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August 25, 2014
The Week in Quotes
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.”
“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."
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."
"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."
“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.”
“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.”
‘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.’’
"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."
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
“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.”
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Nick Wheatley-Schaller is an author of Baseball Prospectus. Follow @neastws