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June 1, 2009

The Week in Quotes

May 25-31

by Alex Carnevale

FAMOUS LAST WORDS

"We're very fortunate to have someone of Jim Tracy's background, knowledge, and character."
-Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd, on firing manager Clint Hurdle and replacing him with bench coach Jim Tracy.

"Obviously, this is a difficult day for us, and for me personally. Saying that, we understood the challenges in front of us. We understood this decision needed to be made."
-O'Dowd

"Am I sitting here saying to you that this is going to be a turnaround overnight? Maybe not. But I am going to do what I think has a chance to work."
-New Rockies manager Jim Tracy

"It has been a tremendous ride. It has been life lesson after life lesson. And I will tell you this, the last seven weeks I have said the serenity prayer more times than I did in the last seven years."
-Former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle (Thomas Harding, MLB.com)

A NICKNAME HAS BEEN CHOSEN

"I call it the blueprint. We have a lot of good young players that have come up through the system, and a lot of guys who are getting closer and closer to becoming permanent fixtures in Baltimore. I think it's fun. I think it's good for the game. It's a great time to be a fan of the Baltimore Orioles."
-Orioles manager Dave Trembley, on the arrival of prospect Matt Wieters to add to the Orioles' talented core of young players.

"I've never been around a prospect with this much hype, and it's something he'll need to get used to. It's something he's already begun to deal with, but it's magnified tremendously at the major league level. That's something he's going to have to live with, and the better he does on the field, the more of it there will be. So hopefully, this is just the beginning."
-Orioles director of player development David Stockstill, on Matt Wieters' ascension to the big leagues.

"The thing we had to answer and he had to answer was the question of his size. But by his junior year, there was never a question about it being a hindrance to him being a very good catcher. We pitched him less his junior year and caught him a lot more. And while I think he's going to be an All-Star-caliber catcher at the major league level, if it ever fails, he could pitch in the big leagues. He was throwing 97-98 [mph] with a great slider."
-Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall, on his former player. (Spencer Fordin, MLB.com)

THE KID DIDN'T WANT TO COME OUT

"We never doubted that we weren't going to win that game."
-University of Texas senior left-hander Austin Wood, on the 169-pitch performance in a 25-inning marathon that led to a Texas victory over Boston College in the longest college baseball game ever played.

"I've never been a part of anything like this. In fact, nobody in college baseball has been part of anything like this."
-Boston College coach Mik Aoki

"In my 41 years of coaching, the effort by Austin Wood was the best pitching performance I have ever seen."
-Texas coach Augie Garrido (John Schlegel, MLB.com)

TEARS OF A CLOWN WITH A TEENSY OPS

"All I can do about myself right now is laugh. Because I ain't going to cry. Laugh. Keep on swinging. And wait for the good-luck charm to show up. There's nothing else I can do."
-Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz

"I hit the ball pretty damn good. I hit it to the deepest part of the place. That's too bad. I should be smarter than that."
-Ortiz

"I can't swing the bat no better than that. It's just, things aren't happening. You hit the ball, you got no control over it. You got to wait for the ball to go somewhere nobody is at. They get paid to catch it. I get paid to hit it."
-Ortiz (Adam Kilgore, Boston Globe)

WE GET OVEREXCITED ABOUT NEVER GOING BACK TO THE METRODOME TOO

"When I was on the field, I felt like I was going down. I had to stop for a second. I thought I was going to pass out. I got into the clubhouse, and my heart, it just was going fast. I got settled down. I feel fine today."
-Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on his woozy experience arguing on behalf of catcher Jason Varitek in a game against the Twins.

"I just got a little over... over-whatever. They didn't let me get on the plane until everything slowed down. That was probably smart. I was a little embarrassed, but I appreciated it."
-Francona

"The guy there told me to relax. I said, 'Are you [kidding] me? Are you watching this game?'"
-Francona, on what the clubhouse doctor told him.

"The Kingdome, it was kind of ugly, but it didn't feel like you were in an office building to me."
-Francona, on the Metrodome.

"I've been checked before. I just couldn't slow it down. I've been out there a couple times where I felt like I had to slow down, but not to that point."
-Francona

"I almost felt like I had to reach out and grab him. That would have been great-going, 'You [big jerk]. ... Help me up.'"
-Francona, on feeling dizzy before he got ejected. (Adam Kilgore, Boston Globe)

POUR ONE OUT FOR ALL OUR FALLEN DRINK-DISPENSING COMRADES

"When you make a mistake, when you do something wrong, you have to pay for it."
-Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, on getting thrown out of Friday's game against the Dodgers.

"It was tough while it lasted. We're only two months into the season, and it's been through a lot already. And it was still spitting out juice."
-Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson, on the Gatorade machine Zambrano abused after his ejection.

"If you were one of the players, you got to be upset. No more Gatorade."
-NBA draft prospect James Johnson, on Zambrano's tantrum. (Nick Friedell, ESPN.com)

HE'LL GIVE YOU THE SAME ANSWER-JUST DO ME A FAVOR AND DON'T ASK HIM

"No, I don't, and if you ask Manny, he'd give you the same answer. I understand a lot of it is a popularity contest, and you want to give the manager the best players, but to me, the significance of the All-Star Game is to reward players who had a good first half."
-Dodgers manager Joe Torre, on the possible inclusion of Manny Ramirez in the All-Star Game. Ramirez is suspended until July 3rd.

"Manny's popularity is why he's gotten votes. Realistically, he didn't have, except for reputation, a right to be an All-Star. It probably isn't the right thing for him this year, from the baseball aspect, I've got to think."
-Torre

"I'm sure it would be a great honor. The fans will make up their own minds."
-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, on Ramirez' possible selection.

"My third baseman and second baseman-those two guys are standouts. [Jonathan] Broxton and [Chad] Billingsley, but with pitchers, they can't take them all."
-Torre (Ken Gurnick, MLB.com)

THE REST

"That's all crap. Wake up and smell the coffee. If he's on national television on ESPN and throws 91 on the 22nd pitch, why would you think if he comes in in the eighth inning protecting a 4-3 lead [he'd throw 96]? Stop, he's a starter."
-Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on whether Joba Chamberlain's stuff plays up out of the pen. (Erik Boland, Newsday)

"I think we have bottomed out in a number of areas and that there are some semi-positive signs as many of the ... initiatives begin to get some badly needed traction."
-Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff, on the economy's impact on baseball. (Eric Fisher, SportingNews.com)

"On a night like tonight when Omir Santos plays the way he did, it makes the decision easier."
-Mets general manager Omar Minaya, on dealing catcher Ramon Castro to the White Sox for reliever Lance Broadway. (Adam Rubin, New York Daily News)

"Release the lions."
-Nationals analyst Rob Dibble, after the umpiring crew came back out of the tunnel onto the field after an eight-minute instant replay review delay.

"We just need him to step up to be who he's supposed to be."
-Astros manager Cecil Cooper, on the poor season enjoyed by starter Roy Oswalt. (Richard Justice, Houston Chronicle)

---

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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