September 15, 2014
The Week in Quotes
EMOTIONS RUN HIGH IN WAKE OF STANTON INJURY
“He hit a guy in the mouth, number one. After he hit Reed in the hand, he looks in our dugout, throws his hands up in the air like 'Hey, why are you guys mad?' You just knocked out our best player, hit him in the mouth, and then you just hit another guy in the hand. What are we supposed to do? What type of reaction do you think we're trying to give you?”
—Marlins manager Mike Redmond, on the benches clearing after Brewers pitcher hit Giancarlo Stanton in the face with a fastball and then plunked Reed Johnson on the very next pitch. Stanton suffered facial fractures, dental damage and a laceration that required stitches, and was taken off the field in an ambulance. (Clark Spencer, Miami Herald)
“It was up around my face as well. I think that's why you started getting some chirping from our dugout. He was up around everybody's hands and face the whole night. I think that's why kind of the frustration set in at that point. It's one of those things where we're not saying you can't pitch in. There were a lot of balls up around guys' faces tonight, and one of them gets our big boy, so that's tough for us.”
“We’re not saying you can’t pitch in. He’s a guy that uses his fastball up effectively. He gets guys to swing under his fastball upstairs. But when you’re trying to pound a guy in and then you have a tendency to miss up a lot, it’s just a bad combination. And there were kind of a lot of balls up around guys’ faces tonight.”
—Johnson. (Craig Davis, Sun Sentinel)
“It’s very tough. I’ve never in my life experienced anything like that. It was very hard for me to take in everything at the moment and come back and throw another pitch. I just want to send my thoughts and prayers to Giancarlo Stanton. I would never think of throwing at somebody like that. Never in my life has something like that happened. I’m very sad that it hit them. I’m very sorry to their teammates, their fans, his family. It’s just tough.”
—Fiers, on hitting Stanton in the face. (Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal)
“A lot of tempers were flaring. For them to think that it was intentional is beyond me, and something I would never do. It was heat-of-the-moment stuff. I just want to make sure that Stanton's okay. I understand their feelings and everything they were thinking. They've got to respect their teammate and back him up.”
—Fiers, on Miami’s reaction to the incident.
“It is going to be tough. Like I said, I’ve never been in this situation. I have to figure out something to kind of calm myself down and get back to just playing baseball,” he said. “We’re trying to win games here. We’re not trying to hurt anybody. We’re not going after anybody. One pitch got away and ended up hitting him in the face, and I feel terrible.”
—Fiers, on the emotional challenges he’ll have to face going forward.
PLAYOFF RACES GEAR UP FOR FINAL WEEKS
“You never expect to lose three out of four, especially this late in the season when time's winding down. But it's nothing that this team hasn't been through before. We can bounce back from this. There's still time left. ... Two weeks doesn't seem like a long time, but it really is in baseball.”
—Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, after his team dropped three of four games to the Red Sox over the weekend. As of Monday morning, the Royals are 1 1/2 games back of the Tigers for the division lead. (Dick Kaegel, MLB.com)
“It feels like a first-place team—bounced around just a little bit now, and you just kind of get a feel that it’s meant to be. Things find a way to happen; you find a way to win rather than ways to lose. It’s been pretty cool. I haven’t been here long, but I’ve seen some things I haven’t seen before.”
—Orioles utility man Kelly Johnson, after the Orioles won in walkoff fashion against the Yankees Sunday night. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)
“It would be nice to clinch it up and get all the regulars a day off. Guys have been playing a lot here. It will give everybody a day just to relax. The sooner the better. Things are kind of clicking on all cylinders. We are playing well, we have good energy, we have good life to us. Guys have really come into their own and are performing the way they can. It makes for fun baseball -- especially this time of the year.”
—Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth. The team currently sits 10 1/2 games ahead of the second place Braves and has a magic number of three. (Bill Ladson, MLB.com)
“We call him the big train because he just keeps coming. Even though Posey hit a couple of balls and squared him up, we knew he was going to be on the attack.”
—Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, after Clayton Kershaw won his league-leading 19th game to give the Dodgers a three-game lead in the division. (Jorge L. Ortiz, USAToday)
“This is where it should come down to. It's there for us if we play good baseball, and the other teams, I'm sure feel the same way. It's good that we're playing in our division, which I've said before is what it should be like.”
—Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, whose team is set to head out on a nine-game road trip against the Cardinals, Pirates, and Reds. The Brewers sit 1 1/2 games behind the second wild card spot. (Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
MEJIA-STOMP RUBS NATIONALS THE WRONG WAY
“I just go out there and it’s like adrenaline. I just do what comes naturally. I just struck him out, and I did something to finish the game.”
—Mets closer Jenrry Mejia, on his flamboyant post-save celebrations. After Friday’s win against the Nationals, Mejia cast an imaginary fishing line in the direction of Ian Desmond and reeled him in before his trademark stomp. (Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com)
“Hey man, that wasn’t called for. No need for that. But hey, let them do what they want to do. We’ll do what we do and just play hard and leave it on the field.”
—Nationals outfielder Denard Span, on Mejia’s celebration after Friday’s game. (Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)
“I honestly didn’t see it. He’s been doing it all year, since he’s been a closer, whatever it is he’s doing. The old minor league saying: If you don’t like it, play better.”
—Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond.
“Certainly our job here is not to embarrass anybody. They get emotional, they get excited and they become reactionary. It’s certainly not directed at anybody, or to offend anybody on either team. He was a little over the top last night. He’s going to tone it down.”
—Mets manager Terry Collins, on Jenrry Mejia’s latest post-game celebration. (Ken Davidoff, New York Post)
“This game, you gotta enjoy it. But I tell you, if they say something wrong – bad word or something like it – then you’re going to be mad. I don’t say nothing to anybody. If they get a home run to me to win the game, break me. That’s your job. If you got me, you do the hit, home run, celebration. It’s over.”
—Mejia, on criticism about his over-the-top celebrations. (Mike Vorkunov, The Star-Ledger)
“I walked in and saw it, and they’d spelled my name 'Billey’ and 'Burnes.’ And I said to Eric Sogard, 'Look! They spelled my name wrong and my name is right on my locker! I was so flustered, I didn’t notice all the other things written on the sides of it, so I went and took a shower and I was telling guys, 'Yeah, they messed with my ball! My mom’s going to be upset about that.’ I went back and read the other stuff and it said, 'Shortstop trips and he was able to beat out a single,’ so I realized okay, that’s not real. They got me. I definitely believed it.”
—Athletics rookie outfielder Billy Burns, on his teammates tricking him into thinking that his name had been spelled incorrectly on the baseball that he had hit for his first career base knock. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)
“Definitely a tipping point in the game for us [Sunday]. Helped Edinson out, helped us out. Any time you turn a triple play I think you’re going to feel an instant boost of energy. You just don’t see them. It’s an exciting play. It was crisp. It was fun. I think that’s one of the things you’ve got to continue to find ways to do even when the score’s not your way. You’ve got to pour some fun over everything you do.”
—Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on his defense turning a 5-4-3 triple play against the Cubs (Jenn Menendez, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"As you well know, it's been documented this has been a miserable season for me, offensively. And really, defensively, too. I'm not getting as good of jumps as I need to get and my first step isn't as strong. But I feel like if I'm healthy enough to get out there and play, then I need to be doing that. This is a team, it's not only one guy. And I felt like me being in the lineup and being in the field can help the team. So, no, I don't have any regrets."
—Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, on returning to the lineup following knee surgery despite not having fully recovered (Manny Randhawa, MLB.com)
"I said, 'Wait, that ball is going to be far away and ugly.' That's what we say in the Dominican [Republic]... That ball is going out of any park. I hit it on the barrel really good."
—Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, on hitting his 20th home run of the season (Craig Davis, Sun Sentinel)
"I haven't seen him enough at first. Think he had 25 games, something like that, at Lehigh Valley. So he's had more work at third than first. So I wouldn't know, but I know that he's a glove guy, he's defensive-minded, he's got real good hands and he's got real good feet. So things are the makings of a real good infielder. What I do notice is at third, he has the ability to, the tougher the play is, the softer that he gets. And that's all instincts. That's all natural. So he's able to either smother the ball, knock it down, stay relaxed, get the out and retreat on a ball to get the right hop. That's all footwork."
—Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, on Maikel Franco’s infield defense (Erik Bacharach, MLB.com)
“It was a little loose for a while but I understand where the league is trying to go. The intent was to lessen the risk and lessen the injuries from collision. I understand they are trying to clean up what that exactly looks like and differentiate from how it’s going to be the rule from now on. It’s going to take time to see how it’s enforced.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on MLB’s recent attempts to clarify the new catcher collision rule (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“He said to me, ‘I think I just cost you a couple of runs there.’ It's really one of those ‘what can you do?’ things. It's just something that happens sometimes. He wasn't trying to be in the way. The pitches just found him.”
—A’s first baseman Brandon Moss, referring to umpire Mike Muchlinski’s comments after two potential wild pitches thrown by Fernando Rodney hit Muchlinski in the legs. A’s outfielder Coco Crisp was on third base at the time, and could have scored had the balls gotten by Muchlinski. (John Hickey, San Jose Mercury News)
"I was surprised because I didn't think I did anything wrong. I was surprised they threw me out of the game. That was a two-seam fastball that moved inside to him. I was trying to pitch him inside. If it would have been a four-seam, it would have been a different story."
—Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon, on being ejected for hitting Jayson Werth with a pitch immediately after allowing a home run to Anthony Rendon (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)
"We've got to put our personal stuff aside, especially this late in the season, and just try to get wins. As players, we've just got to do our job when we can and if he takes the ball from us, he takes the ball from us. I don't think he has any problem with the way I was throwing the ball. I mean, he shouldn't. But it is what it is."
—Nationals pitcher Tyler Clippard, on being removed from the game in the middle of the eighth inning (Dan Kolko, MASN Sports)
“All my respect goes to Ron Kittle for having had the rookie year he had. Now that we share a record, I'm really proud of the accomplishment.”
—Jose Abreu, who tied Ron Kittle for the White Sox single-season rookie record in home runs on Sunday, hitting his 35th of the year. (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)
“Hey. I'm sorry to put you in this situation.”
—Giants manager Bruce Bochy, during a pitching change in which Bochy brought his son, Brett, into the game for his major-league debut. When Brett Bochy entered the game in the sixth inning, the Giants were down 14-0 to the Dodgers. (Tim Brown, Yahoo Sports)
Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Chris Mosch is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Nick Wheatley-Schaller is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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