YOU THOUGHT MARK CUBAN WAS GOOD AT DELUDING HIMSELF
“We’re going to do everything we can to win and one of the first things we’re going to do is do the very best we can to try and help Cliff feel that he’s really found a home and this is where he wants he and his family to be.”
-Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg on making a priority of re-signing Cliff Lee after winning the auction process for the Texas Rangers.
“He wasn’t going to say ‘no’ and not give it a chance because he didn’t know somebody. I don’t think he would have just walked away. He felt an obligation to the people here.”
–Nolan Ryan‘s wife Ruth Ryan, on what her husband would have done if his group had lost the auction.
“The Angels are a great organization to emulate. They show they take care of their fans, they play in a dynamic market, and they have a team that can compete for a championship. They do it year after year.”
“It was an emotional roller coaster. You go to court one day and it didn’t go your way, but you go back another day and it would. It’s a relief. It was time for someone to say uncle.”
“I think we both have the same approach. You hire the best people. You give them the right tools. And you treat them like family, so that they don’t want to leave.”
“I’m kind of numb. There were so many times we thought we had it, going back to November. I think I have become temporary physiologically incapable of being elated.”
–Greenberg. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)
IT’S STILL BETTER THAN THE POLO GROUNDS
“Winning or losing a game because the ball hits an object in the roof has never been something about what I admire about this place.”
–Rays manager Joe Maddon on Jason Kubel‘s pop fly bouncing off a Tropicana Field catwalk into fair territory and giving the Twins a victory.
“I know it works both ways, but to lose a game in a pennant situation like that because of the roof truly indicates why there’s a crying need for a new ballpark in this area, regardless of where they put it. It just needs to be a real baseball field.”
“We didn’t really lose the game. I know it works both ways, believe me. We’ve benefited from this in the past. There was a time when it was kind of cute, 2006 and 2007 it was kind of cute when you might win a game or lose a game when the ball hit the roof or rafter or whatever, but it’s not cute today. It’s not cute.”
–Maddon. (Joe Henderson), Tampa Tribune)
IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE HE BECAME ONE OF US
“If it was three or four or five years ago, I would have sat here and would have tried to rehearse and come up with ideas to try to let people know why I was a Hall-of-Famer or why my 600 really means 600. The bottom line is that I’m not in that place right now… I’ve never enjoyed the game more than after my press conference last year. I felt I was liberated. I could now go out and be one of the guys. I’ve never been more human.”
–Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez after hitting his 600th home run. (Mike Francesa, YES Network)
“Once in a while he’ll get jammed, but the thing I like about him is that he has a plan. Pitchers have plans on trying to get hitters out. Hitters should have plans, too. I don’t think anybody can say you have the wrong plan, not when you have 600 home runs. That’s a pretty darn good plan.”
–Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, on Rodriguez..
“It’s my contribution to the Yankees so far, not the greatest. I just remember hitting it and cringing, because it was headed right for him… I hit it hard, so I hope he’s not out very long.”
-Yankees designated hitter Lance Berkman on hitting the ball that struck Rodriguez on the ankle during battle practice, causing him to miss a game. (Peter Abraham, Boston Globe)
REPLACE THIS MAN WITH A ROBOT AT YOUR OWN PERIL
“As I’m looking at the base, it was just to the right of it. I understand that’s the winning run, but in my opinion it was foul and there’s no replay that you can really see what the ball does over the bag, and that’s what’s important. But I know what I saw.”
-umpire Bob Davidson on the controversial fair/foul call at third base that cost the Marlins the potential winning run in a loss to the Phillies.
“Obviously we wish that Bob would acknowledge that it’s a bad call. It’s not just with umpires. It’s in life. When you make a mistake, say you made a mistake and nobody talks about it anymore.”
-Marlins president David Samson
“I think I did everything possible I could do, under my standards, to get thrown out. The fact that he didn’t throw me out, that gave me reason to believe that he knew he was wrong.”
-Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez.
“I was right on top of it, and it was wide of the bag, that’s all. I had it foul. In my opinion, where it goes over the bag, you can’t tell. After a bounce, it came an inch or two on the fair side, but… it was very close. But I’m right there. I know what I saw.”
–Davidson. (Andre Fernandez, Miami Herald)
“No appeal because I was terrible yesterday. I said some things I shouldn’t have said. I throw the baseballs on the field. I knew about the David Ortiz situation. He threw bats on the field and got five games. I threw baseballs and got four games. I figured, hey, I better take this. That’s justice. Mike Scioscia, Tony Reagins and my agent all got together and came up with this, get it out of the way and get ready for the stretch.”
–Angels right fielder Torii Hunter on accepting his four-game suspension for making contact with umpire Ron Kulpa.
“Passion sometimes drives a player. Sometimes it comes back and gets you. It’s unfortunate. There’s obviously precedent. It’s happened to some other guys.”
-Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
“Obviously, Torii didn’t like strike one, and we had a talk about strike one. And then he didn’t like strike three, and we had a conversation about strike three, and he said some things that crossed the line and he got ejected. And then after that, he beaked me with the brim of his helmet. Right above my left eye. It wasn’t a bump.”
–Kulpa (Lyle Spencer, MLB.com)
LET’S NOT RULE OUT THE IDEA LARRY LUCCHINO IS DRUGGING HIS FOOD
“At this point we’ll need another miracle. This team, healthy, is capable. You have to admire the way so many have played through pain. Mike Cameron, Marco Scutaro, J.D. Drew, Adrian Beltre have had continuing injuries, yet have persevered. Others have simply been unable to play.”
–Red Sox owner John Henry.
“The questioning of whether or not Jacoby Ellsbury should have been back earlier hopefully was rooted in the desire to see him come back. No one should question his desire to compete. In fact, he came back too soon initially. We didn’t realize he was as badly hurt as he was. No one was looking forward to this season more than he was.”
“Theo put together a club this year that should have been right there with the Rays and Yankees. However, the injuries we have had have been almost astonishing. I didn’t think 2006 would ever be replicated. But injuries are a major part of sports.”
“Our payroll was our highest ever. We went for it this year. We felt well-positioned to make the postseason and believed our starting pitching would make us difficult to beat in October. But we also knew that Tampa and New York were extraordinarily strong.”
–Henry. (Tom Krasovic, Fanhouse)
GREGOR BLANCO’S MOTHER WOULD TEND TO DISAGREE
“There’s no reason for me to get real excited about it because the chance of more than one of them making a major impact by the time my contract is up is pretty slim.”
–Royals starter Zack Greinke on the young players acquired before the deadline by Royals general manager Dayton Moore.
“It depends more on the team now. We’ll see. This is at least the third full re-start/rebuilding phase since I’ve been here. And, obviously, none of them have worked. This one hasn’t even really started yet.”
“I like Kansas City. It’s a town that fits me pretty well. But I don’t know…at least put a team together that has a fighting chance.”
–Greinke. (Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star)
“I think it is probably the biggest mistake made here in a long time, and I’m not talking just today, I mean over the years. Every organization in baseball would like to have someone who has won, who has played in the World Series for the organization, who has learned to manage from A ball up and come back here. I think with the relationship I have had with the fans and this city, I should have been a slam-dunk years ago.”
–Orioles broadcaster Rick Dempsey, on his failed candidacy for the team’s managerial position. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)
“It’s unbelievable. It’s really not that easy. That’s what I was thinking. But, apparently it is. I guess I got it all wrong.”
-Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay on catcher J.P. Arencibia‘s two-home run debut. (Ken Fidlin, Toronto Sun)
“No, no, no. That’s the only thing I don’t miss about Boston. I’m pretty sure other players feel that way, too.”
-former MLB starter Pedro Martinez, asked whether he misses Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy. (DaynPerry.com)
“It is always my pet peeve whenever they get a new manager the first thing they say is, ‘We are going to work on fundamentals.’ Every [expletive] manager that ever worked with that team worked on fundamentals. I go to spring training every year. I watch those other clubs. They work on bunts. That is what the Tigers do. That is what the Blue Jays do. That is what the Orioles do and that is what the Mets do. They work on pickoff plays. They work on cut-offs and relays. Every [expletive] manager and every team in baseball does that. Screw that hitting the cut-off man. Hit the ball out the ballpark or pitch good and manage good and win [expletive] games.”
-Tigers manager Jim Leyland. (Terry Foster, Detroit News)
“Is the sun going to come up tomorrow?”
-Mets owner Fred Wilpon, on whether Omar Minaya’s future as general manager is secure. (Steve Popper, The Record)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
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