July 5, 2011
The Week in Quotes
June 27-July 3
THE IRRESTIBLE FORCE MEETS THE UNWALKABLE OBJECT
"I might lose some respect from the players. People believe in Juan. They know he's our leader. I'm not afraid to bench a guy that's not producing, as long as I have something else better or equal. But I think he plays the game right. He works. A lot of people look up to him. Our players love him."
"I will not and have not put one player on this team that the coaches and Ozzie haven't had input in and haven't discussed because they know—and I know this better and mostly because I've been in this dugout—they know the pulse. They know whether there's cohesiveness, lack of cohesiveness, fight or non-fight."
"I always say it's about winning; I don't care about feelings. But you have to be careful. You have to be careful how you treat your players, how your players are going to respond. If I do that to Juan, well, I never did it to anybody else. A lot of people have struggled, and I say, 'I'm not going to bench you.'"
"Joey just talked to Viciedo yesterday and I say someone tell Viciedo I don't hate him because I don't have space for him here."
"I wish I had 25 Juan Pierres, with all due respect to Konerko, Rios, Dunn. If you ever manage Juan Pierre, you appreciate the way this kid goes about his business. Maybe he'll be 0-for-100 in the next 20 games. I don't care. He's playing."
"I appreciate Ozzie saying he has my back, but I've been benched before, I've been booed, I've batted ninth, I've dropped balls—I've done all this stuff in my career. So this stuff doesn't shake me when I do get the boos or the media talk bad about me. I'm used to it."
THEY NEED EVERY ADVANTAGE AGAINST THE PIRATES THEY CAN GET
"Interleague is an advantage to the National League teams. We build our teams around the designated hitter and when they come to our park they get to use their position players and their pitchers don't have to hit. But vice versa with us, our pitchers have to hit, which they never do."
"I feel like shit. When you're a player and you're not playing, it's not going to get any better."
"It's one of those things, it's not going to change. Hopefully at some point Bud Selig will review it, but for us, we're at a disadvantage a lot and hopefully in interleague we can use the DH in National League parks and the World Series, too."
"It's not a good feeling, not playing. But I don't even want to think about that because that'll make it worse. It's not their fault. It's not our fault. It's this interleague shit. Last thing [Francona] wants is not having me in the lineup, but there's nothing you could do about it."
A SINGLE TEAR TOUCHES A-ROD'S CHEEK
"I don't know if he's the best player. He's the most electric and is having the best year, but you've got to look at consistency. Robinson Cano is the best player on the field."
"You sensed it not only in the dugout, but also in the stands. The air came out of the bubble."
"They have the world's greatest player playing shortstop over there, and the most exciting. I turn on the TV every time I get a chance to watch him."
"All I wanted to suggest was if we're playing lousy, it doesn't mean Jose is gone. That's basically the point I'm trying to make. If we are playing lousy, are we a seller? Generally speaking—maybe, probably."
CONTACT WITH THE BAG
"I don't know. You can go back and look at it develop on replay. You need to make some sort of contact with the bag, and I didn't think he did whatsoever. Part of it is the throw took him there."
"If you're cheating with a perfect throw on the bag, that's one thing. But I thought the throw took him way inside. I just don't think you assume the double play in that situation."
"I was mad, and to me, I just thought… and Paul is a good umpire… but I thought he was way off the bag. That shouldn't be a given."
STOP TRYING TO LEARN A LESSON FROM THIS PLEASE
"I'm the captain of this ship, and something like that cannot happen. That falls on me. I should have trusted my instincts with what I felt it was, but I didn't, and that's my fault. That can't happen. I preach to these guys about being accountable, and I sure as hell need to be accountable for that yesterday."
"Last time I saw that it was like the four- and five-year-olds playing T-ball, or coach-pitch or something, where there's one umpire on the field and they might lose track. I've never heard of that in a big-league game. I've seen it a lot of times where guys will run down to first on three balls, but they always get called back. I've never seen it where it slips by everybody."
"You have to follow the game, which I think we do as well as anybody. But it's just such a rarity to the point where I've never seen it before. Like I said, I have to trust my gut on that one. There is human error, but that can't happen. I think we've definitely become too dependent on the scoreboard, I'll say that much."
HE TACTFULLY TOLD HIM HE WAS TOO OLD TO PLAY ANYMORE
"Very tough and tough for Theo. Theo did most of the talking, and I appreciated the way he spoke to Cam. As a player, I wish somebody maybe would have treated me like that. That's a hard thing to do, and I thought Theo handled it well. I thought Cam did, too, but I was really proud of Theo."
"We've been scratching our heads. I'll take the hit on this one. We try to be disciplined with trying to look for players in their primes when we bring them in. Sometimes, you just can't do that. Mike was still a productive player when we got him, but—this is all speculation—maybe because of his advanced age, despite the great shape he keeps himself in, he had the significant internal injury, the double hernia, double groin surgery this winter, maybe it just made the recovery that much more difficult at his age."
"People think Father Time has got me. But it wasn't Father Time. It was not getting much of a chance to go out there and run around and play. It was a new experience, but it's all good."
"We tried to give him an opportunity to get back on track—multiple opportunities—but unfortunately it just wasn't working out. We felt it was best for him personally and for the organization that we make this decision. Obviously, he was disappointed that it came to this for multiple reasons, but I also think he felt somewhat relieved."
"It's a possibility for everybody in here. You can throw that against the wall and see if it sticks. He straight made that up."
"I know it's frustrating for him because he wants to be out there. He wants to help this team. I know we want him out there, but this is the way it goes, you have to deal with injuries sometimes. He has probably had more than his share. It's not from lack of work, because he's a great worker. He takes great care of his body. Unfortunately, he hasn't held up the way he has hoped or we hoped."
"The one interesting thing about me is I just can't do it when asked upon. Even in batting practice, I hit one or two out out of 40-plus swings and people say, 'Are you trying?' I go, 'Not necessarily.' But when I do try, it still doesn't happen. I don't think it would be very effective for me."
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.