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June 14, 2010
The Week in Quotes
WE ASKED YOU NEVER TO SAY THOSE NAMES
"On TV, I saw a reporter compare him to Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, but this guy is different. This is not going to be the last time he is going to throw like this."
"Anything he throws, if he throws it the way he can, you can't hit it."
"It looked like he was rushing those guys. Throwing three or four quality pitches, and guys were panicking. We're going to have to zone him in and make him throw strikes if we're going to have any success. This is a guy with a plus fastball, plus curveball, plus changeup and plus cutter. He has a blessed arm."
"He's amazing. I saw that hole and it was pretty deep. He handled the adversity pretty well. A lot of guys would have been very upset. He didn't like it, but he handled it like a pro. What amazes me is his composure all the time."
"I was 17, he's 21. By the time I was his age, I had won 85-90 games or so."
I'M SO EXCITED TO BE A PIRATE
"I kind of had a general idea of where I would go, but I didn’t know it was going to hit me like that. My legs went kind of numb. I know they’re looking to build through the draft, so whenever you get picked by a team like that, it’s a really special honor because I guess they see me as a future centerpiece of the organization."
"Stetson really wanted to go to the Indians. It would have been a great story. We thought the Indians were really interested and then something happened in the last minute. What that was, I don't know. But, he is excited about going to the Pirates and excited about being the 52nd player chosen overall. That's pretty special."
"This isn't something I did on my own. A lot of draft hype is because catcher is a premier position that I can play, and I'm a switch-hitter. There was a lot of mystery. That probably helped me. If I would have played every day at catcher, maybe I wouldn't have been as good as everyone dreamed of. I'm not exactly an out-of-the-wrapper big league guy. I'm not a guaranteed guy. It's pretty great."
"It couldn't have worked out any better as far as we're concerned. I know 30 teams come out of the draft room high-fiving and excited the guys they got with their picks, but that means only so much. Time will only tell, but we're as happy in the draft room as we've been in any year that I've been here. We feel it broke our way and we couldn't be more excited with all three guys."
"Obviously, as we picked, we took the player we thought was the best player who was signable and was also signable within reason. There were other players available, but the cost was going to be very high, and I'm not sure worth it even if we had the normalcy we need to reach as a franchise."
THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE JAKE SKOLE EXPERIMENT IS PITCHING SOMEWHERE?
"I feed off the energy, even if it's negative energy toward me. I love it. I love people getting fired up and going nuts. I love feeding off of that and giving it to my guys and getting them pumped up and they go out there and make plays. It's huge for this team."
"It's actually pretty easy to forget the whole season. We're facing Fullerton; we know how good they are. They're not going to quit. We know we have to come out just for (today). It's all about (today)."
“Everybody out there was wondering when we were going to see the old Danny back. He was back tonight. He was complete command of the game. We couldn’t have won the game without that kind of effort."
NOW HE'S IN CHARGE OF J.D. DREW'S SHINE BOX: WHAT A WORLD
"He wasn't a prospect. He's never been a prospect. He washed uniforms for two years at Santa Clara. He's called me between the washer and the dryer. I say, 'What are you doing?' He says, 'I've got a pocket full of quarters. I'm going from the washer to the dryer.' The guy is getting kicked out of the laundromat on a Saturday night in Compton, California."
"There's been so many times they hit the ball in the bullpen and I'm a little late grabbing my glove. I happened to look at it and it was coming right for us, and I knew it was his first big league at-bat, too. If that ball bounces, we might have people going in there chasing that ball down, so it was a pretty good catch. Hopefully it makes the highlights."
"I threw it right down the middle. It didn't sink."
"It's one game. We all know that. It's one game. There's still tomorrow, and who knows what's going to happen tomorrow? You saw what happened my next at-bat. I struck out."
MAYBE THEY CAN SEE IF JOE'S STILL INTERESTED?
"I think Lou conveniently forgets that I was one of the champions for him to get the job when a lot of people wanted Joe Girardi at that time."
"What job has he had in baseball besides talking on television or radio? What has he done? Why isn't he a farm director and bring some kids around? Why isn't he a general manager? Why hasn't he ever put the uniform on and been a pitching coach? Why hasn't he been a field manager? There's 30 teams out there that could use a guy's expertise like that, you know? I'm tired of some of these guys, I really am."
"We've got a lot of people here that haven't managed and won any games in the big leagues that know everything. I think they should try to put the uniform on and try this job, and see how they like it when they get criticized unjustly. That's all I've got to say about that issue."
"And another thing I'm going to say — I won over 1,800 games as a manager, and I'm not a damn dummy. That, I can tell you. OK? There are only 13 others that have won more games than me, so I guess I think I know what the hell I'm doing. All right?"
OZZIE IS NOT LIKELY TO FARE WELL IN ANY RATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF ANYTHING
"We are both very competitive men, strong-willed men. I believe in self-assessment, and I think you have to assess all parts of our operation from top to bottom to determine if it's, in fact, still a productive working relationship."
“I saw him play, and it surprised me that he [fell] that far before getting picked. I know baseball a little bit. This kid has a good future as long as he doesn’t get hurt. ... You can say, ‘[The heck with] this thing,’ and do something else, or get better and prepare yourself for what is coming. Knowing my kid, he will prepare himself better and show people they were wrong or right. That’s all you can do."
"Whether or not the maintenance of that relationship is such that we still have the drive to get through some things and still have the drive to get through some differences ... I'm still in that assessment mode for myself, in particular."
"I got 50 grand in my pocket to send my kid to go to Niketown or buy something.''
"That should not lead to the assumption that I mean that he is the one. If I determine that I am the one that is the cog in the machine, then I am the one who will stand in front of Jerry Reinsdorf and tell him so and step aside. ... I will not deny that I am growing weary of the soap opera.''
"Again, I try to relate it to when I played. When you're in a good groove, you can see flash bulbs going off in center field, and it doesn't even bother you. But on other days, you can hear whispers in the upper deck and you're wondering what they're saying about you. That is what makes this game tough to play."
"He played with me a little bit. He said, 'If you don't play good, this is what happens. Open that (envelope).' I said, Why? What's happened to me? When I opened it, I saw the (plane ticket to Washington) and I said, 'Wow.' My first thought was of my Mom. I've talked to her every day, and she's told me, 'C'mon, baby, you can do it.' I cried a little bit."
"I had basically over 100 years of scouting experience go in to see this kid. When guys like my cross-checkers who have been doing this for a long time, former major-league hitting coaches like Gary Denbo and former scouting directors like Bill Livesey come back with a thumbs up, that means a lot more to me than the public opinion of Baseball America or some of the other publications who just aren’t able to get to these guys and don’t have scouting staffs."
"Most baseball people are really against instant replay. There's no question about that. I could sense that the last three days. In the end, good or bad, I will do what I think is right. I'm going to take the responsibility for it. I've been at this the last 45 years of my life, and the last 18 as commissioner, so I'll trust my own judgment."
“The pitchers are enjoying the heck out of it. And the hitters are hoping there’s a swimming pool in center field with dolphins in it next year, and the fences are moved in."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.