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October 13, 2008
The Week in Quotes
EXACTLY WHAT GAME WERE THESE GUYS WATCHING?
"More than anything, it was mislocation. I thought his stuff was consistent with what he was throwing the last six, seven, eight weeks of the season."
"I'm fine. It's frustrating when your team gets eight runs and you can't win the game. That's the frustrating part."
"We wanted Beckett to get through that fifth [inning] and set up our bullpen, and it didn't work."
"He made some mistakes, and he paid for them. He tried to throw a fastball in to [Cliff] Floyd and he didn't get it in [home run]. Changeup wandered back over the plate to Longoria [home run]. Tried to throw a fastball away to Upton [home run], left it over the middle, and paid for all of them."
"I really wanted Coco to play. I didn't want to take [Jacoby] Ellsbury out of the leadoff spot. So we can have J.D. sitting over there kind of knowing that they're going to use Balfour. Maybe at one of the most pivotal points, having J.D. sitting over there will make them think twice. Maybe it won't. I just think, [Kazmir] is so tough on lefties, we had to play a lefty more than we would like. But I don't want Ellsbury out of the leadoff spot."
AH, THE TYRANNY OF LOW EXPECTATIONS
"If you told me today we are going to get 24, 25 good starts out of Rich [Harden] next year and we're going to have to push him back or miss a start or two here or there, I'd do that in a heartbeat."
"We like each other from a business end and from a personal point of view, so it's not hard. So it's a nice thing. Lou's happy about it. He's good to go."
"That would be crazy. I just have my fan hat on, and they've done a good job so far. Sports are a crazy business. If there was a template, we'd all be champions, right?"
A VERY CONSIDERATE LOSER
"I felt pretty comfortable with Gerald. His instructions were very simple and direct and to the point. I didn't have any trouble understanding him at all."
"I definitely need to work on the technique of my swing, that I never could figure out during the season-that's my main priority. Sometimes during the season, I had trouble getting enough swings, and when I go back to Japan, I can take as many swings as I want."
"We'll go into the offseason, and by the time we get into spring training, we hope he'll be the All-Star caliber player he was the first couple months, but we'll be prepared if he doesn't become that player."
"There will be competition as to who starts in right field, and I have to win the competition. I think it's good that fans are very honest and straight with us."
THERE MIGHT BE MORE THAN ONE IMPORTANT POINT HERE GUYS
"There is one very important point here. The most important thing to remember is this: If you didn't get it from me or my brother [Hal], it doesn't mean [anything]. I don't care about some piss-ant employee. If you don't get it from me or Hal, it's meaningless. I have a lot of things [in Tampa] and Hal is in New York, which is good."
"I would likely say, 'Go do it.' But that won't be necessary, because we are all on the same page. Anything we can get to improve our situation, pitcher or position player. We are going to do everything we can and try our hardest. We are going to look at everything, and we are interested in everything, pitchers and position players. Whatever fits for us, whatever we need the most. To say we aren't interested in somebody would be ridiculous. Teixeira is a quality player."
"I said that if you treat me fair and honest, I would treat you fair and honest. Those days are over. I told Hal, if you live by the press, you die by the press. I didn't live by my own words."
"I should have pushed harder for the [Johan] Santana deal. My dad wanted to do that. But that doesn't mean we would have won if we got into the playoffs, because [Chien-Ming] Wang was hurt."
WAIT, WHAT YEAR IS IT AGAIN?
"The easiest thing would be to declare victory and walk away from what we have accomplished here, building a beautiful ballpark, having the best record in baseball from 2000-03, winning a record 116 games, and going to the playoffs in 1995, '97, 2000, and 2001. Maybe someone else could walk away and feel good about it, but I can't. I care passionately about this place and this organization, and I am more determined than ever to help get this turned back around."
"I trust my own ability to make good decisions. I trust my instincts, both personal and business. I honestly believe that I am the best person to be the president of this club and to hire the next [general manager]."
"We need to have new, fresh thinking, and get to the point where we're solid year after year, not just patch it together. We're looking for some fresh blood, someone with a new perspective and good leadership skills."
WAS CHAD UPSET WHEN RUSSELL CHEATED ON HIM WITH THIRD BASE OR SOMETHING?
"Not necessarily. Not that I noticed. Not more than usual."
"When you're not throwing the ball like you want to. It's easy to second-guess yourself."
SWIMMING WITH SHARKS
"The primary issue would be how many years they would be willing to go. It's difficult to get five years on a pitcher... but if indeed he says he wants another five-year deal, we may have to go out on the market to get that."
"[Burnett and his wife Karen] know all the dynamics involved here. He's going to make a considerable amount of money whether he exercises the out or not. I don't think the Jays expect him to take a discount to stay there."
"I believed when he signed there three years ago that it was the right place for him to be. I still believe that it's a fantastic place for A.J. Burnett to play. And I believe that A.J., in his heart, believes the same thing."
"David is a critical member of the A's management team, and we anticipate him taking on a prominent role in the future."
"I'm sure they should. He's a great hitter. If they sign him, there's going to be another issue. We'll still have me and Juan Pierre. [Andre] Ethier has to play. Matt Kemp's going to have to play. After they win the World Series, it's going to be interesting. ... I'm an everyday guy or I need to move out."
"The Yankees were considering having a charitable event at Yankee Stadium. However, the Yankees realize that the final event at Yankee Stadium should be a baseball game, which in fact took place on September 21, 2008."
"Very rarely in a meeting will he inject his opinion. He will one on one, but he doesn't want his opinion to outweigh the suggestions of the people that work with him. You don't work for Pat. You work with Pat."
"Chris Getz can play. He's a guy who is more in the Minnesota Twins-type mold. You know how I like grinders, and he's a grinder-type guy. He might not have the gaudy numbers, but he's going to help win games."
"I agree, and I did see it. That's why I thought it primarily manifested itself in the pitches we swung at. However, they had kind of the same look themselves."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.