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September 4, 2014

The Week in Quotes

August 25-September 1, 2014

by Nick Bacarella, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller


THE BO PORTER ERA COMES TO AN END IN HOUSTON

“It was a difficult decision and one I didn't come to lightly. This is not regarding wins and losses at the big-league level. I take responsibility for the roster, I take responsibility for our baseball operations, which includes the staff and the clubhouse… I felt strongly that we need a new direction for the next phase of where we are for the Houston Astros. I do believe we've made a lot of progress in the last couple of years and we're moving towards our goal of being consistently competitive. As I honestly evaluated our goals going forward, we needed a change in leadership in the clubhouse.”
—Astros general manager Jeff Lunhow, after relieving Bo Porter of his managerial duties. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)

“Oh, it was pretty exciting. I got (word) yesterday, last night. Jeff called and wanted to know if I wanted to take over the team for the last 30 days, and I said, ‘Sure!’ It’s what you work for. It’s what you stay in the game (for)—it’s why I’ve been in the game for 25 years. You just keep pounding the pavement and do your work, and someday, you get recognized for doing your work.”
—Interim manager Tom Lawless, who had been appointed interim manager for Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this year. (Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle)

“Between waiver claims and trades and demotions and call-ups, it seems like there’s a couple every week of the season and has been for years,” he said. “I’ve never seen anybody spin the roster like that, and it makes me think that unless you’re (Jose) Altuve, you have to feel uncomfortable, with bodies being talked this way and that like players on a chessboard. It would make me nervous, but I know Luhnow has a plan, because that’s all he ever says. But it is hard to decipher what it may be from the outside looking in.”
—Former Astros manager Larry Dierker, on Luhnow’s frequent moves. (David Barron, Houston Chronicle)

“It’s been a challenging summer. A lot of things happened not the way we scripted them.”
—Luhnow (Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle)

PHILLIES THROW COMBINED NO-HITTER

“It was a whole complete team effort. Most of the time when you see these sort of events it’s one or two people, a great play. This really took four outstanding pitchers to go out there, a good game called by Chooch (Carlos Ruiz) and some big plays in the outfield with Marlon (Byrd). It was a full team effort and I think we all can really enjoy it that much more for what it means and what it means for the organization.”
—Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, who began the combined no-hitter by pitching six innings with no hits, five walks, and a hit batter (Ryan Lawrence, Daily News)

“I think it’s a cool experience. It’s definitely been a rough go at it this year for our ballclub. (This is) something to hang our hat on for the year. Cole’s been our bona fide ace for the entire season and it’s good to preserve those wins for our starters. And today, it was preserving a no-hitter. It was just one of those games where anything can bloop in. Just like the (second) at-bat I had, I thought about catching that ball (a Chris Johnson grounder) and I let Jimmy (Rollins) take it, just little things like that. You got to have a little bit of luck to pull a no-hitter.”—Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who pitched the ninth inning (Thomas Stinson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

ADAM DUNN TRADED TO A’S AT WAIVER DEADLINE

“Look, we're trying to do whatever we can to get some offense going here. The guy has a history of hitting homers and getting on base. I know he's excited about being with us.”
—A’s manager Bob Melvin, referring to the team’s recent offensive struggles. The A’s are 12-16 since trading for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“I'm going to a place with a chance to not only get into the postseason but also have a legitimate chance to get a ring. Those chances don't come too often, so I'm very appreciative of the way it was handled and for [general manager] Rick [Hahn] and them to give me an opportunity to do it.”
—Dunn, who has never been to the postseason in his career. He is currently the active leader for most games played (1976) without a playoff appearance. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“Going back to right before the All-Star break, we have not been the same offensive team we were the first three months of the year. Not to say we can't get back to doing that, because there are still a lot of guys in this lineup that have the ability to get on base and drive in runs… We're pitching great. We need to support those guys. This is basically the same group that has played well and scored runs before. I don't think this is going to last a whole other month.”
—A’s assistant general manager David Forst, on the need to improve the offense. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“That's a lot of pressure that I want. It feels literally like Opening Day is tomorrow and it's going to be a completely new start for me.”
—Dunn. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)

“It’s tacky to talk about money like that. On this (Dunn) deal alone, we are sending them seven figures and we are saving seven figures on this deal. The other ones, we shed what was remaining of each of their salaries, so we freed up some cash here as well as the playing time, and added at least in the last couple of days three quality arms to our system.”
—White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, when asked how much money the team’s recent trades have saved. Hahn also sent outfielder Alejandro de Aza to the Orioles and second baseman Gordon Beckham to the Angels this past week. (Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune)

“This is probably going to be it … this is probably going to be it. This is an opportunity … I’ve been playing a long time and haven’t got this opportunity, so I’m going to try to make the most of it… I don’t think (I could be talked out of retirement) … kind of the way that everything’s gone down, and the family. I think you know when it’s time. I feel like now’s as good a time as any.”
—Dunn, when asked if the trade has changed his plans to retire at season’s end. (Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune)

THE REST

“I love watching him behind the plate—the little things he does all the time. He did a great job of controlling the tempo. A number of times he changed the course with Shelby right in midstream and helped him get back on track and really helped maximize his stuff. Shelby’s throwing a little different than last time Yadi saw him.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on Yadier Molina’s return to the team (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“It never really crossed my mind to retire, to give up and quit. If I was 38, it might be a little different. I'm only 29. So hopefully, I have my age working for me. We'll see. I'm going to give it a shot. It was saddening to hear the surgery failed. Looking at a third one is obviously not something you plan for. It is what it is. I've talked to my family and my agent and all the guys; I think it's something I want to do.”
—Braves pitcher Jonny Venters, on deciding to have a third Tommy John surgery on his elbow (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

“Actually, I'm a better baserunner, even though my numbers don't show it. I got caught less in the minor leagues, but that was just going and not knowing situations and not caring who was batting or what the situation was and just running. Now I'm starting to learn the game and I've got all these big guys behind and I don't have to steal on every pitch, they can drive the ball into the gap and score us. It's mainly about learning the situation now.”
—Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton, on stealing his 50th base of the season and being caught stealing for the 19th time (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“This is something we felt like we had to do more for next year. It's something that was a very difficult decision to make, but we have some guys coming up from the minor leagues on Tuesday and we feel that the guys we have that are coming, we won't be the same as having Broxton, but I think they can certainly cover the innings for the bullpen quite well. It's a tough decision, but we have to make some other decisions this offseason going into next year.”
—Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, on trading reliever Jonathan Broxton to the Brewers for two players to be named later (C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer)

“There is no answer to what my future is. If I say, 'I don't know,' then it's 'He's out.' If I say anything else, 'He's in.' That's the basis of it…It's not completely positive because of the past. There is no good. There is no bad. We're here. We're in a good spot. There's where we are now. There is no, 'Am I staying forever, am I leaving forever?' There is no answer to that.”
—Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, on his future as a Miami Marlin (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel)

“We’re just waiting for Bryant now.”
—Cubs infielder Javier Baez, referring to prospect Kris Bryant after Jorge Soler hit two home runs in his major league debut (Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times)

“The worst part about it was you get so close the first time and blow out again and all of a sudden it's another year plus. That's kind of hard to explain how frustrating that was. Hopefully, if I get in one of these games, it'll be all worth it. I'll be able to just put it behind me and not worry about it again.”
—Arizona pitcher Daniel Hudson, who was reinstated from the disabled list after undergoing two Tommy John surgery. Hudson hasn’t pitched since June 2012, when he suffered his first torn UCL. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)

“I’ve got a bunch of guys I can mix and match with. But I’ll tell you: Whoever gets hot is going to play.”
—Royals manager Ned Yost, after Eric Hosmer returned from the disabled list. The team now has four options between first base and designated hitter: Hosmer, Billy Butler, Raul Ibanez, and Josh Willingham. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“I just think he's getting stronger. His hand's getting stronger, which allows him to stay back and calm his down a little bit. I think we've seen that over the past couple of weeks. He swung the bat good today.”
—Nationals manager Matt Williams, on Bryce Harper hitting two home runs against the Mariners on Sunday (Pete Kerzel, MASN Sports)

“It's good that he felt better today, but until he's completely pain-free, we won't do anything with him.”
—Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on Anibal Sanchez’s outlook in September. (Brian Dulik, MLB.com)

“If we’d known that, we should have started him. That was a great finish to the game after a couple innings from me that didn’t go so well.”
—Cardinals starter Justin Masterson, on Tyler Lyons pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings after Masterson gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings (Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“He’s done a remarkable job. We know that we’re not always going to be successful with these types of moves, but these are the ones we’re going to have to look at every year.”
—Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, on pitcher Edison Volquez, who signed with the Pirates as a free agent this past offseason (Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“We won, that's the most important thing right now. What I did was fine, but we won, so that makes it even better.”
—Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who hit two home runs off of Corey Kluber in Sunday’s rout of the Indians. (Brian Dulik, MLB.com)

“I want to be a little bit cautious. I haven’t been throwing for a couple of weeks and then I started throwing again and built up the number of pitches that I’ve been throwing. I think that’s the reason why there’s a little bit of extra soreness in the arm itself.”
—Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who reported feeling more soreness than normal after throwing 49 pitches in a simulated game. Tanaka was shut down and sent back to New York for further evaluation. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

“There’s no specific number of ABs. It’s a matter of just playing, and the goal from the beginning for me is to play in the big leagues this year.”
—Red Sox minor-league outfielder Rusney Castillo, when asked how long it will take for his game to be major-league ready. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)



Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Nick's other articles. You can contact Nick 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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