AND THEY SAY RBI AREN’T IMPORTANT
“That’s the happiest 0 for 7 I’ve ever had in my life. I played good defense, got the RBI, and we won the game. And finally, it’s over.”
–Mets shortstop Jose Reyes after winning a 20-inning contest against the Cardinals on Saturday.
“When I came in at 0-0, I kept telling myself ‘be ready, you’re going to have a shot to win this game, you’re going to have a shot to win this game,’ and then they put me on the mound and I really had a shot to win the game, literally. It couldn’t have been more the opposite, I actually got the loss. It was again, so much heart, so much passion from this team. A lot of clutch hits, a lot of big plays. Nobody gave up. Not one guy.”
-Cardinals utility player Joe Mather, who threw two innings after playing center field and third base in the game.
“I got up (to warm up) more than 10 times. Pretty much every inning.”
-Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez
“I think if they hadn’t said anything, I was going to say something. It’s pretty special to be a part of this ballclub. I’m pretty sure Tony is so smart that he doesn’t want us to go home thinking that we should have won this game. Definitely we should have won, but to be able to battle for eight, nine hours, it’s pretty special and he feels the same way that I feel. He knows what type of guys we have here and it’s pretty special to be a part of it.”
-Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols on praising his team’s effort after the loss. (B.J. Rains, St. Louis Globe-Democrat)
“We’re not perfect. We went out there and left a lot of guys on base. We struck out a whole bunch of times. To see the effort and the way we kept after it was memorable.”
-Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
“Sophomore year of high school. That’s quite a few years ago. Unfortunately being a little wild was the problem then. So I think I honestly did a little better tonight.”
-Mather on the last time he pitched in an organized baseball game before Saturday evening.
“I know we lost, but it was pretty fun going out there and doing that. Pretty crazy. I tried to pretend like it was BP. It was a little nerve-wracking. I just didn’t want to drop it.”
-Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse on his three-inning appearance as the team’s left fielder. (Matthew Leach, MLB.com)
JUST WHEN MIKE JACOBS‘ HEART WAS GROWING THREE SIZES TOO BIG, JERRY BREAKS IT
“We still feel like we have people in the right place to get it done.”
-Mets manager Jerry Manuel, on his team’s declining fortunes.
“I was looking at experience. We’re playing with a new left fielder. He’s a pretty good center fielder; so is Angel. Angel can do some things here and there. He’s a good player as well. I was going with the experience and possibly a little more power.”
-Manuel on why he went with Gary Matthews Jr. as his center fielder to start the season.
“When we’re not winning, and these types of things get out there like that, then the focus becomes on me, my security, my deal, my this, my that. You have to give it some thought. But with where we’re at, all these things that are happening are part of the character-building of hopefully a championship team.”
-Manuel (New York Daily News)
CHANGING YOUR APPROACH AFTER FIVE NO-HIT INNINGS HAS GOTTA BE A FIRST
“In the fifth inning Bob Apodaca, he just came to me and was like ‘You’ve been throwing good from the stretch, why don’t you just give it a try?'”
–Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez after throwing the first no-hitter in Rockies’ franchise history on Saturday.
“Because it’s only his third start of the season, I start looking at the [pitch count]. Is the pitch count intact enough to the point it doesn’t become ridiculous and you run the risk of jeopardizing a young man’s career?”
-Rockies manager Jim Tracy
“Oh my God, Chipper and McCann. They’re two of the best hitters in the league. Why did it have to be those guys? Can’t they give me a break or something?”
-Jimenez, on what was going through his mind before the ninth.
“Before the last inning, I told him to go forward into the spotlight, to grab it. It was his night and now he’s going to remember it forever.”
-Rockies third baseman Melvin Mora (Troy Renck, Denver Post)
FOR EXAMPLE, JIM THOME SMELLS DISTINCTLY OF ROSEMARY AND PRINGLES
“Call it what you want to. I ain’t fit to say it. After I retire I’ll say it. I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to say after I retire.”
–Twins second baseman Orlando Hudson on what he believes is discrimination by MLB owners against black players.
“You see guys like Jermaine Dye without a job. Guy with [27 home runs and 81 RBIs] and can’t get a job. Pretty much sums it up right there, no? You’ve got some guys who miss a year who can come back and get $5, $6 million, and a guy like Jermaine Dye can’t get a job. A guy like Gary Sheffield a first-ballot Hall of Famer, can’t get a job.”
“That’s kind of a touchy subject, I guess. Outside of me, there’s not a lot of African-American utility players. We’ve got to do some damage when we play. We hit home runs, we run, we steal bags, we do some things. It’s not a lot of us that are able to sit on the bench, ’cause we’re already starting. You’ve got to look at it that way, too. Obviously now the question is later in your career, do you get the same jobs as other players get? Now, that’s a different subject.”
–Red Sox utility player Bill Hall, reacting to Hudson’s comments.
“We both know what it is. You’ll get it right. You’ll figure it out. I’m not gonna say it because then I’ll be in [trouble].”
-Hudson (Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports)
HATE TO CORRECT YOU THERE OZZIE, BUT ROD CAREW INVENTED C++
“There’s too much freaking information in baseball now. There’s too many [expletive] guys on the computer. It’s simple. I say that. Pete Rose never watched a computer. Rod Carew never did. All those hitters, they go out and see the ball, hit it and move on.”
–White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on his team’s slow offensive start.
“Every time I have a problem with my coaching staff, I’m the first one who fires them. This is like a chain, bro. If they don’t hit, they blame the hitting coach and then the manager. If they are not pitching, they blame the pitching coach. It’s about blaming people. I take the blame. I don’t want Walk or Coop (hitting coach Greg Walker or pitching coach Don Cooper) or Joey (bench coach Joey Cora) to take the blame. All of this thing, blame it on Ozzie.”
“Greg Walker is here every day at 8 in the morning watching videos, getting the information. He talks to them about hitting. Juan Pierre (has) 2,000 at-bats or more. Beckham and Quentin, they don’t need a hitting coach. It’s a matter of time when they start hitting. If we have different players, then we need to teach them. Those guys, I don’t think any guy in this lineup needs a teacher or know how to handle the big leagues.”
-Guillen (Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune)
“That kind of run differential tells us we shouldn’t have won a game. It’s been an odd year. Typically, the more runs you score, the fewer runs you give up, the more games you win. But it doesn’t always hold true. … When our pitchers are giving us a chance to win, we’ve won.”
–Pirates general manager Neal Huntington on his club’s winning record despite getting handily outscored. (Alan Robinson, The Associated Press)
“Cigarettes impact the ability to play the game, are banned from public use under a variety of state and municipal laws, and may endanger the health of those in the immediate area. Baseball players should not be prohibited from using substances that are perfectly legal and available to the general public.”
-chief labor counsel of the MLBPA David Prouty on the potential for a ban on smokeless tobacco. (Meg Tirell, Seattle Times)
“People sometimes talk about you, you know, but they have no idea how badly you’re struggling mentally, and how bad you try to do your stuff. It’s not like I just come out to the park, sit here, then play the game. It’s not like that. It’s never been like that. So when people come out and start to try to bury your ass, it hurts.”
-Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz on his .171/.237/.314 start to 2010. (Gordon Edes, ESPN.com)
“If people want to call me a liar, that’s their thought process. You can ask my coaches…It’s not something we feel that we can risk this early in the season. I would love to see all our pitchers throw a no-hitter. In no way can I risk the health of one of our players for an individual accomplishment.”
–Yankees manager Joe Girardi on whether or not he would have removed CC Sabathia from a potential no-hit bid last week. (Mike’d Up, WFAN.com)
“In college I realized I had to be really intense, the more intensity I bring the more focused I get. There were times where people told me I had to tone it down, but that’s not me. I need to get more intense, get more focused and everything falls in place for me. It’s a happy medium.”
–Tigers starter Max Scherzer after his Sunday start. (ESPN.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.