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July 5, 2010
The Week in Quotes
June 28-July 4
JOSH BYRNES IN A DEN OF LIONS, CRYING "THEO, THEO!"
"I wanted to back Josh, I did back Josh, and I don't regret doing that. Because I don't think you should have somebody in a position as significant as general manager and undercut what they want to do. I think had he to do it over again, or had I been the guy making that decision, I might have made a different one."
"I think we all kind of saw it coming, but we just didn't know when it was going to happen. Maybe we even thought it would happen before now."
"We made it clear all along we don't want to blow this up. This isn't a complete makeover. We have to tweak here and there, and I think with new leadership we can make those decisions now and see if they respond differently."
"A.J. stuck with me for a long time. I feel like if I had pitched like I was capable of certainly we would be better than we are. I've thought about that a lot."
"I think I could have spent more time with Josh. Unfortunately, the way we were set up before, that was the way that we were structured, the way we practiced our business. It was awkward and uncomfortable for me. That's no one's fault but mine. I think Josh certainly wanted me to be a part of it, to listen more and learn more from them and ask the right questions, challenge them."
"This is not an easy business. I've said this. When I got involved in it, I thought it would be hard. I can say honestly I didn't think it would be this hard."
HE'S A MASTER OF A SUBTEXT IF NOTHING ELSE
"What I don't appreciate about the article is that it kind of leaves everything hanging that the organization is not doing its job or I'm not doing my job."
"Let's not be naive. There are 30 teams. Some teams, we have nothing in common with, including the front-office dynamics. Some might be younger guys cutting their teeth or chatterboxes throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, or just gathering intelligence."
"I'm a cut-to-the-chase guy. I think there are well over 20 GMs we are dealing with firsthand. We do return phone calls. I return phone calls. If I don't, there's a specific reason."
"The article is what it is. It's kind of backhanded because it comes down to management style, and there should be a further explanation, and there's not. To my knowledge, he didn't poll 30 teams."
"It was kind of weird. Teammates were all coming up to me and saying goodbye. I was like, 'What's going on? I guess I've been released.' I've never been in that situation before."
HE HAS VETERAN PRESENCE. LET'S HOPE IT'S COMMUNICABLE AND RESISTANT TO ANTIBIOTICS
"He brings a veteran presence. He's a guy that's been back there and caught quality pitching in some big games. First things first, this guy is a winner. He takes a lot of pride in his game calling and working with the staff and understanding the game plan. Talking to him on the phone earlier, I think he's excited to be here. He really wants the chance to win again. It was refreshing to hear that."
"He can handle guys with good stuff. We’ve got some big arms on our staff, especially in the bullpen. He will help us control the running game. I don’t think teams by any stretch are running wild on us, but you look to improve yourself. As you get into meaningful games, those extra base hits become big. He understands that and can perform in those situations."
"You don’t like to trade away anyone like that. Michael has dealt with some injuries, but he’s a tremendous makeup guy and has ability. You don’t want to include any prospects in the deal, but that's the nature of the game. With our scouts, the work they’ve put in, it’s put us in a position where despite unusual circumstances, we're acquiring talent for our big league club. We don’t want to just be in a pennant race, but to prevail. If that means dealing a young player, you don’t like to do it, but at some level that's why prospects are there."
JUST WHEN HE HAD PLANS TO BAKE AND WATCH THE LAST AIRBENDER
"I was kind of surprised to hear it. I wasn't going to say I had everything set up to go to Seattle (for the break), but I had an idea I was going to do that. Change of plans. I have such high expectations for myself. I really don't know how to say this, but it's hard to accept things when you're going through mental struggles. It's hard to take compliments. When you don't think you deserve something—I'm not saying I don't deserve this—it's not as gratifying."
"Obviously, we have seen what he could do. It's not a matter of if he's good enough. It's a matter whether people think he has enough time in the first half."
"Hopefully it works out where I can get to go. It's fine. This is a way where we can do it and we can get guys on our team there."
"Me and [backup catcher Craig Tatum], I remember the first week of the season, we were drawing straws to see who was going to get to play first. It was the furthest thing from my mind. I didn't really think about it at any point. I am just blown away."
"I think a lot of times people look at Alex as a home run hitter and the fact that he has 12 home runs people think that he's having a down year. With only 12 home runs he's third in the league in RBIs and everyone that's surrounding him is going to the All-Star Game. ... So I thought he was deserving."
"My first reaction is to follow the ball, and then ... I see him go down, and the pain it looked like he was in, you don't wish on anybody. I didn't really want to go out there, because I didn't think it was going to look good, how much pain he was in."
"I had another great line when I left Colorado, and I haven’t told anybody this yet. I was walking out to the same guy and I said, 'Hey, you might want to get some chest protectors for the fans for the next homestand… Go get some catcher’s equipment for the guy in the 50th row. Air’s a little thin here.'"
"His first pitch was 97 mph and he struck me out. I laughed and said, ‘97? Take it easy, my friend.’"
"It was kind of anticlimactic. Not that he’s not very good. He’s good. But I felt like the ball was going to be invisible. I actually saw it."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.