September 30, 2014
The Week in Quotes
JORDAN ZIMMERMANN PITCHES FIRST NO-HITTER IN NATIONALS HISTORY
"He saved me. All those guys behind me today, the fifth inning I had three rockets off the bat and right at guys. That's when I knew it might be something special happening. I don't think anyone in the stadium expected Souza to get to that and somehow he turned it up another gear and got there."
"Even when I first got called up I thought there was no way this would happen. My career numbers are like one hit per inning so I figured if I can make it out of the first a hit is coming in the second. Today was one of those special days. Actually, I was joking with Jerry Blevins today and I said, 'Well, if I go nine innings I'm going to be pretty mad stuck on 199 2/3.’ But I guess I'm pretty happy."
"We hit some balls hard today, but they just found some people. That's what you need to have a no-hitter happen. He's a great pitcher, with great stuff. You combine that with getting some balls hit at some people, and it has a chance to be a special day. Credit him for making those pitches at the end. That's tough to do, and he did it."
DEREK JETER BIDS FAREWELL
“It's just another game. I'm trying not to think about it. We still have a week left, so we're trying to win games. I'm going to go out there and play hard like I've always done my entire career until we're outta here. Can't help but think about it because you guys ask about it every day and I hear it from the fans, players, managers, coaches, but when we're playing the games, I'm trying to help us win… Obviously, this year up until this point hasn't turned out how I would like it to, but you've got to keep fighting, you've got to keep battling, and regardless of how you've done, you get to come to the field and have a chance to help the team win.”
“That's why you never plan too much.”
“I knew that was my last at-bat. I was trying to get a hit. I was just happy I ended my career with a hit . . . I gave everything I had physically and everything I had mentally. Now it’s time to step back.’’
“I’m not even tired, and I haven’t slept in 28 hours. There’s just something about being here. I’m hurting for money right now, but I love history, and this is history. You have to take advantage of a chance like this. To see Derek Jeter play his last game, you can’t put a price on that.”
"There isn't a thing that I would change. It's easy to say, 'Yeah, I would change; we'd be in the playoffs' or 'I would change that we'd have won more championships.' But I wouldn't change it because this is what I wanted to do.”
ROYALS BREAK PLAYOFF DROUGHT
“It will be nuts, absolutely nuts. People have been waiting a long time for this day… Now, we're giving them something to cheer about. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.”
"People are going crazy here,'' Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson says. "I've never been a part of anything like this. They've been waiting a long time to party.''
“It's nice to see the city not embarrassed about the baseball team anymore. There are a lot of long-suffering fans here, so people went pretty crazy all over the city Friday when they clinched. Really, the place exploded … The younger generation was into it a lot more than I thought they would be, but they probably listened to their parents complain about the team for so long, they had pent-up frustration too.”
“Really, that's what you're looking for, that's what you dream of, winning that game in front of your own fans. Any clinch is great, like it was in Chicago, but you don't dream about that. You grow up as a kid dreaming of winning at home, with every seat filled, getting that adrenaline kick.”
PAUL KONERKO CLOSES DOOR ON ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER
“I haven’t swung the bat well for me since probably 2011. Even 2012, when I got off well in the beginning, that wasn’t the way I swing the bat … But you gotta be good, you gotta have your act together, and it was a gentle reminder that you don’t always get what you want.
“How could it not be retired? Of course it will be retired.”
“I saw people crying out there. That’s crazy, just because I play a game. But I get it. It’s something you do for closure for them as well.’’
“Oh, he’s worthy of a statue.”
“It was my time. I walk away with no what-ifs.’’
Everyone looooooves a walkoff.
David Price (@DAVIDprice14) September 26, 2014
Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) September 26, 2014
"That's Pirates baseball. We don't go away. Gritty, hard ... frustrating at times. At the low points, we talked about how much sweeter it will be at the finish. And it is."
“I don’t think there is anything that I can just come up with that I need to do better. There are things, without a doubt, but they’re little things here and there that you listen and you think about, that maybe you can do better. But when we’re thinking about trying to figure out what happened in the season in the end, we’ve talked about everything, and I can’t give an answer on what happened. Like I told you guys yesterday, you can point to what happened, but the ‘why’ is what we really need to figure out.”
"I try not to think about hitting doubles. It's like trying to hit homers. When you try to do it, it's not going to happen. You've got to go up there and try to hit the ball hard. I can't do that; I'm not good enough. I have to react and try to hit the ball hard. It just worked out."
"I have 107 pitches, there's a man on third. I mean, I don't understand why he trots me out. At the same time, I'm really happy and I'm happy he's confident in me and I went on to get my lead. That's what I don't understan —he could have brought in a pinch hitter, but he believed in me."
"Special, special. The way I wanted to end it -- on the field. Thanks to all the fans for the ovation over there and my teammates, they're a part of that. It was nice. I don't think it could be better than that."
"It was quite funny after the fact. I'm actually glad I didn't see it while they were doing it because I might have laughed myself out there on the mound."
“It’s a different feeling. I don’t like it. Hopefully we don’t get very many more years like this. … It’s the worst feeling in the world and it will be on Sunday. You kind of prepare yourself because Sunday is the last day and no matter how we are going—losing or winning five in a row—you’ve always got tomorrow. On Sunday, there is no more tomorrow. That’s all we got. For me, that takes a little while to get past that.”
“Everybody knows that I came in riding the coattails of what these guys did for five months. They did the work. But it feels great to have contributed some and finally to have gotten to October. That's a big weight off my shoulders.”
Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus.