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May 23, 2011

The Week in Quotes

May 16-22

by Alex Carnevale

WHY DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A THREAT?

"We have planned in advance for this draft and the expected financial outlay for this many players in the top of the draft. We will approach it no differently than we have in the past, and we should have no issues signing the guys that genuinely want to start their professional careers."
–Rays general manager Andrew Friedman on the June 6 amateur draft. (The Rays hold 10 of the top 60 selections.)

"I think any guy in my position, or any organization, would tell you they'd love to be in this position any year. It's an opportunity to add depth, replenish your resources. And it's more opportunities to get big leaguers."
–Rays director of scouting R.J. Harrison.

"It's different than years gone by. I have guys ask me, 'Who would you pick if you had a pick at the top of the draft this year?' And I can only play fantasy baseball, because I'm not scouting those guys at the top the same way as I would be if we were picking up there.... We try to cast a net of probably 100 players we're trying to get multiple looks at so we can make good decisions, or the most-informed decisions we can make with those 10-12 picks in the first couple of rounds."
Harrison.

"There are a lot of power arms. And they're coming in all shapes and sizes. Some of them have rough deliveries and some of them are 5-foot-10 right-handers. But this is the most guys I've ever seen who are throwing mid-90s. The last three days I have seen three college guys out of bullpens, throwing at least 94 mph. I had a run earlier in the year when in 10 days I saw eight guys who hit 95 or better. A lot of these guys aren't particularly high draft picks. They don't have a breaking pitch in place and they're a little rough. But I've never seen this many guys run the radar up as high as I have this year."
Harrison. (Bill Chastain, MLB.com)

PHIL CUZZI WAS UMPIRING, WHAT DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN?

"He beat him two times. He was safe because the guy was off the bag and he was safe because he beat the throw."
-Nationals starter Livan Hernandez on the controversial ground ball "out" hit by Jayson Werth in the ninth inning of the team's 1-0 loss to the Mets on Thursday.

"Right now, it's an active investigation in the hands of Joe Torre. I trust Joe Torre explicitly and he will do the right thing by it. He is going to investigate it and we'll see the results after that."
-Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo.

"It looked like half their team was ready to jump the rail."
–Mets left fielder Jason Bay.

"Not much to say about it, really. Not really anything to speak of. It happened probably about an hour ago, or not quite an hour ago, and I've been over it for a while."
Jayson Werth after the game.

ENJOY THE JUSTIN TURNER EXPERIENCE WHILE IT LASTS

"We all don't know what a young player is going to do offensively. It's always going to be a surprise. After you go through the league a second time and there are scouting reports, you see if he can make adjustments. I knew this guy could handle the bat."
–Mets manager Terry Collins on infielder Justin Turner's performance.

"We were looking around the locker room yesterday, and laughing to ourselves. It looks like about half the Buffalo team's up here. If you count guys who started last year in Buffalo, there's quite a few. That's a real strength of an organization is when the minor-league system can kind of take the stress off the team when some big guys go down. Obviously, there's been quite a few DL stints for people."
–Mets center fielder Jason Pridie.

"This guy believes in this team now. He's like me. He believes we have a chance."
Collins on general manager Sandy Alderson. (David Waldstein, The New York Times)

ANGER AT THE MCCOURTS EMERGES IN SO MANY WAYS

"Someone puts something up quick on the Internet ... to make themself famous. Of course, I'm sorry. It was a dumb incident. You always have to watch your guard. It shows why you have to be standoffish sometimes. I guess I slipped up. My temper got ahead of me. Sometimes that bites you in the butt."
–Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier on extending two middle fingers to a photographer who was taking his picture.

"He was standing right there where we're trying to get our stuff going and you have a 25-foot lens in your face. But I wasn't yelling at him, I was just like, 'Do you have enough yet? Do you have enough yet? Are you done?'"
Ethier.

"Obviously it's an age where some people can't wait to plug their flash drive into the computer and try to make their 15 minutes of fame."
Ethier. (Gregg Patton, The Press-Enterprise)

CIRCLING THE WAGONS

"The guy's going through a really tough time in his life. Anyone who wants to boo him and judge him and that, you might want to check yourself in the mirror. There's a lot of people in life that are going through some stuff that you never will ever go through in your life. Check yourself at the front door, because you don't understand how tough it is to deal with something that he's going through in his life."
–Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis on John Lackey's struggles in dealing with his wife Krista's battle with breast cancer.

"He's not jumping on teammates. Lack reacts a lot on the field for sure. I don't think you've ever seen anyone in our clubhouse say anything about Lack. They understand Lack. He's actually a great teammate. It's probably hard to understand if you're just seeing the reactions maybe after a play is made, but when the guys know him and I know him, he's not showing anybody up."
–Red Sox manager Terry Francona on Lackey's on-field demeanor

"His stuff has been inconsistent. His velocity has been there more early in his starts. Overall, he was throwing the ball better in spring training than he has so far this year. But it's still early. All that means is he has some things to work on."
–Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein.

"It's a lot more than baseball. There's a lot more to it than baseball. Like I said earlier, there's a lot of stuff that happens off the field. At times, it's tough. It's tough to go to the ballpark."
Youkilis. (WEEI.com)

MOST PEOPLE ENJOY A LOVELY WEEKEND IN PITTSBURGH

"There are no rivalries for most of the teams. I'm sure it helps the White Sox a little bit when they host the Cubs, but it doesn't help at Wrigley Field. The Cubs pack it most of the time anyway. The Yankees also pack their place most of the time. It has run its course. I just don't like it."
–Tigers manager Jim Leyland on interleague play.

"I have no George Bretts on my pitching staff, I'll guarantee you that."
Leyland.

"At some point we have to get baseball back to the same set of rules. I don't know why more people don't talk about it. No other sport plays different rules."
Leyland (Tom Gage, Detroit News)

THE REST

"I wear him out. I say, 'Didn't you win a Gold Glove? You can't be two-handing stuff. That's embarrassing. That's Little League. Clean it up.'"
–Rangers first baseman Chris Davis, critiquing Michael Young's defense at the position. (Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com)

"I'm very pleased with how he's responded to us asking him to be a little more selective in his at-bats. We're not asking him to go up there and walk. But we're asking him to be a little bit more selective and have a little bit more of a plan. When I look at our game reports, the first thing I look at is the number of pitches seen per plate appearance. I get excited when I read a game reporteven if he lines out or pops upand they say he laid off sliders down and away or had a good at-bat."
–Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos on third base prospect Brett Lawrie, currently raking .337/.395/.607 in Las Vegas. (Gregor Chisholm, MLB.com)

"Jorge would deviate from those plans all the time during games, which drove Joe nuts. Joe would call him out on it all the time, which drove Jorge mental. Jorge felt everything he did behind the plate was being second-guessed by Girardi on the bench. The way Jorge called a game was a big issue for Girardi. Girardi couldn't wait to get him out from behind the plate. He hated the way he called a game."
anonymous Yankees source, on the causes of the Joe Girardi-Jorge Posada conflict. (Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News)

"I'm not going to pretend we're happy we didn't get him. But in the big picture, we feel we're in good shape. We've maintained our depth, kept all our young pieces. We invested in Adrian, but for the most part kept our powder dry, kept our flexibility. Obviously there was an opportunity that Alexi [Ogando] stepped up and grabbed. Those are the positives. What remains to be seen over the course of the next couple of years is: Can we maintain stability at the top of the rotation?"
–Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on missing out on Cliff Lee over the winter. (Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com)

"I think the line always has to be drawn, and I admit you walk into some places and it's too much, but I must say, I think for the most part baseball gets it right. I think it adds to the customer experience and I think the customer wants the entertainment between innings to complete their experience and make their experience more enjoyable. The guy who sits in the press box is not the average fan."
–former Nationals president Stan Kasten on the bells and whistles of the ballpark experience. (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)

"I know of no law in this country that says you have to listen to my broadcasts. I wish there was one. But if you don't like it, don't listen."
–Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling on criticism about his style of play-by-play. (Mike Sielski, Wall Street Journal

"It was a tough night to pitch. It was one of those days that it seemed nothing was going right, from the outside stuff, not the pitching. The weather, the time of the game, the feeleverything was off. I didn't know until after the game."
–Marlins starter Josh Johnson on his decreased velocity in a rain-delayed Monday start against the Mets. (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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