August 3, 2009
The Week in Quotes
July 27-August 2
YEAH, WHY DIDN'T THEY SIGN JACK WILSON TO A SIX-YEAR EXTENSION?
"With what the Steelers and Penguins have done, they're dying for a winner in baseball, too. They're dying to cheer the Pirates on. And now, they don't have anybody they even know. Guys like Jack and Freddy, the faces of the franchise, players they're supposed to be locking up, they're all gone. What's going to bring people to the ballpark now?"
"We don't feel like we've broken up the '27 Yankees ... It's not like we've taken something on the rise and tore it down."
"It's funny, but Nyjer and I knew this was going to happen. They're the laughingstock of baseball right now. They've gotten rid of everybody. They won't keep anybody around. Some of the guys here, they don't understand it, but Nyjer and I knew this was coming."
"We know we traded guys the fans identify with. But our goal is to give them a lot of players to identify with and also a winning team. We feel the people of Pittsburgh are dying to have a winning team in PNC Park. We're closer to that than we have ever been. If it doesn't turn around [for the franchise], I get fired."
AND AFTER THE SEASON, OUR PLAN IS TO DROP JASON VARITEK IN A DUMPSTER SOMEWHERE IN SOUTHIE
"He has the ability to catch, but not to do so every day, [that] just wears his legs down. [We want him to] spend enough time at first base and DH, stay fresh, and that works for our club because Jason Varitek is, has been, and will continue to be a very important part of our club and [working with] the pitching staff."
"I always look up to Jason. He's one of the best catchers in the game. I always look up to him, and I really look forward to talking to him a lot just to be beside him and learn. I'll learn a lot of stuff from him."
"LaRoche did a nice job while he was here, but we felt all along the best fit for him is if he had to close to everyday at-bats, at least every day against right-handed pitching, while at first base. With the addition of Victor Martinez, there's not quite as many at-bats available at first base."
"I think with LaRoche's timing mechanism, swing, and approach in general, he needs to play to be productive. He needs to play every day or close to it, whereas Casey Kotchman has a little different approach at the plate, might play better in a little different type role. Kotchman is also an elite defender and might be somebody you see coming in late in games for defense on days when Victor Martinez starts at first base."
HE THOUGHT TO HIMSELF: MAYBE I SHOULD STEP OFF THE DECK OF THE TITANIC ONTO THIS SHAKY LIFE RAFT
"The number one reason I'm here is the conversations I've had with Kenny [Williams] and the way he feels about his franchise and the direction of his team and the goals these guys have, year-in and year-out, to be a world champion, like in '05. In this game, that's all I care to do: to win and be part of something special."
"Knowing that I was going to be on the block again this winter, having to endure another winter like I went through, I just didn't care do to that. Chicago is a city that I love. The White Sox are a franchise that is committed to winning. I'm excited to be here not only for this year, but the next three years of my life."
"I think Jake just got to the breaking point. One team wanted him bad enough, and the other team wanted to get rid of him."
"It's probably not good for the game. But it's reality. It happened when the economy was good, but small and mid-market clubs are feeling it now. Certain fans won't understand it. Maybe in a year or two it will all make sense."
YOU KNOW THINGS ARE DIRE WHEN YOU'RE HOPING TO BE COMPARED FAVORABLY TO THE MARLINS
"It would be a Florida Marlins kind of story. Everything would have to go right."
"We can't work in a vacuum. My job as steward of the club is to make sure we're good now and, hopefully, give us a chance to be good beyond 2009. That's the goal. We felt like this was the right trade to kill two birds with one stone. It allows us to still have quality down below that we can call upon in the future."
"I'm kind of glad I didn't throw a no-hitter. If I do that on the first time out, I'd be having to live up to some high expectations. Just to get to the win, I'm pleased."
A TALE OF TWO SHORTSTOPS
"I only have good things to say about the organization, the Bay Area, and the fans. My wife Katie and I really, really enjoyed it here. You never know, if they need something when the offseason comes and I'm a free agent, I would love to come back."
"I think it's a joke that I'm not in there tonight. I've done everything to prepare. I consistently take ground balls at short. I've been ready to play if this time came, and now I'm not in there, so who knows now?"
"They know I want to play shortstop. I see myself as a shortstop in the future. With Cabrera getting traded, I thought that would mean me going to shortstop. That is obviously not the case. So, by no means am I at all pleased."
HE'S NOT COMING DOWN WITH PNEUMONIA, GUYS
"David felt all day a lot of caring from his teammates and hopefully us. He knows that we care about him. He has earned that from us. We will be very supportive as I hope we are with all our players and we will get to the bottom of whatever needs to be gotten to the bottom of. David will deal with this openly, but it's not going to happen in the next 10 minutes."
"He needs some time to get some answers, and then he's going to stand up and answer every question. I admire that courage."
"Thanks for everything. Like I say, my whole life, my whole career that I've been around here, I've been what I am. Like I say, honestly, I'm going to get to the bottom of this, and you guys are going to hear from me in the next few days."
YOU TAKE DOWN ONE OF OURS, WE'LL GET ONE OF YOURS
"Earlier in the process, when the reports came out, I had to kind of tell myself, 'Wow, this is coming out. And I say this because coming from Adam Rubin-OK? And Adam-you've got to understand this-Adam, for the past couple of years, has lobbied for a player development position. He has lobbied myself. He has lobbied Tony. So when these things came out, I was a little bit... I had to think about it. And I was a little bit, somewhat, 'Let's find out about this. We really have to do a thorough investigation of this.'"
"I asked Jeff Wilpon whom I should talk to at the network if I wanted to explore television as a part of my career. He told me to talk to SNY exec Curt Gowdy Jr., who told me basically that I was a bit 'too flat.'"
"As I told the reporters who descended upon me after Minaya left the press conference, I have never, ever, asked Omar Minaya for a job. Or even career advice. Frankly, I've never been very close to him."
"I think he really understands he made a very large mistake here, and he's apologized to ownership, he's apologized to a bunch of the staff. He understands he put us in a bad spot here."
"Honestly, I'd love to take nothing. I've love to wake up in the morning and have some cereal and fruit, then have a good lunch and take a multi-vitamin for the day. The reality is, I'm not going to be as good of a major league pitcher if I do. I can't do those other things until I retire. Until then [Bang on a small door on his dressing cubicle]), this is filled with shit. I'm going to continue to take the stuff."
"I kind of took a leap of faith going to a new league, going to a new country, going to a new team. I have a four-year-old and a two-year-old and my wife. My parents travel around quite a bit. My brother lives in this area. I always wanted to try and finish up at home or get back to this area and this part of the country. I did approach [Ricciardi] and ask if he'd consider moving me back to this area and the Midwest. This was certainly my number one choice."
"I don't appreciate the disrespect, because I've been playing hurt for a guy who won't respect you. I don't deserve it. Whatever he wants to do, he can do it. But like I told you before, I need to have my respect. This is not a guy who just came to the Orioles. This is a guy who's been here for nine years busting his butt for the organization."
"I just kind of got tired of people brushing him back. It's about time someone made a statement. They did it on Monday night and we didn't do anything, they didn't do it too much (Tuesday) and (Chamberlain) did it again tonight. I hate to be that guy, but someone had to take a stand and say, 'You know, we're tired of it.' You can go after our best guy, well, we'll make some noise too, and that's what happened."
The chances of that happening are not very good. Baseball is crazy. You get walked four times and twice with the bases loaded. You get up in that situation to drive guys in, but you got to take what they give you."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.