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August 18, 2014

The Week in Quotes

August 11-17, 2014

by Nick Bacarella


ROB MANFRED NAMED COMMISSIONER-ELECT

“There is no question that I would not be standing here today if not for Bud. I hope that I will perform as the 10th commissioner in a way that will add to his great legacy.”
—Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, after being announced as MLB’s successor to Bud Selig. (Ken Davidoff, New York Post)

“It's not about making friends. It's about making sure the other side understands where you're coming from.”
—Manfred, on what his approach to negotiations with players will be like. (David Lennon, Newsday)

“A lot of people saw him as a guy that gets to the office at 7 in the morning and doesn't leave until the last thing is crossed off his list at 11:30 at night.”
—President and CEO of the Giants Larry Baer, on Manfred’s work ethic. (David Lennon, Newsday)

“The job is much more complicated. You’re dealing with a 20- or 25-channel world, maybe, in 1992. Now you’re in a 500-channel universe and the Internet. You’re communicating with people that are walking down the street consuming baseball. And that’s a good thing; that’s positive. But we have to figure out ways to make it relevant to that 12-year-old.”
—Baer, pointing out that increasing the game’s overall rate of play should be one of Manfred’s top priorities. (Tyler Kepner, New York Times)

“We need to do a good job at capturing the youth. We can always do better.”
—Red Sox chairman and runner-up in the commissioner election Tom Werner, on making the game appealing to young demographics. (Tyler Kepner, New York Times)

RULE 7.13 IN QUESTION AGAIN

“It's a vague rule and it obviously went against us today. You look at the spirit of the rule of what they're trying to do and what it's actually doing, and it's a joke.”
—White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on the application of Rule 7.13 during Wednesday’s game against the Giants. After a replay review, White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers was charged with obstructing the plate before receiving a throw from first baseman Jose Abreu, which allowed Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco—who was clearly beaten by the throw—to score. Ventura was ejected for arguing the call. (Chris Haft, MLB.com)

“I don’t feel any different and I wouldn’t have done anything different. The guy was going to be out, so he’s out. I think you sit and think about it and probably the only thing Tyler did was he blocked the guy’s line of sight. He didn’t block him. He just blocked him from seeing it from like 25 feet. That’s where you get confused with how it’s applied. I know what the spirit of the rule is supposed to be with protecting catchers and taking care of them. It’s gone a little bit beyond that.”
—Ventura, expressing his opinion that some level of interpretation is necessary when applying Rule 7.13. Because Blanco was out by several feet, Ventura believes that the rule did not have much bearing on the play. (Dan Hayes, CSNChicago.com)

“Obviously we’re going through a period where we’re trying to understand the play and the rule, and I would have to say that, I would hope there would be some adjustments made. I think you still have to see the play and allow the catcher some freedom to move around. I don’t necessarily think they can look at two things at once either. But I think if a guy is going to be out, he’s going to be out. You have a pretty good idea of that when you see the play otherwise I think if you take it too far, you’re probably at a point where you might as well make it a force play at home like you do at first. It would clean up everything.”
—Ventura. (Dan Hayes, CSNChicago.com)

“I know the rule has created a lot of controversy, and they've talked about reviewing it at the end of the season. But it is a rule. [A catcher] can't block the plate without the ball.”
—Giants manager Bruce Bochy. (Chris Haft, MLB.com)

“Yeah, [Flowers] was blocking the plate. When I was running I couldn't see it.”
—Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco. (Chris Haft, MLB.com)

“I don’t think anybody has an understanding of this rule. Apparently they’re interpreting this thing extremely black and white with no context of the play -- infield, outfield, base runner, where he’s at. If you go by the black and white rule, I guess they got it right. But you also have to put into context, I could go on for a while, I’m set up inside, jammed the crap out of this guy. It’s a dribbler to first. I’ve got a bat flying behind me. I realize where the ball is -- OK, Jose’s about to come home, and I just looked at it. So I had two seconds to get from behind home plate, catch a ball and make a tag, and I’m supposed to be able to make sure I don’t block the plate, catch a ball and make a tag, all within two seconds on an infield dribbler. It’s just not realistic.”
—White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers. (Dan Hayes, CSNChicago.com)

“I want you to look at this. I have absolutely no idea if he's out or safe. None. But you've got to look at it.”
—Mets manager Terry Collins, asking the umpires to review a play at the plate during Wednesday’s game against the Nationals. (Peter Cappiello, Newsday)

“The throw took him there. Wilson set up and the throw takes him into the runner. I think that the fact that he swipe-tagged him and kind of got out of the way. He could have, ordinarily a catcher can in past years just sits down on the plate and the guy can't get past him, but he gave him some space and swipe-tagged him out.”
—Nationals manager Matt Williams, describing the play in question. With Matt den Dekker at third and Eric Young, Jr., at second, Mets pinch-hitter Eric Campbell chopped a groundball to Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond. Desmond’s throw home was a little off line to the left of catcher Wilson Ramos, arguably pulling Ramos into the baseline and obstructing den Dekker’s path to the plate. den Dekker was initially ruled out, a call which was upheld after replay review. (Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball)

"Four hours ago, he's safe. As we saw on the TV tonight. Four hours later he's out, so I don't know what to say."
—Collins. (Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball)

ROYALS TAKE FIRST PLACE

“You want to be in first place. Our goal was to get back to first place. Now our goal is to stay in first place.”
—Royals manager Ned Yost, after the Royals overtook the Detroit Tigers Monday night. (Chicago Tribune)

“We beat a great team out there tonight. They’re the best team in the league. We did it last week. And we did it again tonight. It’s just one of those things where we’re continuing to play our game.”
—Designated hitter Billy Butler, on beating the Oakland A’s to move into first place. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“If it's a scale of one to 10, it's a 10 or an 11. We're just playing good baseball. We're getting good results. This is the way this team is designed to play.”
—Butler, on his level of excitement when looking at the standings. (Chicago Tribune)

“This is our second time in first place this year. We’re trying to hold onto it. We’re trying to make that playoff push. We can’t get caught up in what Detroit’s doing. Or whoever’s behind us.”
—Outfielder Jarrod Dyson, on how the team’s position will affect their approach moving forward. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

KERSHAW LOSES FOR FIRST TIME SINCE MAY

“I felt like I pitched so much better than in Milwaukee, but the scoreboard said differently. The scoreboard doesn't always reflect how you feel.”
—Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Before Saturday’s loss, Kershaw last lost 14 starts ago on May 28th. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

“I got outpitched. Yovani pitched better than I did. I just made some mistakes and they showed up on the scoreboard.”
—Kershaw. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

"You don't usually see those two guys get beat back to back. But that's baseball. It happens. We'll come out tomorrow and try to salvage the series, like we did in Milwaukee."
—Dodgers utility man Justin Turner, commenting on the fact that Kershaw and Zack Greinke lost in back-to-back starts. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

“Braun's home run, he hung that pitch, and the one he threw me, too, was right in the middle and hanging. No matter who you are, when you're hanging pitches [to] professional hitters, something is going to happen.”
—Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, who, along with Ryan Braun, homered off of Kershaw. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

"A lot's been said lately about the MVP and whether a pitcher should be in it, but if you've watched the Dodgers the last few days and how much has happened to the bullpen, for Clayton to know he had to go eight or nine innings and to deliver, that's valuable too.”
—Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

"He's the best pitcher in baseball and he's been on a historically great run. It's incredible," said Braun. "It's kind of fun to watch from afar. It's obviously extremely difficult to beat him. It hasn't happened much this year, so for us to do that, it's an impressive accomplishment."
—Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

THE REST

“He should come down more often.”
—Astros designated hitter Chris Carter, who hit two home runs on Tuesday night, both of which were caught by the same fan, Tim Pinkard. (Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Chron.com)

“Right now, he's not going to pick up a ball until at least Tuesday. From there, it could go in a number of directions.”
—Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on the status of Justin Verlander’s shoulder. Verlander was pulled from his start on Monday night after one inning. (Jason Beck, MLB.com)

“Josh is not the same that we saw when we were looking at the other dugout. He's not in the batter's box with the confidence we know he has. He's not attacking the ball like he can. He's working hard to try to find it …but we need him to do what he's capable of doing, or close to that.”
—Angels manager Mike Scioscia, commenting on Josh Hamilton’s lackluster second-half performance. Hamilton is slashing .216/.277/.353 since the All-Star break. (Mike Axisa, CBSSports.com)

“He's had no twinges or anything. You stay optimistic until you know otherwise. We'll just keep progressing the program as it's set up and just go from there… It is what it is. You just take it a step at a time and progress with it. Would I rather have him had three, four or five starts right now? Yeah. These things crop up; as we've seen this year in baseball too often. You're just not going to know until he gets through it all and he's in games. Even then, you have to keep an eye on it.”
—Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, on Masahiro Tanaka’s progress after being placed on the DL July 9th with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Tanaka threw 25 fastballs off a mound on Saturday, and followed up by playing catch on Sunday. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

“Class act. Great guy for a clubhouse, a leader. Although he's a quiet guy, he does very well with the kids. One of those guys we hated to see leave; we're happy he's getting himself into a situation like (Kansas City's)... We miss him already.”
—Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, on former outfielder Josh Willingham, who was traded to Kansas City on Monday. (Phil Ervin, FOXSports.com)

“He went on the DL because he was having difficulty. When he came back, though, he was good. He said he was 100 percent, he was fine. Then just that freak incident on the steps, when he was about to go in the on-deck circle, something happened. He had the bat in his hand and he felt something in his forearm just right at that moment.”
—Padres manager Bud Black, on Yonder Alonso’s season-ending forearm injury. Alonso described hearing a “pop” in his arm as he prepared for an at-bat on Tuesday. (Alex Halsted, MLB.com)

“I think Danny's in a good position moving forward. I think with everybody, you can always learn. And I do think with Danny, learning the league is probably every bit as important as some of the other things.”
—Indians manager Terry Francona, on Danny Salazar’s role with the team for the remainder of the year. Salazar was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Sunday morning. (Zack Meisel, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“It’s an honor to be out there with some of those legends, all those people who did amazing jobs and played for the Red Sox — legendary, legendary. You’re not expecting your name to be mentioned next to those guys.”
—Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who hit his 400th and 401st home runs in a Red Sox uniform on Saturday night. (Michael Silverman, Boston.com)

“We have to figure out … a way to score more runs on a consistent basis, because the pitching's been kind of like lights out.”
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, after the team was only able to win seven of its 12 most recent games, despite allowing four runs or fewer in each of them. (Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times)

“The funny thing about all of this, a week and a half ago, before I was called up or anything, she's like, ‘You know what I want for my birthday? I want you to pitch in Cleveland on my birthday.’ I'm like, ‘Okay, yeah.’ I'm thinking to myself, ‘Good luck with that.’”
—Diamondbacks pitcher Andrew Chafin, who did, indeed, make his ML debut Wednesday against the Indians after his girlfriend asked for it as a present for her birthday. He pitched five scoreless innings in the loss. (Nick Piecoro, AZCentral.com)

“He just shook his head and said, 'I see exactly what you're talking about.’ That maturation takes time. When [Ortiz] first started his career, he wasn't the player that he is today. With some players, it clicks right away, but other guys have to experience some of the failure and play it back in their mind and go back and look at the video.”
—Astros manager Bo Porter, who suggested to rookie first baseman Jonathan Singleton that he start watching game tape of David Ortiz’s swing. Singleton is batting .183 in 65 games so far in his big-league career. (Brian McTaggart, 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

Related Content:  Bud Selig,  Quotes,  Major League Baseball,  MLB,  Rob Manfred

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