June 21, 2010
The Week in Quotes
YOU PUSH ONE TRAVELING SECRETARY...
"A lot happened. Great hitter. Did some remarkable things on the field. Sometimes, especially early, there were times when he would make an out, and I would sit there and think, 'How did he make an out?' That’s not fair. But he was so good, and so dangerous, that sometimes when he made the out, you would say, that’s not fair. That's how good he was."
"I trust people who know things really firsthand. And while Billy Mueller wasn’t here in the ’08 season, Billy Mueller was a teammate of his, and Billy Mueller and I had a conversation at the Fall League in maybe ’07, talking about players who could really help our club. And he brought Manny up, and he said, ‘You know what, this guy’s one of the best hitters in the game and I found him to be a great teammate when I was there.’ So, that deal came about really that day. That deal hadn’t been talked about the 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st of July. That came about that morning. So, we didn’t have a whole of time really, but I remember what people tell me. And Billy had told me that about a year and a half earlier."
"Manny is a little bit of a different breed. He’s got his own little characteristics and he can be one of the greatest players at times, and other times, you kind of scratch your head."
"No, everybody has idiosyncrasies. I have idiosyncrasies, you know. He has to put up with my idiosyncrasies."
"He knows how to figure things out. Everybody had a way to do things and a different way to react with things. This guy, I never saw him panic. It’s hard to be like that, but that’s a gift. That’s what makes him so good."
"But that's part of life, that’s part of dealing with people. But he’s been good. He’s been good. That may be disappointing to you but he’s been good.. He’s made the comment that he thinks he might want to go to the American League, and I can understand that. It’s tough for him to play every day in left field. We’ll worry about that when we get there."
AT LEAST IT DIDN'T END IN A DRAW
"We try to create either a sound or visual giveaway, This is probably the loudest item we've had."
"This isn't soccer. I know the World Cup is going on, but this is baseball. We don't want to hear horns or anything like that. We want to hear the crowd cheering. We want to hear the crowd getting behind us, not horns."
"I was waiting for him to hit. I mean, if he makes an out there, then you don't say anything. Then you wait for the next guy that's out of order to come up. And then you call it on him."
"What we had was three changes in the lineup. Fredi had come out and given Lance (Barksdale, the home plate umpire) the position of the players and Lance confirmed it with Fredi and wrote it down on his lineup card. That’s what we went by when Maddon came out and said ‘we’ve got batting out of order here.’ Lance confirmed it with Fredi before he left to go back into the dugout and that’s all we had to go by then."
"It could have. It was the most uncomfortable baseball game I’ve been a part of in a long time because of that. Whether that had anything to do with it, I don’t know but it could have. When’s the last time you heard something like that at a baseball game? Never. You don’t see this kind of stuff at baseball games."
HIGH LEVEL MANAGEMENT AT ITS FINEST
"I said you guys can't have this kind of bullshit. You have to work together. That was basically it. Go make up. I didn't use those words. I said we can't function if you are not going to get along. You can have your fights like you always have, but it can't continue because we can't function that way."
"I don't have anything against Kenny—a lot of miscommunication, misunderstanding, a lot of disagreements but that's part of my job, that's part of our job. I think to me that thing's way behind. Maybe because we've won a couple games the last two weeks it makes things better, but I think if we want to make this work, I have to do my job, he has to do his job."
"I sat there some time and listened to Kenny and Coop (pitching coach Don Cooper), or Kenny and Ozzie and thought what the [expletive] is going on here. Then it's all over, and they are lovey-dovey after that. They yelled at each other, but they didn't come close to blows."
THAT MUST HAVE BEEN ONE HECK OF A PARTY
"There was some concern about this game being played, and it finally was, and I also remember that Ewing [Kauffman] threw quite a party that night at his home. Funny that I remember that 37 years later."
"In '73, you flew in, you watched the game and you got out. Not today. You're going to be amazed by FanFest and the Home Run Derby. What it is, is a celebration of baseball, and it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. It'll be 39 years at that point, but it'll be worth the wait."
"I may come back and do this again because it isn't often that the Commissioner gets a standing ovation."
A RINGING ENDORSEMENT IT AIN'T
"As we've demonstrated in the past, the fact that a person has a contract for another year or two isn't going to change the decision we make as to whether they are performing up to expectations. If we every conclude someone is not, that person will no longer be with the organization, even if that means we have to eat a year or two of their contact."
"Not all of them have worked out as we'd hoped. That's the case anytime you make trades. The one thing that is missed in the analysis of the success or lack of success of the trades is that the assets we had to trade were not nearly as valued in the industry as they were here in Pittsburgh."
"We understand the very difficult job that we have given JR as we have completely revamped an underachieving veteran roster and invested heavily in the acquisition and development of young players who can return the Pirates to winning baseball. While dismissing the manager when the club is performing poorly is common in this industry, it is not the appropriate response in this case. JR's contract status has played no role in this determination.”
"Last October, we sat down and devised a budget for this year, and as long as we stay within that budget, we're fine. If we go outside that budget, we have to get approvals. The only way I foresee that happens is you acquire somebody that has salary that would put you over what your limits are. Will that happen? I don't know. We've budgeted for the trade deadline, and we feel we might be in position to improve our ballclub, but we don't really know."
"We've tried everything we have here. We've pitched everybody, we've played everybody, we've changed lineups, we've done everything I can humanly do to get this thing turned around. That's all I can do."
"If God gives me the ability to close games for another 12 years and keeps me healthy, then I think 700 saves is possible."
"It looked like there was going to be a tornado. It was pitch black. They took our team picture and I hope the flash worked or you're not going to be able to see anybody."
"There's a lot of good perks, but food is definitely improved at this league. When you have crab legs and shrimp for a pre-BP meal, that's saying something."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.