ED WADE RESPONDED: "I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I AND SUCKED HIS THUMB FOR OVER AN HOUR
"I just kind of asked as an option, and what they were thinking as far as which direction they're going, do they plan to get young, or try to get some more players, or what direction are they going? They didn't really have an answer for what they were going to do right now. I still don't want people to think I'm leaving because we're not doing well right now. The reason is I don't have much of a window left to play, and I want another shot at winning."
—Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt, on his request for a trade to a contending team.
"We've got some great players, we've got some good young players coming up with Michael [Bourn] and Hunter [Pence], they're going to be superstars for a while. I just thought it was a time in my career where I needed a different place, I guess you could say."
"In ’05, when we were 15-30, there was a little bit of a different stance, I guess you would say with the organization. Now, we’re close to that record now, I think, and the stance isn’t the same as it was in ’05."
—Oswalt on how this is different from the Astros' previous slow starts.
"It’s not like I’m not happy here. This is the only place I know. They’ve given me a chance to play since ’97, and I’ve always wanted to finish here. But I want to win, too. If you go into spring training not wanting to win the whole thing, there’s no sense in playing.”
—Oswalt on playing for the Astros.
ALL EXACTLY AS HE'D PLANNED
"This was not major surgery. This was not brain surgery. This was a scratch. A Band-Aid had to be applied. This is not a major episode in any sense of the word. It's something that happens during the course of the season. We have great guys on this team. All 25 are great guys. If you had a family of 25 brothers and sisters, things would happen along the way."
—Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria on the controversy between shortstop Hanley Ramirez and the team surrounding him booting a ball and not hustling after it.
“It’s his team. He does whatever he (expletive) wants. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s brutal."
—Ramirez, on manager Fredi Gonzalez removing him from the game after his lack of hustle.
“After this is all said and done, 10 or 15 years down the road, I’ll sit back and (think) what a privilege to get a chance to manage this type of ballplayer.”
—Gonzalez after the conflict was resolved.
“That’s OK. He doesn’t understand that. He never played in the big leagues.”
—Ramirez on Gonzalez, when asked if his ankle was injured on the play.
"It's a human nature thing. People make mistakes. They correct them. And everybody moves forward. I sort of watched it from the sidelines. There was no place for me to jump in and give my opinion. Everybody did what they were supposed to do, including Hanley. It was an internal family matter. It's not the end of the world. We've moved on. Everybody has moved on. I moved on three days ago, from even asking about it."
—Loria (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun-Sentinel)
YOU JUST WALKED INTO THE LAST NIGHT OF THE RED SOX DYNASTY MISTER
"I was watching the other day this guy named Buster Olney. He was 100 percent saying that I can’t hit inside fastballs anymore. [He] needs to sit down and watch the game because I don’t get pitched inside."
—Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz on the ESPN commentator's criticism of his hitting.
"When people try to get me out, they go away. This guy was talking that I can’t hit inside pitches and I was like, ‘What is this guy watching? When was the last time he sat down to watch a game?’ I would like somebody to give this guy a call and sit [him] down to watch a game and see how many inside pitches I get, how many of those inside fastball strikes I get. I guarantee you that if he sees one the whole game, it’s a lot, because they don’t pitch me in. So don’t be saying that."
—Ortiz continuing on Olney.
"I know how to fight back. That’s the thing. I’m a nice guy. I don’t like to see people struggling. I don’t like to be horrible to people. I don’t like to be mean to people. But on the other hand, people make you be like that. People is horrible."
—Ortiz (Boston Globe)
LET'S NOT GO TAKING ANIMAL SACRIFICE OFF THE TABLE JUST YET
"You look for guys with exceptional makeup, guys who are going to absolutely maximize their tools. And I also think, when you have three or four guys with a similar ceiling, I always look at guys at more of the premium positions: middle infielders, catchers and left-handed starting pitchers. That kind of thing can narrow the field."
—Royals adviser Mike Arbuckle, on the team's approach to talent evaluation.
"Our goal by 2013, 2014 is to have the majority of our 25-man roster be homegrown players. That's what we're shooting for, that's been the long-term plan all along . . . Look what Colorado did, look what Minnesota did, look what the New York Yankees did. It took the Yankees seven years. They committed to it in '89, and finally in '96 they won with homegrown guys. I'm not talking about getting to .500, I'm talking about winning the World Series when I say eight to 10 years."
—Royals general manager Dayton Moore.
"I just know what we need to do, and if we run out of time, we run out of time. I know how long it takes. I mean, look at it: When a player signs out of high school or college, look at the timeline. What year do they become productive in the major leagues? They take two to four years in the minor leagues, if everything goes right, and two to four years of playing every day in the major leagues to become a productive, impactful, winning major league player. And that's if everything goes right, that's how long it takes. And I point that out and everybody goes nuts."
—Moore (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times)
"You can only do what you can do. A lot of times in life, we can only achieve what our bodies allow. There's a life you have to have after baseball, too, which people forget. You have 40-50 years left and you have to have a productive life."
—Giants left-hander Barry Zito on the possible career-ending injury to Athletics designated hitter Eric Chavez. (Sacramento Bee)
"We're comfortable with his makeup and we're comfortable with his work ethic. You have to dig into it, but you can't penalize him for a mistake a trainer made. He's a good kid and we feel like we're getting a premier player at a 30 percent discount."
—Padres director of player development Randy Smith on the signing of Dominican prospect Duanel Jones, who tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. (Dan Hayes, North County Times)
"My frolic and detour in San Diego was pleasant, but it felt like a place that I look back on that was a little different than who I am."
—Red Sox president Larry Lucchino on his time in San Diego. (Dennis & Callahan, WEEI.com)
"If he's going to start hitting, I'll bring the band. I'll pay every day for them to have a concert for him. … I swear to God, I would bring Michael Jackson back to life. I would have a concert every day and fire all the coaches."
—White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on Gordon Beckham's success after he changed his walkup music at the plate. (Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times)
"It’s like you’re on a cliff and you tell yourself not to look down or don’t look at that pink elephant in the corner of the room. No one understands until they go through it themselves."
—Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on his inability to throw the ball back to the pitcher. (ESPN.com)
"It's always been like my validation, my worth as a human being is that I've been a good baseball player. That's a bad way to look at it, but that's just how I've looked at it. I just really had this hopeless feeling when I wasn't playing baseball well. I know when I start thinking about not living anymore based on the fact that I'm not playing baseball well, that's when I know I need to take a step back."
—Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley on mental health issues that separated him from the team this month. (Elizabeth Merrill, ESPN.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.