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August 25, 2014

The Week in Quotes

August 18-24

by Nick Wheatley-Schaller and Nick Bacarella


RAYS PROTEST GAME OVER REPLAY RULES

“We were told in the beginning, when the batter is in the box and the pitcher is on the rubber, you can no longer challenge. I would be really surprised if the protest was not upheld.”

—Joe Maddon, on a play challenged by opposing manager John Gibbons. Maddon is protesting the ruling (Chris Toman, MLB.com)

“I was at third base and I've got everything in front of me. I see Buehrle, he's on the rubber, and as I'm seeing Escobar getting ready—from my judgment—to get into the box, now I see Gibbons giving the thumbs up that he's coming out. So I thought, in my judgment, that it was in time to file a challenge on the play."

—Umpire Bob Davidson, on the challenge (Chris Toman, MLB.com)

GARRETT RICHARDS SUFFERS SEASON ENDING KNEE INJURY

"Look, we can go in one of two directions. We can absorb the loss [of Richards] and play as hard as we can, though everyone else needs to step up some more. Or we could say, 'Hey, you know what? Spring training starts in five or six months; we'll see you then.' Which one is it going to be? I think everyone knows the answer. We have no choice but to keep going."

—Angels catcher Chris Iannetta, on moving forward with the pennant race (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)

"I don't know if there's anything positive that's going to come out of it… There's a chemistry that's starting to form, especially in the clubhouse, that's very real and tangible. I think guys are motivated, even if Garrett was here, to prove they can play at a certain level. Not having Garrett here, I just don't see it changing that. We're a pretty close-knit team right now. Maybe some of the guys feel that way, but I don't know if I sense that."

—Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on the impact the injury has had on the clubhouse (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

THE REST

“I think we were really fighting on at least tying this series. We were able to have a lot of good at-bats and hit the ball hard a lot. We hit some holes, caught some breaks really, and we took advantage.”

Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis, after the Tigers split their four-game series with the Twins. The Twins exploded for 32 runs in the first two games of the series. (Jason Beck, MLB.com)

“It was awesome. Pinch-hitting is not the easiest thing to do, so to lay off some tough pitches and get a pitch up in the zone, then not miss it with the game on the line—it’s really, really special.”

Yankees catcher Brian McCann, who hit a walkoff three-run home run in the team’s victory over the White Sox. (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

‘Think about: We went and played that night game and then we’re here for 4 1/2 hours, go home, get home at 2 [a.m.] and then having to play two games [Thursday] and then a day game and then having to play another day game with another three-hour rain delay and then another day game [Sunday] after that. It’s tough, but we’re really young, so that helps us out.’’

—Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan, on the difficult schedule his team has had to play due to rain delays and a protested game against the Giants (Brian Sandalow, Chicago Sun-Times)

"Dugout life you've got to be on your game all the time because the manager's down there. In the bullpen, we can get away with a little bit more. We don't have to wear hats sometimes. It gets boring down there sometimes. You have to find things to keep yourself entertained. We know what we have to do when the phone rings."

—Brewers relief pitcher Will Smith, on the experience of being in the bullpen daily (Michael Hunt, Journal Sentinel)

“I've been around Vogty for awhile now and he never ceases to amaze me with the funny things he does. Just when you think the tank is empty with the things he could possibly bring out, he still has something left in there. He can also swing the shillelagh a little bit too. I could bring out names of all the people he can imitate but no one would know them, like Tampa's farm director. It's pretty good.”

—A’s catcher John Jaso, on teammate Stephen Vogt (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)

“Not right now. We’ve talked about it in the past. We feel like he thinks moving forward in his career, he’s a third baseman. I think he likes to just make everybody raise their eyebrows. No real talk about it.”

—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, on the potential for Hanley Ramirez to play third base (Steve Dilbeck, Los Angeles Times)

“Guys have to learn to pitch a third or fourth time through the lineup, deep in the game. In the seventh inning, with 103 pitches, and figure out how to get through the lineup one more time in a one-run ballgame. You don’t ever learn how to pitch in a 2-1 game in the seventh inning, it just doesn’t happen. I understand the caution involved and the dollars involved and the concern about injuries and surgeries. I get all that. But I think the system is flawed, considering we still have a bunch of guys have surgery.”

—Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on pitch counts (George Sipple, Detroit Free Press)

"Honestly, when he first hit it I thought it was a routine pop fly to the second baseman and then the ball just kept going. It seemed like the pitch was at his neck. He's special, that's all I can say."

—Nationals outfielder Denard Span, on a first inning home run hit by Hunter Pence on a high fastball from Jordan Zimmermann (Byron Kerr, MASN Sports)

"That's what guys like me -- speed guys -- we dream of, getting stolen bases like that in the ninth inning and helping your team win. That was probably my first meaningful bag in my career right there, where I actually stole and put us in a position to win."

—Nationals outfielder Denard Span, on stealing second before scoring the winning run on an error in a game against the Diamondbacks (David Popper and Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

"Let's make it clear here -- I think there's been a real gray area and I feel like I've been the one in the crosshairs -- I've been injured. I feel like this is something I've had hanging over me in the general population, the fans, I think it's a toughness, or playing through pain sort of thing, or playing hurt sort of thing. I've been injured. I played injured. I went on the DL because I'm injured. I'm trying to be un-injured now. So the second I'm capable of playing and I'm no longer injured, I'll be back on the field. In the meantime, you can assume I'm injured. I shouldn't get some sort of different treatment, as if this is -- I've noticed little comments here and there and just a general perception that this is something I elected to do. I didn't elect to be injured. I am injured. People get injured. I am injured. What can I do? At some point I'll be back playing like I was playing before."

—Reds first baseman Joey Votto, on concerns over the time he’s missed due to injury (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)

"Whenever you're in the game as a position player pitching, it's the worst possible scenario, because you're getting your butt kicked. Whenever you're out there, you want to make it as quick as you can, as quick as possible and not try to make it a circus by walking everybody or God forbid hit somebody and hurt somebody."

—Reds outfielder Skip Schumaker, on having to pitch an inning in a blowout against the Braves (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)

"I can't control what they do, the decisions they make. I just hope they were able to see what took place there. It just means there will be more times when that happens. And a chance someone else can get hurt, get the same injury I got, because there was nothing handled. It wouldn't surprise me if, God forbid, something like that happens again. It's upsetting [the lack of suspensions], but it's their choice. I'm just the one who happened to get hurt."

—Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, on no suspension being given out after he was hit by Diamondbacks pitcher Randall Delgado (Tom Singer, MLB.com)

"From the time I took off I knew I would get there. I thought about sliding on my back, but my inertia made me dive differently. From the time it left the bat I had the feeling I would get there. … This year, it was one of my best plays."

—Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, on an oustanding play he made on a popup hit by Justin Morneau (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel)

“He’s ridiculous. I mean, we expected him to be done yesterday, and for him to go an inning, then two innings, then come back last night…. He’s got a special arm, that’s for sure… When you’ve got a guy like him throwing 100 miles per hour every fastball, I mean, when you throw that hard, as a hitter you’ve got to sit on the fastball. And he’s got two other pitches to go along with it. So if he’s throwing strikes, he’s going to be unhittable.”

—Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, on Reds closer Aroldis Chapman (David O’Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"I tried [Justin Masterson's] grip, and I threw it in my last bullpen. As a staff, we liked it. We talked throughout the week how to use it. The key for me is to just throw it. It's a pitch that has to progress."

—Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller, on learning a new sinker from recently acquired starter Justin Masterson (Michael Radano, MLB.com)

"Basically he's found a solid delivery and repeatable delivery, and that way he can get his arm into the same place on each and every pitch, and so he can throw any pitch he wants in any count. Very seldom does a four-pitch pitcher have all four pitches working on a particular day. On those days, you're supposed to throw a shutout. The sky is the limit for Zack. An explosive fastball -- all four of his pitches are well above Major League average. If he gets them close to the plate, then he becomes a dominant pitcher."

—Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen, on pitcher Zack Wheeler (Tim Healy, MLB.com)

"I think what we do for branding and marketing, we do it every day, and we do it quietly. I think what you're seeing, in our opinion, is our brand is better. It's better because we're improved on the field, and that's what we've looked for. It's been hard to rally around the Marlins these last few years, and I understand that. We've talked about that with our fans, we understood. Now it's much easier. You're seeing fans react. You're seeing people are talking about the Marlins. We're in a position now in South Florida where we want to become the relevant team again. We feel as though we're on the way."

—Marlins team president David Samson, on the success the team has had this year (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

"I really wish I wouldn't have done that. It's stupid. It's not the bat's fault."

—Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee, on breaking a bat over his knee following a strikeout (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

"The infielders are put in awkward situations where they have limited experience on these plays and the speed of the game. I mean, you need to experience the speed of the game, how close you need to be to second, what you do to react to the ball. It can put you in uncomfortable positions."

—Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, on infielders having to play in unusual positions due to shifts (John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle)

"If sometime down the road he'll get out from behind the plate, I can't answer that. Right now, it's not [being] discussed. But I will say that it's nice to have options."

—Giants manager Bruce Bochy, on the possibility of moving Buster Posey from catcher permanently (Chris Haft and Teddy Cahill, MLB.com)

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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