HE'S GOING TO MAKE JOE WEST AN OFFER HE CAN'T REFUSE
"If he doesn't want to do Red Sox and Yankee games, he should tell the umpires' union. Then when we're in the World Series, he'll be out of that assignment, too.''
—Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, on umpire Joe West's attack on Boston and Yankees for taking too much time to play their games.
"They're the two clubs that don't try to pick up the pace. They're two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? It's pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play.''
—West, on his displeasure at umpiring Boston's three-game series with New York.
"Obviously, I think I need to be somewhat careful is the right word, selective. I mean, I think it kind of surprised all of us. When you have somebody in charge of running the game without bias, and then you hear those comments coming out pretty strong, it probably worries you a little bit.''
—Red Sox manager Terry Francona
"If he has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us [the players] to do, swing at balls? … We don't want to play four-hour games, but that's what it takes. We respect and love the fans and do what we have to do, and that's play our game."
—Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, on West
IF HE REALLY MEANT IT, HE'D LOAN OUT RANDY WINN
"I'm sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers. We play by all the rules and there doesn't seem to be any complaints when teams such as the Brewers receive hundreds of millions of dollars that they get from us in revenue sharing the last few years. Take some of that money that you get from us and use that to sign your players. The question that should be asked is: Where has the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue sharing gone?"
—Yankees president Randy Levine, on Brewers owner Mark Attanasio's recent comments.
"I'm glad people are talking about it, because we live it. The Yankees and Red Sox can put a product on the field every year that's competitive. We can't realistically compete for the playoffs 10 years in a row."
—Rays president Matt Silverman, on the gap in revenue.
"I don't feel bad for anybody. We play by the rules. Last year, we subsidized clubs to the tune of about $150 million. So the Yankees are not only funding themselves, but a good many teams. Nobody complains when they receive those checks. They shouldn't be complaining now. Maybe the question should be: Where is that money going?"
"There's no baseball executive that thinks things should all be even. but when payrolls are three times yours, it can become insurmountable."
—Orioles president Andy MacPhail (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)
THEY CAN WORK THIS INTO A MESSAGE FOR SEASON-TICKET HOLDERS
“Well, don’t watch it. That’s easy, man. If you don’t want to watch the way I’m managing this club, it’s easy, be a Cub fan or talk about something else. I’m not going to tell people why I do stuff, what I did. They talk about taking the bat away from Beckham, that’s the seventh and ninth innings and I’ve got my best two hitters, the only guys swinging the bat well right now, right behind him."
—White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen
"All those idiots out there that think about baseball, come out here and manage. I don’t have to explain to anybody why I do stuff. Some guy said, ‘Take the bat away from the kid that’s going to hit 20 home runs and 40 doubles.' He will hit 40 doubles and 20 home runs even bunting the guy late in the game."
"The thing about it, like I said yesterday, we cannot strike out 12 times when we have a team that’s not going to hit that many home runs."
—Guillen (Scot Gregor, Daily Herald)
THE EIGHTEENTH USE OF THE WORD INSURABLE PROVES HE'S COMFORTABLE WITH JOSH'S HEALTH
“He’s a guy that is insurable. He’s a guy we count on to be as healthy as he’s been. He’s been remarkably consistent; he’s thrown as many innings as anybody. There’s not a medical reason why that shouldn’t continue.”
—Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, on locking up starter Josh Beckett to a long-term extension.
“All the testing now is better than it’s ever been. The commitment we made today demonstrates that. We kind of put our money where our mouth is. I guess I look at it differently than most people do. A lot of people look at what you could lose or what you lost. I looked at what I gained here."
—Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, signing his four-year contract extension.
"I gained four years more of stability knowing that I’m going to be in an organization that’s going to put a competitive team out there every year. That can’t be underestimated."
“If you don’t have this type of pitching now, it’s going to be hard to acquire it. Now we know we have basically our whole rotation wrapped up with more kids coming in the pipeline that we really believe in. Now we can focus on other areas."
—Theo Epstein (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)
CLIFF LEE TOUCHED THE LIVES OF SO MANY PHILLIES
"I have no idea. I'm sure we could afford him. We turned nearly 4 million people through the turnstiles last year. I don't know. You should have [Phillies GM] Ruben [Amaro] on here. … When the trade happened, I actually got a text from Jayson Werth and he was like, ‘What are we doing?' And I was like, ‘Didn't we get Halladay?' And he was like, ‘Yeah, but we traded Lee.' And my mouth dropped like, ‘That wasn't part of the deal.'"
—Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, on former teammate Cliff Lee, who was traded to the Mariners over the offseason.
"I really don't know. I thought we had enough to keep him. I thought we could have done enough to keep him. I guess that's just a move the Yankees do. … That's just the truth."
The Yankees would have been like, ‘Hey, we got a chance to keep both of them. We'll pay them both for a year or two and we got a chance to win a championship.' "
—Rollins (The Dan Patrick Show)
THIS ANGER FEELS MISDIRECTED SOMEHOW
“He needs to mature. He has put us in a bad situation. What if he had walked last night and we tied the game? Was he going to tell me then that he couldn’t catch. I don’t care how badly he wants to play, you can’t just think about yourself. He was supposed to be healthy when we left spring training. That’s what he told us. I’m not disappointed in him for being hurt; that happens. I’m disappointed in how he has handled it.”
—Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, on catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hiding an injury from the team that put him out for a game.
"I wish he would have told us Monday night that he was hurting. That's all. It's about being accountable to his teammates and the organization. He should never feel like he's letting anyone down because he can't do something. No one has ever questioned his desire. He wants to be the No. 1 guy badly. He's a gamer, man."
"I understand the right thing to do was Monday after the game saying, 'Hey, I've got pain.' They've got the right to know, and I'm not shying away from that."
—Saltalamacchia (Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News)
“We had this issue last year and again today. There was absolutely no question. I got balls that there was nothing wrong with. (Either) they make an adjustment or look into it, (or) ultimately, somebody’s going to get hurt. Something’s going to get away, or whatever, and end up getting somebody in the head. I hope that doesn’t happen.”
—Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, on shiny baseballs he's been forced to pitch with. (Tom Groeshen, Cincinnati Enquirer)
"In a given week, I'd say I have several conversations about trades. We're constantly e-mailing and texting each other about little ideas – 'Any interest in this?' He'll get back to me, 'No, not at this time.' You can't address every little flippant note a guy gives you because it takes too much time. And until you really get into a trade discussion where things are getting serious, you can't afford to put that much time into something that doesn't have many layers to go. But we're in contact quite a lot. There's kind of a group of guys that, at this time of year, you may be talking to this bunch of guys more than the whole, because they seem to meet the needs you have."
—Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo (MASNsports.com)
“You have to look at the big picture and not the small one, get caught up in everything that’s going on out there. That’s our job to make those tough calls. It’s for the betterment of him and the betterment of the team. CC would have fought us on it, but he would have understood. I think anyone with any baseball sense would have understood."
—Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland, on his decision to remove CC Sabathia from a possible no-hit bid even if CC hadn't given up a hit. (Chad Jennings, LoHud Yankees Blog)
“My agent wanted to kill me for not taking a four-year deal. I had no qualms about it. I said, ‘I don’t know if I want to play four years, but I know if I sign a four-year contract, I’m going to play four years.’ I try to look at the big picture. I see my family. I see what age my kids are at. They’ll both be in school next year. All that good stuff. There’s a lot of reasons for dad to be there."
—Red Sox infielder Mike Lowell (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)
"Pinch-hitting to me is like living your last day. Your doctor tells you this is your last day to live. It's kind of like that. You've got one chance, one at-bat. For me personally, when I step to the plate, it's you and me. It's one-on-one. That's what gets me going.''
—Marlins infielder Wes Helms (Miami Herald)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.