt Suzuki signed a two-year, $12 million contract extension with an additional games played incentive (worth $6 million) in 2017. (Phil Miller, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“It’s been the worst experience of my life. I'll be able to fall back on that and just look at it, OK: if you can get through being in the desert - literally and emotionally, figuratively, whatever you want to say … if you can get through being in the desert for three or four months, then you can get through anything.”
—Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel—prior to being notified that he had been promoted to Class AA Corpus Christi—on how would one day look back on his experience at High Class A Lancaster. (Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle)

“It seems like there was no adjustments during the course of the game. Things unraveled a little bit on him. It’s always a challenge for him on becoming more consistent in the strike zone. That’s our ultimate plan. Sometimes when you don't see it in the bullpen, why are you expecting it in the game? We have to see it more in the bullpen in order for it to translate.”
—Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves, on Allan Webster’s Saturday start against the Yankees. Webster issued five walks before leaving during a four-run fourth inning. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)

“There’s nothing else to do in Cuba. Thank God he’s a baseball player, because he’s a bad domino player—very bad.”
—Reds catcher Brayan Pena, on pitcher Aroldis Chapman (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“My point to the league is that I don’t think it’s fair to take the emotion and the passion out of the coaches. I believe these guys need me to have life. They need to see me have fire and fight.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on the reduction in arguments with umpires due to instant replay (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“I'll take it. We’re winning. We’re playing good baseball. They’re going to come around. They kind of carried us for the first time of the season when we were struggling, so it's kind of evening out.”
—Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman, who pitched seven shutout innings against the Mariners on Sunday before handing the game over to Baltimore’s bullpen, which has posted a 3.31 ERA and 1.21 WHIP so far this season. (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun)

“As a former catcher in this league for 13 seasons…to lose a ballgame tonight on that play is a joke. It's an absolute joke. I don't think anybody who plays this game should feel good about winning that game, and I would say that if it had been reversed. That guy was out by 15 feet. It was a great baseball play. [Stanton] threw a strike to Matty. He didn't slide because he couldn't slide because he was out by so far, and yet those guys in New York decided the outcome of that game. I don't blame Mike Winters. He was on it. He knew the call on the field was right and he told me that when I was out there. As a manager you sit there and look your players in the face and my job is to pump these guys up and to keep these guys going every single day…to look them in the face and say we just lost a game on a technicality is b------, absolute b------.”
—Marlins manager Mike Redmond, on an overturned call that cost his team a run on a play at the plate in a 1-0 game (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel)

“In my eyes, those are kind of those big-time guys coming in for your debut, Melky Cabrera and Bautista. … To have this moment finally come (in front of my parents) and have them see this special moment is probably going to be the top moment in my life, and hopefully theirs too.”
—Astros starter Mike Foltynewicz, on the tougher hitters he faced in his first major league start. (Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle)

“I’m not sure. I try to get good at-bats. Small sample size. It’s hard to have confidence in the batter’s box when he’s on the mound.”
—Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, answering why he has performed so excellently over his career against Yu Darvish. Russell Carleton may be happy with Gardner’s response. (Mike Oz, YahooSports.com)

“Naturally there will come a time, when I will have to say goodbye, but I’ve soul-searched and this is not the time.”
—Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, explaining his decision to continue broadcasting. (Steve Dilbeck, 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
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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The Prospectus Hit Lis... (08/04)
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The Week in Quotes: Ju... (07/28)
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The Week in Quotes: Au... (08/11)
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Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (08/04)

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