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October 27, 2014

The Week in Quotes

October 20th-26th, 2014

by Nick Bacarella, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller

OSCAR TAVERAS DIES IN CAR ACCIDENT

“We are all stunned and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of the youngest members of the Cardinals family. Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.”
—Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. (Jesse Sanchez, MLB.com)

“I first met Oscar when he was 16 years old and will forever remember him as a wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest.”
—Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak (Jesse Sanchez, MLB.com)

“All of us throughout Major League Baseball are in mourning… shocked by the heartbreaking news of the accident involving Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend. Oscar, a young member of the baseball family, was full of promise and at the dawn of a wonderful career in our game, evident in his game-tying home run against the Giants exactly two weeks ago. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of both individuals, as well as to Oscar’s teammates and the entire Cardinals organization.”
—MLB Commissioner Bud Selig (Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

JOE MADDON OPTS OUT OF CONTRACT, LEAVES TAMPA

"I have been doing this for a long time. I have never had this opportunity to research my employment on my terms. Never, never, never. I mean never. And I think anybody given the same set of circumstances would do the same thing."
—Joe Maddon, on opting out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays and going out on the open market (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)

"Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out in his current contract, a contract which was not scheduled to expire until after the 2015 season. We tried diligently and aggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision. As of yesterday afternoon, Joe enabled himself to explore opportunities throughout Major League Baseball. He will not be managing the Rays in 2015. Joe has been our manager for nine seasons, and the foundation of success laid during his tenure endures. We thank him for all that he's meant to the organization."
—Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, on Maddon’s departure (USA Today Sports)

“Just knowing that Andrew left, I had a feeling that either this year or the end of next year, Joe wouldn’t be back. Joe and Andrew have been here for a long time. They’re the only thing that I know. It’s not necessarily the end of the world for anybody that they left… I have hope and faith in the Rays organization, Matt Silverman… all the way up. I have faith that they’ll make the right choice, because up to this point, they’ve done that.”
—Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer, on Maddon leaving shortly after general manager Andrew Friedman took a job with the Los Angeles Dodgers (Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times)

"As I said last week, Joe and I enjoyed a tremendous relationship working together in Tampa Bay, and I wish him nothing but the best, wherever his next stop will be. However, nothing has changed on our end. Don Mattingly will be our manager next season and hopefully for a long time to come."
—Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, on the possibility of replacing current Dodgers manager Don Mattingly with Maddon (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)

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“I'd be less than honest if I didn't tell you, of course, it's one of the manifestations. It's a wonderful story, and we've had a lot of other ones. Sitting at home watching it, I had tears in my eyes. You've all heard me say how much I believe in the hope and faith theory. And I do believe that. So the fact that Kansas City is in the World Series, of course, makes me feel good. No system is perfect, but it's what we set out to do, and it's worked.”
—Bud Selig, on the Royals making the World Series, a testament to his focus on competitive balance in MLB (Paul Hagen, MLB.com)

“Oh man, somewhere inside of me, secretly I had hoped that it would go seven games, for the excitement and the thrill of it. Sure looks that way.”
—Royals manager Ned Yost, after his club’s 11-4 loss to the Giants in game four. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“That’s still funny to me. I still don’t really believe him. I need to look at the film, because I’m not sure I buy it. He says he was skinny.”
—Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, on teammate Michael Morse debuting at shortstop with the Mariners in 2005. (Alex Pavlovic, San Jose Mercury News)

“Gore, he’s at 91 percent. You just go, huh? He’s just outrunning the baseball. So what you do is try and expose him to some of the things he will see here because of the experience. It was fail-fail-fail. At the beginning, he was asking, ‘am I ever going to get this?’ At his experience level, he’s never been exposed to some of the things they do at this level. When you get a (Class) A ball guy here, the process of learning has to speed up tremendously.”
—Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz, on helping Terrance Gore become a better baserunner (Pete Grathoff, Kansas City Star)

“It's something we talked about. They put a shift on you, and they're going to give you the bunt, take it. He was working on it. It's the first one he's gotten down. He laid a beauty down there.”
—Giants manager Bruce Bochy, on Brandon Belt’s bunt to beat the shift in the second inning of Sunday’s game. (Chris Haft, MLB.com)

“At that time, in that situation, it’s really disappointing. You just got to a point where you go, ‘What’s the priority here? Is this just three hours out of your time, spent away from what you’re actually being interested in? ‘We’ve got to find a way to get this changed, so that the priority is the game, and all this other stuff is secondary.’”
—Kuntz, on the club’s excessive use of the iPhone game, Clash of Clans, earlier this season. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“You can tell he watched a lot of videos of me because I wasn’t afraid to throw the ball, either. When you’re not afraid to do that, you’re going to play the game for a long time. That’s good to see from a young catcher.”
Ivan Rodriguez, on Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez’s fearlessness to throw to any base to pick off a runner. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)

“We’ve got to walk the tightrope without a net. But our guys aren’t afraid of walking the tightrope without a net. We fall off and we’re dead. But we win Tuesday, and nobody’s got a net.”
—Yost, after Sunday’s 5-0 loss dropped his club to a 3-2 series deficit. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)

“Just understanding situations a little better, understanding who's on the mound, understanding who's behind me, who's on base. It's just realizing what's going on in the game a little more and learning the game a little more.”
—Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, on the improvements he made to his offensive approach prior to this season. Stanton finished second in the NL in OBP on his way to winning the Hank Aaron Award for best offensive player in the league. (Steve Gardner, USA Today)

“I don't think that anybody can really give him enough praise for all of the things he has done for baseball. I am just so happy that I got to be his friend. And I know he's going to leave it in good hands. … I know baseball is going to continue to grow in the way that all of us think baseball should grow.”
—Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, on Commissioner Bud Selig’s contributions to the game of baseball. (Steve Gardner, USA Today)

“The weirder the team, the better the team, usually. We've got a lot of weird stuff that goes on in here.”
—Royals designated hitter Raul Ibanez, on catcher Salvador Perez, who wears perfume during games. (ESPN.com)

Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins are two of baseball's great ambassadors and have long distinguished themselves as leaders both on the field and in their communities. Their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children is a wonderful reflection of the legacy the legendary Roberto Clemente has left on our game and in society. Major League Baseball is proud to honor Jimmy and Paul, two veteran standouts who have represented the National Pastime with excellence, with our game's most prestigious recognition.”
—MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, presenting the Roberto Clemente award for public service to Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins. (Matt Synder, CBSSports.com)

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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