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June 2, 2008
The Week in Quotes
May 27-June 1
THE NATURAL '08
"Jay's considered the ultimate prospect. He's the top prospect in all of baseball. I wasn't really considered a prospect--at least not at his level. He's got a lot of weight on his shoulders. He's got a lot of responsibility."
"They told me to run out and tip my hat. Nobody else ran out."
"They picked up where they left off. I'm the butt of a lot of jokes. I like it, though. People are laughing. People are having a good time. That's the way it's supposed to be."
"A lot of times hype is overhyped, but this hype is real."
"What a remarkable story for Jay Bruce. That's probably one of the best stories I've ever seen. If he is living a dream, I'd like to get into that dream."
"Dunn got the big walk, then we got the momentum with Freel sliding into home on that crazy play. This whole thing has been crazy. When I hit first base, well, it was awesome and I was anxious to get to home and get beat up again - but I'll take it, every time it can happen."
"He's not a power hitter, not a home run hitter. You come in as a hitter and you learn how to hit home runs. He's a hitter, not a slugger and, boy, that was a remarkable game. Makes me glad I came back to managing. Man, that was nice. That's the stuff I missed in the booth. The booth was nice, but, man, this is wonderful."
SHORTSTOP VERSUS SHORTSTOP
"I don't think Cabby lets his teammates know him really well. Cabby is not a guy who communicates with people. When he leaves early after the game, his teammates don't have a chance to get to know him. I talked to him about it."
"If it happens again, I will call again. I don't have to do it with other teams because they always had my back. They don't want to do it here. I can take care of my own business."
"I'm not going to say we're going to have a problem, but I don't think it looks good to his teammates for him to worry about his numbers. I know I never did that. Obviously, a good player, a Gold Glove winner, you want to have a good season for free agency. But he better be careful about what his teammates are going to think."
"One bad thing here is we have too many good guys here. And that's the problem. When you have a team that sticks and hangs together, all of a sudden somebody seems like, 'Oh wait, is this guy on the same page or not?' And I know he's on the same page. He has to show them he's on the same page as they are."
"All I know is I want exclusive rights to all networks that are [in Cleveland] filming this soap opera so I can make it into a reality show."
PEDRO VERSUS PRICE
"You always have butterflies. You're throwing against a former Cy Young winner. It's fun. It's a challenge. It makes you want to compete a little more. You know you can't give up one or two runs and get the win, because he's that good."
"I want him to go home and one day tell his grandchildren about
me. That's the impression I want to leave on everyone."
"He's amazing, that kid. Amazing. God bless him, and keep him healthy."
WE'LL BUNT, HE'LL HATE THAT
"Me and you are going to work this guy and mess up the mind."
"Why you look at me like that? You don't intimidate me. I'm not a player you look at. Hell no, I look at you!"
HERE'S TO FIVE HUNDRED MORE, WE KNOW YOU CAN DO IT MANNY
"As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone. I am happy. I am proud of myself and all the things that I've accomplished."
"That's just remarkable. To have that power the opposite way that consistently. That's the type of thing we hitters really, really respect. That, to us, is what makes Manny so great."
"They're so proud to have me, a guy so loose, to play the game. I guess they really appreciate it."
"I'm happy for him. He's got a uniqueness about him that makes him easy to like. He looks like a Brazilian Rainforest guy. You take away the hair and the baggy uniform, he's just a guy that can hit."
"He's a complete hitter. It used to bother me that all the work I did, all the preparation, didn't help [get him out]. But I'm resigned to the fact that he's in a special category. It isn't that he doesn't have any weaknesses. But he doesn't have many, I'll tell you that. And just when you think you've got a way to get him out, he finds a way to beat you."
"Every time I show up, Manny does something big. I worked on his hair today and he did it. We're all happy for him."
BORN TO RUN
"It looked worse than it was, because I stopped at the bag. It's not like I stopped on the play. I could have run 20 feet past the bag and I still would have been out."
"But it becomes part of the story, 'Millar's hamstring.' I've had a hamstring for seven days. I'm just slow. My speed has been injured since I've been in the big leagues. I'm slow, but I'm quick-witted."
"I've been talking to Millar about how to run the bases."
"It's time for me to retire if Manny is telling me how to run the bases."
DAVE, WASN'T THERE A NOTECARD WHERE I CALL HIM THE ULTIMATE GAMER AND THE POTENTIAL MAN OF MY DREAMS?
"It was a very tough call because even though he's not quite himself, he's still surviving here. He's not hitting under .200, he's hitting .260."
"But in the end, just because of this rash of left-handers we're going to face the next two series, I just don't think... not getting him a bunch of at-bats is the right thing to do."
"This guy plays defense, on his worst day, average. If everybody on our roster was as talented, as tough a competitor and as great a teammate as that young man, we may never lose."
"He probably doesn't have any confidence now because he's getting sent out, but I think he believes in himself. He's worked his butt off to get right."
DRAFT WISDOM: YOU MAY WANT TO WRITE THIS DOWN
"I'm pitching for my team, but I feel my future is as an outfielder because I have tools others don't have... I'm just using pitching as my backup."
"I don't think we draft on how the big league team is doing right now, because it's not going to have an impact at least for a couple of years, and the dynamics [then] might be totally different. If there's a need you consider, it's more of an organizational need."
"It's going to be a very active debate, and there's going to be a lot of guys stumping for different players."
"It's very important.The drafts we've had in the past the last several years, because we had generally finished up in the standings, you get a lower draft pick and then we traded away a lot of draft position because of free agency we had signed. The past five or six years we have not been in good position. This year we are."
"It's hard to lock on a first baseman as your draft bell cow. They've got power and probably will play, but I want more than 'probably' with my first pick."
HE HAS TWELVE TO FOURTEEN TOOLS
"Tim is just a tremendous talent and an even better individual who helps out with several community projects. He's a legitimate five-tool player. You never know how that stuff will pan out, but I know Tampa Bay is seriously considering taking him with the first pick."
"Obviously I'm excited. I'm 18 and I have the chance to possibly be the No. 1 pick in the baseball draft. I don't let it get to me, really. I'm still playing high school ball and I'm really concentrating on that."
"With kids like that, you kind of see them and immediately you know. As an eighth grader, he probably could play varsity for us."
TIME TO BREAK OUT THE CHUCK LAMAR VOODOO DOLL
"It's not a concern right now, but more so a question."
"I never saw as many people out here. It's real nice to see the fans. They should have cowboy night every night."
"All we can do is continue to put a good product out on the field and make Tropicana Field the best venue we can. People who come to the park do have fun. It's much better than watching on TV."
"I'm so superstitious about everything. I'd sell off my car. I'd sell off my house. The only thing sacred is my wife and kids. Everything else is sold off like cattle."
"It was the pitch count and only the pitch count. There's times when your bullpen is really tired and you need to give them a break and you can push your starter into a spot where it gets to be past 120 pitches, but tonight that wasn't the case. There's no need to do that."
"He did a tremendous job. The guy had a root canal this morning and went out there and battled for us. I think we're scheduling another one in five days for him."
"There would have been a flat-out fight out there on the mound if he was going to go four or five innings tonight. I wanted to get us seven or eight innings, and whatever they were going to do with him, they were going to have to figure out how to do that."
"I'm not going to worry about it. The worst thing they can do is send me back to my family."
"I'm still trying to establish myself as a hitter. I've hit a lot of doubles, which tells me I'm capable of hitting for power. I've never hit a lot of home runs, but I think have six now and I could probably hit 20 realistically, but drive in some runs. I've always thought I was capable of hitting .300 and I'm not far off it right now. I don't know, I always thought of myself as a Moneyball-type hitter, but my walks are down, and I think I've tried to hit for more power."
"All of a sudden we've got people that are actually difference-makers, and they make people around them better just by their presence. That's what he does. He gives people courage just by being himself."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.