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July 29, 2013

The Week in Quotes

July 22-28

by Andrew Koo, Chris Mosch and Satchel Price

REACTIONS AROUND THE LEAGUE TO RYAN BRAUN SUSPENSION

Oh, yeah, 100 percent believed him. Everything was so convincing. He had people to blame. He seemed like a really good guy. He was a good teammate at the time. You don't know the guys that he was pinning it on. I'm not positive, but I think everyone 100% believed him at the time. Especially the next year, he looked just as good as the year before. His numbers his whole career, Hall of Fame numbers. How could you not believe him? He was so convincing.”
—Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke on Ryan Braun, who was suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season due to his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. Greinke and Braun were teammates in Milwaukee during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)

The main thing is, yeah, he lied to us. He forced us to lie for him, threw people under the bus in order to help himself out and didn't care, blamed others for his mistakes and it’s just a lot of things you don’t expect from people.”
—Greinke. (Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Obviously, it affected the series because that's right when the positive test occurred, that's right when it was highest in his system and he torched us that series, there's no question about it. We still had opportunities and we can't put it all on that.”
—Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler on Braun, who originally tested positive after Game 1 of the 2011 NL Division Series. The Brewers won the series against the Diamondbacks in five games and Braun went 9-for-18 with four doubles and a home run. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)

I can't stand it. It needs to be eliminated from the game. I have an autographed Braun jersey I'm going to take down. I don't want my son associating that with what I've worked so hard to do to get to here, and have him compare Braun to me.”
—Dodgers utility man Skip Schumaker. (Doug Miller, MLB.com)

This is the big leagues. There are things I just don't buy. Guys say it is for injuries and this and that. We have a guy here who had a serious shoulder injury, Roy Halladay, and he busts his [rear] every day trying to get back on the field. You don't get a shortcut.”

—Phillies third baseman Michael Young. (Matt Gelb, Philly Inquirer)

“I talked to a lot of the guys and we think the penalties aren’t harsh enough. They should step up the penalties even more. That will really set the tell-tale sign that if you cheat and do get caught, you’re going to lose a lot of money.”
—Mariners starting pitcher Joe Saunders. (Mike Fitzpatrick, Washington Times)

In the long run, it's good for baseball. In the short term, it's another black eye. I'm sure fans are sitting there saying, 'So what else is new?'”
—Rangers first baseman Lance Berkman.

“I guess Braun thought he was going to get away with it when he got off the hook the first time. I wish I could go around to all the spring training camps and talk to the young players about what happened to me … If baseball wants to get you, they've got enough resources and enough investigators that they'll find a way to get you.”
Pete Rose (Ted Berg, USA Today)

PLAYERS, MANAGERS REFLECT AFTER HUDSON’S GRUESOME INJURY

“It's sad, sickening -- gives you a bad feeling. What a shame. It's amazing how fragile it is, because that's something you work on on the first day of Spring Training. It's like taking a drink of water. He just got in the middle of the bag and the timing was exactly wrong, instead of right, I should say. The guy just happened to be there at the exact time. It was a sad thing.”
—Tigers manager Jim Leyland on Braves pitcher Tim Hudson fracturing his ankle while covering first base. The base runner, Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr., stepped on his leg while running through the bag. (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

I'm sure there are people that think it was done on purpose. It would be asinine to think that. It's a bang-bang play over there. He had nowhere to go. Huddy had nowhere to go. It just happens.”
—Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez

“I apologized to him, told him it was an accident, I obviously wasn't trying to hurt him on the play. He just told me to keep my head up and keep playing the game the hard way, the right way. He said there was nothing I can do about it. That made me feel somewhat better, but still bummed that he's going to be out for a while.”

—Young Jr. (Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York)

“EY is just a great dude. He plays the game hard in the right way. He's just one of those guys that you love him. You could see how devastated and upset he was that he was the one who stepped on him. It was just one of those freak accident plays.”
—Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

“There’s no way to replace Timmy, and what he means to us. But we have an option (to fill in). Beachy pitched well last night at Gwinnett. He’ll be a perfect fit to fit in there on that Monday slot. We’ll have a young rotation, but hell, they’ve got to grow up sooner or later.”
—Gonzalez (David O’Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“I've gotten a chance to be around Tim at All-Star Games and playing against him for so long. He's one of the good guys in the game and to see him go down like that and know something was wrong, it's tough to watch. You never want to see anybody get hurt. You just wish him a speedy recovery and hope it's not too serious.”
—Mets third baseman David Wright

TEAMS PREPARE AS RUMORS SWIRL, TRADE DEADLINE NEARS

“My gut feeling tells me I could be traded and I could be a part of this going forward. Either way, I'll be okay. I'm a big boy and understand the situation. I'll be happy to stay here and be the best teammate I can be, grind it out the rest of the season and make sure we keep playing hard and show up to win every day. If I get traded, I'll give the boys a big hug and I'm sure a few tears will be shed, leaving the friendships here. Then I'll go play as hard as I can to help the next ball club I'm on. Just going to take it in and we'll see how the next few days play out.”
—White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy on potentially making his final start with the team amidst rumors. (Scott Merkin, MLB.com)

“Realistically, we all know what's out there. I've been around the game for a while. I know what happens. I've seen guys come and go this time of year. But at the same time, I get motivated by playing baseball. But at the same time, I'd be lying if I said ... this is a very realistic thing. I've said all along, I'd love to win here. This team traded for me. I want to finish up the season on a high note. At the same time, there are a lot of things I don't control.”
—Phillies infielder Michael Young (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com)

“I don't have a crystal ball, Bud Norris doesn't have a crystal ball. None of us are psychic. We can't predict what's going to happen. Is there a probability? Yes, because he's a commodity which other people would like to have, but at the same time he's a commodity for us as well.

Like I said to him, just go out and pitch and don't worry about what the next day is going to bring and whether you're going to be here or someplace else. Let the decision-makers that are making those decisions be able to be allowed to make the decisions, and you control the portion of this that's in your hands, which is your performance.”
—Astros manager Bo Porter on the rumors surrounding pitcher Bud Norris. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)

“I've never worried about this stuff and I'm not going to start now. I'm going to play and help this team win. My thought process is battling with this team and helping us get to postseason again. Obviously I've enjoyed myself here and enjoy my teammates. I love everything about this organization and the way they treat their players. I'm assuming I'll be here the rest of the year.”
—Rangers closer Joe Nathan (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)

CHRIS ARCHER HAS STERLING JULY, RAYS “JUST VIBING”

Going into the ninth inning, I was fully confident that we weren't going to have to go to the bullpen because this is the best I've ever felt, this month, in my life. As far as pitching goes and as far as everything else goes. Seems like everything is falling into place for the team, we're just vibing. There's a chemistry that you can't put words on. And I'm not even going to try to.”
—Rays starter Christopher Archer, after shutting out the New York Yankees in a complete game, allowing just two hits. It was a 97-pitch effort that capped a marvelous July for Archer, who pitched 37 innings and allowed just three earned runs. (Bill Chastain, MLB.com)

We knew he was good, but to do what he's doing now is a little bit more than that. That was a complete-game shutout under 100 pitches against a good team. Obviously, his confidence is way up there. He is taking this to another level. He's a bright guy, he understands what's going on. I thought the biggest hurdle for him was to control his emotions and keep his focus, which he's been doing.”
—Manager Joe Maddon.

Everybody has known I could do it. I just had to realize I could do it.”
—Archer. Ace David Price and pitching coach Jim Hickey have been key mentors for him. (Richard Justice, MLB.com)

Bullpen guys, a lot of times, are still able to throw a lot of strikes without a lot of work. [Joel Peralta] is already barking at me right now. He wants out there. Jake [McGee] is the one guy I think that kind of resembles [former Rays closer Troy Percival], in that he doesn't need to throw to throw a strike. Alex [Torres] is fine. I think the two guys I need to keep a close eye on so no rust builds up on them are Fernando and Joel.”
—Maddon, on his underused bullpen. With the recent dominant starting pitching, the bullpen hasn’t seen much action. (Bill Chastain, MLB.com)

It just seemed like we started eating different cereal or something, I don't know what it was. (It was) Fruity Pebbles, and we've moved on to Lucky Charms.”
—Starter Matt Moore, crediting the Rays’ 21-4 record since June 29 to... cereal? (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)

TWITTER

THE REST

We do it because you can't identify a lead with your peripheral vision. You come set and your peripheral vision only measures movement, it doesn't measure distance. So when we do that, we look with both of our eyes. So when we look with both our eyes, we can judge and measure the distance on where they're at. So when we come set, if we see movement and they take one step to their right, we know what kind of a lead they have before we come set. So if they take one step to the right, we know they've got a bigger step. If they're one step to the left, we know exactly how far they are.”
—Royals starter James Shields, on the science behind his pickoff move. He recorded his 26th career pickoff on Friday, catching Alejandro De Aza off first base. (Dick Kaegel, MLB.com)

That's how it is when you've been playing with something nine years. That's what the doctor told me. He said, 'Look, you've been nine or 10 years playing with this and it gets worse.' It's like if you have an injury in your arm and you keep throwing. What do you think? It's a long year, and it's going to catch up to you. That's what happens.”
—Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, on the plantar fasciitis in his left foot, which has bothered him all season and intermittently cropped up since 2003. Pujols was placed on the DL on Sunday. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

I think, ideally, if everyone is pitching well then I'm not our closer. J.J. is the guy, or Heath is the guy or David is the guy. ... Their style of pitching is better suited for that role. I'm better suited to come in with runners on base. At the same time, when those guys are struggling if they feel I'm the best guy for that spot, then I'll jump in there and try and get three outs.”
—Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler, who has assumed the closer role in Arizona. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)

“The number of strikeouts for me isn't the factor and CarGo knows this. It's about when they come. Let's face it: The guys that hit the ball a mile, like CarGo can, are going to strike out. It's the length [of the swing] and all that stuff. It comes with the territory.”
—Rockies manager Walt Weiss on outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is striking out in over a quarter of his trips to the plate this season. (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)

They said, 'We'll put you up, take care of you. Just name your price. I didn't do it because I felt like I was kind of breaking the code. I can't remember if anybody else has ever asked me to do it, but I felt like now that I'm employed by the Astros, I can definitely do it.”
—Astros broadcaster and former knuckleball pitcher Steve Sparks on declining an offer to throw batting practice to the Yankees prior to a 2004 game against Boston’s Tim Wakefield. Sparks threw two rounds of batting practice to Astros hitters before Friday’s game against R.A. Dickey. (Brian McTaggart, MLB.com)

“He’s pitched in a lot of big games and he’s won a lot of big games. It’s pretty cool to get that kind of guy. He can change a lot for us in just 10 or 12 starts. It was always fun to face him because he was yelling at me and I was yelling at him. But the bottom line is he’s a competitive guy and a winner.”
—Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski on the acquisition of starting pitcher Matt Garza. (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)

“I think there’s a lot of things that led to this that could’ve been prevented. You know, you basically send a guy a message this offseason, for having one bad game, that he’s not the guy for the job. He’s only human. I mean, it’s going to get to anybody ... It’s one of those things that I think was handled very poorly by the organization. But at the same time, that’s the decision that was made and we have to move forward as a team. We have great guys in this locker room that are going to get it done. We’re going to make a playoff push at the end of the season, I have no doubt about that. But this is a tough day.”
—Nationals pitcher Tyler Clippard on teammate Drew Storen’s struggles since the team signed closer Rafael Soriano during the winter. Storen lost the Nats’ closer gig after blowing a pivotal lead in the 2012 postseason, and now he’s been demoted to Triple-A. (Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington)

“Honestly, it doesn’t have anything to do with me. I was in a race to win the MVP, I got second. It is what it is. The voters had an opinion about who they wanted to pick as the MVP. That’s who they picked, that’s who they felt was the MVP. You have to respect them for that. The other stuff, it is what it is, man. For me, all I’m worried about is getting healthy and getting back on the field and helping my team win.”
—Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp on finishing runner-up to Ryan Braun in 2011 NL MVP voting. (Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times)

You have to find a balance, just like with anything. You have to know the person, and I think [front offices] do, and they do look at sabermetrics to try to make good choices. At the end of the day, putting the chemistry together and the fluidity, it's constantly going to be changing. There's nothing that is certain in baseball or in life.”
—Giants outfielder Hunter Pence on embracing the advanced metrics movement. (Andrew Owens, MLB.com)

It meant more to me than people will ever realize. I wish my dad could've been here. I know he would be proud -- that was the first thing I thought of. … I didn't think I'd get to that number after I hurt my wrist and [didn't hit] a home run for three years. And not knowing if you'd be serviceable enough to stay in the big leagues not driving the baseball. I'm proud of the fact that I was able to hang around long enough for it to correct itself, and to do it. But I thought about my dad.”
—Blue Jays utilityman Mark DeRosa, reflecting after hitting his 100th career home run on Saturday. (Evan Peaslee, MLB.com)

It's kind of funny. I've had sand kicked in my face, but I've never really been sculpted with sand.”
—Maddon, on a St. Pete Beach sand sculpture built to resemble him in gnome form. (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)

Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Andrew's other articles. You can contact Andrew by clicking here
Chris Mosch is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Chris's other articles. You can contact Chris by clicking here

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