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November 17, 2014

The Week in Quotes

November 10-16, 2014

by Nick Bacarella, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller

KERSHAW AND TROUT NAMED MVPs

“I’m just shocked. It’s an amazing night for me. Individual awards aren’t why you play the game, but I definitely don’t take it lightly, this honor, especially getting to be a pitcher and winning the M.V.P. It’s pretty awesome.”
Clayton Kershaw, who was also awarded the NL Cy Young. Kershaw is the first to win both awards since Bob Gibson in 1968. (Tyler Kepner, New York Times)

“As a player, Clayton is never satisfied. He’s tried to get better every year, and if he gets better after the year he just had, I’d like to apply for next year’s job of presenting this to him again.”
Sandy Koufax, reflecting on Kershaw’s accomplishments.

“If you would have told me this before the season started, I would have laughed at you. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”
Mike Trout, who finished second in the MVP race in both 2012 and 2013.

“When I had my chance to run, I wanted to run. But the power was definitely up. It’s the hard work you put in in the off-season. Getting a little older and getting a little stronger definitely helps.”
—Trout, on the gradual evolution of his game. Trout’s stolen base numbers have fallen since his first full season, but his power indicators (SLG, ISO, etc.) have all climbed.

“Our team’s record when I was pitching is really a huge indicator of how good our team was; I think I’ll remember that, honestly. Win-loss record for a pitcher, it’s really tough to be subjective on that. But I think it says something about our team when we go whatever it was when I was on the mound. That means we had an awesome team and I was lucky to be a part of it.”
—Kershaw, acknowledging the contributions of his teammates to his individual 21-3 record.

ALLEGATIONS OF TAMPERING LEVIED AGAINST BORAS

“I have never talked to Tony Bosch. I have never been to his office or conducted any meetings with him.”
—Agent Scott Boras, who was accused by Tony Bosch (in a report initially published by Newsday) of crafting an elaborate story to protect Manny Ramirez from punishment for banned substances in back in 2009. Bosch claims that Boras coerced him into fabricating medical records in order to explain Ramirez’s transgressions. (Teri Thompson, Christian Red, and Michael O’Keefe, New York Daily News)

“We received notice of a positive drug test for Manny Ramirez. It was while investigating that matter we learned about Tony Bosch for the first time. We were told he was a doctor treating Ramirez. One of our staff attorneys reached out to Bosch to obtain his medical records, like we would with any doctor.”
—Boras, on the extent of his involvement with Bosch.

“I was not personally called or emailed about these allegations. Newsday chose to publish this story without any direct communication or contact with me.”
—Boras.

MARLINS, STANTON RUMORED TO BE NEARING RECORD CONTRACT

“There’s no way of knowing [if there will be any effects], but we feel strongly about Giancarlo being a Miami Marlin for the long term, so we believe he’ll be fine. He’s very important to the short term and long term for this franchise and that’s the way we’re approaching it going forward.”
—Marlins general manager Dan Jennings, on the impact on the team’s finances of resigning Giancarlo Stanton. Rumors peg the contract at a total value above $300 million. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"It's been a long-standing policy [to not include no-trade clauses], but you're talking about a tremendous talent. You look at the marketplace, and what other elite players have gotten.''
—Marlins president of baseball operations Mike Hill, on the possibility of including a no-trade clause in Stanton’s contract. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

"Winning has a way of curing a whole lot of things.''
—Stanton, on his willingness to sign an extension with Miami despite their checkered past. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)

CUDDYER JOINS LONG-TIME FRIEND DAVID WRIGHT IN NEW YORK

“Sandy has talked about we're looking to turn the corner here and start to compete in 2015. I think this is a message that we're going to be aggressive. And right out of the box, we had a guy we liked and we went out and got him.”
—Mets assistant GM John Ricco, on the team signing outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal after Cuddyer rejected a qualifying offer from Colorado (Marc Carig, Newsday)

“He was the first player from the area, a role model not only for me, but the teams I played on. He was a role model for the entire area. When he made it to the big leagues, seeing him play in the postseason, I think it made it easier to accomplish my dreams.”
—Mets third baseman David Wright, on Cuddyer, who along with B.J. Upton, Justin Upton, Ryan Zimmerman, and Mark Reynolds, grew up in the Hampton Roads area in Virginia. (Kristie Ackert, New York Daily News)

“We were trained somewhat by the same youth coach, Towny Townsend. It’s not a very big area, so everybody knows everybody. It’s an area that genuinely cares for the kids and roots for the kids that have a chance to make it. My dad, and Manny Upton, they ran a business, a hitting business, since folded. My dad continues to do lessons. We would have David come and speak at a hitting clinic every Christmas, come and talk to the kids. Justin and B.J. would come and talk to them and things of that nature. It’s pretty good that the guys still come back and help out the community.”
—Cuddyer, on the baseball community in Hampton Roads.

“That was one of the prerequisites if you came to the camps or clinics. You had to pay the fee, but you also had to bring a sack of Cool-Whip tops. That would be the lids that Coach T would throw with us. We all grew hitting Cool Whip tops.”
—Cuddyer, on hitting drills run by Townsend. Wright and Cuddyer honed their hand-eye coordination by trying to hit the tops off Cool Whip containers that Townsend threw at them.

“It would be hard to find someone in the game who plays harder. I think it’s a perfect fit for us both on the field with what we need to become a better team baseball-wise and what we need to become a better team in the clubhouse as far as leadership.”
—Wright, on the Mets signing Cuddyer.

TWITTER

Jose Canseco had himself a helluva week:

THE REST

“It's part of the game, getting hurt. I'll be fine.”
Robinson Cano, who broke his toe during the seventh inning of a Japan All-Star Series Game against the Samurai Japan on Saturday. Cano is expected to be sidelined from baseball activities for 3-4 weeks. (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“Moncada had a great workout, showing his five-tool potential. He is in great shape. Unfortunately, he was not able to hit off live game pitching. We will need to see him off of live pitching to command the top dollars they are looking for.”
—An unnamed scout, describing Yoan Moncada’s skill set. Moncada, a Cuban national, was declared a free agent last week, and is likely to draw interest from multiple teams. (Quinn Roberts, MLB.com)

“Yeah, I'm okay. I've got some 20s in there.”
—Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, referring to the amount of money in his wallet after signing Victor Martinez to a four-year, $68 million deal. (John Niyo, The Detroit News)

“Obviously, the man left a lot of money on the table to choose to come back to Pittsburgh and take care of unfinished business. He wasn’t going to come back for free, so we worked to make it equitable for both sides.”
—Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, on A.J. Burnett turning down a $12.75 million option with the Phillies to sign a one-year, $8.5 million contract to return to Pittsburgh (Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“Well I did try to call Rick. I left him a message. But I have not heard back. I’m really looking forward to the moment where I can speak to him. When I do speak to him I just want him to know where I came from on this whole thing and have him understand that I was not trying to take anyone’s job. It was an organizational decision. That was the part of all this that if there was something that bothered me it was that. Otherwise it’s a utopian situation for me. I didn’t like what happened to Rick. But it wasn’t my decision to make and I hope in the future I can talk to him and become friends.”
—Cubs manager Joe Maddon, on reaching out to Rick Renteria, who was fired by Chicago (David Just, Chicago Sun-Times)

“Catchers take a little bit longer to develop in the minor leagues, and then when they break in, they tend to break in gradually, and it’s important for them to have good mentors. I love [Schwarber]. He hasn’t played his first [full] professional season yet. He could be very much in our plans, which he is, and it would still make sense to possibly sign a catcher if it’s the right catcher out there.”
—Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, on recent first round pick Kyle Schwarber’s future and the team’s plans for free agency. Chicago is rumored to be pursuing Russell Martin (Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times)

“The old antiperspirant commercial, 'You never see him sweat.' That was kind of him. He never lost that composure. Overall, you realized that his upside was going to be extremely large. When you put Jacob in there with Wheeler and Harvey, they should all be synonymous. I think [deGrom's] growth this year is incredible, and I look forward to the group of these guys growing up together and being pretty sensational for a number of years.”
—Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen, on NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“These guys did that. I didn't do anything other than guide that at certain times. But our players decided that they were going to be a good team and that they were going to make the sacrifices necessary to get to where we wanted to get to. So it's our staff, and it's our players and it's our organization. I get a chance to win the award because the award's made for a manager. But this is an organizational award, as far as I'm concerned.
—Nationals manager Matt Williams, on winning the NL Manager of the Year award (Dan Kolko, MASN Sports)

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

Related Content:  Quotes,  Major League Baseball,  MLB

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