June 13, 2011
The Week in Quotes
THE OBVIOUS AND THE ULTIMATE
"Let's face it—in this business, the best response you get from the field staff is obviously ultimately in the wins and losses column."
"It's a dream come true. This doesn't happen very often in baseball, where you literally get to come home in the capacity that I do."
"The natural competitor in Bob [Melvin] and the natural competitor in me doesn't want to give anything away, certainly, with 99 games left. But I also think we have to be realistic given the available players right now, especially in the pitching rotation."
"It felt like at this point a change was necessary. It got to the point where the emphasis was on the status of the manager on a daily basis and no longer on the field. When that starts to happen, you need to shift the focus to what's really important, which is performance. That's how we came to this decision."
"It's got great pitching, good athletes, and we're going to try to play the game we're suited to play. We're probably not going to sit around and play for three-run homers a whole lot. We play in a ballpark that's probably more conducive to being aggressive, and that's what we're going to try to do."
"Whenever you replace your manager, it's a drastic move. I've never had to do it in my tenure as general manager. This is a new script for myself. I don't know if you ever know what the right time is."
PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT OUT ON THE INDIANS
"I'm not in Toronto, so I'm tired of hearing about all that. That's just retarded. If anything was different, I made pitches when I was with Toronto, and I didn't make pitches tonight. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."
"He's struggled against them. You never know exactly the reason why. The one thing that I can't do is get in the mind of my players. You try as hard as you can, but you can't do that. When you miss a little bit in this league, you're gonna get hit hard. That's the bottom line."
"I got almost 370 bombs in the big leagues, and everybody wants to make a big deal because I bat-flip one of them."
"If he doesn't hit that ball out, he's got a problem. It's right down the middle, 3-2, and he basically did what he's supposed to do with it."
"I'm still trying to figure out if David got hit for something I did or if it was something ESPN stirred up."
"I mean, it's not my first time, it's not going to be my last time. Big deal. I enjoy the game. I'm a home run hitter. It's not like I do it all the time. It's part of the excitement, you know what I mean? What can I tell you?"
LET'S HOPE HE'S PLEDGING THE SCOUTS
"I'm being honest when I say this: I don't give it much thought. I feel like I'm a Cub. I'm not thinking, 'I'm a Cub for a year.' I'm just saying, 'I'm a Cub.' In my mind, that's the way I view it."
"If I'm going to be here for this ballclub, playing my heart out every single day, then I must believe inside of me that it is eternal. I can't sit here and say, 'I'll be here a couple of months.' To think that way would show a lack of respect for my teammates, a lack of respect for the fans, a lack of respect for myself."
"We have selective ears and vision. We have the parental controls on the televisions in the clubhouse. We only choose to focus on the things that concern us. Everything else, we ignore.''
"I'm a Cub. I have suffered our losses, enjoyed our wins. I'm eager to enjoy many more wins and help this ballclub. We want it to happen immediately, this year. But I can also see myself being a Cub for a while. That's the mentality that serves me well, gets the most out of me on the field. That's the way I view the entire situation, regardless of what the business of baseball might be."
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO...PEOPLE
"I was ready to sign for $1,000 and a plane ticket. They ended up giving me $60,000."
"I'm definitely happy for him. He's my youngest brother, and growing up he didn't care too much about being too good at baseball. Ever since he was getting into high school and getting into baseball there, he wanted to play, and he's turned into a good player. And now it seems that he has a lot of want-to. I am happy this is where he is now. We'll see how the pros treat him."
"Everyone on the MLB Network was talking about how the Mets were taking a gamble on me, but that it was a good gamble. So when the general manager, vice president, and scouting director called me, I thanked them for taking a chance on me and having faith in me. I told them that I wasn't going to disappoint them and that I was going to work harder than anybody for this."
"Is anyone complaining about our pitching? We have 59 more picks to make in the draft, and it's all about acquiring talent. To get a left-handed pitcher of this caliber, with his history, made sense."
"I was completely and utterly shocked that I was picked that soon. I had an idea that I may be picked somewhere in the top part of the draft, but never would I have thought I would be number two."
"The kid has three above-average major-league pitches—fastball, change-up, slider—he's good athlete. When you pick that high, you take the best player or pitcher, and Dan was the best guy, no doubt, at number two."
THE FUTURE VALUE IS JUST BREATHTAKING
"It's not a secret that we value guys who can do everything. We put a premium on defense, we put a premium on guys who can run the bases, and obviously what they bring offensively, and we feel like he's got a very well-rounded game that will fit in with the style that we like to play."
"He's an 18-year-old kid. He's going to be fine."
"I don't think we did as well in any of the mock drafts as we did, to be honest with you."
"I told her, 'If you keep acting the way you do, sometimes you might see it again.' She laughed. She giggled."
"I met with the architect in London three or four years ago to talk about not doing a retro stadium and what I had as a vision. We drew on some napkins in the hotel, and I gave him some sketches. When he came back with a sketch built on my concept, I said, 'You've got it. Let's go from here.' I had an idea of what I wanted to see, but I also was seeking [themes] in conjunction with the environment. This is a very exciting, growing part of the world, very contemporary. The stadium had to imitate the spirit of the area."
"He did? Good for you, Peter. Finally somebody else out-tagged me. Why do you say that, Peter? You have only been to Wrigley Field for a few days. You're not at Wrigley Field all of the time. That's why Peter is one of the brightest men in baseball."
"It's ridiculous it's come to that. If he's supposed to be part of the solution, I don't see the point of taking him out of the equation. It's sending him mixed messages. I don't care if he's 0-for-50, you're not going to get him relaxed by taking him out of the lineup."
"I think that at times the fans in the community—and I don't know if it's a fact or not—but I get the feeling that they overlook how special a person we have been able to have around for as long as we've had in baseball. I don't know how baseball looks at him, but whether you like him or don't like him, he's a pretty amazing person."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.