MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT THE RANGERS
"Crowds of 20,000 just remind us of what the challenge is. We're now beyond the start of school. We knew we'd have problems on Labor Day."
—Padres owner Jeff Moorad on the team's attendance woes.
"You can't play a day game in San Diego on Labor Day because you're competing with the beach. But we're confident the crowds are going to be tracking positively for the rest of the year."
"We're convinced that the fan base is coming back. It may be at a pace slower that we had hoped, but we're not complaining. We understand that we have to continue to focus on putting the best club we can on the field and improving the fan experience."
"Rome wasn't built in a day."
—Moorad. (Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com)
WINNING HAS ITS REWARDS – WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY?
"At the end of the day it seemed pretty obvious to all of us. For us it's critical that we have a manager that's not only a teacher but has the patience to get through some of the growing pains a young player's going to have. Bob and the rest of the staff have certainly done that."
—Athletics general manager Billy Beane on picking up the 2011 option on manager Bob Geren's contract.
"Throughout the years, he's gotten so much better with the players. Once you get comfortable around your players and see them a lot, you start opening up. He knows how to interact and relax and keep it cool sometimes."
—A's starter Gio Gonzalez on Geren.
"He's changed a little bit. He lets guys run a little bit more and play their game a little bit more. He likes to be hands-on, he likes to have his hands on everything, but he's starting to let it go a little bit and let guys play a little bit more."
—A's second baseman Mark Ellis.
"I think right now, the most satisfying thing has been the development of the young players. Having a core group of young players that are going to be with us for a long time, and watching them mature and improve week to week, month to month, that's probably the most satisfying thing."
—Geren. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)
THE QUINTESSENTIAL BASEBALL STORY
"It really sunk in. I remember every detail. We were watching ‘Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.’ The fireplace was going. I had both of my dogs lying at my feet. The Christmas tree was lit up behind us. I have a deep appreciation for what Josh said. He doesn’t know it yet. I haven’t given him credit."
—Padres starter Mat Latos on the moment his cousin asked him when he was going to grow up.
"I’m just a 22-year-old kid who wants to compete. I thrive off it. I love the energy. I love the atmosphere. I know I've matured. I hear it day in and day out from people. It’s great to make those kinds of strides and it keeps me wondering, what am I going to be like in the next five years? How mature? How composed?"
"I learned to breathe through my eyelids. When I was younger, I always had an excuse. Now, I throw a pitch and I can accept that I made a mistake and somebody hit it. How can I be mad at somebody else on the field? I’m never going to be perfect, so how can I expect anybody else to be perfect? I still have that hotness in me. There are plenty of times I want to let it out."
—Latos. (Steve Henson, Yahoo! Sports)
WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO SEE THE METS?
"I don't know who's creating this issue, but this offseason, I went to visit the Veterans Hospital in New York, so it's not like I'm against it. Actually, I went with Fred Wilpon. I liked it and I wanted to go, but I had my own things to do."
—Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran on missing the team's trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center last week.
"Sometimes when you see people with no legs and no arms, when they go to fight for us and they're in the hospital like that, I don't like to see that."
—Mets second baseman Luis Castillo on not attending the event.
"To be able to look a guy in the eye who doesn't have arms or legs and say, 'Thank you,' that's a big deal. I take it personally."
—Mets starter R.A. Dickey on visiting with the wounded veterans. (Anthony McCarron, New York Daily News)
HE ALSO HAS A CASE OF EXISTENTIAL DREAD
"Being in here after the game and seeing everybody excited, it's tough for me to be around that. 'As good as it is to see it, it's definitely hard to be around, not feeling like you're a part of it."
—Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who is on the disabled list with a concussion.
"We're late in the game, it's more wanting to be out there. We got a tie game or we're up by one and we've got runners on base, you're sitting there wanting to be out there. The adrenaline starts going and you starting thinking about what you would do in that situation. We're just trying to limit that stuff. That's part of it."
"It comes and goes. The last couple days I've felt pretty good and been really encouraged. It's going to take a few days like that. It's not going to be just one or two where I can all of a sudden go out there and play. I have to feel like myself."
—Morneau. (Kelsie Smith, Pioneer Press)
STARTING TO FIGURE SOME THINGS OUT
"That was the first 0-for-4 I've taken in my life where I was the happiest guy in the room. I was always 30 games out. If I went 0-for-4 and we won the game, I'd be pissed. I know it sounds bad, but it was true."
—Giants outfielder Aubrey Huff.
"Until this year, I didn't know what the big leagues were about."
"I'm not a burner or anything. I have some good instincts about when to go and when not to. I don't have Darren Ford speed. When a pitcher is throwing 97 I'm not going to make it. I've got to pick my spots. Like tonight, it was perfect timing. We're struggling trying to score runs. I figured I'd take a chance."
—Huff. (Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com)
"I remember how I agonized about when to come back. And that was tough, because you really didn't know and you wanted to do the right thing. You know when I knew? I got home that Monday, when we came back. I went upstairs and turned on the satellite dish to watch all the games, very nervous as to how this was all playing. And Jack Buck wrote a poem. He said in the middle of it, 'Should we be here tonight?' And the crowd cheered. There was a lot of emotion, a lot of tears. I called Jack the next morning. He sent me the handwritten copy of the poem, and I keep it at my desk."
—MLB Commissioner Bud Selig on resuming play following September 11th, 2001. (Mark Newman, MLB.com)
"I'm going to have goggles on, duct tape over the mouth and either a wetsuit or raincoat. It can't get on your skin. It'll soak through your skin. I don't want to send the wrong message to people who might see pictures and think I'm not serious about recovery or what it stands for."
—Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton on how he will enjoy the Rangers' celebration of winning their division while not imbibing alcohol. (Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
"It was very disappointing to watch the film. She had unbelievable access to the Yankees. She had great access to Hal. The interview with him was exceptional. The rest of the film was the usual news at 6. It was a disjointed effort. I'm not sure where she was trying to go with the story. As somebody who is an admirer of hers, I just think she swung and missed at this one."
—Yankees president Randy Levine on Barbara Kopple's documentary on George Steinbrenner The House of Steinbrenner. (Bob Raissman, New York Daily News)
"I don't know, what, maybe 10 years ago this matchup stuff started? Before that I remember left-handers hit everybody. I remember right-handers hit the heck out of right-handers. Now all of a sudden some right-handers can face only left-handed pitching. I'm a right-handed hitter, I don't [care], you throw it in the wrong spot, I'm going to drop on it. I think a lot of it has to do with attitude. A lot of it has to do with how you feel about yourself. I can't feel for the player, I just know how I felt when I was a player. Throw with your feet, I don't care. Throw it in the wrong spot, I'm going to drop on it, bottom line. Today it provides an excuse for them."
—Rangers manager Ron Washington on his view of platoons. (James Hall, MLB.com)
"The members of the search committee asked if I would be willing essentially to take the helm of the organization for a while – to right the ship, if I can use that metaphor – rebuild the staff and put the organization on a sure footing going forward to and through the upcoming negotiation. We had some discussions about that and – surprisingly to me – those discussions led to where we are today."
—former head of the Major League Basebal Players Association and new head of the National Hockey League Players Association Donald Fehr. (Nicholas J. Cotsonika, Yahoo! Sports)
"We enjoy these kind of games. They're long and emotionally taxing, but they're the kind you want to be involved in."
—Rangers third baseman Michael Young on the team's five-hour, 12-minute game against the Yankees last Friday. (ESPN.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.