October 25, 2010
The Week in Quotes
IMAGE REHAB COMPLETE
"Management showed us that they have our backs. The way they stood behind Wash was something that pulled us together as people. We saw how it could work, you know, if we did all of those things and how good we could be. At that point, I think we started really believing in ourselves and believing that we were better than everybody else."
"I'm sure it made it a little sweeter for them."
"The problem with baseball in Texas is that you have to sustain success to keep people interested. This is a good building block for this organization. If they continue having success you'll have more nights like that. I've played a lot of games here in this stadium and I have never seen it like it was tonight. It was great."
"It was a glass case of emotion."
WAS HE ALSO READY TO COME OUT OF THE BULLPEN IN GAME SIX?
"He’s a tremendous listener, a good people person. He’s actually kind of a soft-spoken leader in a lot of ways. You couldn’t come up with two different backgrounds than he and I do. I joke that we’re kind of like the baseball odd couple. I think we also complement each other in different ways. It was a rough time this summer — bankruptcy, you don’t know how the sale process is going to end."
"It's just a different feeling at this point in time in my life, to be associated with a group of players like this, and an organization. It’s such a team effort and an organizational effort. It gives you a totally different perspective. It's just a special feeling. The best thing I can relate it to is watching your children play and be successful, but this is on such a bigger stage."
"He takes a lot of pride, as much as anybody I've ever met, in his community, and pride in being a Texan. The look on his face today, he was beaming at the thought of being in the middle of 54,000 of his fellow Texans. I think that meant a lot to him."
"I have enormous respect and appreciation for the fact that the cornerstones for our success were put in place before I showed up. At the same time we’re proud that we were in this in 2009 when it wasn’t obvious. The team was under .500 and not drawing well."
HAL STEINBRENNER HAS ALREADY LEFT HIM OVER 40 MESSAGES
"Our team has areas of weakness that we have to tackle. I think we have a great team, but Texas just proved they’re better. It’s as simple as that. Obviously the job is to attack areas of weakness and hope that your current strengths remain strengths."
"I'm smart enough to realize what I don't know, and try to find people that call help me. I went and hired people like a Mike Fishman... We have a lot of people up in my offices that help and guide us in the right direction. We're less likely to make leaps of faith."
"I appreciate how difficult this sport is... I wouldn't say I’m disappointed in what we had. I’m disappointed with how it turned out."
"You can see by a lot of the consistent decisions that certain places make who utilizes it and who doesn't... For a long time I thought our talent level was higher than the Boston Red Sox, but yet the Red Sox were right there with us with less talent. And eventually they got past us. That's the one thing where I didn't think Tom, Tom Verducci closed the loop on that book because he praised the Indians and the Red Sox for the new science but ripped me for taking the Yankees to that level. It didn't make any sense. It was a contradiction."
SEND RYAN HOWARD A NICE THANK YOU NOTE
"It's pretty surreal. You dream about these things when you're a kid. You even dream about them when you're a Major League Baseball player. These things are finally coming to fruition, coming together. When all the pieces come together at once it's a pretty awesome sight to see."
"It was a slider, outside. I was setting him up in, the whole time, and not really executing well — missing up. It was just a pitch I felt like, you know, if the season’s going to come down to it, it’s going to come down to this pitch right here. I'm all in. I’m going for it."
"Everyone's screaming. I've got a catcher running at me with a fist, guys coming at me from all angles. I just put my head down and wore all the punches."
"He's a very humble kid. What else can you ask [for] but that? When I left I could have helped them out, been a backup for him, but [the Giants] didn't think that way. They thought I was going to be mad, and they said the Rangers were interested in trading for me."
IF DUSTY BAKER CAN GET HIRED, THE DREAM LIVES ON
"I really felt slighted. Maybe I did something. I'm a headstrong guy and maybe rubbed people the wrong way. That's on the table, too.''
"We are glad to have Dale returning. His work ethic and passion for the role he has with our hitters has not gone unnoticed. The managers we have interviewed also recognize what Dale has accomplished with our hitters."
"Everybody handles things. I think I’ve been fired four times, maybe five. Look, baseball life — there’s ups and downs, I’m on a high right now and there are lows, too. It always made me stronger and never deterred me in trying to get better and being a better coach or a manager."
"I really feel at this point in my life, that I may be able to have an even bigger impact on a ballclub. I'm not underemphasizing the importance that a coach has. That's a huge responsbility for a major-league coach and I don't downplay that. But at the same time, I would like to advance to a point where I've got my hands on a little bit of everything."
"It's a huge opportunity and it's a huge responsibility. I'm going to embrace it. For a guy who loves baseball and has loved it his whole life, this is a dream opportunity for me, to kind of hone in on a franchise and build it the way I see fit. I'm very humbled by it. I'm very honored by it."
"When I'm on the field my one thought is to completely annihilate you and do everything in my power to make you fail. I don't have a single thought about what my hair looks like, what my shoes look like, why my shirt's unbuttoned. I don't care who you are or what you've done in this game. Right now it's a one-on-one battle and nothing's going to stop me from doing what I need to do to get the game over. I got three chances to get you out, three strikes. I got four chances to walk you. I like my odds. If I can't get that guy, I'll get the next guy."
"The only thing I know right now is I love taking the mound every fifth day. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of other stuff that, at this point and this stage of my life, I don’t like about baseball."
"I enjoyed my time as hitting coach a great deal. The players were great and I can't think of a better coaching staff to work with. They were outstanding. At this point in time, I'm unable to commit to a full season of putting in the time that is necessary to be effective in that role. But I do look forward to continuing to work with the Astros."
"Did I ever find my swing? My swing never left. Well, I guess I didn’t find it. I mean, if you hit 31 home runs and 108 RBIs you must have found something."
"I felt really good at the plate and I was not really jumpy at all. I didn't feel overmatched at all. They came after me and I really appreciate that. I thank all of them for coming at me and facing me with the fastball and offspeed."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.