FORGETTING JORGE CANTU WENT .231/.286/.333 IN TEXAS IS EASY
"I'm just glad I'm a Ranger 10 years later. This is a place I'm proud to call home. I'm happy to still be around to see this."
—Rangers third baseman Michael Young on his team's American League West championship.
"I'm happy for Ron Washington, his staff and the players, but I don't really enjoy watching it. With our pitching staff, the defense, maybe improve the offense, I could see us right there next year. I'd stay to watch that one."
—Athletics manager Bob Geren.
"He told me exactly what I'm feeling. He said he made the mistake of focusing only on the ribs and not doing anything to loosen up the back. The muscle is what I've been feeling from the beginning. That's where most of my pain has come from. That's something that I feel if I can get under control, I can get back quickly."
—Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, on talking with Jacoby Ellsbury about his rib injury.
"I don't usually drink. But if we do something today, I guess I'll have a little bit."
—Rangers manager Ron Washington.
"It's better than anything I've ever experienced. When you're the head guy in charge you're always putting out fires and everything lands in your lap. The thing I'm proud of is that these guys landed in my lap."
—Washington. (Gil LeBreton, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
A SMASHING SUCCESS THAT NOW REQUIRES REFORM
"As the guy who brought the wild card and took a lot of abuse – maybe from nobody in this room – it's worked out great, nobody's against it."
—Commissioner Bud Selig on expanding the postseason.
"It's a fair question. We have less teams than any other sport. Eight teams make the playoffs. One wild card in each league. We certainly haven't abused anything."
"We watched a lot of games together, and he once said to me, ‘You know, it isn’t fair.' I said, ‘What’s that?’ Then he said: ‘They all think I’m terrible and they think you’re a nice guy. They ought to listen to you talk during a game when you’re talking about your team. They wouldn’t think you’re such a nice guy.' And he was right."
—Selig, relaying an anecdote about George Steinbrenner.
"He's smart, he knows the game, he's a lawyer, he loves baseball more than anything. He knows the inner workings of it. He would be a solid choice, in my opinion. It would be like Ozzie and Kenny Williams. They would do a lot of screaming and yelling, but they would love each other. Stan has dealt with them for so many years. He would understand it all, that's for sure."
—Braves manager Bobby Cox on the idea of former Nationals president Stan Kasten as Commissioner. (Bill Ladson, MLB.com)
IS THE THREE MONTH PLAN OUT OF THE QUESTION?
"I think it's a quick turnaround. I'm not a big believer in five-year plans, six-year plans. I want to win next year."
—Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers on his plan to rebuild the club.
"We considered this a critical hire for the organization at this important time. We are in a much better place today than we were three months ago because of the tremendous job performed by Jerry Dipoto, and now Kevin Towers comes in to continue climbing on this uphill path. Kevin is an experienced general manager who brings years of success, roster construction, pitching knowledge, industry networking and talent evaluation to the table."
—Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall
"I'm not going to lie: When I saw some of the moves Jerry made at the trade deadline, I said, 'I've got a real battle on my hands right now.' I like those trades. I think he will be a GM someday. I actually told that to Ken Kendrick, our owner, and Derrick Hall, our president. After talking to Jerry for three, four hours, I told them, 'I can see why it was a gut-wrenching decision for you.' This guy is good. Very good."
—Towers on interim general manager Jerry Dipoto.
"Occasionally in life, one gets a do-over. In the case of Kevin, we're getting a do-over, and I'm thrilled about it."
—Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick. (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)
ANOTHER WORD FOR DIVORCE IS WIN
"I think his humility is going to help a lot. He's not approaching it from the vantage point that he's going to be perfect and not going to make mistakes. He's realistic that you do make mistakes but you learn from them and that's how you become a winner."
—Dodgers owner Frank McCourt on hiring Don Mattingly as manager.
"It's really important for everybody to see that I don't panic or change my personality because somebody isn't going good. Some guys treat you differently when you're going good than when you're going bad, like they don't talk to you all of a sudden. I've had that happen to me as a player. That won't happen with me as a manager."
"If you watch Donnie interact with people and watch his work ethic, and you didn't know who it was and then someone told you it was Don Mattingly, you'd be shocked that someone with his background and accomplishments had that kind of work ethic."
—Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.
"Whatever history there is, Jim Thome doesn’t have any of that history. Orlando Hudson doesn’t have any of that history. J.J. Hardy doesn’t have any of that history. Carl Pavano was with us last year. We’ve got a lot of guys that haven’t been any part of that history."
—Twins general manager Bill Smith, on his team's playoff struggles against the Yankees. (Jon Paul Morosi, FoxSports.com)
"I've never experienced an easy hit, never taken one for granted. In 2001, no one expected 200 hits from me. If I'd had 168 hits, they'd have said 'Good job.' Now, in my shoes, it's expected each year. I'm very happy to have made people feel that way."
—Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, on his 10th straight season of 200 hits. (Kirby Arnold, Everett Herald)
"Halladay is as good as anyone on the planet, and right now he's their third best starter."
—anonymous scout on the Phillies rotation. (Peter Gammons, MLB.com)
"I think every individual player has one team that they seem to just play a little bit better against. It seems like Detroit is the team that I decide to show up more so than other teams. I definitely like hitting here. It's a fast infield. You almost feel like you are playing on turf. The ball gets through the infield pretty quick. It seems like I've just caught some extra breaks here."
—Twins center fielder Denard Span on playing in Detroit. (Alex DiFilippo, MLB.com)
"I went out there, and I was on the mound, and all of a sudden I'm giving the ball to the pitcher, and it didn't look like Randy Choate."
—Rays manager Joe Maddon, on thinking he was Choate into a game but seeing Grant Balfour coming from the bullpen to the mound instead. (Marc Topkin, St. Petersburg Times)
"When you haven't seen pitching for five months, it's a little hard. Everybody gets their spring training. This is mine."
—Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, on his first game in the Florida Instructional League. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.