July 2, 2012
The Week in Quotes
June 25-July 1
KEVIN YOUKILIS (INSERT BANAL JOKE ABOUT CHANGING SOX)
“It’s tough. I played with the guy my whole career. I know how hard he’s played in every game. He’s put on the uniform, so it’s sad. He pushes me every day. I want to go out and play hard like he does. He’s always out there doing his best to help us win. I appreciate him so much.”
“And finally Boston, I just want to say, thank you for Youkilis. I'm just saying, he's going to have to change the color of his Sox, ha, ha, ha, ha.”
“I didn't think I'd get any boos out of here but... I should not have brought up baseball, I understand. My mistake, my mistake. You've got to know your crowd.”
“Hitting was normal. I had to bear down a couple of times and focus while I was out in the field. Once I did that, I actually kind of had fun. It wasn’t fun that we lost. It was probably one of the things that wasn’t easy. But it was just kind of enjoyable to be around new teammates and a new environment.”
“It seems like I can’t escape the Red Sox with some of the highlights up there, but it was kind of nice to see some of your teammates doing well. Hopefully (Tuesday) there won’t be any Red Sox highlights, so we can all move on. It was a good day, but unfortunately it was a bad day that we lost.”
HANNAHAN FLIES OUT TO (FAN IN) LEFT FIELD
“Stuff like that happens—they’re not perfect. But he said, ‘Out,’ right away, and what was I supposed to do? Run back to left field?”
“I believed the ball was in his glove when he came out of the stands.”
“I asked him about the foul ball down the line. He said it was hugging the line all the way, which was incorrect. It was a foul ball all the way. You could tell where I slid. I let it go. Umpires are human. They make mistakes.”
“He blew the call in the second inning that led to three runs, and that was right in front of him. I can live with the fact that he didn't see him drop the ball. Or the fan jumping up and down 2 feet away, excited that he got a foul ball. For him not to ask to see the ball is absolutely inexcusable ... It's frustrating.”
"He gave me an early hook. I tried to discuss it with him. I didn't swear or anything."
“That’s a play where you don’t know what happens until you see the replay, so no one could argue that. What can he do? He can’t see the guy picking up the ball over there.”
FIGHTIN’ WORDS OVER ALL-STAR PICKS
—Reds manager Dusty Baker on Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips not making the National League All-Star team. The Reds and Cardinals, then managed by NL All-Star manager Tony La Russa, were involved in a skirmish in 2010 when Phillips earlier called the Cardinals “whiners,” and Cueto kicked Cardinals back-up catcher Jason LaRue in the head. (John Fay, Cincinnati Enquirer)
“Too late now. What are we going to talk about now? If you’re going to talk to me, you talk before. If they wanted my opinion, they would have asked. I’m sure it’s not just Tony’s decision.”
“If Dusty had been more interested in Cueto being on the team, then he wouldn’t be pitching him on Sunday. Cueto probably would be on the team if he wasn’t pitching Sunday. The comments Dusty made clearly disappoint me and are attacking my integrity. The All-Star experience is too important to let anything stand in the way of a decision like that. No way am I going to penalize anybody for any kind of past history. The fact is that Cueto is going to be pitching on Sunday. Some other day, he’s probably on the team.”
THOME HEADING SOUTH ON I-95
“It's bittersweet, to be honest. Jim is a great teammate. I think we're all sorry to see him go, but also we're excited he'll get opportunities to get at-bats daily and still do a lot of damage.”
“First and foremost, my job is to put us in the position to do the right thing for the organization. At the same time, the player that we're talking about and the great deal of respect we have for Jim, I wanted to try to put him in a position where he can flourish.”
CLIFF LEE IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY
“It was just weird. It seemed like everything they hit went between third and short. They just got a lot of hits. It was one of those nights, I can’t really explain it.”
“For the whole team it kind of has been. We've been in last place from the start till now, so I don't think anyone is really happy with how things have gone as group.”
MIKE TROUT RUNS, JUMPS, AND LANDS IN BASEBALL STARDOM
"Let him get his arms extended, he'll make you pay. Tremendous power to all fields. But that kid's not just a slugger; he can play the game."
"It reminded me of a young Torii Hunter. I should rephrase that – it reminded me of Torii Hunter."
"Very impressive. A-plus. I give him a 98. Just watching him go up in the air, I got chills. I was pumping my fist. We were high-fiving."
"I knew he barreled it up. I was running back. When I got to the track, I just told myself the only chance I had was if I jumped. I jumped as high as I could and caught it. It kind of helps with the rubber warning track."
"If you look at Mike's potential, it's not surprising. But when you look at someone doing it at this young an age, it's certainly an accomplishment. But he's just playing baseball. And I think it's important for him to keep that perspective. Just keep going out there and playing baseball."
—Harper voiced his respect for fellow former first overall pick Chipper Jones. (Amanda Comak, @acomak, Washington Times)
—This tweet evaded us last week, but its awesomeness found a place here this week. Hamilton entered Sunday’s action with 96 stolen bases, and a keen awareness of the time. (Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds)
—Stan Kasten basically confirmed the Dodgers’ intent to become the Yankees of the West Coast. (Dylan Hernandez, @dylanohernandez, Los Angeles Times)
“It gives everybody that’s ever played the game, that dealt with adversity and finally got here a ray of hope. It’s all the guys that are hanging in the minor leagues, getting a cup of coffee. Never going to be good enough. Never going to be able to do this. You know what? You reach down inside. And, yeah, he did something extraordinary. He found a pitch that’s difficult to throw and mastered it. It’s still something where you can hang onto the fact that ‘Hey, it can be done.’ ”
“There haven't been many people pitching better than Hamm, and he gets a mulligan.”
“I take full responsibility for this game. The pitch to Wieters was the dumbest pitch I've thrown in a long time. It was my call. They asked me what pitch I wanted to throw. I said an inside sinker. You can't get beat inside. I've got to make him hit the ball the other way."
“Piece of cake. It’s always been my experience that good closers know how much they’ve got to work with. He’s been a guy who will bend a little bit in these situations, but very seldom does he break. It’s his job. You let him get his job done. You know what? He got the save, and we got the win. That’s all that matters.”
“The fact that I am in All-Star candidate is more of a buildup by just who I am, where I came from and the media promoting it this much. Personally, do I feel like I'm an All-Star? I don't think so.”
“I got excited. When the crowd got loud, I got excited. I was smiling if you see. Nobody out, first and second, I was like, 'Oh (expletive) – I like this. I've got to get out of here. It's going to be fun when I get out of this.’ ”
“This was not a desperation move as has been portrayed. This is something I have been looking at since I came to this organization and realized the issues presented at playing at 5,183 feet above sea level.”
“My first time, all I thought about was 'Pull. Pull. Pull.' And, oh man, after the first round I was really fatigued. I barely advanced. It gets to you. My obliques were really sore. But after that, I just took it like a batting practice. I can hit the ball out from foul pole to foul pole. I don't have to pull everything. Some guys think they have to pull everything. That's where a lot of guys struggle.”
“I like the feeling of having a chip on my shoulder. Look at my track record -- I never did anything close to major league level until last year. I heard questions all offseason. I had questions of whether I could do it again.”
“I'm tired of watching it. I'm patient and I believe that nine times out of 10 you're rewarded with patience. But there also has to be a sense of urgency with every player in that room. And you've got to be able to walk that line. And we've got too many people not doing it right now. We've got maybe a couple, or three guys swinging the bat OK right now and that's it. Out of what? Thirteen or whatever it is?”
“We want to do everything possible to make sure our city continues to be safe. The rivalry should only be on the sports field.”
“He's been a part of my family for the last five years. He was a good man. He was a huge part of what I was able to do in San Diego. Whenever you're around someone as long as you're around someone in this clubhouse or anywhere, people become family.”
“You look at Cal Ripken. You look at Derek Jeter. You look at all the greats that played for one team their whole career. I want to be like that. I’ve always wanted to be like that. I’ve always wanted to play with that same team.”
Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus.