September 22, 2014
The Week in Quotes
September 16-22, 2014
GARZA TOSSED FOR PLUNKING MCCUTCHEN TWICE
“If people think I hit McCutchen on purpose, with a 1-2 count in a game like this, then you're just an idiot, okay? Because a game like this, a starter doesn't go after a guy like that. It's a [1-2] count and I'm trying to pitch inside. Guy leans in, it hits him on the elbow, that's my day. So it is what it is, and I'm happy we pulled it out.”
—Brewers pitcher Matt Garza, on being ejected for hitting Andrew McCutchen for the second time in a close game against the Pirates (Tom Singer, MLB.com)
“I tried to plead my case to the umpire, and he just told me, 'In this type of situation, my hands are tied.' I said, 'Come on, you know it.' He said, 'Yeah, I know it,' and all three umpires there were like, 'You've got to understand the situation.' I was like, 'What? It's a playoff atmosphere situation. Of course, everybody's on the edge of their seats right now.' It is what it is.”
—Garza, on being ejected.
“Andrew McCutchen got hit twice with two outs if I’m not mistaken. That’s our best player, and when he keeps getting shots taken at him, something needs to be done about it. You see some of the suspensions when issued by the league and then you see some things where guys have hit Andrew and nothing has happened to them, and it makes you scratch your head. We get that our hit-by-pitch numbers are high, I probably should take a look at this, I can’t tell you how many guys we’ve hit with breaking balls. Yes, our hit-by-pitch numbers are high, and we’ve had other allude that our hit-by-pitch numbers are high, we hit a lot of guys with breaking balls back foot. It seems like our guys get dotted up with fastballs in the ribs, and those tend to have more intent behind them.”
—Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, who spoke on 93.7 The Fan about Milwaukee’s outrage over Garza being ejected from Saturday’s game after hitting McCutchen twice. (CBS Pittsburgh)
“I personally had a bigger issue with, and again I don’t want to call the pitcher out, when you throw behind somebody’s head and don’t get a warning or get ejected. That to me is just foolish because there’s pure intent . When you run a ball in on somebody, there’s at least a grey area. When you throw a ball behind somebody’s head, it’s just idiotic, it’s foolish, and to me, it’s kind of a cop out. I didn’t really want to hit him, but I wanted to send a warning so I’m going to throw a ball two feet behind his head and show the world that I’m a tough guy. Those are the ones that I have more of a problem with.”
—Huntington, who admitted that he didn’t believe that Garza intentionally hit McCutchen, but did have issues with the way some teams go about throwing at players.
CONTROVERSIAL PLAY IN KANSAS CITY SPARKS CONFUSION OVER REPLAY
“Ausmus comes out and wants to challenge the play, that he didn't tag up. And I said, 'OK, I'm like 90 percent that retagging on a line drive or a fly ball is not a reviewable play.' And he said, 'Well, what's the difference between missing a base and tagging up? It's the same thing.' I said, 'Well, I see your point, but my understanding, the rules state tagging up, you can't review that.' And he says, 'Well, can you check? Can you check and make sure? Because the guy didn't tag up.”
—Larry Vanover, the crew chief for Saturday’s game between the Tigers and Royals, on a play in the sixth inning in which Salvador Perez was originally ruled safe at home after tagging up on an infield line drive. Replays showed that Perez had not tagged up on the play, but the call on the field was overturned after the umpires reconvened. (Jackson Alexander, MLB.com)
“I was at the end of the dugout, so I could see the third baseman and second base. I was looking at the play at second and when I saw that Suarez missed the ball, I saw Perez, he didn't go back to the base. When that happened, I ran to Omar Vizquel and told him to appeal at third base.”
—Tigers infielder Hernan Perez, who noticed that Perez had not gone back to touch third base. (Chris Iott, MLive.com)
“I ran out and said, 'What's the basis for this?' And he just said it's the umpire's judgment that he did not tag. I said, 'Well, which umpire? I want to know which umpire's judgment it was that said he didn't tag because obviously you got it wrong, you didn't see it. You called him safe.' He said, 'That's our judgment.'”
—Royals manager Ned Yost, who argued his case with the umpires after the original call was overturned.
"I don't envy the umpires' position there, because if it's not challengeable, 45,000 people know what the right call is, including all the umpires and both teams. It's not an enviable position to be in, but ultimately, the goal is to get the call right. And they got the call right."
—Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.
“The challenge is that average pitching staff can become below average in a hurry. I think a below-average pitching staff and an above-average offense isn’t going to work. But I do think the team that is probably average in run prevention—and really hits the ball in this day and age—probably does work. It’s a hard needle to thread, because if you try to go for average, and you end up on the other side of that—the wrong side of that—it’s not a lot of fun to watch.”
—Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer, on the difficulty of winning with an average pitching staff (Patrick Mooney, CSN Chicago)
“The experts I've come across, I talked to them a while ago. I said 'So where I'm at right now, ... how many people have you ever had with a hip in this situation? How much more can I push through without having the operation?' They said, 'Well, nobody. You should have had the operation two months ago the way this thing has progressed.'”
—Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on spending the entire season with an injured hip (Stephen Pianovich, MLB.com)
"Everyone had their hands on their heads. It happens; it just happened to be in a crucial part of the game in a crucial game we needed to win. I feel bad about it. I messed up."
—Brewers first baseman Mark Reynolds, on forgetting the number of outs in the inning in a loss to the Cardinals (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com)
"In left, if there's a base hit, he can calmly go after it; he can go at 80 percent, make the play, throw the ball in and do the things he needs to do. At first, he probably can anticipate a little more, especially with a right-handed hitter, just going to his left to cover the bag. Those things are part of the rehab process. Third base is a little more difficult because you just don't know. So I think we'll have to get him there at some point, but it may be later this coming week."
—Nationals manager Matt Williams, on where Ryan Zimmerman will play in his return from a hamstring injury (Pete Kerzel, MASN Sports)
"It was a lot of fun. It was one of the things I was looking forward to last year when I got here. Normally, you don't have to do more than one time, but with me, they told me I was going to have to do it again. It was fun. It's something we all enjoy. We take pride in it. If you're a rookie, it's a good thing. That means you're in the major leagues."
—Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton, on dressing up as “Rainbow Dash” for a rookie ritual (John Fay, Cincinnati Enquirer)
"He obviously was hopeful he could come back and help this club down the stretch. There's been tremendous progress, but there was still some swelling and the multiple fractures, there just wasn't enough time. Ultimately, he understands he has a long future ahead of him. As much as we all would have loved to have him back, we just ran out of schedule. He told me he can open his mouth 60 percent now. The slices of the food he has to cut, they're in halves now. They were in quarters a few days ago."
—Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill, on shutting down Giancarlo Stanton for the season (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel)
“I thought it was great. He looked the same. As far as the difference between today and what he did early on, (it) was nothing.”
—Yankees catcher Brian McCann, on Masahiro Tanaka’s first start after returning from an elbow injury that sidelined him for 75 days. (Roger Rubin, New York Daily News)
“Ever since I was a little kid, that's what you prepare for, whether it's basketball, trying to hit a game-winning shot; football, making the catch; baseball, getting the game-winning hit. Ever since I was a kid, that's just the moment I've always wanted to be in.”
—A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson, after hitting his third walk-off home run of the season to defeat the Phillies on Sunday. The A’s remain atop the AL wild card standings heading into the season’s final days. (Aaron Leibowitz, MLB.com)
“It's nice. But at the same time, we're in the middle of a race with nine games to go. It feels nice — helping the team somehow.”
—Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, when asked how this season compares to those in the past. Martinez is second in the AL in batting average, first in OBP, second in SLG, and has also struck out at the lowest rate in the league. (John Lowe, Detroit Free Press)
“I know they weren't going to let me go over 200 [innings]. So I guess this is probably it. Pretty good for an average season, huh? I had to put that one in there.”
—Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel, after holding the Mariners to one run in eight innings on Saturday. Earlier in the season, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon had called Keuchel an “average” pitcher. Barring another start, Keuchel will finish the season with a 2.93 ERA and 146 strikeouts in exactly 200 innings. (Greg Johns, MLB.com)
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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